Well, my week off was pretty spectacular.
After playing for five weeks straight, I was really looking forward to having some time off and just be home. I woke up at 4:07am on Monday morning, got ready, and was on the road to head to the airport by 5. My parents, who drove up from Florida to visit me, were kind enough to drive back with all of my clubs and luggage. It felt so amazing to just fly with my carry-on bags. MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, blackberry, cameras, nook, and nearly every other electronic were in my hand, but other than that, I was flying solo. It was amazing!
John Raser was sweet enough to pick me up, and we went out to grab a quick brunchie thing. Hitting up First Watch, one of the greatest food spots in the world, we sat and laughed the entire time. As John quoted in his twitter timeline we were the loudest people in the establishment, as usual. After dropping me off at my house, taking a quick tour (only a half a dozen people in the world have endured that feat), meeting my big brother, and pointing and laughing at the way my mother decorated the house, he drove off to take care of his things. I tell you, I have some pretty strengthy friends out there! Many thanks, and many hugs to John. You rock.
I then went on to spend the next 17 hours straight just chilling in my bed. I had my MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone (4, as it arrived at my house at noon on Monday, woot woot!), blackberry, remote control to my 65 inch plasma television, and various beverages within arms reach. I turned my bed into a veritable office desk, and proceeded to treat it as such. I slept, watched TV, slept, tweeted, cruised the internet, make a few calls and texts, and slept. Boy did I ever need it as well!
The next two days went on pretty eventless. Helped Raser with some video thingy, and had a chance to grab a quick dinner with some of my closest friends from the Orlando area, Jan, Stef, and Thomas. We hit up Rice Paper, where I had the most amazing papaya salad, their bull market roll, and a glass of wine. We caught up, chatted about everything, caught up as much as possible, then I had to bounce, as I had a very very early day ahead of me.
Shinedown. I was up at 4:30, showered, and roaring to go. I arrive at John's place at 5:11, (thank god he lives like 3 miles away from me!) only to find that poor John had only gotten to sleep two hours before I rang his doorbell. He was not quite ready. And by that, I mean he was still in his footie pajamas. Just kidding. About the footie part, anyway. He got ready in record time, and we hit the road. We ended up being late, and I just don't get how most professional golfers are late to everything except for their teetimes. I mean, really. It is quite pathetic. When we screech into the parking lot of the hotel, Eric is in his crisp white polo shirt, and tight black jeans. I f-wording LOVE my rock star friend. He is the absolute best! He had coffee waiting for us, and we bounced.
Upon arriving, the folks with TPC came and greeted us all. Everyone within the staff service was so amazing, and they truly made me feel very special. We had a great round, and Eric blew John and I away by puring his drive down the center, and stuffing his approach shot to eight feet. What a rock star, INDEED!!!!
After our round, we had to bust a move to get Eric back to the arena by 2. The band was having a soundcheck the day before their Carnival of Madness tour started, and we got there right on time. Eric invited John and I to sit and watch their soundcheck, and it was truly the most amazing experience ever. Aside from the lighting, sound, and whatever else kind of production folks were there, it was just Barry, the drummer's, wife, and three other people with her, along with John and me. In this huge stadium. And the band ROCKED the house. I kind of felt like one of those prima donna 16-year old girls whose father bought her a concert for her birthday. Talk about the best day ever!
After watching the guys in the most incredible showing ever, John and I had to hustle back to the O for his benefit dinner, F U Lyme, located in downtown Orlando, at the Other Bar. I drove like a bat out of hell, screaming down the highway going 80mph in torrential rains, and got us to the benefit in record time. I changed in my car, threw on some makeup, and then went on to have an amazing time raising money for Lyme awareness.
Friday morning rolls around in a bit of a haze. I got home around 1-1:30 the previous morning, and was awake at 6:57. Like, WIDE awake. There was no chance of me getting any more sleep, so I stayed up, in my office desk/bed, and watched the second round of The Open Championship. Time flew, I had still nowhere near packed for my trip to Europe, and had no plans whatsoever on getting any closer to it. I had a car booked to pick me up at 2-2:30, and hadn't heard a peep from John. I was more than prepared to go on my own, when I get a text from John, stating he was just getting out of bed around 1:48pm. Poor guy hadn't gotten any sleep the entire week before, and was trying to catch up. After getting ready in a hastily manner, Chris, our driver, picks me up, and we swing by John's place to head out. The drive is full of John and me listening to and watching music and videos of Shinedown, and getting amped up for the show. We finally arrive, and catch up with all the guys. The buzz is almost palpable, and everyon eis so stoked!
Because we wanted to leave the guys to do their thing, John and I wander around, watch Sevendust perform, from sidestage, as well as an area where the gen public were not allowed, that was still on the main floor.
I have never seen an opening to a show like this before. I had seen it the day before during their soundcheck, but I never imagined it would be so raw and so insane! I was screaming "like a 13 yr old at a Justin Bieber concert" (as tweeted by George Lopez back during the NBA Finals). After the show, I was told I won the award for "Girl Who Knew Every Word to Every Song" and Barry's wife called me adorable because of everyone on the platform, I was the only one jumping around, thrashing my neck to the point of it falling off, and screaming/singing. I was not going to let Brent or any of the boys down, that is for DAMNED SURE!!!
Brent and the boys did an amazing act, other than just playing 3 extra songs during their encore. Brent ended up walking off stage, and went ON THE FLOOR and sang "Simple Man" with everyone, myself included. I have here the video, which is nearly ruined because you hear me wailing in the background like a babboon... I did the boys proud, lol...
Here is a video of Chevelle, the group playing just before Shinedown went on. They have been one of my favorite bands for a long time as well, and so I had a blast, from start to finish!!!
More to come in a bit! I have to go practice before playing a quick nine!!!! But regardless, BEST WEEK EVER!!!! The only thing that was missing from the puzzle??? Not having Brian White there! You were missed dearly, my sweet sweet doctor friend!