Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Singin' In the Rain

Recipe for a Rockin' Weekend:

Begin with a six hour road trip. Sans kids. (A million thank-yous, Stu and Becky! You are wonderful!) Interesting conversation, good music, large iced coffees and snacks...my how the time flies.

Reunite three best buds, who see each other rarely, and haven't been together in a year and a half. Add in three wives who have a great time together as well. Attempt (fifty-thousand times) to snap a picture documenting the six of you in one place at one time.
Sleep in (much longer than usual), due to staying up (much later than usual) laughing, talking and reminiscing over snacks and drinks. Find a small town breakfast joint, which caters to your late rising and serves breakfast 'til noon.

Head downtown and check into a sweet hotel with your one-and-only...be grateful you don't have any kids with you, because there would surely be no room for a pack 'n' play in this room...let alone two!

Find an awesome British pub, appropriately named "Brit's"! Enjoy British fare such as fries and curry sauce, fish and chips, sausage rolls, tanroori chicken wraps, deviled eggs wrapped in breaded sausage, good English cider and good English beer.

Play a round of lawn bowling on their amazing rooftop green! Don't be tossers though...roll your bowls! And of course..."let" the girls win!

Bus-it to the concert you've come for, the one you've had tickets for since 2009, the one that was postponed for over a year...the one you've all been dying to see...! Be thankful that the heat has subsided and the rain has held off! Enjoy Interpol (as much as you can when you're waiting for U2) and then wait, wait, wait some more for the band to come on.

Watch U2 give the performance of a lifetime, accompanied by 60 000 of your closest friends. Favorite moments include: Impromptu crowd chorus of "Stand By Me" and the small sprinkle of rain as Bono sings Mysterious Ways which leads him to ad lib some "Rain" based lyrics. Be thankful again that the storm missed us and think it's kinda great to be at an outdoor show in a gentle summer drizzle.

Ooh and ahh over the Aquatennial fireworks show that is conveniently taking place just behind the band as they are singing "Stuck in a Moment" with the Edge playing his guitar all acoustic-y and tender! See it down there in the corner! A.mazing!
Shake your head and smile as the occasional drizzle of rain becomes a downpour, and the downpour becomes a deluge. See the dots on the screen that look like lights? Those are actually raindrops. Or more appropriately sheets of rain. Continue to sing, cheer, jump, laugh and clap through almost two hours of pouring rain. Breathe a sigh of relief that the occasional lightening strikes don't hit "the claw", give kudos to the band for not missing a note, dropping an instrument, slipping and falling or losing heart as they play through the downpour. Smile at Bono's sporadic inclusion of "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head", "Purple Rain" and "Singin' in the Rain".

Realize that you literally wouldn't be any wetter if you'd jumped in a lake, but still think it's pretty great. (Although your shoes are getting heavy and you kinda have to pee) Decide a quick stop at the hotel to shower and change is probably in order before any dinner plans can be carried out!
Omit from memory (as no pictures exist to document) the next several hours. Or, if it's all part of the experience, recall that you (and at least half of the 60 000 concert goers) need to bus-it home on the FOUR city buses that the Minneapolis Transit Authority has deemed adequate for such an event. Wait in line for over an hour, with sodden shoes and soaking clothes. Lament that you didn't pee before you left the stadium. Cheer with relief as you finally board the bus, only to sit in one place for nearly two more hours as the bus attempts to navigate the gridlock produced by the other (non-busing) half of the 60 000 concert-goers. Sit on the bus in full-on air conditioning until your fingers go numb and your lips turn blue and you want to cry. Just when you think you won't make it, and you'll have to get off and walk the six or so miles back to the hotel, the bus driver will turn off the air for a while, or the bus will move, an inch or so, and renew your faith that you will get home alive eventually. And remember. You still have to pee. Get off the bus a few stops early to pee in an alley. Sigh. Walk the rest of the way with saggy shorts, soaking shoes and tired limbs. Downgrade the night's plan for fun from "Let's go to a pub for food and drinks" to "Let's get pizza in our jammies after we take hot showers" to "Forget it...let's all just go to bed". Fall asleep singing "Singin' in the Rain". Know somehow that 60 000 other people in the city are doing the same thing, and that somehow makes it worth it, and is all part of the experience.

Sleep in, go out for a hearty breakfast/lunch, since everyone is starving from their long and arduous night, and reminisce about the events until it's time to go home. Realize that for sure, this is the stuff that memories are made of. Hit up Barnes and Noble for some "A Billion Thank-Yous" gifts for your amazing sitters, some "Welcome Home Mommy and Daddy" gifts for your boys, and an awesome quiz booklet to amuse you all on the way home.

Arrive home exhausted, happy to see the kiddos, ready to jump back into the parenting role, and with a pocket-full of memories to last a lifetime. Realize the U2 really is the greatest band ever, and that their fans are one of a kind. For a great review of the show check this out, and for a video to see just how rainy it really was, look at this or this. Or just google "U2 show Minneapolis rain" and you'll get about a zillion hits!

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