Next week Abi is 9 year’s old which to me is unbelievable as the last 9 years have gone by so quickly!  Anyhow for her birthday she decided she wanted a party at this place called Stone Gardens.  Stone Gardens is an indoor rock climbing club.  You basically join and hire equipment and they teach you how to spider-man up walls.

Before we booked the place for a party, we thought Abi had better try it out first (to make sure she enjoyed it and it didn’t end up a waste of time and money).  So this morning we went over to give it a go.  Abi’s best friend Valerie and her brother Quin came too and the three of them got the necessary special shoes and harnesses on you need to wear.  James was with us as well but he didn’t want to do it which is a real pity as I think he would be really good.  He’s tall and skinny and pretty strong, I bet he would be great and enjoy it too!  But no luck.

So Abi, Val and Quin met the instructor for their hour session (a guy called Jay) and we headed off to the beginner walls for some guidance.  Jay was really good, very patient and helped the kids gain confidence quickly.  All three scaled the first wall with ease, so we moved up to the next, higher walls.

By the time we left, the place was pretty busy and the kids had scaled walls of over 40 feet tall.  They all had a great time so we booked a party for the end of May (which was the first booking we could make).  I was amazed at how big the facility was and the number of people climbing – I really had no idea how popular the sport was.

One of the down sides however was the lighting was not very good for pictures.  I had to ramp up my ISO to be able to take a shot at f/2.8 with an exposure of at least 40 seconds, and most of those images were blurry (as the kids were moving so much).  If I had gone any higher with the ISO the pictures would have been full of noise and unusable.  That’s the down side of the D300s – hopefully my D4 will be here in the next few weeks and I can use it for the party.

The image below was posed by Abi and I used a flash off camera.  As you can see she was very happy to be there.

Carter and Master Chief are supper happy with their new friend, I think it’s Robot Love.

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