Sunday, August 12, 2012

Counting Crows, Burgers and School Supplies.

I'm going to start by disclaiming that this post won't be like my typical posts...gushing about my girls and cooking and playing the summer away (well there may be a little of that towards the end).  This will sound more like a carefree chica acting like a groupie at a rock concert weekend with her hubby.  There will be a lot of "freakin awesome" and "hell ya's" because we got to see my all time favorite band in concert on Saturday and it was Freakin Awesome.

Earlier this summer I had heard on the radio about the Magic City Blues Festival that was going to have Counting Crows performing.  Now, I am not a concert person...I've been to a few and just not really into them.  However, I have always said the one band I would love to see live would be Counting Crows.  I immediately told Matt about it and within a couple weeks we had tickets bought, hotel room booked & babysitter lined up.  I have been looking forward to it for months and they so did not disappoint.  

I think some of the reason I haven't been impressed with concerts in the past was I don't really like being in a huge venue with thousands of people where you can't really see what's going on and it feels a little claustrophobic.  This venue was outside, right in downtown Billings.  There is just something about listening to live music outside.  Since it was a festival it wasn't huge.  There were lots of people and we were all pretty tight, but it didn't feel like too much.  (although I did get stepped on a couple times)  There were a couple bands ahead of them and they were fantastic also, but when Counting Crows came out everyone just went crazy.  Everyone in the crowd were such fans and you could just feel the excitement from all around and you couldn't help but get caught up in it.  The lights, the smoke machine, the music...all just amazing.  We were very close to the front of the stage so we got to see everything so well.  There was a lot of singing, dancing and just feeling so happy to be in that moment right then.  I didn't want it to be over as they just rocked each song with such enthusiasm.  Fantastic show and it totally renewed my love for this band (not that it had ever changed)  When it was over....way past my bedtime...we stumbled back to our hotel room still totally pumped from the show and crashed out.  The next morning we got to sleep in to the blissful hour of 9 am and lounge around child free as we slowly woke up.  And, as if the concert wasn't amazing enough, here was the grand finale.  I went down to the Starbucks at the bottom of the hotel for coffee and who do I see standing in the lobby but the freakin Counting Crows all sitting around with their luggage waiting for their shuttle.  Hell ya.  It took me a minute to realize it...I saw two of  the guys and thought, hmmm they look familiar.  Then I saw the lead singer chillin on the couch and he's a dead giveaway.  At this point they realized I was staring, so I gave a smile and wave (and got the same in return) and then smiling like a cat eating canary I raced up the elevator to tell Matt what had just happened.  Of course, his first response was..."did you talk to them or get an autograph?"  To which I said, "no, I got too nervous and just walked by"  I hadn't even thought of that and then was kicking myself for not doing just that!!  Matt made me feel better by saying that it was probably nicer to just leave them alone, but I still wish I had at least told them how awesome the show was.  Oh, time.  

The concert was by far the main event of the weekend, but as it always is with me, food was a major part as well.  I'm the girl who researches and knows exactly which restaurants we are going to eat at days before we go someplace.  The first thing on the the agenda when we got into town was lunch and so we headed to a place called the Burger Dive.  My parents, sister and brother-in-law have all been raving about the burgers at this place.  (Maybe one of the positive things that has come out of her whole ordeal is on there many trips to Billings they all discovered this joint).  Now, I consider myself somewhat of a hamburger connoisseur.  It has always been one of my favorite foods and is the one reason I can't go completely vegetarian.  (I do still stay "meat selective" and try to only have it if it is free-range, antibiotic free, local beef or as I like to say from "happy cows") the time we got there I was starving and very eager to try it.  We got there in the nick of time because they were getting ready to close in 10 minutes.  (You know a place is good if they only have to be open a handful of hours of the day)  I was not disappointed...

It was so yummy...paired perfectly with a basket of Parmesan and garlic french fries.  After that we had to go take a nap.  (awwww, the life of a childless couple)  The afternoon only got better because after the snooze we indulged in a little pay per view and rented the Hunger Games.  It was of course way over priced, but so worth it to get to watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon, as loud as wanted with no chance of interruption.  And, yes, I have totally loved the Hunger Games books and was SO excited for the movie to come out on dvd and now I don't have to wait any longer.  I'm ready for the next movie to come out and I'm not very patient.

For dinner I went with a suggestion from a friend.  It was funny because I had found this restaurant online when I was checking a few out but couldn't decide.  I always think it's best to ask a local for any advice on where to go and luckily I have a friend who lives in Billings!  She suggested Lilac, which was the exact place I was looking into.  Again, I was not disappointed.  I was drawn to it because of the idea of "farm to table" food, an interesting menu and it was in the perfect location...right in between our hotel and where the music festival was going to be.  It is a beautiful restaurant with an urban feel and fantastic food that looked as great as it tasted.  We were both a little full still from our lunch, so we shared a couple of items and it was perfect.  We had a quiet table right by the window where we could watch all the people heading down to the festival.  There was a nice wine list and Matt tried a couple of the local beers that our server suggested that were very tasty.  Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the tomato, basil and mozzarella risotto.  Such simple ingredients that were so fresh and wonderful.  I make a lot of risotto but have never incorporated a red tomato sauce in it.  This is something I will definitely be trying to recreate at home.  My only disappointment was that I was just way too full to try the blueberry cheesecake.  Next time I will not pass this up.

Needless to say, it was an incredible weekend.  I love my baby girls like nobodies business, but a weekend away with my husband was just perfect.  

Hope your weekend was freakin awesome and that your week is happy.

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