Here we are!

Here we are!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

U2/Muse Concert Trip, Day 2

We finally made the decision. You remember we had to decide whether I would go stand in the GA line at 7:30 a.m. while Tim went to the conference, or both of us go together at 3:00 after the conference session and be further back in line. We took a risk by getting in line later that day and maybe being at the back of the floor at the concert. (Or, we could get lucky and be close enough to the front.)

Tim needed to be at the U2 conference by 9:00 and we had one rental car. The hotel is in the middle of nothing. Do I sleep in and have a leisurely day at a decent hotel without a car, or go explore? Explore, of course! After Tim got dropped off, my first thought was to find a Starbucks and then check out Duke University. So I punched Starbucks into the GPS and she took me to some sort of stadium with a business center across the street. Everything looked pretty deserted and the business center was closed on a Saturday. So I kept driving and dead-ended at the Durham Farmers' Market.

There was a booth selling baked goods, so I got a chocolate donut muffin and a buttermilk donut muffin. There were lots of greens to purchase and many of them were "simmering greens." (What are simmering greens?) There were lots of potatoes, but no fruit anywhere. After browsing, I took my donut muffins back to the car and tried to find Duke. It was pretty deserted on a Saturday morning, so I asked Ms. GPS to take me to the mall (there's got to be a Starbucks at a mall, right?). Ms. GPS had me turning and merging and exiting at all the correct locations, but when she said "take the motorway," I was stumped. Nothing said "motorway" on the road signs and there were two freeways dividing up ahead.

"Take the motorway," again.

I needed a translater. Which way was I supposed to go? Can't you just say "take the I62 north" or "exit right?"

"Take the motorway." Seriously, which one is the motorway?

Well, at least she can redirect me if I take the wrong freeway.

Whew, made it. Found the mall, found Starbucks, even found a gas station. Now, I needed to find some lunch before getting Tim and heading to the concert. Hey! Cracker Barrel is out here! Ms. GPS, please take me to a Cracker Barrel!

After half of a chocolate and half of a buttermilk donut muffin and coffee for breakfast, I found some more hearty (read "high caloric") food at Cracker Barrel. (I am telling you the truth, that meal lasted through dinner and on into midnight.) Then I went to get Tim, and wouldn't you know Ms. GPS took me on a gravel road at a different university? She knew exactly where she was, but it wasn't where I wanted to be. After arguing with her a bit, she grudgingly took me to Tim's location and then we headed to the stadium.

The GA Line: We got in line around 3:30 and found out they would open the gates at 5:00. Lots of people were tailgating in the parking lot and in the GA line, people were camped out with chairs and coolers. As it got closer to 5:00, most people stashed their belongings as we could hear U2 doing a sound check. Around 5:30 they opened the gates and we made a mad dash for the floor. We managed to get to the center stage about 4 or 5 people back. Yay! (On the floor, they don't have any seats. It is "standing room only" and everyone rushes to get a spot. Once there, you have to hold your spot until the concert starts.) Had there been an "elipse" on this tour, we would have been in it! One good thing about going this early was that so many cars were trying to get in the stadium, a lot of people missed half the concert. After the concert, it took us about an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot.

Coming up: The Muse/U2 Concert!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

U2/Muse Concert Trip, Day 1

Friday, October 2: I am so excited to go see my favorite two bands, U2 and Muse, playing in North Carolina. Tim and I got GA tickets (!) and we are debating our attack to get to the floor. Drop me off at the stadium early (conference is 30 minutes away) to get a spot, or take our chances and show up at 3:00 in the afternoon? We are still undecided.

Tim left on Wednesday for his academic conference on U2. He and a student are presenting a “paper” at this conference (which is a big deal). Unfortunately, at FPU all budgets have been cut for faculty to do this sort of thing, but the expectation for faculty to do this sort of thing was not cut. To raise money for expenses associated with presenting a paper at an academic conference in North Carolina, the Bible department sold zwiebach. I baked lots of zwiebach. I raised a lot of dough. And I baked. And I pinched. And I greased. And I bagged. Repeat. Repeat again. You get the idea.

So back to Friday. Tim’s dad had triple bypass on Tuesday, which necessitated that his sister come out from Ohio. We were so relieved she was here! When he came through with flying colors, Tim proceeded with going on his trip. When recovery kept improving, I proceeded with my trip.

Flying from Fresno to the east coast is never an easy thing to do. Heck, flying from Fresno to anywhere is never an easy thing to do, unless you’re just going somewhere like San Francisco or L.A. (which, in that case, you would drive your car). Leg one: Fresno to SFO was uneventful. I’m not particularly fond of heights, but my love of looking out the window at the “miniature” cities usually wins out. (This is why I also love the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland.) Leg two: SFO to Dulles was long. I grabbed a sourdough bowl and clam chowder from Boudin Bakery (yum!) and talked with Tim until it was time to board. We are still undecided about the GA line and what to do. I watched The Terminal with Tom Hanks on my ipod during the flight. (I highly recommend this movie while flying. You will crack up when you land and walk into the airport.) At Dulles, I grabbed a salad before my flight and called the boys. Leg three: Dulles to Raleigh/Durham was short, but on that horrible Airbus 320, it felt like forever. I really really don’t like the Airbus 320; if I wanted to ride Tower of Terror, I would go to Disneyland.

Raleigh/Durham airport: Made it! Tim is at a screening for a movie associated with the conference, so I told him to take his time. While waiting for him, I noticed that my skin started feeling rather sticky. I also started smelling my hair products melting in the humidity. Nice. Tim soon pulled up in the smallest Hyundai ever made and we were off to the hotel via the GPS lady (more on her later). We are still undecided about the GA line but leaning towards an afternoon arrival.

Monday, October 05, 2009

September Top Ten

10. Michael started running in cross country at school.

9. Daniel started playing on the soccer team.

8. Michael is learning how to play the trombone in beginning band.

7. Daniel is learning how to play the piano.

6. U2/Muse tickets arrived in the mail and flights booked for October 3 Raleigh concert.

5. Saw Peter Frampton in concert at the Madera fair with Tim and Dave.

4. Saw Phil Keaggy in concert at the Hume Country Fair with Tim, boys, and my parents.

3. The Resistance by Muse is released in the U.S.

2. Tim’s sister comes for a visit from Ohio because…

1. …Tim’s dad had a triple bypass and came through it beautifully.