Switchfoot

I’ve been a Switchfoot fan since the beginning.  I remember there was this Christian magazine that every two months would produce a cassette tape that you could buy for $0.99.  On that tape would be about 10 songs from new CDs that were coming out soon or had just come out.  One time one of the songs was Chem6A.  I think I might have worn the tape out rewinding and playing again which finally led me to purchase the CD.  I practically wore the CD out.

CD number 2 came out and while it was good, I didn’t wear it out.  In fact, when CD #3 came out I didn’t really care.  Until I saw A Walk to Remember and I recognized the songs.  I couldn’t get them out of my head.  I finally find the CDs, but that jsut made me want more Switchfoot, so I went and got CD#3 and from them on I’ve not been able to quit.

Four years ago, I had the wild idea to go see their concert with my sister.  It was one of those sister bonding things.  Dispite the fact that I end up at a lot of concerts, up until this point (and even since), I’d been relatively bored with concerts and actually, Switchfoot has only made that worse.  Stacy and I pushed our way up to the front and were about two or three people from the stage.  We stood firm the waiting for Switchfoot, even through some music that was not our cup of tea.  And it was well worth it.  Switchfoot puts on a good show.  Jon especially works the crowd….interacting and talking with us.  We were hooked.  We said we’d always go back.

The next year, Switchfoot came again.  This time we planned a bit better and got there early enough to stand in line (Stacy had a test the next day, so we studied in line).  We again push/worked our way up to the front, but it was easy because we’d gotten there so early.  We were right at the bar in front of the stage.  We could get no closer.  This was the year Stacy took a wild jump and touched Jon and he climbed the balcony and as always put on a really good show.  We couldn’t stop talking about it and how wonderful it was…so much so my husband said he wanted to come with us next time.

Well, we got skipped over.  And then they came with a huge Christian tour and were in a event center that had “assigned” seats and I was 7 months pregnant.

When I found out they were coming to Denver again, just two days before my sisters birthday and to a smaller venue.  I was so excited….but then I realized Stacy was going to be in Virginia, as she just moved there this summer to be with her husband.  Then about a month ago, Stacy found out that she needed to be in Denver the day before the concert because she started student teaching.  So we got tickets and Zach and my best friend Susie decided to join as well.

Long story, but by the time we got there, the line was LONG.  The people were different (this was a concert with Blue October).  Hopes were high.  We didn’t get there in time to have good position.  And it’s hard to move through a crowd with four people.  We got stuck behind this really TALL guy.  None of us could see around him and he was like a rock.  Didn’t budge an inch.  We managed to move around in front of some teenagers, only to end up almost stepping on a kid sitting on the ground (which Stacy got yelled at for, even though she kept anything bad from happening).  Stacy wanted to leave because of a few of the people near her, so I switched places with her.  Switchfoot was on next.  They came on and this really BIG woman, who smelled like Isaac’s diapers, in front of me was trying to get her two friends over to her.  When her friends finally got there, they just kept talking and talking and because of there angle it was all I could hear.  I, of course, am singing along with Jon.  During one break, I just say out loud that they should be quiet or leave because they are ruining the concert.  A little while later, while I was singing one of the girls turns around and tells me to “Stop singing.  They might be good if I could hear them.”  I told them I came to sing and was about to burst into tears.  They wouldn’t stop and I got mad enough, I pushed in front of them stating, “If you let me in front of you, you won’t have to listen to me sing.”  I got called a “fucking bitch,” which I kinda was but they weren’t any better.  I was only there a minute and looked at Zach and Stacy and said let’s go and tried to get out of there.  They wouldn’t let me go beyond them, only trading places with me.  I really had a hard time…I just wanted to cry.  I put my head on Zach’s shoulder.  He told me to just let it go.  That I shouldn’t let them win.  At one point though, Zach even almost punched them, because they kept telling him to stop singing and told him that Switchfoot wasn’t even good.  HA!  During this drama, Jon had jumped off the stage and walked from one side of the floor to the other, just doing what Jon does.  It’s so funny.

As soon as Switchfoot was done, we were out.  And so were about half the people there.  It was funny because the Blue October fans kept asking where everyone was going.  We hung out for a while in the back trying to decide what to do.  Hoping for some remedy to the miserable night.

We saw Switchfoot rushed downstairs for a meet and greet and we walked over there.  We were told that was the only way out, so we stood there.  We lasted through two or three of Blue October’s songs before deciding that they were much like there fans….not very good and we finally decided to leave.  We had to walk past the tour buses to get to our car and as we got closer we saw about six people standing by the cars talking to someone.  We walked quicker and sure enough it was Jon.

We took the picture for the people who were standing there and then asked for a picture ourselves, unfortunately, all we had was my cell phone, so the picture turned out dark.  But Jon was so nice and wished Stacy a Happy Birthday and asked how old she was going to be.  She was about to pass out and could barely breathe.  He also told us he was thinking of doing a show later at a coffee shop if he could find one and he’d Twitter the location.

We started to walk away and then decided to hang and listen to stories and such while Zach and Susie went to the car to get “the professional camera you can’t take into concerts.”  We weren’t there very long and Drew came out, and then some girls came out of the concert and realized what was going on and started running towards us all.  Jon quickly ducked out and then Drew left too.  We kinda half followed Drew and his Denver friends (mainly because our car was there)….they ate dinner at Park Avenue Grill (I’ve eaten there!), but we just went to 7-11 and got slurpees and Stacy went to the bathroom.  We got back to the car and decided to do a quick drive-by of where they’d been talking to people and we saw Tim out talking, so we found a closer parking spot and walked over.  Stacy got her photo with him and we listened to him answer questions and such.

Periodically, the members would switch up and change places.  Once returning to the bus, and another coming out.  Jerome came out and talked to everyone.  Even came over to us (we were not standing at the rope) and we ended up talking to him about camera’s and lenses.  Who knew his wife was a photographer and he is her backup.

Jon came out again and someone had his guitar and asked Jon to play.  There were about 20ish people and Jon did.  He sang a few songs from his solo albums…..it was great.  Praising God on the streets of Denver. 🙂

Then he said if we could find a way he’d play some songs from the new album.  So he worked to find a blank CD, didn’t happen.  Eventually a guy pulled up his car and Jon connected his iPhone to another guys iTrip and we listened to a few songs while Jon took photos and chatted with people.  He is such a nice person.  Really, really is.

As the Blue October concert got out.  Things got more choatic and Jon stopped playing the new music, saying “I just wanted it to be an intimate thing.”  The difference in the Switchfoot fans and Blue October fans is amazing.  Switchfoot fans are like family…they are nice and friendly and look out for each other.  Blue October fans are loud and abnoxious and only look out for themselves.

Before we left, I tapped Jon on the shoulder and asked if we could re-do our photo from earlier with a real camera.  He said, “Sure.  23, right?”  Remembered Stacy’s age!  We got Susie in the photo too!  But it was quite funny as she was leaning on me a bit, which was causing me to fall into Jon and we later found out Susie was holding his hand!  HA!  So I have to share both picture as they go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

It was a great evening.  Hanging with Switchfoot made the night totally worth it.  And I feel quite bad about not being a “good” Switchfoot fan and treating those people nice.  I even told Jon about the fact that it wasn’t the best concert of theirs I’d been too (he looked sad) and then I said, “Because I was told not to sing with you.” He responded, “Well, I like it when you sing and appreciate it.”

Susie, of course, had to take some end of the night shots….too bad we don’t get her in them more.

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Fireflies

Yesterday I had two friends who can’t possibly know each other post about fireflies back to back.  It reminded me of a part of our trip to Virginia that I’d forgotten – seeing Fireflies for the first time!

On our second night in Virginia we were eating pizza on the deck at about 10:30PM and all the sudden I saw a little bleep of light.  I was so excited!  Joe told me that the best time to see them is around 9 when the sun has just disappeared.  Well, I forgot about that until our very last day and Joe was outside and came in saying that it was the perfect time to watch fireflies.  We were packing, so Zach went out first.  I asked if it was worth it to go out (I didn’t want to get eaten by bugs) and he said yes.  So I headed out and there they were….zooming in and out of the trees, turning their lights on and off.  It was pretty cool.  It would be so relaxing if I wasn’t so worried about the bugs.  You could sit on the swing and just enjoy nature and it was still warm enough to not need a blanket (although a blanket might have helped with the bugs.)

Beaches

Isn’t he cute all dressed for the beach?  One of my goals on our trip to Virigina was to go to the beach.  So, the day after we arrived with got dressed, packed up and headed on over.  It took us forever to get to the beach.  Stacy and Joe aren’t the quickest people and we were trying to get ready for something we’d never done with a baby, so we weren’t overly quick either.

About 15-20 minutes from Stacy and Joe’s house is this nice little beach – they even have a lifeguard on duty!  We sat by the waves and watched them for a while.  Which Isaac LOVED!

Then we decided to go sit where the sand was wet and the waves would wash over our legs.  Isaac loved this too!  He didn’t cry or get scared at the waves and he really enjoyed eating sand.

Zach and I  eventually handed Isaac up to Joe and Stacy and went and took a dip in the ocean together.  It was kinda freaky because you couldn’t see very deep….so I couldn’t tell if the jelly fish were getting me or if there were sharks….so we didn’t stay too long.  But long enough.

Once we got back from DC, we tried to make another trip to the beach, but it seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen.  We spent all day getting ready and then it was nap time, so I tried to get Isaac to take a nap, but he was just being crabby, so we eventually decided against going to the beach.  I helped Stacy prep curry and then Joe came home and wanted to go to the beach….so we packed up and within a few minutes in the car, Isaac was out.

When we got to the beach, I opted to stay in the car with Isaac until he woke up.  Zach decided to keep me company, so Stacy and Joe took their books and headed down to the beach.  Every week this beach has a movie on a blow-up screen and everyone was gathering around for that and they were playing music – mainly Michael Jackson – and Zach and I actually really enjoyed ourselves in the car.  Isaac woke up just in time for the new line dance cha-cha song, that I like and I danced to it in the car and he was just cracking up!  It was so funny.  Then we got our gear and headed towards the beach.  There were swarms of people on the way to the actual sand, but there didn’t seem to be many people on the sand, but I never got to find out, because we ran into Stacy and Joe who were headed back to the car because it was too dark to read.

Back at the house we ate yummy curry (one of my favorite meals now) and then played some cards.  Since we were leaving at 4:00AM and needed to be up at 3:30 we decided to stay at Stacy’s in the living room, so Isaac slept on the floor next to us.  It actually worked pretty good….until the alarm didn’t go off the next morning and I work up at 4:09 panicked. 🙂  But we did get to the airport in time, so no worries.

DC

So when we realized Stacy lived just 3 hours south of DC, we thought it would be cool to visit her and visit our capital.  Especially since I’ve never been there.  This summer is a little crazy for both Zach and I.  We scheduled this triip back in May…with Zach’s co-director pregnant and due at the end of July, we knew any trips needed to be June or early July.  And then we thought, WOW, we could spend the 4th of July in Washington, DC!  How cool would that be? So that’s what we scheduled, tenatively the DC part, but definitely the VA part.

As always I panicked and stressed myself out about driving up there.  What if we couldn’t find parking?  What if we got up there and it was too crowded and we didn’t even get to enjoy ourselves?  What if…What if…  I really need to stop playing that game.

Well…we left early on the 4th to head to DC.  We arrived around noonish (I think) and found parking right way.  Made our way to the Metro to find that we didn’t need to take it, but the Station Manager allowed us to walk through it to get to the other side.  It was pretty neat down there (Okay, yes, your right, I’ve never ridden a subway) and Zach kept going on about his game “Fallout 3” that he plays.

When we got out of the Station, we followed the ice cream carts to the mall.  We on the end near the capital and ran right into the end of the 4th of July parade.  We decided to by-pass watching the parade and head towards the castle, which I never knew was even in DC.  Turns out it’s the hub of the Smithsonian.  We got a map so we wouldn’t be lost and wandered around the castle and then the mall which had some really neat festival going on.  The tent we liked the most was the Welsh dancing.  Had we been there sooner Stacy and I would have joined in.

We eventually made it to the security check point to get into the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial, we had to unpack our bags and all that fun stuff.  Isaac really enjoyed the WWII Memorial, so we sat there a bit and by the time we got to the reflecting pool, they’d closed off the area to get ready for fireworks, so we decided to head back up the the Washington Monument, where there was a stage and music and hang out for a few hours.  Stacy wish she’d brought her book, but Isaac and I took a bit of a nap.  Stacy eventually went and bought some cards and we played rummy.  We had a slight mishab with dinner (too long of a bad story to share), but we did get free glow sticks.

Isaac had been sleeping for a good while when the bands stopped playing and it was time for fireworks.  He woke up just in time for me to change his diaper before the show started.  The fireworks started and we had to get some people in front of us to sit down because it was too hard to stand with Isaac.  He loved the fireworks…..and then he got hungry.  So he ate and finished up just in time to see the finale.  And what a finale it was!  By far the best fireworks I’ve seen and very cool to be in the center of our nation’s capital for it.  I now think that everyone should try to visit DC once during the 4th of July.  So much fun.

Now, getting back to our car was another story.  We were at the far end of town and there were THOUSANDS of people – most of whom decided to ride the Metro, which caused the sideway to be completely inpassable for a half a block down four different streets.  It was pretty crazy.  I pushed right through and Zach and Stacy held on.  Zach said that a few times people gave me weird looks like they were going to punch me and then they saw the baby and let it go.  Stacy and I needed to pee, so we went up into the building to use the restrooms while Zach put Isaac in the seat and got out of the parking garage.  We got back to the parking garage when Zach was just two cars away from paying – talk about good timing.

We found a hotel and crashed for the night, just to wake up and explore a bit more the next day.  We did a lot of walking and just moseyed around.  We wanted to was Night at the Museum at the Smithsonian, but we by the time we got there tickets were sold out for the day.  We had a great time and all want to go back.  Stacy is lucky that she can pull the weekend trip anytime she wants.

I’ll leave you with some photos:

Isaac and Daddy @ the Washington Monument – this was “our spot” for fireworks.

Isaac and Stacy:

My patriotic baby waving his flag:

Yes, I nursed Isaac all over DC.

Zach ended up wearing Isaac the second day for two reasons: 1. He wanted too, said he missed the little guy. 2. From my surgery and carrying him so much I was in a lot of pain, so needed some help.

Family Photo outside The White House:

Tunnels

Before I start this post I have to preface it with a few things:

  • This is mainly for me, to remember, my sister will probably be pissed if she ever finds I wrote about this in my blog, as it quickly became and event we don’t talk about.
  • I  love my sister!

A few other story related items:

  • Stacy is extremely hard to deal with and grouchy if she hasn’t eaten in a while. This runs in the family, because my dad and I are the same way.
  • Stacy drives what we affectionately call a “pop can on wheels.”

Last Thursday we arrived in Norfolk to visit my sister and her husband at their new house in VA. We flew into Norfolk instead of Newport News because it was considerably cheaper, but it turns out, in order to get back to their house, we needed to go through a tunnel (according to my sister, the only way to get to her house…we have since learned that there are a few other ways…one other tunnel, which happened to be flooded this night, so was not accessible to anyone).

As it was rush hour, dinner time and Stacy hadn’t eaten all day, and Joe wouldn’t be home until the next morning, we decided we’d try to find some food before heading across the tunnel. We used Stacy’s GPS to find a spot. I have to mention quickly that this GPS is a brand I’ve never heard of and after using it, Garmin and TomTom, I can safely say it isn’t quite as quick as, or as easy to use as the two I’d previously used, which caused us some problems down the road. We found a spot Stacy and Zach wanted to go and headed for it and a few minutes later Joe called to say that he was off work, but that he had to work on the 4th. Stacy wanted him to come meet us for dinner, because it is faster to go through the tunnel towards us than away. Long story, but we get to the place and it is only open for breakfast and Joe calls and tries to give us direction back to the house without going on the tunnel. Stacy is starting to get a little upset at this point and is starting to freak out. We head out, following Joe’s directions, but after several miles, we still haven’t found the street we were suppose to turn on, so we think we might have gone in the wrong direction. We decide to use “Ginger” to get back to the highway and just take the tunnel. Stacy is yelling by this point and when Ginger tells her to go around the block instead of making a U-turn she gets even more frustrated. She is driving fast and screaming and slamming the breaks. I’m truly scared for the safety of my son. I ask her to pull over, get some food at a gas station, fast food, anything. She won’t listen.

We see the highway and Stacy gets on, but going the wrong direction. Again, more freak out….she gets off the highway. I ask her to stop, to calm down. She turns on to a street and practically pulls into someones front yard, her butt hanging in the street. I don’t know how I thought quickly enough, but quickly turned off the car, grabbed the keys and got out. I took off down the street and Stacy had a bit of a screaming fit in the car. A truck headed down the street and looked quite puzzled by the car that was stopped in such an awkward way on the road. I didn’t know what to do. I had my phone and I contemplated calling 911. My sister was far beyond reasoning and I couldn’t allow any of us to go anywhere with her.

Thankfully, it didn’t take her long before she got out of the car, yelling, “Fine! There! Are you happy now? You get your way! You always get your way!” And she got in the passengers seat. I returned to the car and got in the drivers seat. I calmly turned on the car and turned around to get back on the highway. Stacy meanwhile tried to get Ginger to tell us where to go and turned the volume up. Earlier we’d played with the voice setting and she was now speaking Spanish, which caused even more problems.

We got to the highway and I spent an hour in bumper to bumper traffic driving a stick (NOT FUN!). Stacy calmed a little and we were able to have nice conversations in the car and we were on the bridge over water before the tunnel as we watched the sun set. It was beautiful.

The trip to Stacy’s house took us 3 hours….it took her 20 minutes to get to the airport to pick us up. In the end we ended up at IHOP, eating breakfast at 9PM.