February 11, 2014

This is where the cowboy rides away

Yes, this is a line from the George Strait song. And yes, this is about his "Cowboy Rides Away" Tour, but, more on that later. There are so many other adventures that I want to fill you in on in the meantime.

The day started off much earlier than I like for a Saturday to start, but it was for something good. In which case, I can handle that. I woke up to my alarm clock playing the Growing Pains theme song. Yes, I am that girl. So, I got up, put my makeup on and got ready for the rest of the day's events. My dad hadn't gotten home yet, so I had a little while to kill, which just consisted of going through Twitter and Facebook, as if anything else was new.

My dad came home around 10:30 or so, bringing breakfast from Jack-In-The-Box with him. We all finished getting ready, then it was time to go. FINALLY!

I, obviously, had my playlist ready as well as we hit the freeway. It was complete with George Strait and Martina McBride tunes. The first half of the car ride was devoted to Martina, then we switched it up with George. My dad also liked adding, "In Marina Del Ray" to everything, which somehow was quite hilarious. But, it was one of those 'you had to be there' kind of moments.

Soon, we made it into Pasadena, which was our first stop of the day. I wanted to see the City Hall building from Parks and Recreation, because it is my favorite comedy on TV right now, and quite possibly my favorite ever (or at least tied with The Office and Friends..It's so hard to say). We parked; my mom and I got out to explore, while my dad finished talking to my cousin in the car. I was taking it all in. The architecture of the building was absolutely stunning with large pillars and tall ceilings, complete with intricate lamps hanging above. Mom and I walked through the garden, which was shaded with trees, benches were scattered around and there was a giant fountain in the center. It was so beautiful. We explored the area for a few minutes, taking plenty of snapshots, then went back out to the car.
Gorgeous, right?!
Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do :) It's kind of my motto!

Dad was off the phone by that time, so we put some change in the meter and decided to go back to spend a little more time. We walked back through the same way, making our way to the garden and through side hallways. There were winding staircases that, in theory, looked like they would be great for artsy pictures, but it didn't quite come out the same way. My dad and I walked up the stairs to see the view from the top, where the sun was shining down perfectly on the backside of the building, overlooking the garden. We walked around for a few minutes while I took selfies and videos, then we met mom back down at the bottom.

We took a few more pictures, and then it was time to leave. I took it all in one last time, feeling inspired. Even if Leslie Knope is fictional, she's one of my heroes. She represents what so many people believe in- Hard work and getting everything that you've asked for.

We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and fortunately, the wait wasn't quite as long as we thought it would be. I had wanted to try something new, but of course, when push comes to shove...I got one of the same things I always do, the "Skinnylicious burger," and a salad, which is quite tasty. It took a little while to get our food, and by that time I was so hungry. We ate, then just drove around Pasadena for awhile, admiring its beauty. It's just a really pretty, clean town. For having so many old buildings, everything is kept up so well. The trees hang just so over the street and the houses are so detailed and charming.

Selfie with the space shuttle! 
We drove by one of my dad's old houses when he used to live in L.A., then ended up near the Staples Center pretty soon before the concert. We didn't have anywhere else to go, so we ended up at the California Science Museum. I wasn't too thrilled with the idea at the time, because it just seemed like we had all this time to kill, but once I got over my attitude, it was a really fun time. We mainly went to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle, which was extremely interesting. There were posters all over the walls of the different journeys to space, and the giant space shuttle itself. We walked around a few minutes, checking it all out and reading the information about the flights to space.
My dad and I :)

My mom and I! :)
We headed back into the museum, but only had a few minutes, because the museum was officially closed. Looking at all of the exhibits and interactive things to do made me want to come back to spend an entire day there.

When we finished at the museum, we drove back towards Staples Center and found a parking lot, and walked up a couple blocks to the arena. There was already a giant crowd waiting, so we just got in line. We talked, trying to pass the time, and around 6:30, they opened the doors. We grabbed a snack from the concession stand and it wouldn't have been complete without a souvenir from the "final tour," or so he says it is.

We found our seats and they were actually much closer than I had pictured! When we bought the tickets, we were just trying to get whatever came up, and from the seating chart it sounded a little strange, but it all worked out. I love the stage set up that George does, and that's placing a square stage in the center of the arena, that way he can equally visit each side of the stage. Great idea! We started talking to a guy sitting next to us, who had just moved to L.A, about a year ago and apparently travels between here and New York for business. He goes to a lot of concerts and basketball games at Staples Center, too, because he just lives down the street. Sounded like he has a pretty exciting life!

I like making dumb faces when I'm just really excited… :)
It didn't feel like we had much time to wait before the show started and Martina McBride walked on stage. Because of the format of the stage, it's nice to be able to see the artist walk right down the aisle, making their way to the stage. Martina never ceases to blow me away. She effortlessly hits those notes, like just about no one else in music can. The control she has on her voice, while still pouring so much emotion into a song is incredible. She started off with "Wild Angels," sang all of her hits, like "My Baby Loves Me,"  "I Love You"(also from Runaway Bride), "Independence Day," and "Broken Wing." Along with those, she sang one of my favorites, "Whatcha Gonna Do" and a couple covers of "First Cut is the Deepest/Free Fallin.'" That girl can pretty much sing anything.

There was a short intermission as they set up the instruments for George, and the lights went out. Everyone was up on their feet, waiting for the arrival of the "King of Country." He walked out, took the stage and just started playing right away. And he played for the next two and a half hours. CRAZY! Willie (from Duck Dynasty) and his wife were sitting not too far from us in the "VIP" area and Martina McBride, her daughter and husband came out to watch most of the show! George sang SO many songs, obviously many of the hits, but a few obscure ones that they "haven't done in awhile," said Strait. It's still so crazy to me, that he has never played Staples Center before.

Towards the end of the concert, Mae Whitman from Parenthood, walked by us and I pointed that out to my mom who was going to take a picture of her, which led…To a discussion, I guess you could say. Mae joined Martina a few minutes later in the "special" section, and I noticed Miles Heizer from Parenthood was with them also, since him and Mae are pretty much besties on and off screen. Mae is like Martina's adopted daughter, so I don't know why I didn't think she would be there before. She was dancing with Martina's youngest daughter, which was adorable and was pretty cozy with her boyfriend for the other portion of the time.

George walked off, then came back on for his encore and sang for about 30 more minutes. For being a little older, he sure knows how to get the party going. I love that there are so many different types of fans sitting in the audience, as well. You have people who are in their teens, mid-20s, my parents' ages, and so on. That to me, is the effect of a true legend in music history; never going out of style. George also hinted that this might not be his last time playing here, or he hopes it won't take him so long next time. Hmmm…Farewell tour? Maybe not so much.

When the concert ended, we headed out, since we still had quite a drive home. It's actually not too bad, but when it's already around 12:30 a.m, anything feels bad and I wasn't even the one driving. We stopped by In-N-Out, which is typically our "after concert" stop and came home. We talked about the show and tried to stay awake. We didn't get home until 2:15. It was a long day, but absolutely worth it all.

I wish more days could be like that. But, if nothing else, it's those moments get me through the week when I'm dreading school and not wanting to wake up early or to write a paper. It reminds me of why I even want to do it in the first place.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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