Friday, December 29, 2006

U2 in Hawaii - 1 of 5

Here it is. My U2 in Hawaii experience. Just know, this entry could NEVER do it justice, but I'm going to try. We arrived in Honolulu around midnight, got something to eat (because they don't feed you on the plane anymore, did you know that?) and then settled into our mediocre hotel. In the morning, this was our "partial ocean view" as advertised. Not too bad, I thought.

On Friday morning, we had breakfast by the 2 story aquarium in our hotel and watched the 4 stingrays and all the fish swimming around. Then we headed to the beach and vegged for a couple of hours. Around 5:30, we headed out to the stadium to take a look at the situation for the concert the next day. You see, we had General Admission tickets for the floor, so to get as close as possible to the stage, it was first come, first served. I decided I wanted to stay overnight at the stadium. Bren and Dan weren't so on board with that plan. When we got there, we were sent to the wrong side of the stadium. When we figured that out, we started running to the other side. As we passed through a locked gate, we saw 4 SUVs pull up. I saw women and kids in the first 2 SUVs, and my first thought was, "Why do these people get to go in here?" Then, it happened in a flash, but when the last SUV pulled up beside us, we all saw Bono sitting in the passenger seat and we all yelled, "BONO!!!" He didn't stop or even look at us, but we were psyched. That got us pumped. We now think the first few SUVs had the wives and kids in them and the last SUV was the entire band (at least that's the story we're telling ourselves). When we pulled ourselves together and got to the right side of the stadium to line up, we got numbers on our hands. We were numbers 485, 486 and 487 (out of 1200). At about 9:30, they moved us into holding pens, or cells as we called them. Bren and Dan did hang out with me until about 10 pm, then went back to the hotels. Bren was going to try to make it back for the night, but they said they'd only allow us "out" for 2 hours, but by the time she got back to the hotel, her 2 hours was up, so she stayed at the hotel. I don't blame her. I had brought a bright pink floatation "bed" to sleep on and a towel to cover up with. Well, I wasn't expecting the strong winds that we experienced. The port-a-potties were blowing around in the parking lot. About once an hour, the winds would pick up, and I would wake up. Who knew that Hawaii would be cold at night? All in all, it wasn't a terrible night. The only thing I would change would be to have brought a larger towel or maybe even a blanket. Everyone was super friendly and excited about the experience. U2 is totally worth it .. is how we were all feeling. About 6:40 am, I woke up to find Bren sitting beside me and she brought me a wonderful cinnamon bun from McDonald's. Aaaah, food! Don't I look comfortable?

We now had a long day ahead of us waiting for them to let us into the stadium. Around 9:00 am, we made a trip to K-mart to buy some lawn chairs, snacks and a few other things to keep us occupied during the day. Luckily it was a little overcast, so it wasn't nearly as hot as it could have been. To my surprise, I only got a little bit of a burn. Below you will see Cell #1. In Cell #1, we met many cool people. People from LA, Germany, Italy, Edmonton and Winnipeg. All there to party with U2 and Pearl Jam (opening act).

In case you're wondering what happened to all the paraphernalia that everyone brought with them, they told us that whatever we wanted to donate, the Salvation Army would come and pick up, so most people left everything on a pile in the grass. We weren't allowed to take backpacks in with us, so we tried to go in with as little as possible. At around 3:30 pm, they moved us a little bit closer to the stadium, and then at about 5:00, this was my first glimpse of the inside of the stadium and the stage. Thankfully, it was not chaos.

The wait was worth it. We were in the inner circle .. or the elipse, as U2 fans call it. Can you see how close I was? Amazing! So exciting!

Off each side of the stage shot an arm of another stage. We stood beside the one you can see in the picture below. We knew that Bono spent a lot of his time on this side of the stage (even started the concert here), so we were happy to be there.

The first opening band was Rocko and The Devils. Rocko is the stage manager for U2. He started at 6:30 and was on for 1/2 an hour. At 7:30, Pearl Jam came on. They put on a great show as well. Can't say I know a lot of Pearl Jam songs, but there were a few, and it was fun. They were on for about an hour.

Then, at 9:00 pm, the moment we'd been waiting for. City of Blinding Lights started playing, and we started screaming. Let the show begin. Bono came on stage waving an American flag. This was their last concert of this tour. They'd been on tour for 18 months, and this was concert #131. Not a bad place to end your tour. This is honestly how close we were!

Whooooooo Hooooooo!!!!!

U2 concert - Favorite Pics - 2 of 5

It was extremely hard to pick only a few pictures, but here are a few (ok, a bunch) of my favorite pictures from the night. I have a ton of video as well, but for now I'll just honour you with the pictures. :) Videos to come later! Seriously, they're great (at least I think they are).

Hello Larry Mullin, Jr! Please note how close we were!

Hello Bono! Again, please note the closeness. :)

I LOVE this picture!!!

Hi Adam! The Secret Is Letting Go ... so true!
I couldn't stop here, so there's a few more in the next entry. What? I'm not forcing you to look. :P

U2 Concert - Encores - 3 of 5

A few more favorites

Have I mentioned how freakin' close we were? :)

They did 2 encores and for their 2nd one, Billy Joe from Greenday came out and sang their new song The Saints Are Coming. It was GREAT! Again, video to come later.

After that, we were treated to Keep On Rockin' In The Free World. A duet with Eddie Veddar. Also excellent.

I thought that was their last song (The Edge and Adam had already taken off their guitars) and then Bono starts whispering to them and I could see him say, "One more." They ended the concert with All I Want Is You, which is one of my favorite songs. It truly was an amazing night. They did not disappoint ... not that there was any question that they would. Ok, the only disappointing thing was that we waited until after the concert to buy t-shirts, and they were all sold out. :(


Sunday - Day after concert - 4 of 5

Although the day after the concert was a bit sad, we were still in Hawaii, so we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and go to the beach, go for a walk and do a little bit of shopping. It was very fun (and a bit sad) to see all the U2 t-shirts walking around. We would quietly say to the people as we walked by, "Great concert, hey?" to which they would exclaim, "It was AMAZING!!" and we'd yet again make some new friends. Aaaah, the U2 community is a great thing. Anyways, here's us at the Hilton with the penguins. Bren had talked about these penguins for weeks before we went, so I had to take a picture.

We had to sit at the Hilton and enjoy a little sunny, beach drink.

Celebrity sighting! Can you tell me who it is?

It was a little weird to be in a warm, sunny place in December with Christmas music playing and decorations up all over. A little hard to believe that Christmas was just around the corner. Beautiful Christmas lights and hey, beautiful women, too (if I do say so, myself)! :)

I think I found the place where I'll get my next tattoo. Hart & Huntington. Anyone ever watch Inked? I love that show and they now have a store in Hawaii. I also love the show Miami Ink and if I went there, I'd either get Cat or Chris to tattoo me. A girl can dream.

Hawaii - Last Day :( - 5 of 5

So, on our last day we decided to rent a vehicle and drive up to the North Shore. We were lucky enough to get the last convertible Mustang. Not too shabby!!! Yes, we're spoiled. :)

We were told that there was a surfing competition going on, but that it would probably be over by the time we got there. Well, we were lucky enough to catch the last 15 minutes of it. The only name I recognized was Kelly Slater.

And what better picture to end off on than the beautiful palm trees. What a great trip. I would do it again tomorrow. Thanks, Bren for more great memories! So there you have it. Short ... but SWEEEEEEEET!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quick Update

For those faithful readers of my blog, I'm sorry that I haven't updated about my trip yet. When I got back, I was extremely tired, so I pretty much slept all day and then it was on with Christmas "things." Present buying, parties, etc. I have one project that has kept me very busy and I will blog about that after Christmas because I'm actually a little proud of myself (if that's not too bold to say). I can't blog about it yet because it's a gift for someone who reads this blog and I don't want to give anything away to him/her. Anyways, the quick update is that the trip was AMAZING!!! I would do it again tomorrow. If you're not satisfied with the quick update, then contact me soon and I'll show you my 200 pictures/video and tell you all the stories in about, oh, 2 hours. haha I've also moved into a new place that I'm house sitting and the computer isn't too fast, so I don't have access to blog as frequently, so if I don't talk to you, see you or blog before Christmas, I pray that you all have a wonderful, safe, Christ-filled Christmas ... He is the Reason for the Season, after all. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What will tomorrow bring?

So, tomorrow we head off to Hawaii. I wonder what adventures await me there ...

I'll let you know on Tuesday ... ok, maybe Wednesday if I'm too tired on Tuesday!!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Here's to a speedy recovery

Today my Dad has his second knee replacement surgery. I'm praying for a speedy recovery, Dad. I love you very much.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

Yesterday it started snowing and it hasn't stopped yet. This was this morning at 11 am.

And a couple of hours later, it looked like this.

I'm sure by morning my truck will be buried!!!

My wonderful friends that I'm staying with had fun playing in the snow.

So much fun ... well, it was for me watching from the warmth of the indoors!

Later in the evening we celebrated their oldests birthday. Happy 5th Birthday, Buddy!

Lightning McQueen cake? Wow, what a lucky boy. The things our mothers do for us when we're too young to appreciate it, hey? To all you mothers out there, I salute you. I remember (through pictures mostly) the cakes my mom made for me and they were fancy too. Thanks Mom, in case I didn't say thanks back then.

And I just had to put this picture in of his little brother because it's so darn cute.

Oh, Amazing Race is on. Gotta go! Enjoy the snow, everyone!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tattoo #4

It means, Enough. Here's the story.

This tattoo has been almost 2 years in the making. When I was in Malaysia in Jan/Feb of 2005, I started reading the book The Sacred Romance, by John Eldredge & Brent Curtis.

This book totally rocked me. At that point in my life I wasn’t feeling much love and was going through some “stuff” with my family. This book was exactly what I needed. God used Monica in a big way by having her pick it out for me as a going away present for my trip. It was the first part of why I got this tattoo. Like I said before, I wasn’t feeling much love or like I was worth much at that time (insecurities abounded) and the title even scared me a little. The Sacred Romance. I thought, “Sure … romance. Haven’t had much of that in my life, so this should be an interesting read.” I could give you a play by play of every chapter because I was in tears by the end of Chapter 1 and wrote madly about every chapter in my journal, but I’ll just give you the main points. He talks about how we always look at God as the Author of the Bible and also the Author of our life story, instead of the Hero of our story. Here’s a little of what I wrote in my journal. “God fights for me, woos me, never gives up on me and most of all, He died for me. What more could I ask for? I need nothing more than You.” On Pg. 81 he says, “God is the one pursuing us … He will not give in.” Ok, wow! I’d always said I wanted to be pursued and here was the greatest pursuer ever, staring me right in the face and I didn’t see it like that. Isn’t that the greatest romance? John Eldredge likes to use a lot of movie analogies, and that’s another reason I really related to this book. (You’ll always get me if you relate things to movies.) On Pg. 91 he talks about Helen of Troy and how she was so pursued that she was stolen by one man from another man who launched a thousand ships to get her back. God launched the greatest campaign in the history of the world to get us back. He sent His Son to DIE for us. Not for our outward beauty, but for our hearts. How great is that? I could go on with many more “a-ha” moments I had from this book, but I think you get the idea. God pursues me, woos me and lets me know that I’m worth His effort. He is ENOUGH for me.

Right when I got back from Malaysia, I bought the Jeremy Camp CD, Carried Me.

I’m not sure who wrote the song, but #3 on the Album is titled Enough. Need I say more? Unfortunately, he didn't sing this song at his concert last month. :( Here are the lyrics:

You are my supply
My breath of life
Still more awesome than I know.
You are my reward
Worth living for
Still more awesome than I know.
Chorus:And all of you
Is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your love
And all I have in you is more than enough
You're my sacrifice
Of greatest price
Still more awesome than I know.
You're my coming King
You're my everything
Still more awesome than I know.
More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me.
More than all I know
More than all I can see
You are more than ENOUGH for me.

And the third reason for me getting this tattoo came when I read Donald Miller’s book, Searching for God Knows What.

On Pg. 46 he writes,

“Imagine, a Being with a mind as great as God’s, with feet like trees and a voice like rushing wind, telling you that you are His cherished creation. It’s kind of exciting if you think about it. Earthly love is temporal and slight so that is has to be given again and again in order for us to feel any sense of security; but God’s love, God’s voice and presence, would instill our souls with such affirmation we would need nothing more ...

And why do we need nothing more? Because God is ENOUGH!

Ok, the story may be kind of long to tell some random person on the street who asks me what it means, but the short version is: There's a song we sing at my church that says, "All of you, is more than enough for all of me," and that means that God is More Than Enough for me. Sure, if these people aren't Christians and don't understand my beliefs, they might think I'm crazy, but it could be a good conversation starter. :)

Where is this tattoo, you may ask. Take a look at this. It sounds more painful than it was.

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