“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin, journalist (1913-1983).
Well folks, as much as I hate turning another year older, I must admit that my birthday weekend has been fabulous — thanks entirely to my incredible friends and (soon to be) family.
But before I go into detail about the festivities I should backtrack, as a ton has happened since my last post.
When Addam got off work last Sunday he immediately invited me out to Churchill’s, a little English-style pub located less than a block from our apartment. I love the place, so while I’m usually not the type of girl to doll myself up before a night out, I decided to make a bit of on effort. (Very little, as the photos can attest.)
While it was hard to bounce into the work week after such fun Fourth of July festivities, Addam and I made the most of it.
Missing a day makes Tuesday deadlines a little harder to meet, but after powering through production day I had a moment to catch my breath and start thinking about the wedding.
Addam and I met with a planner on Thursday to discuss everything we’ve done and everything we need to do. Her name is Ana, and after checking out her portfolio and sitting down with her I know that she’s going to do absolutely everything in her power to make sure the day is as close to perfect as possible. Since the wedding is a little more than a month away, I was worried that she might not have enough time to pull everything together. Once I heard that she planned her own wedding in three weeks, my fears pretty much went flying out the window.
Happy Friday all! I know it’s been awhile, but with the short work week, I’ve been extremely busy writing articles and editing profiles nearly every evening. That said, I hope everyone had an amazing Forth of July weekend.
Addam had to work Saturday and Sunday, but we both had Monday off. In an effort to make the most of the holiday, we planned a cookout with our good friends John and Tati. John’s brother knew a guy with a yacht, so we decided to spend our Independence Day grilling out on the water.
After packing up some eats and hiding the dog, Addam and I hopped on the bus and headed out. It’s always a feat getting Yoga to stay quiet long enough to sneak her anywhere, but she was on her game. Despite running a little late, we got to our destination without incident.
Saturday was a long night, but Addam and I wanted to maximize our time at Bonnaroo, so we got up pretty early. You can sleep when you’re dead, right?
While I’d like to say that we woke up and immediately headed out for a full day of shows, we actually took it easy Sunday morning. John, Tati, Addam and I chilled at the campsite for a good majority of the hot, hot day, and even invited the neighbors over for some mid-afternoon “tailgating.”
We kept the grill going and the drinks flowing for most of the day, so by the time we headed into Centeroo we were all more than ready to jam out to some good tunes. While we got a later start than we wanted to, new friends beat almost any show. Not to mention, after three full days of partying, I like to think that we earned a late morning.
Addam and I got to the Gregg Allman show a little late, but we made it nonetheless. We hung out toward the back of the crowd, but definitely enjoyed what we saw of his set. While I would have loved to see the full group, Gregg’s entire show really focused on that classic, Allman Brothers sound. I included a YouTube video, so please check out the clip for a better understanding. It’s not Addam’s, but it’s still pretty good.
After catching part of Allman’s show, Addam and I made our way over to the Robert Plant performance, which was the highlight of our Sunday. We’re both huge Led Zeppelin fans, so it was amazing to finally be able to see one of the legends live. Plant played from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., and while I would have liked to see him perform a bit later, Bonnaroo organizers don’t tend to schedule any late night sets on Sunday.
Plant focused on his solo career during his set, which was a little disappointing, because Addam and I were hoping to hear some classic Led Zep. Regardless, it was a very entertaining, very impressive set, and he won us over very quickly. Plant may be a bit older since his Zeppelin days, but he hasn’t lost his edge. Dude can wail.
I haven’t followed Plant as much since the group broke apart, but I’ll definitely start now that I’ve seen how impressive he is on his own, as well as with a group.
Dan Auerbach, of The Black Keys, and Dr. John performed from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. as part of the Superjam. It was the first Superjam since 2008, when Eugene Hütz and Les Claypool took the stage. I don’t know exactly why the event hasn’t been held for the past few years, but I think it may have had something to do with a falling out between members of The Grateful Dead and Bonnaroo organizers. Which is a shame, because the Dead were Roo strongholds.
The performance, as was to be expected, was worth the build up. Roo organizers have a way of scheduling the Superjam around artists who can compliment each other’s musical stylings, and this year was no exception.
(As an interesting side note — the festival was named after Dr. John’s 1974 album, Desitively Bonnaroo – Bonnaroo being Cajun for “a good time.”)
Next up was Widespread Panic. Addam and I have seen them at a few other festivals, and to be honest — I don’t really dig them. While I respect the group and can see that they have an undeniable talent, they just don’t touch me the way other Bonnaroo artists do. Regardless, it was a fun set. The light show was absolutely amazing, and they were closing out the festival, so there was no reason to complain. Not to mention — toward the end of the performance audience members began releasing heat lanterns into the night sky. I can’t really describe it any way that would do it justice, but check out the video Addam edited of the final act.
While Widespread played until 11 p.m., there weren’t any other performances scheduled, so Addam and I headed back to camp as soon as the show ended. Walking through the Bonnaroo arch for the last time is hard every year, but Addam and I were comforted by the knowledge that in a few short months we’d be right back where be belong.
After our final night’s sleep at Bonnaroo, Addam, John, Tati and I started packing up camp. While we were tempted to just leave everything up and save our spot for next year, we didn’t want to risk losing our fabulous camping gear. (Although — I must admit that this is, sadly, the last event Addam and my tent is going to make it to. It’s been with us through five years of camping trips and music festivals, but it was barely standing by the end of the weekend.)
We took our time packing up. I was in charge of trash — which entailed me anally separating out all of the recyclables. John cooked up a big breakfast of ribs, Addam was tearing things down and packing them up and Tati was organizing all of our belongings. After the group enjoyed a big breakfast, and once John and Tati searched some abandoned campsites for hidden treasures, we got into the van and headed out.
The drive was long, and I tried to sleep through as much of it as I possibly could. We stopped about three hours from Miami for a quick nap, but overall we made decent time. While we left Tennessee around 10:30 or 11 a.m., we were in MIA by 3:30 the next morning.
It was hard to say goodbye, but I knew that in less than 360 days Addam and I would be making our way back to our favorite place on Earth. And in the meantime — I’m keeping the video Addam edited of our experience on repeat. It’s below.
While this post concludes my 2011 Bonnaroo coverage — have no fear that Blogaroo will be back and better than ever in 2012. I have big expectations for next year’s line up, and Addam and I are already planning our next trip to Tennessee. (AFTER the wedding, of course : )
“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” — Orson Welles, director and screenwriter (1915-1985).