Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Red, White, and Blue Weekend

I've taken a few days off from my regular daily posting, and I'm back now to tell you about my 4th of July weekend.  The 4th, Sunday, was spent at home.  Katie and Bill cooked out. Later, my son Jeffrey and I decided to take a ride in to town (now that I am a country bumpkin, that's what I say when heading in to Saratoga Springs) to see the fireworks in Congress Park.  The park was beautiful as darkness set in.  Little girls were selling those glow-in-the-dark headbands and necklaces, and vendors lined the road leading to Canfield Casino.  People were picnicking on blankets, and the whole atmosphere was one of happy anticipation. 

Fireworks in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs

The highlight of the long holiday weekend was our trip on the 5th to western Massachusetts, to Tanglewood, to see James Taylor and Carol King perform on the last leg of their Troubador tour.  It was an incredibly beautiful night after a scorching hot day.  We packed up Katie's Outback wagon with everything we would ever need.  We picked up boxed lunches from Putnam Market on our way out of Saratoga (Katie's very smart idea!) and brought blankets, folding chairs, pillows and all kinds of Henry-paraphernalia to lug from the parking lot in Henry's little red wagon (leaving no room for Henry).  I brought sugar cookies I'd baked earlier in the day (see above, and right). 

We found a great spot on the lawn, settled in and enjoyed a relaxing, entertaining evening of music that just soothes my soul.  They sang all my favorites, and ended the evening with Up on the Roof, which I'd been waiting for and was so happy to hear.  It was my first time there, and I loved Tanglewood.  The drive from Saratoga is really enjoyable, and it is only about an hour and a half away.  I have a feeling we've started a nice tradition.

Here is a picture of Henry enjoying our spot at Tanglewood.

And Henry enjoying a little time with Ben & Jerry as we waited for the performance to begin (I think he had three changes of clothes, and another one after this!)...

A nice shot of our neighbor's picnic site...

And Tanglewood's ampitheater where JT and CK made beautiful music!

While we chose a spot on the lawn that didn't allow a direct view of the stage, it didn't matter.  We could feel the music, we were a part of it, and knowing we were right there was enough.  James Taylor and Carol King have fun.  They enjoy their music, and each other, so beautifully.  It seems that their collaboration is a musical marriage of sorts, where their styles and personalities seem one in the same as they play together.   I heard on NPR that their tour ends in Anaheim on July 20th, and that date is finite.  There will be no extension to this tour.  I'm so glad we had a chance to be part of it, but I want more.  Carol King said in the interview on NPR that the real sign of a successful performance is not just that it leaves an audience wanting more, it leaves her wanting more, too.  And it shows -- they played long into the night even after the concert was over, serenading us with songs as we loaded up our cars and left the parking lots.  How many performers care enough about their music or their fans to do that?  It is a beautiful thing.

I really enjoyed the essence of summer that was so present this 4th of July weekend.  I hope you all had a memorable time with your families and friends as well.

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