Monday, September 14, 2009


In July, Husband came to me with a suggestion for his birthday present. His birthday is in December so you cannot accuse him of not planning ahead. Sarah McLachlan had just announced plans for a fundraiser. It was to be a festival type event with the headline acts, in addition to Sarah, being Neil Young and Sheryl Crow.

If anyone were to gander through our CD collection, you'd find every CD of Sarah McLachlan's and most of Neil Young's, they are two of Husband's all time favourite artists. While the only music Husband generally listens to now is the theme songs for anything on Teletoon, in his day he listened to music. A lot.

My sister in law secured tickets for us and we were thrilled. The planning of this event required military precision. This is a festival event by the beach. The main acts were in the evening but the doors were to open at noon. We had to arranged for babysitting for the kids, and figure out where to park, when we would go, what we would do with the hours we might be there while we staked out the best spots possible. The details of the concert were not released till about 10 days before which added to my stress. In all we had 10 hours to plan for.

In the end, we planned perfectly. Husband's sister and nephew very kindly took the kids for the first few hours and wore them out. Swimming pool, playground and a mysterious forest kept them active and engaged. Then the kids were transferred to my parents for dinner and the evening. They were mellow and enjoyed a movie night before getting tucked into bed.

Husband and I planned to get to the beach near noon, when the gates being opened. While I expected massive crowds, there was a modest group of keeners. Parking was easy. We had a backpack and blanket and got a reasonable spot before exploring the park.

One thing I did forget was to bring ID. Though I am two and a half times the legal drinking age in our province, everyone needed to line up for a "19+" wristband to be allowed in the beer gardens. Although I could easily do without a drink, given the hours ahead and the incredibly gorgeous weather, having a quiet drink the beer gardens, did seem appealing. I decided to line up for a wrist band, planning to take off my hat and show my grey roots as ample evidence that I must be well over 19. I chatted with a couple women in their mid thirties ahead of me. Nearing the front of the line I noticed they were sending anyone with questionable age to ID checkers while anyone obviously over 19 was immediately given a wristband. I was a little put out when the thirty somethings ahead of me got steered to show their ID. The decision-making lady took one look at me and said "You're probably okay" and gave me a wristband. I didn't even show her my roots?? I think I would have rather have gone without the beer and been carded!

We did enjoy a cold beverage while Husband and I planned our Disneyland trip. Well the flights and hotel are set, what park we will visit when, for how long had all to be sorted. I have done some research about which rides, shows and events I thought we would enjoy. But knowing where to go on any given day was entirely undecided. So we came up with a game plan. The rest of the afternoon was spent like this:

As the afternoon wore on, it got more crowded. Here is the gang behind us, before the big influx of people came:

Once the time approached for the main acts, things got a little crowded. People were encroaching on our space. Latecomers squeezed in on three sides of us leaving empty a tiny patch of grass two feet square. There was no room to walk so people stepped on blanket, backpacks and occasionally toes. That two foot square patch of grass was soon occupied by two people, who had no problem putting their feet onto our blanket, into our backpack. I suppose I should be grateful that no one's feet was in our faces. Just when I thought our little patch of real estate was at maximum capacity, our 2 foot patchers invited 4 friends to join them. I only wish I were kidding.

However, the squatters were not without manners. They offered us tokes on their doobies (that's what they called them). We declined.

Once the concert started, we all stood and enjoy magnificent music:

As if that were not magic enough, we were treated to a meteor sailing across the summer sky, a bright orange ball, mother nature's pyrotechnics. Memorable. Magical.

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