::WARNING:: this is VERY long...in fact I've decided to split it up. This is all the stuff leading UP to the concert. If you want to hear my review of individual acts, they will come later.
Wow. What a weekend. I’ll see if I can capture the whole thing (remembering that one of my reasons for blogging is so that I’ll have built in journaling when the time comes for me to scrapbook this event).
Friday night I went to Janis’ because all my casual clothes were there and I hadn’t decided what to wear. (BTW Janis I didn’t get a chance to check what you referenced in the email but I will). Saturday morning the sun woke me up at 6 and I just got up. I realized there was NO way I was going back to sleep so I didn’t even try. I cleaned my purse out, ate breakfast and took my sweet time getting ready. I then went and picked my friend Crystal up. I had to wait for her to finish getting ready but by the time she was, Jenna was good to go. We were on the road by about 9:45 am. It took forever to get across the border but once we were, it was smooth sailing.
BTW, Jenna is my concert buddy. She was with me the first two times I saw Dierks and she bought me tickets to Brad Paisley for the concert in January as my Christmas present. Crystal is another friend from high school and a fairly new country music convert.
Getting into Bellvue (where our hotel was) wasn’t a problem. FINDING it was another story. I kind of did some concentric circles, slowly zeroing in on it before I finally located it. My co-pilot isn’t a great map reader ;) and I relied too much on my own sense of direction – not that anyone who reads this would know anything about THAT :D
The hotel had issues with allowing us an early check in because the room hadn’t been cleaned yet. I had to hammer it into her head that I didn’t need to GO INTO the room, all I wanted was the key so I didn’t have to deal with her after the concert! She finally figured it out and we were on our way to Qwest Field. Luckily the 405(?) from Bellvue to Seattle goes RIGHT to Qwest. That was a blessing. Finding parking was a bit interesting. At Qwest was $25. Umm…no thank you. We decided to drive a few blocks and see if we could find anything cheaper.
A block from Qwest we passed the Pyramid Brewery. I had made plans to meet up there with one of Darrcie’s downline. A girl named Tonya who is a huge country music fan like me. We had both been talking about the concert while at the retreat on Lopez Island and she emailed me a few weeks back to see if we wanted to hook up and go for a meal before the concert. It worked well for me since I knew we’d want to eat but I don’t know downtown Seattle very well and it was nice to have a reference.
So, back to the story. Passed Pyramid Brewery, turned left, found a parking garage that was only charging $15. Still expensive but that was doable. Turn in and I hear someone calling my name. Tonya was standing on the sidewalk!!! They had parked at the same place. It was amazing timing. It was funny, her friend Mary, and her brother John were like “who are you yelling at?” and my friends were like “who is that???” both of us said “The person we are meeting up with!!!”
It worked out perfectly. We were able to walk to the restaurant together and then wait together. That place is POPULAR! We waited for about a half and hour before we even got a spot at the bar (which is part of the waiting area) and we ended up just eating there. The food was good. I would love to go back there on a non-event day.
We got to Qwest Field at just past four. After a bathroom break we walked up a VERY long ramp to the 300 level. Being up that hig, the sound was horrible. Especially for Blaine and it wasn't much better for Dierks. It was REALLY hard to hear the words to the songs and if they were just speaking you pretty much couldn't make out what they said. Someone behind us said that it was an experiment for Qwest to put people in the upper level for concerts so we were guinea pigs. News flash for Qwest, their experiment failed. :(
That said, the day was amazing. We chose to enjoy it and had a great time. Jenna described it as a "concert marathon" and I had to agree. It was a VERY long day. Blaine Larsen, the first act, took the stage around 4:30. Kenny didn’t come on until after 9 pm!!!
We were on the East side of the field so we got the benefit of the full blazing sun. Some people in the Dierks fan club have mentioned that they got sunburned and I was very surprised that we didn’t. It was SO hot. One of the benefits of being up that high was that there was a nice breeze but it was still crazy. We kept chanting “When the sun goes down…” trying to will it down out of our line of sight :)