As I'm sitting here with exhaustion digging into me with claws I can't help but smile thinking I earned every second of it. This had to be the coolest weekend I've ever had, and whether y'all want to hear about it or not I need to take a day or two to gush about it! :-)
Friday marked the last day of school for my kids, which we happily commemorated by running errands and binging on Taco Bell. Saturday morning I dragged my mom, my aunt and one of their friends up to do Potomac Mills. If you don't know what Potomac Mills is-well, you're culturally deprived! Potomac Mills is this HUGE outlet mall in Dale City that has absolutely everything-including a dress I could stand to be seen in public in for my brother's wedding, which is an accomplishment in and of itself! (You have no idea-I have to be the only female I know that really, truly loathes clothes shopping. It's just not normal.)
Anyway, after a few hours of being privileged to the kind of talk children are never meant to hear (never mind the fact that I'm 26 with 3 kids of my own!) and eating a burrito about the size of my arm I was feeling fat and happy as we cruised toward Fredericksburg. I'd picked up a dress that my mom kindly offered to pay for so I could pick up some shoes, some tee-shirts for my kids from the Disney store that the rat...ah, nice people decided to pull out of OUR mall and some essential oils that I would normally have paid a small fortune for but managed to get at a steal from this nifty little vendor in the middle of the mall.
Have I mentioned I love Potomac Mills?
Anyway, from there I got to turn around and head straight back up to D.C. to watch the man, the myth, the legend George Strait at the Nissan Pavilion. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the experience of a lifetime. The man is a god...and I don't say those words lightly. Normally when a performer walks onto a stage you can see either a healthy dose of nerves or that hyped up expression that comes from being keyed up on caffeine and applause. George Strait just sauntered out like the professional he was and launched a set of oldies, newbies and plenty of goodies that wrapped up in not one, not two but three encores. It was amazing. I think the crowd would have kept him on stage all night if they could.
It's easy to see why the man made artist of the decade, even rolling onto the stage with hearing aids in each ear. Yes, Mr. Strait, we noticed. It's just that you're so incredibly awesome, nobody cares.
Of course, as incredibly honored as I was to see George Strait live I think the coolest moment of my night was hearing Blake Shelton get up on stage and put on a live performance of "Austin", which is, oh, I don't know, my favorite country song of all time! I thought I was going to pass out. You have to understand, if George Strait is a good Blake Shelton is like a minor deity. Anyone who can get up on stage at the Nissan Pavilion and call thousands of people "10 acres of rednecks" (and live to tell the tale!) has something going for him. I'm just not sure what that something is!
Of course, if George Strait was a pro Blake Shelton was a comedian with a guitar-starting with his own brand of charming naivete that led him to schedule a gig in Baltimore and a gig in D.C. the same day. Everyone knows traffic in D.C. sucks-now. Apparently Mr. Shelton didn't get the memo, and he paid for it by sitting in traffic for not one, not two but two and a half hours.
Should we tell him that was a good day, and he's lucky he totally missed 66?
Anyway, he kick started the evening with a beer and a toast to George Strait and made everyone's night by singing the FreeCreditReport.com song, claiming that he wanted to play a song everyone could sing along with but "all the songs people know are George Strait songs." And he closed the evening up with "Ol' Red", which had all of us rolling in our seats.
Let's not leave Julianne Hough out of the mix. A short lived opening act, the lovely Miss. Hough was completely drowned out by her guitar for most of her set (for which I would have summarily beheaded-or at least fired-her sound man) but she managed to be a joy to watch on stage nonetheless. I had forgotten she had also opened for Brad Paisley when we saw him in concert last year, so it was nice to see how she'd matured as a performer. That's going to be one to watch, ladies and gentlemen.
Anyway, the weekend wrapped up with a trip to the new Virginia Ren Faire-but that's a story for another night. After all, when you're talking about a legend you can at least give him the dignity of getting a blog post to himself!