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Monday, September 8, 2014

One Year

One year. What is it about one year that seems so short but so long? This timeframe is really stuck in my head right now. I have started a new job that has turned my works upside down. I am no longer at my own home every night, I am no longer sure where I will be working the next week. It feels as though everything has changed.
So why does one year matter? Well my new boss has promised that if I can stick it out for one year, I will be able to get into the side of my new job that I am actually looking forward to. For those who don't know, I'm a social worker, and I specialize in nursing home and subacute rehab work. I have gone from working full time in a building ten minutes from home to now I am temporarily assigned to a building one hundred miles from home. Traveling for work sounds awesome. And sometimes it can be. But when it is every week, when you aren't sure when you can see your friends and family for any meaningful time, it gets tough. 
Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. I am now a consultant. One of the few opportunities for a social worker in my field to actually have a chance at advancement and management. But first. First I have to make it through one year. Our business is growing (yea!) but for now we just need workers. People to be in various building as interim. So that is what I am doing. And it will be okay. It will be a chance to see how my various relationships change, whether strengthening or showing that maybe they weren't so strong to begin with. 
How will your life change in the next year? Maybe a first child? Maybe moving homes or cities or states? Maybe there will be a loss, of a friend or loved one? It's so hard to say. 
I can look back on years in my life and it seems as though things were standing still. And other years you can barely tell that the beginning and end belong to the same person. Honestly, I think this will be somewhere in the middle. At least that's the goal. 
So what now? Now I take it one day at a time. Now I use this opportunity to learn new things, hobbies, skills, and new ways to communicate. Now I listen. To music, to those around me, and to things unseen. 
This could be quite a magical year. *fingers crossed*

For this year - for the hope - for my brain as it runs away with me - "Heathen" by Jillette Johnson

Cinder blocks around my brain
Came to mock but I remain to

Pray, oh, pray
Am I talking to myself, 
Talking to myself
Or brother are you with me?

The muscle of a temperate breeze
Could KO my philosophy

And I feel it shake, 
I feel it shake
I'm at the belly of a well, 
Talking to myself

Lover can you lift me?
Baby, are you still awake, hey, hey
Can I tell you about my night screams?
Would you teach a heathen how to pray?

Cinder blocks around my brain
Came to mock but I remain to

Pray, oh, pray
Axion shake, but I came to pray
I'm at the belly of a well, 
Talking to myself

Lover can you lift me?
Baby, are you still awake, hey, hey
Can I tell you about the night screams?
Would you teach a heathen how to pray?

Oh, brother are you with me?
Baby, are you still awake, hey, hey
Can I tell you about the night screams?
Would you teach a heathen how to pray?
Would you teach a heathen how to pray?
Can I tell you about the lightning
Can I muster up a little faith?


Do you ever have one of those moments? You know, the moments where something beautiful is revealed to you? When you finally see what is staring at you?
I had one today. I'm at work, in the middle of a dozen messes that I am trying to handle. I'm tired, sick, and quite cranky. I look at my phone and see the texts I have. And then. Bam. It hits me. 
I am so ridiculously blessed! Seriously! I have an amazing husband who puts up with me and supports me in all I do. I have family that is always there. They encourage and help me through everything. And then I have my other family. You know, the one you choose. My friends. I know that I could not keep moving forward without this amazing group of people. I don't often say it, but I do believe that God has brought us all together. Why else would a group of people put up with my complaining, constant texts, and crazy ideas?
Seriously. I couldn't be luckier. 
My goal is to keep remembering this. 
So thank you. Thank you to my husband. Thank you to my family. Thank you to my friends.

So for them - I give you "If You Can Hear Me" by Ben Rector

Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like worry
Treading a well-worn path into my soul
And it don't sound evil oh but my heads burning
And I know

So if You can hear me
I could use You right about now
If You can hear me
I could use some peace

Because the devils walking in my soul
And all I really want to know
Is You can hear me
You can hear me

Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like Jesus
Telling me I'm not enough
But I don't believe it, no no. But I can feel it
And I need You so, yes I need You so

So if You can hear me
I could use You right about now
If You can hear me
I could use some peace

Because the devils walking in my soul
And all I really wanna know
Is You can hear me
Is You can hear me

I believe that there is someone watching over me
And I believe that is enough
Cause I believe it don't make it easy
So I need to know that You can hear me

So if You can hear me
I could use You right about now
If You can hear me
Could You send some peace

Because the devils walking in my soul
And all I really wanna know
Is You can hear me
Is that You can hear me

Can You hear me?

Can You hear me?

Can You hear me?
Can You hear me?

Because the devils walking in my soul
Can You hear me?
Can You hear me?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My favorite things....

If you haven't already noticed, I listen to a lot of musicians that are not on the top charts.  Won't lie, I have a lot of friends that like to make fun of me for listening to such obscure music.  I'm good with that fact.  I have a hard time putting into words the type of music that I love.  Basically.  Good music.  I have discovered that I have an easier time describing why I love smaller artists.

When you see artists at smaller venues, there is something magical that happens.  You get to experience something that you never see at large venues.  Don't get me wrong, there is a high that you can get in arenas.  An adrenaline rush that is found thanks to being part of such a large crowd.  But it doesn't compare to small shows.

When you are at a small place and the artists get going, there is conversation.  There is engagement that you can't get in a large place.  The artists listen to what you want to hear, they play things that they haven't performed before.  I was at a show and once the artist got used to the whole listening room vibe, we got to hear partial songs.  Now some people may not be a big fan of this - but I loved it.  To hear the process start, to know that one day we will get to hear the finished product - it's amazing.

Even better.  When you have artists sharing a stage, there is another piece of magic that happens.  This was emphasized for me when we were at Down the Hatch.  Many of the artists there were good friends and collaborate regularly on music.  So when one was performing and another got a hankering for it, they would run up and join them on stage.  No practice, no choreography, just magic.  The harmonies, the joy, the beautiful music.  It was amazing.

This is what we get to experience when we go to small venues and see artists who maybe haven't hit it huge yet.  To buy their merch and know that you are actually helping launch someone who has such talent and passion is wonderful.  I wouldn't trade listening rooms and other small venues for anything.  If you haven't been to show like this, I encourage you to seek one out.

At DTH I had the pleasure of seeing a lot of amazing artists.  Two of them were Keaton Simons (who I had seen before) and Tony Lucca (who I had tickets to see later in the summer).  They were both awesome at what I described above.  Interaction with the crowd and with other musicians.  Here is a video of them performing together.  It really doesn't get better.

(the group shot at DTH)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Power in small things

For those who know me, for those who follow me, for those who read this blog or follow me on twitter - you know my loves, my focus, my passions.  Music from talented singer/songwriters touches me on a regular basis.  As I have found small venues and musicians who haven't quite made it huge yet, I have found this amazing community.  I have found that the musicians, the venue owners, and the fans make an enormous family.  The amount of genuine joy for music, for people, for the craft is overwhelming.

I have discovered an appreciation for twitter as it allows us, as fans, to communicate and be a larger part of this amazing community.  I am regularly excited and inspired to see the fans come together to support their favorite artists and to see the musicians show their appreciation for their fans.

Not much actually surprises me these days.  Not much truly blows me away.  I was in awe when I wrote a blog about Keaton Simons, then he retweeted it and I had over 100 views on my blog that day.

And believe it or not...that's nothing compared to what is happening as I write.  A few weeks ago I tweeted about wanting to go see a show and looking for someone to go with me.  The musician opening for the show sent me a message and asked me to check out his music.  I did.  And I loved it.  It was light, but with true heart.  It was beautiful.  It was fun.  It made me smile.  That's really all I ask for in music.

So today I wrote a short tweet saying that I am on a kick of listening to this album and that others should check it out.  The musician retweeted it.  In the last 60 minutes around 300 hundred people have read this message and retweeted it to their followers.  The power of a few sentences, the power of fans, the power of a musician to spend two seconds sending a message.  It awes me.  It blows me away.

We live in a time where we are so very separated from those around us.  We (myself included) spend our time on computers, on phones, in front of the television, and less time with in person interactions.  And yet.  And yet we have the opportunity to connect with more people than ever in history.  When else could you write three sentences and become connected with three hundred people within an hour?  When else could you talk to and meet those who inspire you?  When else could you access what it is that moves you, at the click of a button?

Yes, maybe I am on my phone too much.  Yes, maybe I should lock it away now and then.  But.  But I treasure these moments.  I treasure the opportunity to support talented people who put music and lyrics to what I feel and believe.  I treasure the community that I am coming into.

So what am I saying?  Who knows.  But I do know this.  Find what inspires you.  Find what moves you.  Find a community, whether online or in person, that supports you and loves what you love.  And enjoy it.  Share the joy.  Share what you find with those around you.  For this is a magical time and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So.  What did I really say that caused me to start this letter?  My tweet was "On a bit of a @MikeyWax kick right now.  If you haven't, check him out.  Good music that makes me smile. :)"

And I mean it.  Check out this video.  If nothing else, I am sure it will make you smile.

Thanks Mikey - and keep doing what you are doing, for we appreciate it!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crazy times

I've been gone.  At least from blog world.  Life has been a bit crazy.  It feels like everything is in flux, even though not all that much really is.  It's one of those times when you get home at night and just collapse.  Per my usual though, music is a huge comfort.  I've kept going to concerts, and despite the energy involved, I have more energy afterwards.  That's what I love.  That's where my enjoyment comes from.  I start getting excited as I get ready, I get to the venue, and then it starts.  The music flows, the conversation flows, and the energy builds.  I will gladly give up the sleep those nights to be able to experience the same every day.  Those who have been to Seven Steps Up or other small venues, you really know what I am referring to. 

So.  Since my last blog.  Where have I been?  Better question might be where haven't I been!  I saw Steve Moakler (with Bennett opening) at Pyramid Scheme, I went to North Carolina for Down the Hatch and saw more amazing bands than I can count (including Pat McGee, Keaton Simons, Emily Hearn, and more), I saw Jillette Johnson at Seven Steps Up, went to see Nickel Creek at Meijer Gardens, then I saw Tyler Hilton and Tony Lucca (with Anna Rose opening) at Seven Steps Up, Picnic Pops started up with the fireworks show with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson at Meijer Gardens, and seeing Beck at DeVos Performance Hall.

Coming next is more Picnic Pops shows. (How can that be all I have planned?!?)

Looking back.  I cannot believe how blessed I am.  To see this many amazing artists - to meet so many of my idols - to spend this time with family and friends - What more can I ask for? 

So yes, right now, things aren't the easiest they have ever been.  But that's okay.  One step at a time and I know that I will make it through.  With the help of my family, friends, faith, and music. 

I hope to be able to give you more details on many of these shows - as they truly do warrant the time.  Bear with me as I go backwards and try to catch up.

And thank you for indulging my stream of consciousness pity party that I just went through.

In the meantime - keep listening - keep reading - keep doing whatever it is that gives you the strength you need.

And here is a song for you.  "Falling from Grace" by Todd Carey.  A great guy, a wonderful musician, and someone I hope we will get to see again soon.

Days pass
and I'm waiting, waiting, waiting
for my blood to return
weeks pass
and I'm waiting, waiting, waiting
for my anger to burn

Faces change
and I'm reaching, reaching
for a hand in the dark

Still I'm numb I
feel nothing at all
days pass
I feel nothing at all
weeks pass
can't look down to the fall from grace

And I wish I could scream, or smile
something that makes me feel for a while
wanna feel the rain on my face
as long as I'm falling from grace

Months go
and the only thing I'm sure of's I just do not know

Years run
and I wonder if mistakes I made
will remain undone

Faces change
and I'm reaching, reaching
for a hand in the dark

Still Im numb I
feel nothing at all
days pass
I feel nothing at all
weeks pass
can't look down to the fall from grace

And I wish I could scream, or smile
something that makes me feel for a while
wanna feel the rain on my face
as long as I'm falling from grace
as long as I'm falling from grace

As long as Im falling
As long as Im falling
As long as I'm falling from grace
As long as I'm falling from grace

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Been Awhile

There is something amazing about the human spirit.  We have the ability to form bonds.  Bonds that extend beyond time, beyond distance, beyond differences.  We can form friendships where we don't connect for days, weeks, months, or even years - but yet.  But yet we still connect.  You can see a long lost friend after years and pick up like nothing has changed.  That is extraordinary.  Absolutely amazing.

And beyond picking up where we left off... With a really good friend, you can pick up right where you are now.  You have the memories, you have the bonds, but you aren't stuck in the past.

How do we do that?

How do we move on yet it is like nothing has changed?

Not sure I will ever get an answer to that.  And I'm not sure that I need one.  I will simply enjoy this part of the human brain and heart.  And enjoy the friends and family that I don't see often enough, but love, nonetheless.

So these were the thoughts rolling through my head when I was at a concert this past Thursday.  The show was awesome - more on that is still to come.  But while you wait - enjoy this song by the amazing Pat McGee.

(So this is the right artist, the right song, and the same venue where I saw it performed - only from two years ago)

Haven't Seen for a While - by Pat McGee
As I lay here in bed
Your smile fills my head
I'm using this pen to talk to you from here
From southern way

It's been weeks since I've seen you last
Time away from you ain't moving too fast
Wishing my summer away
Just to see you again

I'm there by your side, I'm looking in your eyes
Seeing you with me, what else could there be?
If I could get away, I'd be there today
You'd be wearing that smile, haven't seen for a while
I haven't seen for a while

Wake up everyday, go through the same routine
Go to work, come home, does it all really mean?
Check the mail, just hoping to find
Another note from you would ease my mind

It's 5:15, I can picture you driving home
From your same old scene
In 5 you'll hear the phone ringin'
Have to settle for talking again

I'm there by your side, I'm looking in your eyes
Seeing you with me, what else could there be?
If I could get away, I'd be there today
You'd be wearing that smile, haven't seen for a while
I haven't seen for a while

I can picture you now
You're standing outside your house
The breeze is blowin' off the northern shore
Loving you more

Long for the day when there's no goodbyes
Wish I could see you, I'll wipe the tears from your eyes
Tell you everything is alright
Lay you down, say to you goodnight

I'm there by your side, looking in your eyes
Seeing you with me, what else could there be?
If I couldn't get away, I'd be there today
You'd be wearing that smile, haven't seen for a while
I haven't seen for a while, I haven't seen for a while

Haven't seen for a while

Sunday, April 20, 2014

When did this start?

So.  I am not someone who usually talks about believing in hidden messages, or that everything in life has some greater meaning.  But.  Then my brain decides to run away with me.  Especially with music.  Especially with dreams.  I talked about the last time a song was in my head every time that I woke up here.  Well - my mind must be working overtime now.

For the past two weeks or so, I have woken up with the same song in my head.  It doesn't matter what music I am listening to in the car, what television I watched before bed - nothing has made a difference.  I have woken up with "Insomnia" by Tyler Hilton in my head.

I'm thinking that it has something to do with the fact that I have been getting way less sleep than normal.  This is due to a variety of causes.  Work is crazy stressful - with way too much to do, I have had lots going on - from church services to concerts, to the fact that I simply can't seem to get comfortable at night.  Whatever the reason - I am not sleeping well and Tyler seems to be reminding me of it every morning.

Now I love Tyler Hilton's music.  I am counting down to seeing him again in concert this summer.  However, I would be more than happy to give this song up if it made me sleep better.

Until that time, I will be grateful that it is music that I enjoy.

Here it is - "Insomnia" by Tyler Hilton. (sorry for the quality - it was the only option I could find.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Whiskey makes everything better...Right?

The place: Seven Steps Up
The time: 8pm on 4/10/14
The artist: None other than the amazing Teddy Geiger

So here we are, back in our little slice of heaven.  Beth, Lainie, and I were at a front table and excited.  Lainie & I met Beth at a Teddy Geiger show last year.  It was wonderful to make a full circle back to see this amazing musician.

This was an acoustic show featuring just Teddy.  A great chance to interact and hang out.

Yep, I was totally one of those people - took a picture of the set list.

I have to give you some amazing news - Teddy did not follow his set list  Now, he really did play everything on it - but he played so much more than that!!!

As you know - I like to record favorite songs - or new songs.  For proof on how wonderful this show was, I took a few more videos than normal.  A few more - meaning....12.  Yeah - may have gone overboard there.

So - back to the actual show.  This was Teddy's first show at Seven Steps Up.  For those who have never been there before, it is a very unique environment.  You have a silent crowd (well - silent as in outside of cheering or singing along) who is paying more attention than you have probably ever had before.  I have to imagine that it can be a little unsettling.  Teddy told us that he has been performing a little sporadically - which also doesn't help the whole live show thing.

If you haven't read my past comments about this venue - one amazing part is that if you want a drink, you raise your hand and they will bring you what you want - and you pay at the end.

We were about 1/3 of the way through the show and Teddy sees several people ordering drinks.  He then asks if he can get a drink.  Of course, they say yes and offer whatever he wants.  He requests whiskey and it was on its way.

Gotta say - whiskey does help make things better.  Teddy's music was wonderful, before he ever touched a drink, but the show certainly got more entertaining afterwards.  From jokes about 2 nips - to experiencing new and incomplete songs - to having a chance to hang out afterwards and discuss life and dreams and goals.

So, it is ridiculously hard to catch a photo of Teddy performing with his eyes open.  Not such a big deal when he was chatting with us - but while singing - it just doesn't happen. :)

Here are a few of the songs that Teddy performed - including some of the music that he is currently working on.

Random picture of our M&Ms - a perk to having a table

So was time for Teddy's finale.  I have to say - we could not have asked for more.  Teddy was great, his music was great, the venue was great.  And then he did his last song.  Ummm - just watch this!

Yep, he rocks!!!!!

So sadly, the show was over.  But part of the highlights were yet to come.  We hung out, chatted with the staff, and waited for the crowd to thin.  Then spent about 20 minutes chatting with Teddy.  As he didn't bring any merch, we had him sign copies of the set list - which mine will be proudly hung and added to the wall of music that is developing in our home.

So thank you Teddy - thank you Seven Steps Up - thank you to my rockin' friends for being part of the crazy journey.  It was a wonderful night.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The best venue - The best artist - The best night

Have I mentioned how much we love Dan Godlin?  I mean seriously - he is wonderful.  His music is beautiful, he is a blast on stage, and is the most welcoming performer we have ever met.  We. Love. Dan. Godlin.

Okay.  Gushing done.

In my last post I mentioned that we went to the Anna Nalick show to see the opener, being Dan Godlin.  He made a huge impression on us when we saw him in the fall - and we want to help support him, his music, and hang out whenever we can.

As usual - Dan put on a great show.  His energy is infectious.  His pure joy in enviable. 

Have to say - I love this picture!!!

(So every time that Dan performs this song "Dance Baby" he says that despite what it might sound like - it does not say Dan's Baby - but now that is all I hear!)

Dan has promised us a new album soon - hopefully this summer - and also promised another trip back to Seven Steps Up (cause really there is no better venue out there).  The next trip he will be headlining with a full band.  In return we have promised him that we will be front row and cheering.

There is something truly amazing about an artist who loves his fans.  If you follow him on Twitter, or have ever met him in person, you know that he really appreciates everyone who supports him.  We are stoked for a new album - as all of his music is amazing. 

This is my song of the day the day - in honor of Dan's amazing show.  It is one of his new ones and I cannot wait to hear it performed again.

So here it is - "Love You Forever" by Dan Godlin

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Next up - time to get back to my favorite venue in the world...Seven Steps Up.

I have to say - Beth and I were thrilled when we heard about a concert that was coming at the end of March.  Won't lie - we were going to see the opener.  But I will talk more about that amazingness in my next installment.

But first - the star of the night was none other than Anna Nalick.  You may not immediately recognize her name, but trust me, you know her music.  In fact, I blogged about it here.

Anna was a wonderful entertainer.  She has great stories, a beautiful spirit, and even more amazing music.  We were thrilled to hear a lot of new music that she is working towards putting on a new album. 

As continues to be one of the perks of Seven Steps Up - we got to meet and hang with the artists after the show.  It was an honor to meet Anna.  I am truly looking forward to her next album as I am sure that it will be the best one yet.

For my song of the day - I am giving you one of Anna's older songs - one that wasn't played that night, but I love nonetheless.  "Sort of Delilah" by Anna Nalick

Monday, March 31, 2014

Was it worth it? Yep. It was!

So...we made it.  It was finally time for Wakey!Wakey!

I have to say, there are not a lot of bands that I will drive, take a train, stay overnight, and go to a VERY late show (started at 12am Central), to see.  And seriously, it was worth it all.

Michael Grubbs put on a wonderful show.  Great music, a few stories, and getting to hear all of my favorite songs - live.

I love live music.  (if you haven't already picked that up)  I love the energy, I love when the music live is even better than it is recorded, I love the feeling of a crowd coming together rather than pulling against one another.

This concert was the epitome of those feelings.  We were all there for the same thing, we were all enamored, we were all feeling the joy.

So rather than continuing to blather on, enjoy the pics, watch the videos - oh, and go buy the music (  Seriously.  He has a new EP out and a new album is coming at the end of May. 

After the show, we waited to be able to meet Michael Grubbs - the man that is Wakey!Wakey!  Well worth the extra time and energy.

He is a very kind and generous man who took the time to talk to each of us and signed my new poster - which is now hanging amongst my vinyl covers.  And now I just hope that he will actually come to Michigan on the second leg of his tour. :) 

For my song of the day - I give you "Call Me Up" - a song off of the new EP, Irresistible.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chicago...Concert....Artist #2

What can I say about Jillette Johnson?

Have you ever heard her music?  Have you ever seen her perform?  Have you ever read her lyrics?


Well...You should have.  I should have.  I am grateful that I now have.

I tend to be extremely picky with female artists.  I don't know why, I just am.  I did not have high hopes before this concert.  Like I said - female artists don't tend to make my top list.

Wow.  I was blown away.  Liz was blown away.  Lainie was blown away.

And this was the night after she couldn't perform as she was so sick.  If she can sound this good when her voice is not up to par - what must she sound like when she is healthy?

My song for today - for remembering this show - is Torpedo from Jillette Johnson.  Again - may I stress - please check her out.  You won't regret it!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The start of an epic night

Okay...going back a bit.  We are still in Chicago.  And's time!  Time for Wakey!Wakey!  Honestly, I was really excited.  We had spent our evening relaxing in the hotel and headed out for the venue. 
 And what is a show without a selfie in the hotel?!?

So we headed down to the city and got a cab to the venue, Schubas Tavern.  We got there a few minutes before the doors opened, I believe that was 9pm.  9pm central.  Yeah - kind of a late night for us - but so worth it.

We found spots on the floor - then changed as there were spots along the wall with coat hooks and seats if we wanted.  First up for the night was Casey Shea.  Honestly, hadn't heard of him - but I always love finding new artists.  

Casey took the stage - and we just started laughing.  The first bit of his set he spent chatting, telling stories, and was even sitting on the stage.  

Yeah - that's him in plaid....

It was a great start to the night.  We then got the opportunity to hear his music.  He is extremely talented and for some strange reason I haven't ordered his music yet - but I will.  Trust me on that.

For his final song of the night, he brought some guests out on stage.  And honestly - I do not know that anybody recognized them - for there was far less excitement than I would have predicted. 

Yeah - that's Jillette Johnson (next on deck for the night) and Michael Grubbs (aka Wakey!Wakey!) and their bands.

Beautiful music by wonderful musicians.

I do have to say that the highlight of Casey's show was a song that he played called "I Don't Wanna Wait."  It was a riot.  We loved it!  

So, in honor of a long awaited evening - I give you "I Don't Wanna Wait" by Casey Shea

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The joy of the big city

Last weekend saw myself and two of my best friends traveling to Chicago.  I love that city.  Honestly, growing up, I didn't like Chicago all that much.  But as I have aged, I have grown to appreciate that place.  It is wonderful.  I love the bustle, I love the downtown, I love the theatre district.  It is a blast.

The decision for this trip came up because one of my favorite groups - Wakey!Wakey! - was on leg 1 of their North American tour.  And unfortunately, Chicago was the closest that they were coming.  It seemed like a great opportunity for a trip - and I talked my girls into coming with me.

So Saturday morning, we were off. 
First up - a drive to Indiana

Next - a train ride to the Windy City

The train is so the way to travel to Chicago.  It allows you to avoid driving in the city, but get right to the heart, and takes about the same amount of time.

While on the train there were a group of twenty-somethings who were traveling down, as well.  We learned a lot of interesting things from this group - including - clear liquor will lead to fewer hangovers, diet drinks (or anything with a sugar substitute) will get you drunk faster, and Canada is not the invading kind of country.  It was quite interesting.

We made it to the city - found our way out of Millennium Station - and of course headed straight to Millennium Park.  First up - the Bean.

Being the typical tourists - we took pictures everywhere and of everything

Then we continued our journey with a brief stop to our hotel and swung through Macy's.

View outside our window on the 17th floor

 I cannot get over how beautiful Macy's is...

We then headed up the Magnificient Mile and saw what there was to offer.  We stopped for lunch in Water Tower Place, had hot chocolate at Ghiradelli's, and ended our walk north at Sprinkles for some cupcakes.

 Ummm...yeah...there is a cupcake ATM!!!

Irish Cream, Cinnamon/Sugar, Banana Chocolate, Maple Bacon, Off the Record, and Peanut Butter Chocolate....YUMMO!!!

We then limped back to our hotel to shower, order some dinner, and relax before the show....

More on the show is coming up soon - and it was amazing - absolutely worth the wait as I edit pictures and sort through video.

In honor of this trip, I leave you with a song - just one for fun tonight. :)
"Let's Kill Tonight" by Panic! at the Disco

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