Wednesday July 1st we had a low key birthday for Jill with a surf and turf dinner of BBQ and lobster rolls from the Reston Farmers Market. Friday July 3rd our Shanty friends Seth and Emily and their friend Matt came to visit. The next morning I showed them where to park at the Metro station and they headed down to RFK for the Foo Fighters festival. A couple hours later Jill’s friends arrived to spin with her and I took the subway to RFK myself.


I managed to arrive during a rain delay, but I found my friends and soon Gary Clark, Jr. was on stage. Crowd favorites were Heart’s “Alone” and LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Buddy Guy’s words of wisdom for us were “If you don’t have the blues, just keep living”. The Foos finally made their grand entrance last with Dave Grohl on a Game of Foos throne that rolled down the runway. If that show was the last time I’m at RFK Stadium, I’m OK with it. From attending Skins and Nationals games, to performing at halftime for the Skins (with the W.T. Woodson marching band), to seeing The Who, Eagles, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith (with United We Stand), Garth Brooks (with Equality Rocks) and most of the HFStivals, it’s been a good run. Hell of a festival, Dave.

Foo Fighters

The next morning I got up early to make peach fritters from scratch as well as waffles, fruit salad and bacon for brunch. In addition to our houseguests we also had Janice, Stuart and Lorna over for a Mid Atlanty Shanty reunion.

Mid Atlanty Shanty

Thursdays Jill took Nina to swimming lessons at Life Time Fitness in Reston. Saturday the 11th we picnicked at Arrowhead Park in Herndon and then watched Eddie From Ohio (or at least Jill and I did – Nina was more interested in playing with other kids). They put on a great show with the highlights an excellent cover of “Scarlet Begonias” to pay tribute to the Grateful Dead, followed by a furious “Eddie’s Concubine” and a moving “Down To The River To Pray”. And you’ve got to love it when Eddie’s drum solo sets off a car alarm. We pulled a double header and saw a bit of Della Mae at Reston Town Center before finishing up with some gelato from Pitango Gelato. Sunday we celebrated Jill’s and my mom’s birthdays with dinner out at Cantina D’Italia in Fair Lakes (the braised lamb was delicious).

Illa Nina

Saturday the 18th I took Nina to her friend Lauren’s birthday party, unusual because they had animals visit (Nina liked holding the rabbit and leading around the goat, but her favorite part was yelling at the ducks until they splashed with Lauren and Olivia G.). Playing with Lauren’s toys in the basement later was almost as fun.


Wednesday the 22nd Jill and I went to see First Aid Kit and Brandi Carlile at Wolf Trap, met up with Lorna and David there. Great show, but too much going on that week and I sold off our tix to the next night’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (at Wolf Trap with Paula Poundstone). Friday I didn’t know why I tried to go into the office after a minor procedure (stoopid ingrown toenail). It was much better to end the week working remotely, sitting on the couch with the windows open listening to a set of covers by Wilco.

Brandi Carlile

Sunday the 26th we went to have dinner (well, takeout from Chuy’s) with Patty and Jesse at Bernard and Barbara’s house in Fairfax Station, making July a super Shanty month even without heading north. The next day was the Mondayiest Monday in the history of Mondays. From getting up at 4:15 for an hour with the scared of thunderstorms dog, to the daughter who got up at 7:30 and got dropped off at the pool with her class at 10:15, to the jury duty summons, the day was already fired, and I still wasn’t at work, waiting for my Rx behind a lady who didn’t appear to be in danger of finishing talking anytime soon. Tuesday tried to match with a power outage and tech support for my mom’s boyfriend, but nice try no biscuit for you.

Jill Nina

Friday the 30th we’d planned on leaving for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival before rush hour, but all of us would have been very short on sleep. Then of course we slept in until 10:30 and didn’t end up getting on the road until noon. By the time we stopped for dinner at a Cheesecake Factory in New York for a surprisingly good meal we knew we wouldn’t make it before dark (not good with a brand new tent), so we made a reservation at the Days Inn in Great Barrington we’d stayed at 2 years prior. It was for the best as Nina was extremely cranky and tired as it was.


The next morning we walked to Fuel for breakfast, then got groceries at Guido’s and Super Y before heading to the festival. After we exchanged our tickets for wristbands, we drove up to Shantytowne. David helped me set up the new tent while Jill and Nina hung out in the lobby. The Jewells hosted a steak and martini dinner, and afterwards we walked down to the vendors for ice cream and I caught some of Brother Sun and June Rich before heading back and turning in with Nina.