Tuesday, April 27, 2010

my NEEDTOBREATHE inspired trip part 2

After a glorious night of restful sleep in our wonderful hotel, Stephanie, Ashleigh and I get up and pack up to hit the road to Charleston. We needed to wait for Deah to come and pick up Ashleigh so she would not have to drive alone, PLUS we were hungry, so we went hunting for lunch. I am so glad we chose Bojangles to eat at. Seriously the best biscuits ever...the kind that melt a little in your mouth. It is also where I experienced the fullness of sweet tea for the first time on this trip. I decided that I liked it, but needed to do it half and half style. I continued that trend for the rest of the trip. I enjoyed my chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuit, and the girls got biscuit sandwiches. We finished up, took a few silly pictures, and went back to the hotel to rendezvous with Deah. It was Charleston or BUST.

Stephanie and I found ridiculous music to dance to and ate lots of margarita flavored jelly beans as we cruised on down to the city that would, indeed, capture my heart. The highway was lined with lush green trees the whole way down. Billboards talked more about God and his heart than almost anything else, except food. I knew I was in a different place, and I loved it. With only one stop, we made it to Charleston in record time...only to sit in 25 minutes of traffic in the city because of the air show that was going on. We got to our hotel, laughed at how small the beds were, and began to quickly get ready...we were determined to get front row! Deah and Ashleigh joined us, and we grabbed a quick bite to eat to go at AC's bar & grill. The bartender was pretty grumpy, but he proudly showed us his display of champagnes...all called Miller High Life. Hah. We rushed over to the ever growing line in front of the venue and ate our food. Julie was in line ahead of us, so Deah and I went to find her! We chatted for a bit and watched the line grow. Eventually it was time to be let in! Julie, Stephanie and I determined to get up to the front, and I was not going to move! Deah and Ashleigh had their meet and greet that night, so they went off to do that while we enjoyed the opening acts- Matt Hires and Will Hoge.

We let Jen Gill's two oldest kids stand in front of us and in between the acts we talked about how excited they were and what they wanted to be when they grew up and what they did for fun. They were a fun addition to our group. I updated facebook on my location, and we eventually got to the main act- NEEDTOBREATHE! I was so looking forward to this, because I had never seen them from front row, and that in itself is an experience! Stephanie and I took so many pictures and videos, each taking time off to enjoy the show too. You can tell that the guys love what they do. Bear sings with such passion...it almost makes me swoon. Bo can't sit still at all and can be found dancing back and forth across the stage. He loves to engage the audience. Seth generally can be found chewing gum, bobbing his head and making the girls all excited. He is trying out a few new dance moves though. David, who usually comes across as the cool guy who plays piano, was known to burst out in passionate dance behind that keyboard. It was awesome. And Joe...he rocked those drums like no other, and melted me with his deep bass. SIGH. I think both Deah and I had to fan ourselves during the breakdown in "Stones Under Rushing Water"...the vocals were insane! And if you know me at all, I am a sucker for good vocals. In fact, I am downright picky about vocals. They made me swoon, I tell ya! For lots and lots of pictures of our experience in front row, go here...

As the show began to wind down, Bear told the audience that they were moving over to the bar to do their final song- an acoustic version of "Washed by the Water". Ashleigh was not up front with us during the show, but instead had parked herself near the bar...so the lucky duck pretty much was standing right in front of Joe! I couldn't be too jealous, because I had experienced 12 or so songs from the closest spot possible, but I was a little...

The show ended and people began to mingle. I found my way to the other Respirators at the show, including Jenna, Breather Prez, and introduced myself. We got a picture together and chatted about the trip so far. I bought the photo book that Susan had made, which is incredible, by the way. The crowd began to thin out more, and Deah and Ashleigh decided to stay out for a while. Steph and I were ready to head back to the hotel, so we did. Somehow, we had lost contact with Julie :( As we were leaving the venue, I look over and spot Joe! I blurted out "hey Joe!" in a high pitched girly voice, and Steph says a similar thing in a completely normal voice. Yes, I am a total nerd. I fully expected Joe to wave, say hello and go on his merry way, as they had just played an off the hook show! But he didn't...bless him, he walked right up to us and said "Hey ladies, how are you liking Charleston so far?" We shared that we hadn't had much of a chance to see Charleston so far, but that we were in love with the food...haha. I told him the show was crazy good, and then asked him about some places to eat. He gave us some good ideas, and I asked him specifically about his favorite food- shrimp n' grits. He shared that it's hard to find a place that doesn't make good shrimp n' grits. After that he said he needed to go, and we thanked him and walked back to the hotel...loved that unplanned meet and greet :) Steph and I stayed up for another hour looking at all of our pictures and videos before winding down around 2am. At the hotel, Steph and I realized that in all of the excitement of running into Joe, we forgot the name of the one place to eat that he specifically mentioned...so sad! Thus ends Day 2...stay tuned!

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