Before my birthday this year, I was telling my best friend how I really wanted to celebrate by doing what I did before I moved to Boston - eating breakfast at The Original Pancake House (Dutch Baby for me please), going to the Allentown Art Festival (a Buffalo event conveniently held the weekend of my birthday), and going out to dinner and dancing with friends. Alternatively, I would skip the dinner and see the Indigo Girls in concert. (Which is how I spent my birthday in 1997).
Being a resourceful, smart person, Lisa did a little research and discovered that the Girls were joining the Lilith Fair for some of their concert dates, including playing in Hartford, CT, a scant two hours from me and four and a half from Buffalo. Lawn tickets were ridiculously inexpensive and we found an equally inexpensive motel, and so the plan was hatched, husbands approved, and I left Sunday morning for one night in Hartford.
The Indigo Girls are the only non-Christian band I've ever paid to see more than once*. There was a time in my life when I felt their songs were very meaningful to me. I'm mature enough now to not look for validation from secular works, but I do still enjoy listening to their music. (Disclaimer: I enjoy their music. I do not support the majority of their politics). Since most of you have probably never heard of them, I've included this video clip of their song Ghost.
Lisa and I had a great time! We met up at the motel and had a late lunch/early supper of turkey sandwiches, chips and salsa (chips and salsa being a requirement for most of our get-togethers). The motel was in easy walking distance of the concert venue (saving us $30 in parking fees) and we arrived about half an hour after the gates opened. I opted not to bring knitting, because I had heard the gate people were pretty strict about what was going in. Silly me, since at least four other people on the lawn were knitting away. Sadly, my M&Ms did NOT make it through the gate (although the cookies did!) We visited all the random tents of vendors (thank you Apple for the free iTunes downloads) and then parked ourselves on the lawn, chatting our way through the opening acts.
The concert tickets must not have sold as well as expected, because the venue was selling upgrades from the lawn for $30, and the price went down to $20 halfway through the event. Finally, the Indigo Girls came on! We were excited, and got up to dance and sing along. At this point, we were approached by an employee of the venue (complete with ID badge) who offered us FREE upgrades to seats! (I guess they wanted the final performers to see a packed audience, and not just empty seats in front of the lawn). Lisa and I literally ran down the lawn to get to our seats before the next song. Slowly, more people began to fill the seats around us as the upgrade fairy visited them too. We enjoyed the Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan from our seats, and for the finale, all of the artists joined in a rendition of Because the Night (and no, Natalie Merchant was not there. It's a Bruce Springsteen song. DH was very proud that I knew that). GREAT concert!
We walked home, ate some more chips and salsa, watched a girlie movie, and got to bed. We were tired!
This was the first time I'd been away from the kids overnight, except for the nights I was in the hospital after giving birth. You know what? It wasn't all that traumatic for them, and I had a great time. Plus, I came home to extra big hugs! Lisa and I hope we can get away once every other year or so together. (She's taken up knitting in the last couple of years. Maybe a Rhinebeck trip is in our future!)
I did visit a handful of yarn shops over this vacation week, but I'll save those details for another day. I'm trying to knit more and spend less time on the computer and doing housework so that I can start to feel caught up with my knitting to do list!
*Actually, now that I think about it, that's not true. I've paid cover charges more than once to see the Nickel City Pimp Choir, but Silky J is a good friend of mine from high school. I've also paid to see the Canadian band Sloan a number of times. But they've also only played at smaller venues, and I'm pretty sure it's never cost me more than $11. So, I'll revise my statement to say that the Indigo Girls are the only secular band I've paid more than $11 to see more than once.