Goodbye, Lazy Days
This week marks week three of the 2017-2018 school year. So much for my proclamation that I would have all three of my Summer in Review posts up my first week back to work.
Yeah, right. I can’t even get three posts up in one week during summer break! Props for me for thinking that I could, however.
So, how’s ‘back to work’ going?
Pretty decently thus far! But I will miss summer 2017, as it was truly a wonderful time.
My Summer Highlights: A 3 Part Journey
Welcome to part 2 of my Summer in Review! Today’s post is all about my late July weekend away with my oldest daughter. Truly, I am not exaggerating nor attempting to flatter S11 when I say that this was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
From July 29-30, S11 and I spent two incredible nights at the concert event of a lifetime. At the Classic East Festival, six of the most legendary classic rock acts on the planet performed at Citi Field in Flushing, Queens. Overall, it added up to about twelve hours of live music over two evenings. The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Eagles performed on night one, and Earth, Wind, and Fire, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac on night two.
S11 and I also stayed overnight in Queens… in the most posh hotel room either of us had ever seen! For 48 hours, we both felt like royalty, and I ain’t gonna lie, I could have lived like that a bit longer, though I also missed S3 and Mike very much, and I’m sure S11 did too. Mike texted many pictures to show us what he and S3 were up to while S11 and I were away, and it looked like they also had a blast!
Our weekend in Flushing was worth every penny spent. And yes, there were a LOT of pennies spent. Regarding the music, however, smart as S11 is, I don’t think she fully yet grasps the scope of the greatness she witnessed onstage over those two music legend-filled days. However one day, I am sure that she will. S11 will probably be one of very few in her generation who can say they have seen any of these legendary bands, live in concert. And how incredibly awesome is THAT?
‘Seven Bridges Road’ was The Eagles’ opening song at Classic East. Here is a 1976 performance of that song, performed by my all-time favorite Eagles lineup. (L-R): Walsh, Meisner, Henley, Frey, and Felder.
Welcome to the Hotel DrainYourPockets
Such a lovely place….
Three days before the show, Mike persuaded me to book a hotel room for S11 and me. He claimed he would rather S11 and I stay in NYC overnight than drive to and from home to the show both days. This was an incredibly sweet and generous suggestion on my husband’s part. Why?
Well, if S11 and I stayed away for 48 hours straight, that left Mike on S3 duty for that same duration. Alone.
He assured me he was up for the task.
#Realtalk: My man is an amazing father.
One issue: most hotel rooms near Citi Field were already booked three days before the show. The One Boutique Hotel, located in Chinatown, was one of the few places left with a vacancy. However, the only room that they had available, wasn’t cheap. After mulling it over, with Mike’s blessing, I broke down, booked the room, and tried not to think about the price.
Which was FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.
For ONE NIGHT.
Our hotel room cost as much as our concert tickets. O.M.G.
Thus I vowed to squeeze every possible minute out of that damn $500 overnight stay that I could.
One Oil Change, Hold The Oil?
Saturday morning, S11 and I kissed S3 and Mike goodbye, and off we went!
That morning, Mike had taken my car for an oil change, bless him. With fresh oil and a full tank of gas, what could possibly go wrong, travel-wise?
Famous last words.
Not 10 minutes after leaving, my dashboard read,”oil levels DANGEROUSLY low. Replace NOW, biotch!”
(Or something to that effect.)
I panic, and get to a gas station as fast as possible.
Long story short, whomever performed my oil change only replaced 2 of the required 5 quarts. A lovely younger couple, both of whom were full of tattoos, helped me refill my oil tank (as I hadn’t a clue how), and with a huge THANK YOU and an offer of $10 for their trouble (which they politely declined), we were on the road once again.
I pointed out to S11 that “Tattooed people help out tattooed people. It’s an unwritten rule.”
(The following Monday, Mike had a chat with the owner of the oil change place. He received a sincere apology, coupled with a free oil change for our other car.)
The Royal Suite Awaits
We arrived at the One Boutique Hotel around check-in time (3 pm), so #goalachieved. As S11 and I check in, the front desk person says….
“Oh yes, you booked the suite.”
Well, that explains the $500 price tag! S11 and I were very excited to see where we would be sleeping.
Holy God. The suite… did NOT disappoint. It was HUGE, and not just by NYC standards. This was a level of luxury that I had not ever experienced in my life. Not surprisingly, S11 was THRILLED.
After unpacking, relaxing, and getting dressed, it was already 4:30 pm. Since the show began at 5, we were already cutting it close. We ended up taking the subway over to the stadium, and arriving at a few minutes past 5.
The Classic East: Night 1
Unfortunately, the lines to get into the stadium were incredibly long, so we missed the first 20-30 minutes of the Doobie Brothers. From what we did see, however, they were great! We were early enough where we heard most of their hits, too, as they played most of those toward the end of their set. Saige actually recognized a lot of their songs too. You can find their setlist here.
TDB played this song as their final song, or “second encore.”
Before Steely Dan took the stage, I went and bought t-shirts and dinner for the girl and me. Two t-shirts cost a whopping $85! Dinner was around $20 for basic stuff, hot dogs, fries, etc. I spent over $100 in the blink of an eye. Insanity.
Steely Dan was great too, though I missed a lot of their show because the t-shirt line was crazy long. S11 wasn’t into them as much, as she wasn’t familiar with their music. Co-founder guitarist and bassist Walter Becker was absent from the SD lineup that day, though with his recent passing, the extent of how sick he most likely was at the time is now known. Steely Dan’s setlist can be found here.
Man, that Midnight Special show from the 70s had some incredible musical guests.
The Main Event: Eagles!!!
The weather had been perfect all day. Not too hot, not too humid, and the perfect amount of breeze. The sun was setting as we waited for the night’s headliner aka my favorite band of all-time, the Eagles to take the stage. Setting the stage for the Eagles took quite some time, which Saige guessed was because of Don Henley and his perfectionist reputation. LOL, seems plausible.
At about 8 pm, the Eagles took that stage and they were absolutely, positively phenomenal. I have no personal pictures of them onstage because I was just enraptured the entire time. I knew just about every single word to every single song of their entire set from start to finish. Vince Gil came as close as possible to Randy Meisner-level greatness when he sang “Take it To the Limit,” and Henley, Schmit, and the great Joe Walsh, whom I adore, were fantastic. But the biggest star of the night had to be Deacon Frey, the 24 year old son of late Eagles’ frontman Glenn Frey. Deacon looks EXACTLY like 1970s-era Glenn, minus the Fu Manchu mustache (thank heavens). And though I am just about old enough to be Deacons’ mother… may I just say that he is a hottie? Ok, I will. Deacon Frey is a hottie.
Not only did Deacon look good, he sounded good too! Though I didn’t think he sounded like his father much, I could hear the essence of Glenn in Deacon’s voice. And OMG the pressure he was under! HOW MUCH MORE PRESSURE could one young guy have on his shoulders? Not only is he filling in for the leader of one of the most legendary bands of all-time, but said leader… is his late father! Damn! Deacon… you did not disappoint. Bravo.
The Eagles setlist can be found here.
Goodbye, Royal Suite, Hello, Royal Breakfast
Sunday, S11 and I woke up early enough to enjoy our suite for a few hours. She watched TV, and I took a bath! Although it did take some fumbling for me to figure out how to work the tub, because without step-by-step directions, I am a kinesthetic doofus. HA!
S11 and I (reluctantly) checked out at 11 am, and loaded all our belongings in the car. We had a lot of time to kill before heading back to Citi Field, as the parking lots didn’t even open until 3, so we decided to go get breakfast. Saige requested we try the Daily Waffle, which ended up being an excellent choice! I highly recommend stopping there to eat if you are ever in the Chinatown section of Queens, because OH MY GOD it was good. S11 had a waffle topped with ice cream, and I had a Chinese crepe, both of which were AH-MAZING. The place itself resembles a hole in the wall, however the food? Fit for a king!
S11 and I then poked around the local neighborhood, eventually making our way back to the One Boutique Hotel, where we hung out in the lobby until about 2:30 pm. We then drove over to Citi Field, with a plan to tailgate in the parking lot until showtime.
S11 and I were apparently not the only people who had this idea! The parking lot had a good amount of people already there when we pulled in around 3 pm, and S11 and I found a shady patch of grass to spread out on. We had snacks, our phones, books, and S11 brought a few crafts to work on. It was a great way to relax before the second night of music began. At about 4:00 pm, we packed up and headed for the stadium. This time, the lines were nowhere near as long as the day before, which was probably due to our earlier arrival.
Upon entering the stadium, S11 and I saw that there were empty seats on the patio of the Cola-Cola corner (which was where our reserved seats were located). So we decided to claim two plush patios seats, relax and read for a few while having an early dinner of more Citi Field overpriced food before the music began.
My only complaint? While the weather the day before was picture-perfect, on the second day, it was HOT AS HELL outside. And our reserved seats were directly in the sun’s path. That… was a little rough to deal with. Especially since neither S11 nor I brought sunblock. #Oops.
The Classic East: Night 2
After reading and eating for a bit, S11 and I let a lovely female couple have our seats, because honestly, the human Baby Boomer vultures circling us (sorry Mom and Dad), eyeing our chairs as we ate our dinner kinda grated on my nerves just a tad.
At about 5 pm, Earth, Wind and Fire took the stage. The announcer said,
“Are you ready for the elemeeeeents?”
S11: “What about water?”
I had explained to S11 that EWAF was a different sounding band then the other bands we’d seen, as they were more of a funk band than a rock band. When they took the stage in their sequinned costumes, S11’s first thought was “Wow, they must be SWEATING.”
I’ll admit, she had a point there.
EWAF were TREMENDOUS. I enjoyed every moment of their performance, and even texted Mike and told him that he and I NEEDED to go to an EWAF show together, because I knew he liked them too. Here is their setlist.
Another performance from that ‘Midnight Special’ show. Wow!
Journey was up next and yes, it was Journey without legendary late 70s-80s era lead singer/tenor extraordinaire Steve Perry. So, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away… but I was! Arnel Pineda, Perry’s replacement, was OUTSTANDING. He was quite the showman, too! S11 and I were very curious about how old Pineda was, and I was floored to find out from Google that he was a month shy of 50 at the time (Happy Birthday, Arnel!)
S11: “He (Pineda) seems to really be enjoying himself a lot on stage.”
Me: “He is still relatively new to the ‘being in a famous band’ game, so he still has lots of enthusiasm. Arnel ain’t jaded yet.”
Indeed. Click here for Journey’s setlist.
An oldie but SUCH a goodie. Those clothes! That hair! Steve Perry! So glorious.
The Main Event: Fleetwood Mac!!
I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac. I believe the first cassette tape I ever played around with was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which was released the year I was born. While my dad was a huge Eagles fan, he was even a bigger Fleetwood Mac fan, and more specifically, a Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac fan.
Almost 40 years later, they sound as tight as they did on Rumours. Not only that, but the band members look incredible too! All in their late 60s-mid 70s, they defy time, both visually, and auditorily. S11 was very interested in the band’s legendary relationship drama between members, and I did the best I could to give her the summary version. I also told her that Stevie Nicks has a very unique voice, and upon hearing it, she agreed. S11 seemed pretty interested in Stevie Nicks, actually, and at one point I looked over, and saw her Googling photos and biographical information about Stevie Nicks on her phone. Which is a #parentingwin, indeed.
Stevie gave a shout out to both Glenn and Deacon Frey after singing ‘Landslide,’ which she dedicated to Glenn. It’s so awesome how all these legendary musicians that came to prominence in the 1970s all knew and respected each other tremendously. I wish both music and musicians were still like they were back in those days. Sometimes, change isn’t always for the better.
Fleetwood Mac’s setlist can be found here.
Fleetwood Mac’s opening song that evening. One of my all-time favorites.
The drive home that Sunday night was a bit rough, but worth it. What an amazing weekend of music. Truly memorable and an experience I’ll never forget. Also, I couldn’t have asked for better company to share the experience with, either.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!