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    22nd August 2007

    Highlights from the last couple weeks of summer… (part 1)

    Alright, I’m going to catalogue a few great moments from the last couple of weeks. I haven’t taken much time to write on here lately, partly due to being busy, and partly due to being lazy… but now I am going to at least tell a few stories since that’s one of my favorite things to do.

    I mentioned that I got to see the Fray play at Red Rocks, but I didn’t say anything more about it. I got the tickets from my my older brother – who had planned to take his wife but had something come up – and convinced my younger brother to come with me. (It really did take a minute of convincing because a big church event, Praise in the Park, was going on that same night in Fort Collins).

    So, we went down to the Rocks and I strategically parked in the lower lot so that we entered the amphitheatre from stage level. When we showed our tickets to the attendant by the stairs, she looked at them, said, “Row 41, you’re not getting up there… Hold on…” and then came back a minute later and placed us at the end of the front row! Normally half of the front row is reserved for folks with disabilities who reserve the spots, but I wasn’t sure that we’d get into those spots since our tickets were for the upper reserved seating. Ah, but it did work out the way I thought it might and we were in the front row, looking back at 9000 something ecstatic fans.

    Through the two opening acts (Dualistics and From the Flood, both great local bands) we sat on the end of the row, where some sound equipment blocked part of our view. However, after the second opening act there were a couple of people in our row who changed spots. Ever vigilant, we waited until we were sure they were staying where they had gone to and then we moved in on the new spots – only 12 or 15 feet over, but now with a non-obstructed view.

    The Fray came on (with a fantastic opening sequence featuring lights flashing to a heart beat), the crowd went wild, and as Isaac Slade sang, “And all at once the crowd begins to sing – sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same,” the crowd began singing and continued to sing to almost all of the band’s songs.

    About 40 minutes into their set it began to rain – and rain hard. Pretty soon the wind was whipping the rain onto the stage and so they pulled the plug on their equipment and we worried for a moment that it might be over. Two or three minutes later, Slade came back on stage with a guitar and started singing a medley of songs – “Sunshine, you are my sunshine…” and “Summertime, when the living is easy…” – and then more band members joined him on stage as they played Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie” with all acoustic instruments. It was pretty cool. They played another song or two acoustic and then threw caution to the wind and set up all their equipment again – even though it was still pouring rain.

    Oh, and did I mention that as the rain continued, more folks in wheelchairs left, bringing Michael and I closer and closer to front and center? It was pretty sweet.

    After the show, we were both completely soaked but we were also both very glad to have been there. Is there anything more Colorado that Mike could have done in his last few days before going to Hawaii? The Fray – Colorado’s own band – at Red Rocks – Colorado’s premiere venue.

    Awesome.

    And a good lead in to something else that happened in the last couple weeks: My mom and Mike went to Hawaii. Mom came back; Mike didn’t.

    They stayed on Waikiki Beach in a nice hotel; ate all kinds of interesting foods; played on the beach and tried to surf; and tried to figure out the U of H campus at Manoa, where Mikey is currently in his first week of college. From what I can tell he’s enjoying himself. It doesn’t hurt that his first class was advanced tennis…

    My mom got back on Sunday and was/is about as happy and relaxed as I’ve seen her in recent years. I think playing in the water and seeing all kinds of different people (there are tons of international tourists in Waikiki) and being away from her job all have been very good for her. It was her first vacation from work in almost 3 years that wasn’t for either a wedding or funeral (and before that, I think she took time off when I was in the hospital – which doesn’t really count as vacation either).

    While they were in Hawaii, I drove out to Chicago and brough Nick along with me. The drive out was awful. Nebraska always sucks, but it sucked especially this time because we were routed off I-80 between Lincoln and Omaha and at in bumper-to-bumper traffic for almost 2 hours. I guess some truck had rolled over on a bridge that was under construction at 8 o’clock that morning. We hit the spot at 3:30 in the afternoon and heard that it only opened up a little after 5… Yeah, I’ll bet it was a truck rolling over on a bridge. They wouldn’t need to have the whole highway shut down that long! I think the government shut it down to hide the fact that aliens had landed somewhere out there.

    In Iowa we drove through a wicked thunder/lightning storm that lasted from Des Moines to Davenport and beyond (though we stopped to sleep there). There was more lightning than I can ever remember seeing, and it just kept going and going and going.

    When we finally stopped to find a hotel (because we were so far behind schedule we weren’t going to make it to Chicago in time to stay with friends) we checked out a few that were more expensive than we wanted. Nick asked where we could find cheaper hotels and one hotel desk worker pointed us to the next exit down the highway. Then the workers in the front room laughed and told him not to stay at the Motel 6 unless he liked 6 legged friends and drug dealers. We laughed about this, too, and thought that we were going to find someplace good and cheap.

    But when we drove by the Motel 6, we noted two things: 1) the price was about half of any other hotel we had looked at; and 2) there were a bunch of big thugs milling around outside the hotel and by the doors of many of the rooms – and this was between 11:30 and midnight! In spite of the tempting cost we drove right on by and coughed up a little extra for the feeling of security.

    To be continued in the next couple days…

    1 comment

    One Response to “Highlights from the last couple weeks of summer… (part 1)”

    1. Mike-e says:

      Yes indeed i am in hawaii, and things are pretty good i guess for now. some troubling issues of dorm life, but at least i have the haven of my comp now. and it is sick. and yes advanced tennis is sweet. piece of cake class. dude and one of my friends here is on the tennis team, he won state a couple times in nebraska…he is cool though. not so snobbish yet, as most d1 athletes here are.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.