After we returned from California, we took three more days of vacation, two with Nina in day care. We got lots of chores and errands done, plus great lunches at Bon Chon Chicken and Maple Ave Restaurant. The last day of vacation on Wednesday the 3rd was Nina centric: bouncy castles and a tot lot in the morning, Cheeburger Cheeburger for lunch, family walk after nap, roasted chicken for dinner, and Daniel Tiger before bedtime. I spent my Saturday night replacing a burner switch on the stove. Hopefully that’s the last of the home improvement for a while. That morning, if you’d asked me a year ago, I would’ve said I’d never let someone put their hands in my cereal bowl. Sometimes I’m amazed at what a soft touch I am.
Monday the 9th we had a poor little Nina. She threw up twice in the morning, then made it almost to bedtime. She felt better the next day. Thursday the 11th I walked outside with Nina after dinner as the wind blew. The cherry blossom petal storm we found ourselves in was strangely beautiful. Friday I realized when they ambushed me while walking downstairs that putting the dirty diapers on the balcony railing was a bad idea.
Jill took off to Solomons Island the weekend of the 13th for a knitting retreat. Nina and I did our usual weeknight routine on Saturday, but on Sunday we had a great time hosting brunch yesterday for the Cannons and Chris’s mum (Once one of us got over our shyness, of course).
Wednesday the 17th Jill and I had dinner at Oya (great cocktails and small plates), then headed over to Warner Theatre to meet the boys of Great Big Sea (a perk that came with a super deluxe version of their box set and danced through their smokin’ show.
The next morning it was my turn for a couple days off. So of course I headed back to California (and stopped at Five Guys in Dulles for an egg topped burger). The flight was nice, but I was pressed for time when I arrived, so I took an expensive taxi ride to the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles, where I watched Jennifer Hudson and Carole King rehearse with Paul Shaffer, Jim Keltner and Waddy Wachtel for that night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. During a break I walked over to Mendocino Farms for a Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi (delicious). I checked into my nearby hotel (Ritz Milner), then headed over to Casey’s Irish Pub for a Rush fan gathering. I only had a beer there, and figured I could get a bite to eat near the venue. Fail – the Kings were playing hockey that night, and between them and the Rush fans, every restaurant had an hour wait, so I had a hot dog in the venue.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was long but mostly enjoyable. Randy Newman was joined by John Fogerty, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne to kick things off, Cheech and Chong gave a funny induction speech, Gary Clark, Jr. jammed with John Mayer and Booker T. Jones and Heart was great doing “Barracuda” with Chris Cornell, Mike McCready and Jerry Cantrell. But the main event for me (and a majority of the crowd) was Rush. After Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins gave the induction speech and Rush spoke, the Foos returned dressed in the 2112 jumpsuits and played “2112 I:Overture”. Rush joined them for the end, then the Foos left and they did “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit Of Radio”. The finale was Crossroads (Cream arrangement), for which they were joined by Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Gary Clark Jr., John Fogerty, Ann & Nancy Wilson, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Chuck D and DMC. Amazing, although the best part might have been the beginning, when we shut Jann Wenner up by cheering for 5 solid minutes.
I could’ve slept in longer on Friday (stoopid east coast body clock), had my second egg topped burger in as many days at Fuku, and spent the afternoon at Amoeba Music (19 CDs). That night I had dinner at The Faculty (good reuben, and managed to run into someone who gave me a hint about the next Fiddler’s Green), then I saw a stage version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Having listened to the radio version when we were there the month before, I was concerned it had a lot to live up to. I needn’t have worried, the cast is amazing (and kept me awake the whole time, significant with the lack of sleep I’d had). My flight back the next day was fairly uneventful.
Sunday the 21st Nina took her next step in giving us heart attacks – she climbed her first tree. And I highly doubt it will be her last, she’s a natural. Later that evening I returned to the Warner Theatre solo to cross yet another thing off the bucket list, seeing Kevin Smith (with Jason Mewes) do a q&a after their new movie (perfect for 12 year old boys).
The night of Monday the 23rd, Nina ate more mac and cheese than I did. The next morning she saw her shadow for the first time. Friday the 26th Jill and I had a lovely dinner outside at L’Auberge Chez Francois (actually Jacques’ Brasserie behind the restaurant), then saw Jake Armerding and Robbie Schaefer at Barns At Wolf Trap.
Daycare was closed for spring break, so Saturday morning Jill flew up with Nina to Holyoke. I had lots of
chores to do, but did go shopping that afternoon (only bringing home CDs and beer) and was shocked to be driving on the Dulles Toll Road and see a Metro train just now. Go Silver Line! Sunday I saw Red Molly at The Hamilton with the brothers Jewell and Susan, then kept up the pace seeing South Rail and Sons Of Fathers Monday at Jammin’ Java.
I ended up doing 4 concerts in 5 nights after going out Tuesday as well. Two ticket exchanges fell through, but got my ticket just as How To Destroy Angels was going onstage. They were great, especially watching Trent Reznor rock out behind a stage setup that looks like a NIN video come to life. And quite possibly the best lighting I’ve ever seen.