Sunday, April 5, 2009
April 5, 2009: Metallica and a maze....
Hi everyone, it's Andrew chiming in with a few thoughts from the last few days.
As I'm sure you read in Kate's most recent post, we were all at an apple orchard yesterday. In the middle of our pic-nic, I received some great news. The friend that Kate was with the night before just called and invited me to the Led Zepplin, Metallica, Kiss, and AC/DC concert that night. OK fine, yes, they were all cover bands - but - this was at a 5000+ seat arena and was billed to be a pretty big deal. The friend's neighbor's husband is the bass player in the AC/DC band so a big group was going to head to the show. Most of you know me, some don't, and some think you do - that all being said - let's just say I love a rock show full of moshing, surfing, and head banging. In fact, it's my favorite type of concert second only to the Grateful Dead.
I was picked up a little after eight on Saturday night and drove down to the show with Kate's friend, her husband, and their neighbor. Upon ariving, I was truely amazed to see a near sell-out - literally five thousand people for a night of cover bands. In the US these guys would be lucky to draw five hundred (probably because the real bands still tour - the cover bands have a big draw in Caen because the real guys never come...). The show was GA and had an open floor - after meeting up with some other freinds and having a few beers, we all headed in. We missed the Led Zepplin band and only saw a bit of Metallica. After a short break Kiss came out - pretty show - pretty lame that is - but it was funny to see some clearly 40-50 year old guys in make-up trying to make it happen. Some great pics are above.
The real fun started when AC/DC came out. These guys really rocked and I was so happy when a big mosh pit started up. My favorite thing to do is mosh like crazy and at the same time launch as many people as I can up for crowd surfing. This being France I made sure to give a lot of high-fives and pats on the back while yelling "Regard!!" as I offered my clasped hands for a launch in the air. It worked great - by the time the people I had been launching decided to launch me enough people recognized me so that I didn't get dropped on my head. Definitely a word of advice - make friends with your fellow moshers so you don't get knocked down (too hard) or dropped on your head. By the time the show was over I was soaked in sweat and had blisters on my feet. I met up with the group who immediately asked "were you in the middle of all that??". Not sure if these guys all think I'm crazy or not - don't mind either way... After getting dropped off back at home I realized I was just in time to catch the first of the 2 Final Four NCAA games - good ole ESPN does a live broadcast on the internet for those of us away from network TV. Nice work Michigan State - and no, I'm not watching the final game as it will be starting at 2am or something.
The best thing after a great concert and watching basketball on the internet until 2.30am is getting to sleep in. I made it all the way to 8.30am before the busses, garbage trucks, and screaming kids made their way into my head. What's a guy to do? Load the kids up in the car and go for an adventure. Today is was a trip to this huge park right in town. This thing is probably bigger than the Botanic Garden in Chicago and even has a maze made out of bushes. Since Kate will be alone with the girls all this week I gave her the day off and headed out with the kids. We found the maze after a big walk and had fun going in and out - it really was kind of hard and the kids loved it when they hit a dead-end.
After the maze we went to a rose garden that was the size of a basketball stadium. Being so early in the season there were no roses to see - but there were ducks in the pond and benches to climb on. Our ultimate goal was to end up at the miniature golf area so we headed off in that direction. But wait - what were we to find at the top of the hill??? A huge park of course - a play park this time with jungle gyms and everything. An hour later we were off to the links....
It's pretty hard to answer the question, "what's it like to live in France?". However, I can sum it up by describing the meal we had at the miniature golf area. Imagine every mini-golf place in America and think in your mind what would be available to eat. Hot dogs, chips, corn dogs, popcorn, nacho cheese sauce - you get the idea. For a moment, I really thought in my mind that we were going to have hot dogs for lunch judging from the red umbrellas aroud the tables in front. Boy, was I wrong... You see in France, they serve amazing food no matter where you are. Be it a truck stop, gas station, movie theater, or mini-golf course - the food is great. We had a lovely lunch of Perrier (for Grace), Milk (for Mia), Water (for Ella), beer (for me), creps all around for the girls, a smoked salmon and ham salad for me, all followed by sorbet sticks and ice cream cones. Maybe my writing doesn't do the meal justice - if it doesn't just imagine the waitress as she brought a steaming expresso with a miniature merangue to me for my second dessert. The French it seems, don't like eating anything unless it comes with dessert. Our grand finale was 15 minutes of mini-golf followed by literally an hour and a half of jumping around on one of those big bouncy things that was set up in the middle of it all.
Today was one of the nicest days in all my time in Normandy - sunny, warm, calm - amazing... After getting home from the adventure I went for a run around the horse track in town - everybody was out on bikes, strollers, walking, running, etc. Afterwards I worked with the girls as they tried to play Miss Pac-Man on my phone, as they colored (mostly on paper), and as Ella designed room after room on some room designing web site for kids. She was able to pick out beds, dressers, pillows, accessories, etc - you get the point. She loves this site and can't stop making room after room. One family dinner, one 28 minute temper tantrum (thanks Mia), and one large clean up session preceeded the girls getting put to bed and me beginning to blog.
Tomorrow starts the real countdown - it's spring break and we will only have 4 days left until we leave for Turkey (of all places - I hear it's nice). If Kate and the girls make it through the week we'll end up in Paris on Friday afternoon, see the Eiffel Tower etc, sleep near the airport and fly out next Saturday.
Thanks for reading - the best to you all.....
Posted by Andrew Haverkampf at 12:19 PM