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Friday, June 6, 2014

Arizona Trip - Saturday

6:00 am – Even after being up till midnight waiting on Big Boy to get back from the concerts (and another jamming session), the sun shines early.  It actually starts to rise around 4 am!  We all showered and enjoyed breakfast on the patio.  Minus the bird droppings, the patio is very enjoyable. Watching the birds find breakfast and giant lizards scamper around the shade and kids splash in the pool was very peaceful.

About two minutes later the phone rings.  Baby Girl answers.  The van will be waiting for us as well.  Great!  I’m glad they anticipated that.  I was going to call once we got the cart loaded.  Within a minute someone loud (yelling into a radio or something) arrived, ready to take our luggage for us.  Hubby would be glad to know that I’m not straining my back loading everything.  This guy seemed stressed and not very friendly.  Hardly even polite.  I’m glad I sent the kids to the first workshop without me.  Baby Girl would have mentioned (a bit too loud) that he wasn't as polite as the last guy.  He did load the van (kind of), then return it to the lot.  Then I joined the kids for the first of the workshops.

The 9 am banjo class was how to catch and keep attention.  The instructor showed the audience some bluegrass/traditional/cross picking things.  I didn't understand a bit of it, but it sounded good when he demonstrated.

During the second workshop Big Boy went to a banjo workshop while the girls (and most of the band) went to Mr. B’s ukulele workshop.  I got the last of our things out of the room so I could checkout on time.  These were the things I didn't want Mr. Rude to mess with or were forgotten in the rush.  Also, the cold food had to be put in the cooler and covered in ice.  I wanted them to stay in the mini fridge as long as possible.  Oh no!  It is so heavy.  I found a band member (17 yo boy) and recruited his help.  He wasn't in a workshop and he was willing to help.  We loaded these things into the van ourselves.  I checked out of the room and put two of the unused instruments in a friends room.  We didn't want those in this heat! 

When the second workshop was over our band had a meeting.  We needed to discuss the uniform for the evening, what songs will be played (there were changes from the original plan), the next show….

Photo: Buddy Griffin with two of his former students-Nathan Hanna and Tyler Jackson. GREAT SHOW!!
Nathan Hanna, Buddy Griffin and Tyler Jackson
By the time we were done talking the third workshop was nearly over.  You don’t want to walk in and be rude, so we went to lunch with another band member and his dad.  Of all the places we could have gone, new places, places that are not in Houston, the kids all chose Carl’s Jr.  Whatever.  It’s food.  I’m not picky.

After eating I stop by Auto Zone and try to find a quick solution to my license plate problem.  The sales guy took the plate off with his fingers before I finished talking.  Ugh.  I feel like a ditz. I thought it was going to take a tool and time.  He we put it in the back of the window – perfect.  I thought it was going to be too dark to see.  Now I just need tape.

I walk in to check my keys back in with the valet and ask the check in guy for tape.  Perfect – he as clear packing tape!  I get two long pieces and tape the pate onto the window.  I will deal with the stickiness later.  It will be less expensive and worrisome than a ticket.  Especially an out of town ticket.

Tyler Jackson
We made it back in time for the last workshop.  Big Boy was adamant about attending this one.  Tyler Jackson is a former student of Mr. B’s and a fantastic player.  I walk in the room and Big Girl is holding her arm wile Tyler is holding her Banjo.  Oy.  Turns out that she broke a string and he was sweet enough to fix it for her.  This was by far the best of all the classes.  I think most of it is because he was a former All Star and knows what my kids are learning, who they are learning from and what they need to hear.  I know it’s not all about them, but this was definitely the best workshop they attended all weekend.

More swim time.  We have a few hours until our performance so several of the band members went swimming, some took a nap.  We had checked out, so we just hung out by the pool listening to the performances and chatting with the friendly waitress.  In my grand plan, I had planned on leaving tonight so we can be at White Sands by morning and have a lot of fun playing all day.  Only problem with that is we don’t have a room to keep our things in for the day.  Oh well.  Just like everyone else here we will walk around with a banjo all afternoon. J  Sitting by the pool I smell the burgers being cooked.  Mmmmm.  I’m getting hungry.  Maybe.  I watch the lady grilling.  She is wearing those plastic gloves to make the patties.  Then she turns and gets a bun.  No glove change.  She takes the bun off the grill.  No glove change.  She grabs lettuce and cheese – with the same gloves on.  Then she gets the spatula and puts the meat on the bun.  Never taking the gloves off.  What is the point of wearing the gloves if she is still going to cross contaminate the food?  I am no longer hungry. 

Nathan Hanna
6:00 pm – Time for us to check in with our fearless leader.  We get the stage set up, get the sound stuff ready, move chairs and get everyone tuned.  After a quick run through it’s already time to get started.  It amazes me how quickly they can run through an hour long show.  With just 15 minutes to go before we perform, Mr. B has everyone leave the stage (they walk in playing for the first song) to get a drink and go to the bathroom.

8:00 – what a great show!  In the four years we have been with the band, there has only been one performance (that I have seen) that hasn't been absolutely stellar.  That wasn't tonight.  With many compliments and a standing ovation, the band left the ballroom.

Big Boy and I collect our instruments from our friend’s room while the girls have the valet bring the van around.  Big Girl comes back and says that the valet won’t bring it for her.  What?  I don’t want her to drive, don’t give her the keys.  Just bring the truck.  Whatever.  I let Mr. B know we are leaving so he doesn't wonder where we are.  The girls went back to the valet.  Big Boy and I catch up and Big Girl has the keys.  Apparently Mr. Rude doesn't like the fact we went out to the truck earlier and have already checked out.  Big Girl says that he told her he can’t bring it around for us.  She said he was rude too.  I’m getting frustrated and tired.  The kids are getting tired.  We walk allllll the way to the truck (with a broken foot!) and repack it.  

Like I said, he ‘kind of’ loaded it.  His idea of loading was to just put suitcases in the seats.  I’m at the point I just want to leave.  We finally go.  I get on I-10 and drive as far as I can.  Why is this taking so long?  I thought I would be near White Sands by 11 pm.  Ugh.  Time change.  I forgot.  I made it to Deming tonight.  That’s as close as we will get tonight.  I will just start early tomorrow.

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