Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So Sorry, Uncle Albert

If you're not familiar with the music of Paul McCartney, then that reference of awesomeness was totally lost on you.  Sorry you're a loser!

Anyway, I just want to apologize for being such a blogging slacker lately.  It's been an entire week since I last blogged (eek!) and there's just no excuse.  Well, except that I'm still getting over being sick, trying to spend time with the fella when he's in town, going to Indy to celebrate my HLP's birth, making a slightly involved present for said HLP's birthday, dealing with a pooping cat (and we're not talking about in the litterbox), cleaning the house, etc.  No, I haven't been preoccupied or anything [insert sarcasm].  Things are starting to die down now, so please bare with me as I play a little ketchup (oops, wrong kind!).

Now, let me take you on a little journey through time.  Remember a couple weekends ago when Antoine and I, in the midst of our little plague that's been going on for a month now, drove down to Asheville for a Bright Eyes concert?  Well, in my slackerness I never gave you the full scoop that I promised. So, here it is...we left bright an early Saturday morning with boxes of Puffs, Delsym, and Rx decongestant in tow.  Our first goal was to make it to Lexington around 8am to have breakfast at Doodles.  We were successful and made it there just as they were opening, therefore missing the rush.  Breakfast was delicious and energized us for the drive ahead.  Unfortunately, the weather was miserable.  It rained pretty much the entire drive down to Asheville.  But, luckily we made it to Asheville before 3pm (goal number two), giving us plenty of time to rest and refresh ourselves before dinner and the concert that night.

We had made reservations at this adorable little bed and breakfast/hotel called the Princess Ann Hotel, thanks to my awesome sister and brother-in-law who gave us a gift certificate for Xmas. This was only my second time staying in a bed and breakfast, although the first time shouldn't count since it was a sub-par bnb in England where my HLP and I managed to break a bed (but that's another story for another time!).  The Princess Ann was lovely.  Unlike most bed and breakfasts that only have a handful of rooms, PAH offers the feel and personality of a bed and breakfast with the capacity of a small boutique hotel. 

We got the most basic of rooms, a one bedroom deluxe, but we found it very spacious and inviting.

It had all those little personal touches that comes with a bed and breakfast experience, including tasty biscotti, chocolate truffles, bottles of water, afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres, and a delicious breakfast the next morning.

They even provided wine glasses and a wine bottle opener if you intended to have a romantic/relaxing night in.

A nice little sitting area to relax and peruse through travel brochures of Asheville.

It was definitely a warm and welcoming stay, I only wish we could have stayed longer.

After we checked into the hotel and explored all the niceties of our room we took a little nap and freshened up before we headed out for dinner.  PAH is only a couple minutes drive from downtown or a 20 minute walk, but since it was raining we decided to drive.  We had already decided to go to Early Girl Eatery for dinner (we like to use websites like Urbanspoon to scope out possible restaurants in advance).  Early Girl specializes in Southern style comfort food and utilizes fresh local ingredients.  In addition to their permanent menu they have a selection of specials that changes daily.  Our meal was excellent and very reasonable considering the quality of ingredients being used (actually, I was a little shocked...I was expecting it to be much pricier than it was).

With bellies full of burgers, meatloaf sandwiches and delicious fries, we wandered around downtown for a bit.  It would have been delightful if it'd hadn't been raining and we could find the pharmacy we were looking for (I was running out of tissues).  But still, it was nice to explore a little bit and kill time before the show (which was only a block or two away from Early Girl Eatery).  Finally, the doors opened and we made our way inside the Civic Center.  I bought a t-shirt and we found our seats and waited for the show to start.  The opener was Cursive, who I've listened to before, but not religiously.  This is going to sound strange, but I think I prefer them recorded.  I just wasn't crazy about their live show.  It was good, but nothing spectacular.  It could be though, that I was sick and reserving all my energy and excitement for Bright Eyes.

Now, I've been a Bright Eyes fan since my sophomore year of college.  I remember as soon as I heard Conor's cracking, emotional voice I was hooked.  There was something about the raw emotion behind the lyrics and vocals that just hooked into that sappy, naive heart of mine.  I get why people don't like them (or Conor Oberst specifically), it's definitely not for everyone.  I have many friends who have the urge to rib out their hair when a song of theirs comes on...luckily, that's not the case with Antoine.  While he's not as wild about them as I am (he doesn't have the history), he was more than eager to come to Asheville with me and see the last Bright Eyes concert I would ever experience, since this is their final tour.  He didn't know all the songs they played, but he smiled widely at me as I sang along to my favorites and swayed back and forth.  I was in heaven.  For two and a half hours I ignored that my nose wouldn't stop running, that I was coughing up a lung, and that I was completely exhausted.  In those couple of hours I absorbed the condensed version of 16 years worth of music, music that, while I was in college, made me cry, laugh and long for something more, someone to love.  Through all the dark, rough times (and the good times too) you have songs/music that get you through it all...that describes how you're feeling and what you want for your future, even though it doesn't seem remotely possible at the time.  That's Bright Eyes for me.  And I'm glad I got to see them one last time and I'm glad it was now, when I'm where I want to be in life, surrounded by love, sharing a life with the most wonderful person. 

So, yeah, it was a pretty great weekend...

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