Saturday, February 2, 2013

Airplanes and Thai Food

Hey guys it's me, Bonnie. Before I jump into the major story for the post, let me let you in on a little secret: I'm really excited. If you know me, you know how absurdly much I like Ben Rector's music. It's an unhealthy amount of liking. I was first introduced to his magnificent music the summer before my freshman year of high school by my sweet friends Madeleine and Ann Marie. That was way back when, when he was known by no one. So unknown that he had time to do a private "concert" for a small private school in Texas. We're talking six years ago. I like to believe I'm one of the few who knew him before he was known. Needless to say, I've loved him since but have never been able to see him live. And believe me, I've tried. I've monitored and followed every single tour he's gone on. I've tracked every show he's had. But not once has it worked out for me to see him. When I'm in Texas, he's performing in North Carolina. When I'm in North Carolina, he's performing in Texas. When I'm in Italy, he's performing in North Carolina...again.

But y'all.

I checked his website today and he has released his spring tour schedule and GUESS WHAT?! He'll be in Raleigh in April. And now, SO WILL I. I'm so pumped. No really, I'm so pumped. I jumped out of my chair and danced around the room when I read that. I mean, guys, I GET TO SEE BEN RECTOR. And on top of all of that, he's announced that he will have a new record coming out this summer. I just can't contain my excitement. If my all caps could be any bigger, they would be. And for those of you who live in a box and don't who this groundbreaking musician is, here's his website and his facebook. Because you should all go buy his music and tickets to his concert.

I mean really. How could you not love this guy?

Moving on to the chunk of this post, the latest big event in my life was this: I went to Ohio. Dayton to be exact. If I haven't already mentioned it, my oldest sister (Caroline) is on tour with Shrek the Musical as their Production Stage Manager (aka the coolest job on the face of the earth). While her job is mind-blowingly awesome, she doesn't get much time to visit. Also, this is her second year touring with Shrek, and as life would have it, it had never worked out for me to see the show. To solve this, I had toyed with visiting her sometime this semester to spend time with her and get to see her show, but was having a bit of trouble working it out.

Cue other older sister (Mary Catherine). MC, in her creative brilliance came up with a much better idea. She schemed a beautiful plan and we decided to surprise Caroline at the end of her two week stint in Dayton Ohio. MC drove to me Thursday night and then we were on the road by 5:30 the next morning. It was a six hour drive (which for the Walker family is nothing to be concerned with). After making the trip we showed up to Caroline's hotel around noon and sat down in chairs in the lobby. Her boyfriend (who had helped with the plan) and she came downstairs and we popped up like to over excited prairie dogs. She looked up, saw us, looked back down, then did a major double take and yelled "WHAT THE?!" It was hilarious. She kept  asking how? and when? and why? etc. Surprises are so much fun, y'all.

this is what we look like at 5:30 am

first light in the mountains of Virginia

It was a fantastic weekend. On Friday we went to the National Air Force Museum (which who would have guessed that would be in Dayton, right?)  If you ask anyone in Dayton what there is to do around there, that is response numero uno. You would think it would be dull. And you would be wrong. They have the landing capsule from Apollo 15. They have several sky high missiles and rockets. They have a stealth bomber. They have the plane that dropped the fat man and the little boy in WWII. And they had four of the five Air Force Ones (the fifth is the one currently in use). And what's more, we got to walk on and through the Air Force Ones. Yep. Meaning I stood where Johnson was sworn in after Kennedy's assassination. Talk about awesome. Another favorite part was the R&D section. It was half of a hanger, and all the planes were really crammed in there, so much so that nothing was roped off and we were allowed to wander and weave all around. You could walk under wings, under bellies, heck you could get nose to nose with the plane that went faster than the speed of light. If you're ever in Dayton: go.

boarding Air Force One!

planes planes planes

Of course we also got to see Caroline's show which was awesome. It was great writing, great music, and if I may say so, seemed very well managed (see what I did there?) If it's coming to a town near you, it's well worth the ticket. Check out their tour schedule here. Another highlight of the weekend was eating at one of Caroline's favorite Thai restaurants. Last summer, Caroline traveled to Shanghai and Thailand with Shrek and she said this was the most authentic Thai food she's ever had outside of Thailand. So, way to go, Dayton. Apparently you have cool airplanes and good Thai food. Who knew?

in our seats ready for the show to start!

backstage post-show

on Caroline's tour bus

Now, I can't close out my recounting of my time in Dayton without providing you quite possibly the most significant detail: there was snow. Everywhere. It snowed on Friday on our way into Ohio and the snow stayed for the whole weekend. I mean piles of snow. I'd never seen snow like this. It was that snow that blankets everything and then sticks around for days, slushing the streets and nasty-fying the cars. I'd heard people from the North talk about what a nuisance snow was but I never believed it. And I still don't believe it. But I can see how they would believe it.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and it was so settling to have time with both of my sisters. The three of us hadn't been together since last July, so it was long overdue.

bundled but happy! 

Caroline in front of her theater and MC and I in the snow. We don't have any theaters in front of which to stand. 

And that's what's been going on with me as of late. Now let me close with one more thing. This, my friends, is a word that just jumped into my list of top 10 favorite words (maybe I'll explain that whole thing later) courtesy of the aforementioned Ben Rector. I'll leave you with this:



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