So last night we went to see #MonsterJam at Nassau Coliseum out here in the Long Island. Yep. You heard right we hung out with Monster Trucks on a Friday night, and it was SO. MUCH. FUN.
As mentioned, I took Claudio’s nieces to “dirty” them up a little. I don’t think they realized at first what they were agreeing to, haha. But when we went down the “special escalator” leading down to the “ice where they play hockey,” walked in the doors and they were greeted my massive, larger than life trucks, their eyes grew HUGE. I knew they’d never seen anything like this before.
We walked up to the first driver who was standing outside his truck, Whit Tarlton of the Monster Mutt. The girls were shy but I told him this was their first time seeing Monster Trucks, and if they could get his autograph? He smiled, and gladly took their programs to sign. They were loving the “dog theme” truck and warmed up quickly, announcing they would be cheering for him from the stands.
Then we had to check out this huge truck that looked like a HUGE LOBSTER. Yes, they’re very creative with the trucks these days. Upon meeting driver Greg Winchenbach of CRUSHSTATION, he easily became one of my favorites. He had a chair to sit it made out of actually lobster traps – which he said were REAL. Before he became a monster truck driver, he was a lobster fisherman in Maine. He even had this really cool “lobster claw” hand sign, which we had to pull out every time he made an entrance to cheer on one of our favorite trucks!
And then. Something really cool happened. Grave Digger was there.
Now, okay, you’re saying, it’s a MONSTER TRUCK. But I got see meet him when I was about the girls age myself and have been a fan since! (I wish I could dig that photo out – I am sure my mother has it some where). Gary Porter appeared and we got right up to meet him before the crowd realized. I chatted with him how I had watched him for years – even way back at Melon Arena in Pittsburgh. He joked how long ago that was and neither of us wanted to admit how aged that made us! He welcomed the girls, signed some autographs and took some photos with us. Seriously, that’s pretty bad ass.
We walked around and got to meet all the drivers and see all their trucks, and each girl picked out a favorite truck (although when it came down to it, we were diehard Grave Digger fans in the stands!). They had the four-wheelers out to sit on, and the pogo stick guys were there to grab some photos as well!
Seriously, you don’t realize just how big these trucks are until you’re standing next to the tire and realize – it’s bigger than you!
While meeting the Illuminator driver, Jay Snyder, (who became Carolina’s favorite truck!) we asked him – how the heck do you even get up into those things? He laughed and said good question! It’s like a mini jungle gym, and you climb up in from the bottom on the drivers side. He said it’s a little tight to get in there! GAH!
After meeting all the drivers we worked up an appetite. And little did we know, there is a little restaurant called Doolins right there on the floor level to sit-down and eat! We were advised you should make reservations, but we asked and they kindly found us a table in a few minutes. This was perfect because not only did we get to sit and eat quick before the show, they started to move the trucks off the floor and you could hear them rumble the entire restaurant as they started, and then took off down the hall which was right behind the wall of the restaurant. Every time one of the trucks kicked on, the girls eyes grew huge with excitement! It was like the perfect pre-game meal to get pumped for the show!!!
The girls were amped for the show – after meeting the drivers, seeing and touching the trucks AND hearing them rumble past in the restaurant they were ready for some destruction. I mean watch this video and TELL ME IT’S NOT BAD ASS.
Just a side note: MAKE SURE YOU BRING EAR PROTECTION. If you don’t, they sell them there – but it’s a MUST for kids, and yourself. The show is very loud. So just be prepared – it adds to the fun!
I think our favorite part was the free-style competition and the donuts. Of course our favorite Grave Digger won it all – trust me, his donuts are CRAZY – he spins so fast for so long you wonder how it’s even possible! It was also crazy when Carolina’s favorite truck, The Illuminator, came tearing out and ended up flipping upside down! GAH! It was one of our questions – how the F do these trucks flip back over if they flip????? Well, we found out!
See the video here:
After jumping up and cheering, throwing lobster claws in the air and dancing to the trucks theme songs, we were EXHAUSTED and all fell asleep in the car ride home. I call that a success. These girls got to experience something they NEVER would have tried – and now are HUGE FANS! They even said they want to make posters for the next one so we can cheer for Grave Digger, of course! (this might be due to seeing the drivers come up into the stands to find the BIGGEST FANS!) haha.
And Gary mentioned that he’ll be back driving Grave Digger at Met Life Stadium this June… hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Looks like we’ll be attending! Will you be joining us??
If you’re up for it – there is another show here tonight! And they will also be in the IZOD center in New Jersey on February 14th and 15th. My girlfriend Allison from Project Motherhood will be there, so we’ll have to follow up and see what their favorite trucks end up being! You can also click here to see a full schedule of events – and when they’re coming to PA!
Till next time…..
Author: Stephanie Barnhart
Stephanie Barnhart is Author/Founder of Footballfoodandmotherhood.com, New York Editor for Mommy Nearest Magazine, and Founder/Social Media Strategist of SocialmindedMediaGroup.com. Stephanie is also a speaker of best online practices for small business and soloprenurs, as well as an educator to parents on social media monitoring. She has also been seen in the New York Times, PARENTGUIDE News, NY Metro Parent, ABC News, and been a contributing author on various websites.