I am just such an in the moment blogger that I'd rather tell you about how I've been awake since 7 am (unheard of for me) and BUSY. I'm listening to Blossom Dearie and Billie Holiday right now, and on a mission to clean house.
Also, we have WHO KNOWS how many watermelon babies on the way. A couple of days ago, there were four. Now it's upwards of 8!
Wednesday & Thursday- Atlanta
My cousin, Alicia, has known me since I was born, but since we're about 7 years apart, she and I didn't spend much time together. Besides, our HUGE family is just like that. There are so many of us and so spread out geographically (some of the time), and so much drama in our parent's generation that a lot of us cousins feel like we are breaking new ground.
Happy I was to learn that Alicia is a bit more high strung than I am (read: gorgeously kept condo, age appropriately trendy wardrobe, perfect figure) but really cool. We chatted music, anthropology, eating clean, and life's curve balls.
On Thursday, I did a whole lot of nothing in the early part of the day, and then in the evening, we went to the High Museum in downtown Atlanta for some local music (Hope for Agoldensummer) and a cappuccino.
Wednesday Night- The Decemberists
Alicia dropped me off in front of The Tabernacle an hour and a half early. I was going to walk around downtown a bit first and head over there when I thought the doors would be opening, but how lucky I headed in! The place was buzzing already.
I grabbed 2 pints and headed for the floor. In no time, I had scooted to the front row, just left of center. I made the acquaintance of a couple of young music ed students from Alabama and a couple of Georgia high school teachers. After a lot of standing in cramped quarters, Blind Pilot started things up. Their front-man is adorable. Consider me smitten. Oh! and he's a Gemini, like me. I'm on a Gemini kick, I think.
After Blind Pilot, I noticed Tabernacle staff bringing big stacks of fluffy clean towels out, in anticipation. It seemed like a good omen.
The whole gang of them looked absolutely grand. Jenny Conley came out first and started into the first track of Hazards of Love, while the rest of them came out. And they played the whole thing (it's a concept album with a plot), in order. Colin impressed me with his lack of attention hogging. So many other lead singers seem to want to dominate front and center, but he only did during his vocal parts, giving way to Shara Worden and Becky Stark during their parts.
And the girls were amazing. Extreme. The whole band brought so much energy to the show. And the crowd was great too.
Following Hazards, they took a break and then came out for a second set... which included a bunch of songs (Shiny, July, July, The Bachelor and the Bride, Engine Driver, Shankill Butchers, 16 Military Wives, Dracula's Daughter, O'Valencia, an insane cover of Crazy On You by Heart, Raincoat, and A Cautionary Song with some crowd-interactive improvisational theater. I mean, they got down on the floor with us and were goofing off. Crowd surfing a bit.
After the show, I waited by the buses for a bit with a small crowd to meet the band. :) Colin is as nice as you'd think. Nicer, maybe? He seemed genuinely surprised when I told him this was the best concert I had ever been to. "Really?" he asked with a smile, "That's great!" :)
Colorado, My Heart
Early on Friday, 4 am to be exact, Alicia and I headed off for the airport. Some cute guy (and about my age) with dark curly hair offered to help me hoist my duffel bag into the overhead compartment and Alicia intercepted, saying "No thanks!! She's got it." And I was going to just be all "Oh, thank you kind sir." I found out later, when we chatted a bit, that he's a CO native.
Denver is actually pretty full of attractive people. We helped my cousin get ready for his wedding (some of my cousins later did some whining about this but what ever!) and got to meet the family of his bride. And, not to mention, we got to socialize with each other. It had been at least a year since I saw some of these relatives, 3 years for the others. Uncle Marty, Danny and Cindy's dad, I hadn't seen since I was 6 or 7 years old.
The mountains and cliffs were unbelievable. The air so light and crisp you actually wanted to run around until you felt lightheaded. It was wintery and just absolutely perfect.
The wedding, utterly romantic. Their chupah was adorable and I hope their home life together is as sweet as this was for years to come. We did plenty of talking, dancing, and drinking (who could forget the antique clawfoot tub in the outdoor reception area filled with ice and bottles of wine??). I stayed up till 5 am with Rick King, Alicia, Dan, and Ave.
Sunday- On My 26th Birthday
I woke up (just a couple of hours later, at 7:30)and realized I had a potential disaster on my hands. My cousin, Irene, had left for the airport in Denver w/o me! There were about 60 people staying up there in the mountains, friends and family, but we all had different departing schedules, so we had tried to organize ourselves accordingly... but there must have been a miscommunication. I'll go ahead and assume the error was mine. Anyways, I was "2 hours" away from the airport according to those who were non-locals. It ended up being a hour and 20 minutes with one of my cousin's friends. He was headed back home to Denver and the timing was just right! Whew.
Back home, I got to hang with my kids and give Cora some birthday presents. I took the kids, my mom, and Helen out for ice cream and just marveled continuously at how much oxygen we have in our lowland air.