This year, for the big kids' birthdays (that both fall in December), we decided to give the gift of "experiences" instead of more stuff that they don't really need. Wyatt's birthday has already passed and he opened tickets to a Titans game. Matt will take him for a boys' weekend at the end of the month, and I think they're both looking forward to it. Although Anna's birthday is still 4 days away (Christmas day!), she got to go ahead and open her gift since it was tickets to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra on December 6th.
We made reservations at a nice restaurant - Itta Bena - for before the show and though we spent most of the afternoon stressing over whether we'd actually make it there or not thanks to a day's worth of ice that had arrived and covered the roads, we had a delicious dinner just the three of us before the show.
Since it's somewhat of a big birthday for Anna - 13! teenager! - we splurged on really good seats. As in, four rows back from the stage. We took this picture before the concert started to try to show just how close we were. That's the stage right behind us!
Once the lights dimmed, it was almost three straight hours of rockin' Christmas songs. Have any of you ever seen the Trans Siberian Orchestra? There is a lot of head banging and swaying and hair tossing involved. We joked a lot about what happens if any of the singers show up for work one day and have had their hair cut off. Do they get fired? There was only one person (a male) that didn't have long flowy locks and he only got to sing two-ish songs. We guessed that he probably used to be the lead singer but was demoted after the scissors got to his hair.
In addition to all the long hair, there is also lots of cool effects. It is much more than just a concert. The first two-thirds of it was a story (The Lost Christmas Eve), complete with lasers and lights and fire shooting out everywhere. We were so close that every time the fire shot out, it warmed our faces.
Oh, we even got snowed on! For one full song (and these are not short songs), we sat under a steady snowfall of fake (soapy?) flakes. You can see them accumulating in Anna's hair below.
Here are a bunch of snapshots I took throughout the show. You can tell just by glancing at them that the lights and effects were constantly changing...it was all so colorful!
I won't lie, I got a little bit nervous every time they climbed onto these things and panned out over the audience. Not for them...but for me! They passed straight over our heads multiple times.
The show was really, really good, but if I'm being completely honest, it may have been a tad long for us. Three hours is a long time to listen to electric guitars and violins, especially when they don't start until after 8pm. This mama can't stay up that late! Needless to say, we weren't sad to see these final bows.
I do recommend going to see the show if you ever get the chance. It was definitely worth the trip. But the best part for us was definitely getting some quality time with just our oldest not-so-little-anymore girl. Happy birthday, Anna!