Monday, August 3, 2009

seeing Joan Baez

**WARNING: this is a very long post.**

Wow, what a wonderful trip!

Mom and I left on Thursday morning and drove about six and a half hours to Portland, ME (I drove part of the way).

After we got to our hotel (Comfort Inn Airport) we found the Shop 'n' Save, did some shopping and ended up eating our supper there (I was so tired that I accedentally trashed our plans to eat at Olive Garden by agreeing to eat at the supermarket).

We then went to the Maine Mall and had a great time browsing and looking at all the different shops. I had a look in Swarovski (the window on the way to Macy's and a look inside on the way back) and I could probably write a whole post about that store: they say that diamonds are a girl's best friend, but although I love diamonds, I have a thing for Swarovski crystal--it comes with being a fan of the Metropolitan Opera.

I also had a look in F.Y.E. and bought American Idiot.

And I looked in Hot Topic. And PacSun. And Icing by Clair's. And Apple.

But the pièce de résistance was Macy's. Talk about WOW! Mom and I had a look at the bargain section and found a nice long-sleeved blue paisley shirt for $9.99. I plan on wearing it with a long white skirt to another concert later this month (the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra--Strauss and Weber and Bruch and Fauré--oh. MY!). I had a blast looking at the makeup and perfume counters (Burberry, ck, M.A.C., Clinique.....).

And there were the clothes. I came away with a ton of ideas for school (fashion design is one of the things I'll be studying this year). I also tried on the pointiest heels I could find.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel where we had supper part two and some wine that Mom bought (we toasted Joan, the trip, finally being able to drink in the US...).

The next day was J-Day. When Mom came back from breakfast I found out that they had Belgian waffles (she had one), so of course that's what I had (along with OJ, yogurt and--don't hit me--a doughnut).

I hadn't slept well (I'm always like that my first night in a new place), so I was really happy when Mom suggested that we go to Starbucks. We then went to Stonewall Kitchen and I bought a jar of their Wild Maine Blueberry Jam. I'd bought a small jar of it when we were in Camden three years ago and as soon as I tasted it I regretted not getting a bigger jar--if you love blueberries, this is to die for. I also bought a jar each of Mimosa Jam and Horseradish Mustard after sampling them. I almost bought a small jar of the mustard but decided to get the larger one because I love Dijon and horseradish is one of the main ingredients in that mustard.

We had a look in Edgecomb Potters--and I wanted to see everything. We also had a look in a clothing store whose name escapes me.

By that point we were getting hungry so we looked at a couple of places but didn't find anything that looked tempting. Then we had a look at the menu at Flatbread Company and I started drooling just looking at their Coevolution pizza (Kalamata olives, rosemary, red onions, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, mozzarella, garlic, some other kind of cheese, and herbs). We were a few minutes early so we sat and waited for them to open (along with a few other people).

As we ate (outside, right on the water) we watched the boats. The harbour was busy! There were boats coming and going constantly.

Then we went to a liquor store. Mom was looking for some wines that we can't get over here (Bartlett, which is a winery from Maine).

By this point it was starting to rain--so out came the rain coats.

We then headed over to the L.L.Bean outlet where we bought a Boat and Tote (Bean) Bag for when I go to school.

We also went to the Portland Museum of Art--they have an exhebition on Andrew Wyeth on right now.

Now--if only we could find the right bus (the number five) to take us back to the hotel (or close to it). We had to ask several people before finally getting to the right stop. (Yes, we eventually made it back to the hotel.)

Once we got there we kicked back, ate supper (a doggy bag) and started to get ready for the concert.

Since it was starting to rain Mom called a taxi (instead of taking the bus). The guy who picked us up was a very nice guy from somewhere in the Caribbean--he even opened the door for me (awwww).

We arrived before the doors opened so we hung around, signed petitions (Joan has worked with Amnesty International since the '70s), chatted, bought a bottle of water, and waited for the doors to the auditorium to open.

When Joan came onstage I started screaming and clapping as hard and loud as I could--and so did a lot of other people. She sang several songs from her latest CD, Day After Tomorrow (including my favourite, God is God), and some other pieces, including a couple of gospel songs. I kept thinking, "this is live! This is live!" and several times I came close to tears because I was so happy and because her voice and her singing are even more beautiful live than on a CD (naturally--nothing beats live). Sometimes I closed my eyes and savoured the sound, all the while reminding myself that it was live.

Mom had been wondering earlier what Joan's son Gabe was up to these days, and I was curious, too. Well, when Joan introduced her band it turned out that Gabe Harris plays drums (and just about everything else) and sings. So that's what Gabe's up to these days!

There was no intermission.

She sang several encores, including Diamonds and Rust which is to Joan what the Second Waltz is to André Rieu.

Throughout the concert I noticed that a lot of people were singing along--I was, too, but I sang very quietly. It created an interesting sound: Joan with her mic and sound equipment, and everyone else singing along sans mic (though at one point one of the sound techs held up a microphone for us). Mom (who's now seen Joan twice) said that Joan encourages people to sing along as long as it doesn't interfere too much with the rest of the concert.

The set was very plain--just a black backdrop with coloured lights providing variation.

There were several standing ovations.

After the concert I was so giddy (concerts have a tendency to do that).

Mom called the taxi, which took a while to arrive so we waited. Eventually it came and we went back to the hotel.

We spent probably about an hour gushing about the concert, and eating a bit more before turning out the lights at about midnight (EDT).

The next morning I was unbelievably exhausted (and headache-y and grouchy) when I woke up. I had a waffle for breakfast (again) (breakfast goes a long way towards curing me of exhaustion-induced grouchiness) and then started packing.

We then drove to Freeport (home of L.L.Bean), stopped at Starbucks, thought about going to Ben & Jerry's, but they were closed, went to the L.L.Bean flagship store and bought a backpack for when I go to school (the Ridge Runner Day Pack in Dark Blue) and a hoodie that I saw when I was looking for the backpacks (colour: Chocolate Brown) (said hoodie is really nice and warm). And two three-packs of socks. And a water-bottle (all for me).

We also went to the L.L.Bean outlet but didn't find anything there.

Then we drove home (I snoozed most of the way). We got lunch at a Big Stop. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a rest stop where I changed into shorts (it was really hot by that point) and bought a bottle of iced tea (the Poland Spring vending machine was all out of bottled water--guess we know what was popular that day).

We continued on our way and stopped at the Shop 'n' Save in Calais where I bought a couple of Amy's Pot Pies (I was too tired to cook that night).

The line at the Milltown customs was backed way up (and moving very slowly) and it was so hot in the car that when we got close to a tree that had substantial shade I got out and stood under it. The officer was sending almost everyone into the main building but I had a feeling that they wouldn't give us a hard time--we were well under the limit of the amount that we could bring over ($400/two bottles of wine each).

Turns out, I was right.

We drove home and gushed about the trip and the concert to Tom, I showed off my pack and hoodie and unpacked the bare minimum of what I would need for the next twelve hours. We had supper, relaxed, and went to bed.

End of trip.

PS We didn't take any photos during the trip. I tried taking one with my cellphone during the concert but I wanted a close-up--something my cell wouldn't do.

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