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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Arizona Trip - Friday


This was session #1
Another early morning. I was up again by 6. Why cant I wake up this early - with out an alarm- at home?   Craziness.  We all sleep wonderfully last night. The beds were comfy, there were 6 fluffy pillows on the bed and the room was really dark.

My crazy kids wake up and instantly have their noses in a book.  As frustrated as I was that it took two and a half hours to eat and a half hour to get ready, I know I am blessed that they love to read so much. And Baby Girl is reading her new Action Bible.
9:00 am. All dirty clothes are packed and we are off to the laundromat.  We go down to the valet to get the truck. While waiting, the kids grab a cold apple and flavored water from the registration area.

Oh no. The valet cant find it. We see the poor guy run from one end of the parking lot to the other.  He runs over to us and we point it out. He said he was confused because the key pad didn't work.  The button went out 2 weeks ago and I can’t get it open to replace the battery. Ford wants $15 to do the work. That's a joke! We don’t even think it is a battery issue, but rather a problem with the alarm system on the truck.  I will get it fixed when we get home. Until then, I will confuse the valet :)  Once he knew what the problem was, he was back in a jiffy with the cold air already on. He even offered us all cold bottles of water for our errands. The registration lady had just given us 4, so we were good.

Playing pool side means more distractions
 - not for the All Stars!
The service here at the omni is fabulous. I didn't pay full price (event discount) but the service and atmosphere are worth every penny. Every single staff member is super friendly and helpful. From the poolside waitress that chit chatted with Big Girl about broken feet to the bell hop that loved talking about music and the valet that laughed WITH me about the key pad not working.  The registration guy was great, and so was the concierge.  You will not hear a complaint from me! 
There is a laundromat just down the road from the Omni, so we get our clothes washed and the kids have some free reading time. Then we are off to quickly vacuum the grand canyon out of the truck.

If you are not a musician, the rest of this post may not interest you.  However, my 3 fretted instrument players had a "blast" today.

When got back to the hotel we started finding workshop. There were several to choose from. You had the option of going to the ukulele or banjo workshops for 3 hours. All 3 the kids decided to go to just banjo. Maybe they just felt more comfortable being with someone they know. Even if it is a sibling.  Maybe it was because they want to further their education in banjo.

The first workshop “how to sell yourself to get a gig.”  Not something they need to worry about with the band,  but good knowledge for every day life. We have to sell ourselves often (job applications, volunteer positions....) it was very informative and applicable - even for a 10 year old.

Next was “parlor-style plectrum banjo.” This one was not as interesting for my group. We politely listened, but 1) we play tenor banjo and 2) half the things that were said went right over the kids heads.

Then it was Big Girls favorite time of day - lunch!  We had an hour break to eat, re-hydrate, and re-apply sunblock.

Dancing along with the music
Finally we learned about "performing for the general public in 2014."  Since so many of these talented musicians have been performing for 30+years,  they learned how to update their style,  while my youngsters learned how to perform, not just play. There is a big difference!  The main one being whether or not you are asked back.
 After the last workshop there was a 'jammin session.'  It was amusing to see my three youngsters play with musicians with 50 plus years of experience.  Most of these people have instruments older all 3 of my children together!

During the last session of the day, the rest of the band start showing up. We had just over a two hour break between the jammin session and our rehearsal time.  Everybody that was checked into the hotel decided it was time for swim.  We all took advantage of this time and swam in the large warm pool for about 2 hours.

With about 30 minutes left until the show; the pool was cleared and everyone got dried off, dressed, tuned, and mentally ready for the show.

I’m so proud of this band. Mr. B is such a wonderful leader. They played about an hour and had the crowd wanting more.  We were originally scheduled for only half an hour.  Since this show was pool side, half the audience was in the water.  I sat on the patio for our room and just laughed and laughed. The old ladies in the water tried to square dance during the 1st song (a square dancing song) and they did the hula during the hula song. It was so cute!   They danced during most of our songs. It must be a great compliment because I didn't see that yesterday or today with any of the other pool side performances.

After such a great show the kids all deserved another trip to the water. We swam for over 2 hours, then Big Boy attended several of the indoor concerts while the girls went to bed. We will be playing in the ball room tomorrow. This has been such a wonderful experience. To see and hear all these world class musicians and the different styles of music, all on the same instrument. Then to be taught by so many.

I love our instructor, but sometimes you have to hear the same thing from someone else for the information to make it all the way to your brain. I told Baby Girl that it is the same with math. When daddy teaches, big girl goes cross eyed. When I teach it (some times) she picks it up faster. Some times it is the other way around. It’s always good to be instructed by others because they have different experiences.

As much money add hubby and I poured into this trip, it is an experience they will remember for a life time. All the national monuments and learning they have received in just the last 6 days is absolutely priceless.  I can’t wait to see how they perform tomorrow.  Their concert is highly anticipated by many of the other guests here.

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