I think I may split this and make it more than one post. Because who knew you could pack so much into a 48 hour trip to Denver? And, really, Thursday night deserves its own post. Seriously. It was one of those nights that I will never forget.
Thursday morning started early. Even when we swear we’re going to sleep in and get a later start, we never do. Our eyes inevitably pop open at some ridiculous hour and we determine we might as well be on the road rather than lounging in bed.
Within an hour of driving, we had seen moose, deer, rabbits (RIP Benny…36 years of never being in a car that killed something down the tubes), raccoon. I felt we were on a wildlife safari instead of heading to Denver! When we finally met up with I-80, I was silently grateful for all the warnings about Wyoming. Holy Hannah, it’s a boring state. And not really pretty. So we occupied ourselves to sing-alongs to Love Today and Tell Me Something Good and Isaac read the third book in the How To Train Your Dragon series and I said a silent prayer to whatever it was that made my dad NOT take the job in Green River when I was a kid.
A few random thoughts on Wyoming.
1. It’s not my favorite.
2. It’s windy. And this is from someone who lived in WIND city (snort) Rexburg, ID. It was WINDY. And nearly ½ of the state passed us by before we saw a wind farm. I’m thinking they could make the entire state a wind farm and sell that energy to others. Seriously.
3. It’s not my favorite.
4. They only things we saw in Wyoming (and, covering the entire lower part of the state, that’s a pretty good chunk) were firework “outlets” and porn shops. I’m thinking that’s not the greatest of combos…
5. Their signs are not even pretending to be pithy. Take this one in a construction zone: ‘Fines More’. Clearly they aren’t one to mince words.
6. Um…it’s not my favorite.
However, despite the 27,000 construction zones, we made really good time, getting into Denver mid-afternoon and I may have only MILDLY gotten excited that we were within ½ hour from Nebraska. Farthest east I’ve ever been in a car. It may or may not have made me a little giddy and threaten to keep driving instead of turning off.
Thursday night, Sammy and Isaac hung out at the hotel and my friend Amy came and picked me up to go to the Crowded House concert. I’ve seen the Finn Brothers and Neil Finn solo, but this was my first Crowdies concert (yay!) and something I never thought I’d actually get to see given that they were broken up for so long. Excited didn’t even cut what I was feeling. Well, once you got past the exhaustion. Not even a little bit. I was just…beyond. And it didn’t disappoint.
They played for two hours and played everything I could have ever wanted to see live. They opened with I Feel Possessed and WOW. One of my favorite songs ever. And they kept on going...Fall At Your Feet, Pineapple Head (which I don't LOVE, but like, but may love now that I've seen it live!), Distant Sun (which is where the title of this blog gets its name...), Nails In My Feet (eeeeeee!). But then. THEN. They started in with Into Temptation and When You Come and I just didn't think it could get any better. I was seriously floating. My throat sore and hoarse and my feet killing me, but I was one person away from the stage, right in front of Neil. It was AMAZING.
(thanks for the picture, Amy!)
And then the encore came and they played It's Only Natural. Neil Finn is just so very amazing. He is a master musician and his lyrics are incredible. And it all came together with It's Only Natural, which was the last song I could have hoped for in my mental tally.
(it's only natural, crowded house)
After an emotional Better Be Home Soon, we left. We were headed back to the car when a friend of Amy's stopped us. While they chatted, I kept looking back at the venue. I really wanted to go back and hang around, hoping to meet Neil, but I didn't want to burden Amy with my fangirly-ness. However, after 1/2 hour of standing there, I figured we may as well be standing near their bus, right? So we moved back down the street. Once we got there, I realized there was a crowd of a couple of dozen people, also waiting. And we didn't have to wait long. Matt came out and signed stuff and took pictures with everyone and then Mark came out and the crowd swelled around him. While everyone was focused on that, I saw Neil come out and sneak up on the crowd. If I could have found my voice, I would have been the first one to him. But, instead, I was able to answer the age old question: "what happens when Tawnya meets her idol in the flesh?". The answer, sadly, is lose all form of words - thinking, speaking, forming... So I pushed back through the crowd, shaking. I was SO nervous! Amy got her camera ready (mine had lost battery) and I stood in line, inches from Neil. I was so tongue tied and nervous. But I finally found something in me to say, "Can I get a picture" (although I'm pretty sure I was missing a few of those words!) and the result was this:
Right? RIGHT?! I mean, ignore me. I had been in a car for 8 hours and then on my feet dancing for 2. It's not a pretty result. Let's just focus on the fact that I'm standing there, fondling the arm of NEIL FREAKING FINN. That the man touched me. That I got to meet him. That I got to talk to him, however rudimentary. NEIL FREAKING FINN. The man for whom my child was nearly named. Seriously. I didn't care what we did the rest of the weekend. I was (am!) in heaven. See that glow? That is the glow of meeting the man you have loved and adored for too many years to count. That is the glow of getting that close to your pretend boyfriend. That is the glow of being in the company of immense genius. I may never come down off that high. And it may have only taken me 2.2 seconds to make that my wallpaper. And order a print to be framed. Which will never be replaced.
Part 2 (or the ACTUAL vacation) coming soon...
(crowded house, fall at your feet)