The Recouperation of Amy 2011

This July, I packed my bags and headed to a little place I like to call the northwest. Okay, okay, so everyone calls it “the northwest”. Whatever.

Washington state is the home of apples, the space needle, and…my BFF Sarah.

Now, if you ever spent time with Sarah and I individually, you might wonder what makes us so close. We’re pretty fundamentally different in a lot of ways…as her former roommate (and her mine), we can both vouch for that.

She is a neat freak. I thrive in organized clutter.

She is opposed to synthetic instruments (especially drums) in her musical tastes. ‘Nsync makes me happy.

She is graceful under pressure and scrutiny. I tend to glare and make my feelings perfectly clear.

She prefers her alone time. I like to fill each night of the week with a social activity.

She’s rather calm. I tend to be excitable.

But what’s crazy is, we have a lot in common–we usually just come from different places to get there. Which is why I love having her in my life. She challenges weaknesses in my life that I tend to excuse or overlook…usually just by example or a well-placed question.

We can talk, disagree, and come out on the other end sharpened by the exchange. And let’s be honest about it…we have a ton of fun together. Most of our friendship takes place on phone calls. Not easy for two self-proclaimed loathers of talking on the phone! But somehow, it works.

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been in the same state and fair is fair – she made the trip to Colorado last. So, July 4th found me packed and winging my way west.

When I arrived (to an AWESOME poster board welcome sign with my name on it), I just knew that this was going to be the best vacation ever! How did I know? Okay, well, I didn’t KNOW know. But I had a strong inkling. Here’s just a sampling of the awesome things we did.

  • Rode in Sarah’s convertible with the top down and the latest Hanson CD cranked up loud. Those of you that just rolled their eyes because I mentioned Hanson…I saw that! Washington state is so beautiful. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the greenery, different kind of trees, and the mountains near the water were.
  • Went to see X-Men: First Class together. We’re always bemoaning the fact that we live so far away that we can’t hang out and go to movies together. And this was by far the best of the X-men movies if I do say so myself! Just call me a Y-(wo)man! (Too much? Okay.) Yes, it was even better than Wolverine. Say whatever you want, but I just don’t think Hugh Jackman is that attractive. The sideburn jowels? Mettle coming out of his hands (wince)? No thanks. P.S. Michael Fassbender totally looks like the son of the dad from The Sound of Music. Anyone?
  • Went to Baja Fresh and (gasp!) Trader Joe’s. I’m fairly certain I gave Sarah a heart attack when I reacted to seeing both establishments. For future reference, never startle your driver. But, it was like coming home. I’m totally a better version of myself when I can shop at Trader Joe’s. I’m pretty sure we went at least twice and maybe three times during the course of my one-week stay.
  • A tour through Pikes Place Market…yes, I know it’s unbelievably tourist-y of me. But I’m a sucker for fresh flowers, crafty goodness, and flying fish. PLUS! I went to the first Starbucks. Like, ever.

  • Had some quality time with her church peeps and tried not to embarrass her in front of her friends. It’s more difficult than it sounds, okay??
  • Spent a WHOLE DAY being lazy. Slept in, watched the entire first season of Pushing Daisies, downloaded a game on her iPhone that involved helping tiny people build a tower and earn monies. I’m pretty sure I didn’t shower or get out of my PJ’s all day. Now THAT’S vacation. 🙂
  • Visited Sarah’s work and got the grand tour

And it’s the last item that I’d like to spend the rest of my time on. So, if you don’t like American Idol, you can stop reading now if you want. No hard feelings. 🙂

I should say right off the bat that I didn’t really give her an option. When the tour cities for the American Idol tour were posted and I found out there was a concert near to Sarah’s house (and factoring in that I was already planning a summer trip out to see my dear friend), I called her. She, like a responsible adult, was at work. My message was garbled, excited, high-pitched, and hard to understand. The ticket buying almost gave me a panic attack. You Ticket Master people know what I’m talking about. Which seats are best? Why is there a timer COUNTING DOWN? What if there are better seats? What if there aren’t but I try anyway and lose out on these? Sheesh. But I did it. I finished my mission (’cause HECK YEAH, I chose to complete it!) and after a flurry of clicking, a furrowed brow, and bated breath I was in possession of two tickets to the concert of the century my lifetime the year.

The night of the concert arrived as the piece de resistance of the week and I was so nervous. I have no idea why, honestly. But I was concerned about the parking, if the tickets I printed were the right ones, if the seats were going to be okay, etc. Sarah calmly stood by my side while I completely freaked out, offering moral support. And then. We were inside! I had my camera all ready to go. I bought a ridiculously expensive program. And suddenly! There was Ryan Seacrest…on a screen. Okay, so it didn’t have the same effect as if he would have been there in person, but still.

A few observations from the concert:

  • Stefano’s “I’m super cool and fly and all the girls love me” schtick TOTALLY works in person since you can’t tell from a distance that he’s squinting and closing his eyes. His performance was super high-energy and he was the first one to get me on my feet…which I’m not entirely sure the older folks behind us were pleased about.
  • Naima danced again and it was just as awkward in person as on screen…until she pulled off a one-handed cart-wheel and landed in the splits. THAT was impressive.
  • Pia has not learned any new moves. The arm outstretched moving up and down is still alive and well.
  • It’s entirely possible that I love Casey even more. He performed “Smooth” and “Harder to Breathe”. He. Is. Brilliant. And his duets with Haley? Forgeddaboudid.
  • James seemed to be the bravest of all the contestants. During his first performance he started in the audience surrounded by a gazillion body guards. I jumped up for his performance, too, and Sarah glanced over and laughed at me. I believe her exact words were “I can’t believe you LIKE this kind of music.” Not because she didn’t like it, but because she felt like my love of boy bands and pop music of all stripes could not co-exist with my love of the Durbs. The only thing was…nothing caught on fire during his performance. I was super disappointed about that, as you can imagine.
  • Scotty came out last and did several songs (One was a duet with Lauren. I’m still convinced that they are MFEO). My favorite performance of his will always be “Gone”. It’s the most fun. Most of the other country stuff…eh.

So, there you have it! I’m glad I went. I’m glad I went with Sarah. 🙂 A few pictures for your viewing pleasure. All these pictures are able to be seen because Sarah took firm control of the camera. I pretty much got a whole bunch ‘o fuzzy before that turn in events…

See how excited we were?? See the old people behind us??

First (virtual) sighting!


Haley was pretty darn amazing, too. She's better live, if you can believe it!


The Durbs. In fine form, as usual.

Scotty and Lauren!

So, now that NaBloPoMo is done, I’m going to succumb to the busy-ness that is my life. But you best believe that I’ll be checking in here and there. AND, I’ll be back full force in January for another season of (wait for it) American Idol! Just can’t wait what crazy antics SteTy is going to pull next year…

For next year’s NaBloPoMo, a little research if you please. Which NaBloPoMo posts did you like the best? The worst?

Haddock out! 🙂


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