This is the column NOT published in this week's paper - my husband censored it out as he didn't want everyone to know we were crazy. Too late for that.
“I’m going to have permanent hearing damage!” I shouted in my husband’s ear.
“Okay!” He replied.
It was even louder than I thought. Or he was okay with my impending hearing loss. Hard to say.
We crossed off one of Jesse’s Bucket List items on Saturday: See AC/DC in concert. Their lead singer, Brian Johnson, has left the band after being told he will have permanent hearing loss if he continues to perform (ironic). Time to see this iconic rock band was running out.
Fortunately, another icon, Axl Rose of the equally legendary band Guns N’ Roses, is filling in for him before they all call it quits. While I thought this was a huge bonus – kind of two-birds-with-one-stone – Jesse the Rock Purist found it a bit disappointing. “It was Axl Rose doing AC/DC on karaoke.”
It could be looked at that way, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing it justice.
Though my ears physically hurt during most of the show, I was in awe. Not just the special effects, which enhanced the music just enough, but the music. In their 50s and 60s, these musicians proved that true artists don’t have to bow to convention, we’re only as old as we feel, and classics never die.
It was a reversal of roles from our concert experience a couple weeks prior, when I sang along with Alabama and Jesse swayed back and forth. He won this time, so engrossed in every song and pumping his fist in the air like all the other hardcore rock fans in the Verizon Center. I bought some illuminated devil horns to blend in a little, which seemed to work.
Yes, Verizon Center, and no, not the one in Mankato. We trekked to Washington, DC to take in this concert. Crazy? My mom didn’t use that word when I asked her to watch our kids, but I think she was thinking it.
Sometimes a little crazy helps to meet goals.
I told Jesse he should pick something fun to do since I got to work at the PGA, and this is what he chose. He didn’t have to invite me, but I’m glad he did.
We talked about it for a while, as sometimes it’s hard to justify spending time and money on outrageous ideas. Could we really fly to DC just for a concert and fly home again all in one weekend? In 24 hours? Yep.
We don’t have a lake cabin, or a boat, a camper, motorcycles, fancy cars, other fun things like that. We turned off our satellite dish. More experiences, less stuff - it fit nicely into my new minimalist mindset.
So we headed out for MSP Saturday morning with only what we could comfortably carry: phones, chargers, wallets, gum, sunglasses, regular glasses, and contact cases. I also brought some stretchy pants rolled up in the bottom of my purse, because after 28 hours awake I was going to need some stretchy pants.
We rolled up to the airport in time to go through security, use the bathroom, and wait a couple minutes for our boarding zone to be called. No luggage, no hassle.
DC is a great place to travel on a budget. The flight deal was good, but there are also so many activities free of charge. Without intention, we arrived at the National Mall in the midst of a cultural celebration complete with parade. It was a quite a spectacle, and at first glance one could not have been faulted for thinking it was an outdoor international showgirls’ convention:
We visited the Smithsonian’s American History museum, where they house Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Archie Bunker’s chair, and the actual enormous flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner. I think it’s my favorite Smithsonian.
|The right shoes have been important to|
women for many years.
Before the concert we dined at the Gordon Biersch Brewery, a place we visit regularly in DC, which is fortunately just a block from the Verizon Center – excellent selection of house-made beers and pretty good food.
|Somehow Jesse's pictures of beer always end up looking more like|
pictures of my rack. "There's beer in that picture?" - anonymous friend.
Since we were able to find a flight that left at 6:00 a.m. the next morning, and the concert ended about 11:30 p.m, we opted not to get a hotel room and just spend the time wandering around the monuments. It’s so peaceful there at night, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather: it was a lovely 72 degrees overnight, and we walked about 15 miles from the time we landed to the time we boarded our plane home.
Did you know airport security is not open all night? I never thought about it, but it’s not. That being said, we could not return to the airport until about 4:00 a.m., when we finally flagged down a cab to take us there.
Things went downhill a little after that. The flight was delayed, and we sat in the last row so our seats didn’t recline (a nightmare when you’ve been awake for 24 hours). Since it was delayed we missed our connecting flight in New York and then had to wait at JFK for another one three hours later.
We were thrilled to score exit row seats with more legroom but saddened to find that they also did not recline. Jesse attempted to sleep against the wall and I sat perfectly straight up and down with my head occasionally bobbing and waking me like my kids in the backseat of the car.
When the kids went to bed that night, so did we, having been awake for basically 38 hours.
You only live once. YOLO. I have a bracelet that says that, to which a teenage girl made a reference about me being too old to wear. That phrase was true and applicable before modern day hipsters turned it into a trendy acronym. So no, I am not too old. I’m still alive, and that’s the point. Live.