i'm heading out for a few days - tomorrow at 8 am, my wisdom teeth come out! oh joy.
i've had a birthday this week, returned from travelling, i'm getting teeth extracted, and i'll also take this opportunity to quit smoking. it's been a bit of a whirlwind leading up to this, but i've had it in my head for quite awhile, and a health scare is pretty much helping me make this happen ASAP.
wish me luck, kids - i'll need it!
dinner last night was great. went to cafe laguardia, this cuban place up the street. our party of 9 received a free round of shots and birthday flan for me. AND, it was samba night - last wednesday of every month. i don't know why we waited so long to try this place....
spent about 5 days down south catching a few phish shows with SJ and crew.
we kicked off the weekend with the BEST shrimp tacos at cabo fish taco before heading over to see the david grisman quintet at the neighborhood theatre. we were cutting it close on timing, but the venue allows you go in and reserve seats ahead of time. since the restaurant was just down the block, we grabbed seats and went down for dinner and made it back with minutes to spare. grisman is really fun to watch; the only other time i've seen him was at ravinia - you can't see the stage from the lawn, so it was fun watching the band up really close - the neighborhood only seats a few hundred people, at best. i commented that grisman looked like a big bobblehead doll, so that became the theme of the weekend - BOBBLEHEAD!
friday we got off to a late start, as per usual. after stocking up the cooler down in SC at frugal macdoogal's - best liquour store around - we were off to the lots with eric's friends from jersey on our tail. it took FOREVER getting into the venue, even after flipping around and heading in the back entrance. at least we made it with plenty of time to enjoy those fatty brews we stocked up on, and get into the show with time to space. we stumbled upon a side entrance and literally made it into the venue in less than 5 minutes and found a nice spot on the back of the lawn, page side.
the show in charlotte was killer - great song selection, not many repeats from my alpine show the week before, and lots of fun tunes to get your groove on. the venue itself left a bit to be desired, primarily due to a HUGE verizon wireless sign on the back of the pavillion that lit up the entire side of the lawn. it was annoying, along with the other, slightly smaller toyota sign right near the stage. seriously, isn't selling the naming rights enough? the 2nd set kicked off with a version of the who's "drowned" and went into the crazy jam of "kung" - it was pure classic phish bust out! w00t!! after the show, we headed back down to sj/ev's house and pretty much crashed soon after. we had to get up nice & early; try to hit the road at a reasonable time.....
we made it out of town & headed down to atlanta by noon, although we aimed for 10 am - ha! oh well, we made the 4 hour ride easily, stopping for a bit of road food at subway - about the only thing we could handle on the road. of course, we saw a bunch of phish kids stopping in. the phish heads are down with subway, if it's gotta be quick, at least you can get pretty healthy stuff there. after checking in at the residence inn in buckhead we chilled for a beer, and again, headed for the lots. this time, as we were trying to merge into the lanes heading towards the venue (at a standstill, no less), we quickly scanned the atlas & figured out we could head past the exit and back track around. it was so easy & took us no time at all. we basically found the "bat cave entrance" and it even had a few signs pointing us in the right direction. always use alternate routes, kids!
we made it in as a light rain began to fall, our champaign-urbana kids found us as we were pulling into our spot - talk about timing - and pretty soon after we popped open some beers, a HUGE double rainbow appeared and we took pictures of us with the rainbows behind us. hopefully those turn out, but they're on sj's camera waiting to be developed. the atlanta shows are always crazy, so we probably spent too much time in the lot having fun, because we ended up sitting in line for the longest time trying to get inside the venue. no secret side entrance this time & we missed the 1st two songs waiting to get in; it was a bit hectic settling in to the show after that.
atlanta is a much better venue in terms of aesthetics and general vibe. although, people were tyring to climb over the walls on the back of the lawn - ; some of the security would try to catch the culprits, but they'd end up flailing themselves down the lawn, and in the process, running into and/or diving into innocent bystanders. by the time it got dark, that seemed to die down and then all the crazy fireworks started in the lots. atlanta is known for the "lotworks" because you can buy them so easily down south. after the show, it's always a bit tricky navigating through all the fireworks going off around you, but we managed. got back to the hotel, hung out for a bit, then went off to bed. in the morning, sj & i woke up and went swimming for a bit - the hot tub was so nice after a long weekend. then, we found this incredible place to eat brunch before heading back to charlotte. the next time i go back to atlanta, i'm staying at the same residence inn and eating at the corner cafe, part of the buckhead bread co. it was delicious! i had the waffle special, with fresh georgia peaches and huge blackberries. seriously, this place is the jam!
other highlights of the weekend included pizza from mellow mushroom and another lunch at the pewter rose, a favorite of mine in charlotte.
today, i'm off to the yacht club for my birthday lunch - woohoo - 26 today! then dinner with friends tonight, should be a nice time...
we've been waiting 3+ years, but phish is finally back on summer tour! tomorrow, we head up to Alpine Valley for sun, fun, and summer phish. while i've seen a few shows since the hiatus ended, an outdoor summer show is something of a ritual within our community. roaming the lots, drinking a cold sammy smith, preferably the taddy porter, and finding long lost friends really can't be beat....
hey SMC, thanks for the shout out! i'm here, sluggin' away at my client's office. i'm actually back in my office today doing a training session, as everyone is travelling and my boss needed someone to help out.
phish in just a few days. three shows to add to the count, including one at alpine valley, then out to charlotte and HOT-lanta in a few weeks.
in order news, my roomie amanda is ALMOST home! yay! she's been doing a dig down in alabama for the past two months. it feels like she's been gone forever, and it will be good to see her again. i've been keeping her up to date on local events, gossip, sporting news (we're both sports freaks, but mostly tennis) and other such stuff - thanks to text messaging, what a novel idea! her phone wasn't working too great at camp, so it was hard to catch her with a call, but i could always send her a text. in fact, my friend in bali right now can text me with no extra charge; isn't that wild?
okay, well, i'm outta here. time to head home, throw some things together and go visit the hazers.