Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Take a Detour

So, we are on week 3 of a heatwave in St. Louis.  The only thing there really is to do to find relief from the miserable heat is to go to the pool or sit inside a freezer.  That being said, we've opted for going to the pool.  On Friday, we tried out Aquaport in Maryland Heights.  It was a lot of fun and we were really enjoying ourselves when the lifeguard made everyone get out of the pool.  When my friend Candace came back from riding one of the water slides (yes kids, mommies like to have fun, too!) She asked why everyone had to get out of the pool.  All of the kids insisted it wasn't "Adult Swim" because they knew that this pool didn't have adult swim.  I answered, "Eh, their probably just checking to make sure no one drowned."  I don't think Candace was thrilled with my sarcastic remark, as she replied "I sure hope the life guards would notice that without evacuating the pool."  In my defense, the pool was somewhat crowded.

Actually, there was a "public health emergency," which is just code for "someone pooped in the pool."  Apparently, it was quite a doozie because the entire water park was immediately closed.  All guests were issued rain checks to come back another time.  I have to say, that was pretty awesome customer service.  We were gong to be leaving soon anyway, so this was a nice bonus to get passes for me and the boys to return again before summer ends. Kudos Aquaport!

Later, the boys were telling the story to Chris about how awesome the pool was, but how disappointed they were about leaving early.  One thing led to another, and pretty soon the conversation turned into all of us "suggesting" that we should just get a pool of our own.  This is not a new topic of conversation in our house.  I'm pretty sure I ask, well maybe beg, for Chris to get a pool for us at least once a week.  Never mind the fact that we actually can't afford a pool right now (as I'm sure it would be upwards of $40,000).  The pool idea is based on the idea that we would win the lottery or become independently wealthy.  Chris's argument is that our yard isn't big enough for a pool.  I think he needs his eyes checked, but that's beside the point.  I think he's gotten sick of us "asking" for a pool because last night on the way to dinner he said very firmly, "WE WILL NEVER GET A POOL."

Needless to say, the car fell silent.  After a couple of minutes Andrew replies, "Well if you and Mom take a detour to Heaven then Joey and I can get a pool."  That is a solid argument Andrew.  Once we are dead, I guess you can do what you want.

I'm not giving up, nor am I ready to take a "detour to Heaven."  I just want some relief from the heat and to swim in a pool that we don't have to worry about a "public health emergency."  So, I guess I better start playing the lottery to help fund this pipe dream.  Oh, and here is a picture of the back yard, which is TOTALLY big enough for a pool.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finally Getting to Enjoy Summer!

Gosh, I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated the blog.  Of course, I just posted about the awesome U2 concert, but before that post it had been since June.  So much has been going on, like we've finally been able to REALLY enjoy summer.  Due to the horrible, no good, bad case of swimmer's ear, the month of June was a complete wash for us.  However, since July 7th we've been swimming up a storm to make up for lost time.  So, although things have been all that exciting around here, the boys are enjoying summer, once and for all.

Best. Concert. Ever.

On Sunday, July 17, 2011, U2 brought their epic 360° Tour to St. Louis.  It has been dubbed the biggest concert ever to come to St. Louis.  Every major news outlet in the area started covering the concert about a week before the show.  Busch Stadium had to be completely transformed for the stage.  The sod ripped up, aluminum floor put down, and "The Claw" had to be constructed.  It took an entire week and the hype of it all was pretty exciting.

I have been a U2 fan for most of my life.  I remember listening to U2 with my parents as a young girl and even got to go see their Rattle and Hum movie with my mom back in the late 1980's.  I've only been able to see them live only once before, during their Pop Mart tour.  It was a good concert, but it didn't rank as one of the best show's I'd seen.

When it was announced last year that U2 would bring the 360° to Busch Stadium I was ecstatic!  I bought tickets the day they went on sale, heck, the minute they went on sale!  Then the waiting began.  I'd never bought tickets to a concert 8 months in advance, and it felt a bit silly at the time.  However, I knew if I didn't get to this show, I would regret it later.  I surprised Chris with the tickets at Christmas, although I'm pretty sure he had an idea...


As the big day approached, so did my excitement.  Chris was able to score a room at the Hilton Ballpark which meant we could really enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about driving home and dealing with all the traffic.  The hotel was "sold out" but because of Chris's Diamond status with Hilton, we got a room.  One of the great perks of having a husband that travels a lot!  The show was sold out with over 52,000 people expected to attend, so I had a feeling navigating Downtown traffic after the show would be a nightmare.  My friend Candace confirmed that it indeed was as it took her quite some time to make it home that night.  But back to the awesomeness of the concert...

Friends for nearly 20 years!
We started out the night having dinner with our great friends, James and Kat.  Now that I think about it, it was quite fitting that we shared the night with them.  They were the best man and maid of honor at our wedding and Chris and I's first dance was to "With or Without You."  So, it was quite a full circle experience!  After a tasty dinner at J Buck's, we headed to the stadium.  We could hear Interpol playing their opening set as we walked the 3 blocks to Busch.  Seeing 'The Claw" upon our arrival was pretty spectacular.
 

The Claw

At about 9:15 pm, the lights in the stadium went off and "The Claw" lit up.  It was spectacular!  They started the show with "Even Better than the Real Thing" from Achtung Baby.  They went right into "The Fly" and "Mysterious Ways."  Bono started off conversing with the audience and brought up their first time in St. Louis.  It was in 1981 at Graham Chapel.  To see how far they've come is amazing!  Some of the other songs played:  "I Will Follow", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Pride" and "Boots."  I have to admit "Boots" is much better live than on the CD.  "Beautiful Day" was spectacular.  Commander Mark Kelly shared a personal message with us from the International Space Station as the opening of the song.

The view from our seats

The highlight of the show for me was "City of Blinding Lights" which went right into "Vertigo" and a remix of "I'll Go Crazy."  The only thing that could have been sweeter is if they would have played "Miracle Drug" but I knew that was a stretch.  The only song I was hoping to hear but didn't was "Magnificent," but the show was so amazing it didn't really matter in the end.

The encore was absolutely amazing.  The lead in to the "Where the Streets Have No Name" was a cover of "Hallelujah."  Of course "With or Without You" was in the encore and the finale of "Moment of Surrender" was dedicated to the people of Joplin.  

Bono did an amazing job of bringing a local touch to the concert and the interaction the band had with the audience was fantastic.  Even though the show was in a huge stadium, it had an intimate feel to it.  Of course Bono used his platform to remind us of great suffering in the world and he reminded me to be more thankful of the freedom we have living in America.  

The concert was absolutely epic.  It is the best live show I've ever been to.  The sound quality was amazing, the visual effects breath taking and the energy was so powerful.  U2 is definitely a band that can perform live.  Bono is 51 years old and has so much energy I'm jealous.  The Edge is still so sexy and probably one of the best guitar players of all times.  U2 is a band that spans several generations of fans and their sound will never go out of style.  The only drawback to the night was that it was SO good.  The bar has been set for all future concerts I attend, that's for sure.  Thanks for a wonderful night U2 one I surely will never forget!