Eloise has returned, Readers!
Cinderella's red boots are off, and my toes are reinserted into my Vibrams.
The coach turned back into an Uplander.
But Eloise still is not over it.
I got to touch my Handsome Prince.
For those of you a bit behind the times, here's a recap in case you've been living in a hole and missed my million facebook and blog posts. Eloise went to see her Handsome--Tim McGraw in concert with seven of her best girlfriends. As I promised them, a concert with Eloise is not an experience, it's an event. And that it was!
The Two Lanes of Freedom Tour kicked off the unofficial start to the summer season in the United States, as true summer doesn't actually roll around until June 21. Because the venue did not have giant Rolling Rocks like they usually do, Eloise chose a patriotic can for my drink of choice for the evening.
We all recognized the importance of this holiday, Memorial Day. Many hand made signs were in the crowd, reminding us of their sacrifice.
Theme parks celebrate their opening weekend.
Eloise sat and watched the folks on the roller coaster.
up they went!
That is kind of how I feel today, like I'm on a roller coaster.
Although I have yet to come down like these people have.
Last night was probably one of the most FUN nights of my life, and definitely the best concert I ever attended.
Here's the story:
Eloise and seven of her country music loving girlfriends loaded into my van.
All seven knew me, but not all of them knew each other.
In an effort to bring lighthearted conversation to this new group, I brought along some discussion aids.
My collection of Tim McGraw magazines,
Four discs from my self-titled selections of Tim McGraw songs,
...and a little game I created called Truth or Tim Trivia.
It was pay to play.
In honor of Memorial day, I filled the envelope with red and blue cards.
The blue ones Ellen made for me. They were TRIVIA questions about Tim McGraw.
The red hot cards were the TRUTH cards such as this one.
I made these to determine which girlfriend was asked the randomly pulled question.
There was one for each of us.
I quickly realized Brenda rivaled my country music knowledge. She was the one to beat in the trivia portion.
(Live Like You Were Dying)
Some we never got a chance to answer
Thank goodness, because I'd have a difficult choice picking just one.
And some things are probably better off not known.
Many we did get to, however, and the stories were nothing short of interesting.
Some questions showed us who we were,
Some questions revealed who we've become.
All in the group have adopted a healthier lifestyle, as evidenced by our tailgate snacks.
And some made us feel strong and confident.
Leslie was the unanimous choice.
By the time we reached the parking lot two hours later, acquaintances had become friends.
The concert was outdoors. The setting was perfect for a country concert.
The numbers also worked to my liking. I had 42 dollars of beer money in my pocket, (thanks to a buck loaner from a friend). We sat in section 402 (42),
Right next to the Amp cases,
and in sight of a wheelchair. You never know with Eloise.
The Non Designated Drivers got ourselves some really big beers.
We weren't the only ones with big drinks. Check out the lady behind us. She appears to be drinking some sort of red concoction---from a flower vase!
This is Dawn. We became special friends. I am searching the world for her as you read this.
Dawn attended the concert with her daughter, who I thought was her sister. They both are huge Tim McGraw fans, but I told the young'un to leave the 46 year old to her mom and I. She has many younger choices of country music starts to lust after.
It seems that Dawn picked the right seat last night. The universe allowed Eloise the meeting I passed on back in August. I never made good on my VIP pass to meet Tim McGraw at the end of his concert season last summer. Albeit a brief encounter, it was one for the memory books.
The crowd was shuffled by the bouncers, blue gates went up, and before I could process what was happening, Leslie--the girl everyone picked to survive on an island with---yelled the short directive that she is used to giving me. GET. YOUR. CAMERA!
Tim entered the venue from the back, and walked through the crowd, right past my seat!
I am a slow thinker, and pressure paralyzes me. I had only a few seconds to put Tim in the line of my lens and focus the shot. I also had to decide if I wanted to see Tim through the lens for the rest of my life, or take the chance to see him with my very own eyes.
Going against every grain of my fabric, I lowered my camera and looked at Tim. He looked right at me in the eyes, and nodded his head, smiled, and held his hand to mine for a high 5. For once I was thankful for my long arms. This gave Tim an extra step or two to move closer to me, where I then slapped him on the shoulder. His leather jacket was as soft as a baby's bottom.
I was also able to click my camera for the shoulder slap. It is blurry, but I have marked my hand as well as Dawn's.
Readers, if I had any moment to remember for the rest of my life, it wasn't the eye contact and tip of the black hat I received from Tim McGraw. It was the looks, the joy, the unabashed elation of my friends. Even the always in control Heather completely lost it. I don't know if they were more shocked by the event itself or the full Russian Eagle I managed to complete off the chair I was standing on. Dawn and I jumped up and down the aisle as if we were contestants on The Price Is Right!
Knowing that I captured something on my camera, Dawn begged me for my contact information.
No problem, said Eloise, I have a pen and paper......
This very instant, I am looking for you Dawn Follett from New York.
We don't need the whole world helping, so I X'ed out your contact information, but I still have it.
I am hoping I find you because I want to use you to test out one of my favorite laws of the Universe:
Six Degrees of Separation.
Contact me if this finds you Dawn, and I will explain later.
We danced and sang all night long. My friends and I agreed that this was
It will be hard to top, but I sure as hell am gonna try. I'm not done living yet, folks.
Thank you, Prince Handsome!
For my friends and I,
you made it One of Those Nights!
Check out the video below with more shots from the concert.
And oh, in case you're wondering,
I won the money.