This is a post I've been meaning to write since last August.
Lollapalooza 2006 was the first weekend in August. I stayed with my wonderful cousin Bill who really helped to make it an awesome experience for me. More details on family time later, tho.
Lolla last year came at a perfect time for me. Work had been overly hectic, a long-time personal relationship was just about DOA and I was pretty overwhelmed with life in general. So I escaped to 3 days of music in Grant Park.
Even tho it was last year, it feels like it was yesterday. Weather was PERFECT! First band I saw that Friday morning was Blue October. There were just a couple hundred of us there since the gates had just opened. I remember standing in front of the band thinking that this is what heaven would be like.
Live alt music, beautful garden surroundings, plenty of shade trees, cool breeze from Lake Michigan tempering the heat, and everywhere you turned there was music.
Lotsa killer bands over the next couple of days. Coheed and Cambria. 30 Seconds to Mars. Mates of State. Wolfmother who so rocked it! My Morning Jacket. Nickle Creek, Umphrey's McGee, Ranconteurs, WEEN, Death Cab for Cutie..and those are just some of the bands that graced the multiple stages.
Every 55 minutes like clockwork, crowds would shift from one stage to another. Sometimes it was just a matter of turning around and looking at the stage in back of you. Most times tho meant a trek to the other side of the park, past the Buckingham Fountain located in the middle of the park.
At the end of each day I would walk several blocks down Michigan Avenue and catch the bus back to my cousin's apt. Between catching concerts and catching the bus all I did was walk for 3 solid days. Not complaining, tho. It was neat and gave me a great sense of 'being there'.
There was a span of 6 years that I traveled to Chicago every winter to attend a Radiology tradeshow that was always the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Chicago weather I was used to was definitely not evident during the summer. Duh. It was a neat change.
At nights after the concert ended I got to hang out with my cousin and his daughter C. It was so nice to come home to FAMILY at the end of the day. You have no idea how much I miss that. Bill would have a lovely spread of cheese and crackers and several wines as well...and of course who better to learn about wine from than the Chicago Tribune Wine Critic. (All my stories of Jager Bombs are like nails on a blackboard to Bill!). Two nights I was treated to home cooked dinners with Bill and C and one night C's mom stopped by as well. It was the perfect way to unwind after being in an anonymous screaming crowd for most of the day.
One night Bill and I went off on our own and did the Halstead Street bar-hopping thing. I FINALLY got him to try a Jager Bomb and he was not impressed. But at least he tried it.
My cousin has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Chicago..as well as other parts of the world...and it was fascinating to see Chicago thru his eyes as well as meet some of his friends.
It was also really nice to have the one-on-one time just to hang out and get to know each other. The first time Bill and I met, we were kids and we met at my Gramma's house in CT. Bill and his twin sister Melanie grew up in CT. He spent the day snapping rubber bands at me and I hated him for it. (Don't ever snap rubber bands at me if you want to stay on my good side, k??). The next time we hung out was 4 years ago at my parents wedding anniversary.
The trip ended with a visit to the Chicago Botanical Gardens that Monday. I love sights like that, especially this really cool hops arbor we found! I definitely want one of those for one of my future homes. And private shady nooks where you can spend the afternoon with a book surrounded by peace and quiet...like this one!
So. That was last year. One of the best vacations I'd had in ages. Perfect combo of family and music and adventure and travel.
Lollapalooza 2007. Stay tuned.