Sunday, April 27, 2008

McDowell Mountain Music Festival-Friday

Ahh, Music Festivals. The combination of my favorite things in life: awesome bands, good friends, and the great outdoors!! The weather was beautiful Friday and Saturday, which only added to the entire experience. This was my first time seeing most of the bands live, and I have to say they all exceeded expectations. The McDowell Mountain Music Festival was at Westworld in Scottsdale Arizona with what else but the McDowell Mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop.

Friday afternoon my musical enjoyment started with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I had heard of this band, as GPN has a song on Grey's Anatomy on TV. Grace Potter and Nocturnals are currently touring with Government Mule, who had the closing spot Friday night (more on them later!).

Grace Potter hung around to sign CDs afterwards. I bought both of her CDs, and the CD from her guitarist, Scott Tournet. The CDs have been awesome, and I was glad to be witness to their act.

The next act was Robert Randolph and the Family band.

The crowd was completely into the music, and it got everyone warmed up for Government Mule!! Government Mule is fronted by Warren Haynes, and the man is amazing. Being new to the music world, this is certainly an amazing introduction.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lost in Laredo

Tonight I'm sitting in my hotel room in Laredo, TX, trying to read "All Creatures Great and Small" by James Herriott, but am distracted by the sound of a storm ripping its way through the town. The wind is hard and punishing, the moon and stars are blotted out by dark grey clouds.

This is my second trip to Laredo, and again it strikes me how lonely this place is. Perhaps it is because I have read a few Larry McMurtry novels, but this town has a memory of harder times, when the West was still wild, and there were people struggling to make a living in this god-forsaken border town.

Or maybe it's because I've gone through a bit of upheaval in my life recently. But the town, with it's hot, humid weather, and the promise of rain on the horizon is haunting. It brings to mind sleepless nights, headlights on an empty highway, and the pursuit of almost forgotten dreams.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


My nephew Zander swallowed a quarter this week, and unfortunately, it got stuck part way down. He was driven from Casa Grande Hospital to the Phoenix Children's hospital in a fire truck!! He was rather upset at having to spend the day in the ER, but was able to breathe, so it wasn't a life threatening situation. He is no worse for the wear, as you can see. Fortunately, when you are two, you bounce back from tragedy rather quickly!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lake Tahoe

I was in Zephyr Cove, NV, right outside of Lake Tahoe. It is beautiful there, although it is 50 degrees cooler than my home in Gilbert! There was still plenty of snow on the ski runs (I wish I skiied).

I stayed at the MontBlue Resort and Casino. It was an excellent place to stay, affordable, clean, and the restaurants were amazing. We ate at the steak restaurant, and it was one of those where the booths are all up against the wall, with heavy velvet drapes to draw closed for a more intimate dining experience. Since I was there with a work colleague, we dined at a table, but I enjoyed the people watching nonetheless. We were even given a complimentary dessert at the end of the meal!

I loved being in Tahoe, it was 35 degrees and sunny, and a welcome change from Arizona. I wish you could add scent to the blog, the smell of the fresh water, the bite in the air, and the pine trees. I'm looking forward to taking a weekend vacation up there sometime.