Thursday, July 16, 2015

our secret vacation

I have this text from Terry saved in my phone dated April 21, 2015:
"Hey Hunny Bunny! Got a surprise for u!!! We, u and me, will go on a trip July 1st and will get back home July 4th or 5th. Destination: secret!!!"

You can imagine my excitement. It seemed like a long time since we had more than just an occasional (every other month or so) evening for just the two of us. Getting away for a few days sounded amazing. My desire for a get-away was further intensified while he was on his two-week mission trip. I texted him towards the end asking if it was time to go yet. Then he got back and time seemed to drag on until it was time to go. And somehow when the day came to leave, it felt strange. 

So we set out Wednesday July 1st and I had no real clue where we were going. Oh yes, I had guesses, but nothing substantial. There was one point I thought I overheard a answering machine message at Terry parents indicating some kind of resort vacation. That sounded incredible and just the sort of sneaky thing Terry would do - book some free vacation through his dad, like something he won in a raffle. But after talking with Shari, I realized it was probably just spam, which it was. That narrowed my guesses. 

When we drove away, we went north on Deadwood Avenue, and I thought, "Yep, we're going to the cabin in Montana." But he swerved onto the east I-90 exit at the last moment and took us the opposite direction. Okay then, no cabin. When we came to the next exit, he put on his blinker and started getting off the interstate to head back into town towards West Boulevard. Okay, I reasoned we were either going to Denver or Nebraska. And then he pulled out of that lane, for goodness sakes! After that he just stayed on I-90 east out of town and I got comfortable in my seat. When we came to Murdo he nearly headed south to Gburg, but again swerved east to the interstate. Geesh. No Nebraska. When we came to Sioux Falls, he went right through. That was my last guess. We went halfway through Minnesota before stopping in Albert Lea for gas and dinner. I thought this was our destination and was confused. What the heck was there? He finally gave me a little hint - this was not our final destination; we would only spend the night here and continue on the next day.

After eating at Applebees, we stopped at this E-Free church where we used to rendezvous when we were dating. I would drive four hours from SDSU to Albert Lea and park my car in this parking lot. While Terry would drive six hours from Chicago to meet me there and take me to Chicago with him. We did this several times during 2002-2003 while we dated. Poor sweet Terry would drive 24 hours in one weekend so we could hang out. It used to make me feel guilty, but now I'm free enough that it's so sweet.
Albert Lea E-Free church, 13 years later.


I secretly believed that we were going to see Tim Hawkins perform live somewhere in the vague midwest. Tim Hawkins is a comedian we really like and there were several clues along the way that seemed to line up with that guess. Terry kept making Tim Hawkins jokes; like a lot of them. Then a student texted him a photo of Tim Hawkins. Terry also had me look up his schedule on his phone. There was no dates until like July 15th, but I thought that meant his current schedule was full and not listed anymore - Terry's way of keeping me off the scent. So I believed that the next day we would go to the Twin Cities or some random place in Wisconsin to see Tim Hawkins.

The next day we continued east, past where we would have turned north for the twin cities. After that I was sure we were either going to Chicago or somewhere in Wisconsin. We headed into Chicago, hit traffic and Terry wouldn't even stop for a bathroom break, though I really needed one! We were going to be late and his phone kept taking us the wrong way, though we were headed downtown. Finally we came to some parking lots with people walking all over the place and parking attendants directing cars where to go. "Strange," I thought, "that they should make all this fuss for Tim Hawkins..." Oh how very wrong I was.

We pulled around this huge arena whose sign was projecting images of U2.
We were seeing U2 at the United Center!!!
Terry got us a really good parking spot.

I was extremely shocked that this was what we were doing. I was having a hard time believing it! U2 was not on my radar in the slightest. No wonder he had us listen to the new album while we were driving...

 Inside was utter craziness. People everywhere. It was overwhelming for me because I was already overwhelmed. So crazy! Terry pulled me over to this poster and confirmed that Yes, we were seeing U2. I needed it to be said because I was so convinced we were seeing Tim Hawkins. So here's us with Bono ;)



Seats of course are very expensive so we were in the nosebleeds section, but that was fine by me. And actually, we were actually closer to the stage than four years ago in Denver, though those were better seats for the stadium size. Weird. Also, the sound in there was a lot louder than in the open Denver stadium. During the concert my hearing kept going in and out. 



They were supposed to start at 730 but because they're rock stars, they didn't begin until 830. The crowd around the stage was standing room only, of course. Terry had a friend from college down there. He saw all five nights! 



Boom baby!!! 



They opened with The Miracle (of Joey Ramone), which is one of the new albums more upbeat songs: 



Then they did Gloria (an old one I hadn't heard), Vertigo, I Will Follow, and Iris (Hold Me Close), which is about Bono's mother:



Cedarwood Road was next. Oh, and the LED screen was super cool. It projected whatever picture of video but here, below, Bono is walking inside of it as if he's on Cedarwood Road, which was his street in Dublin. Sort of like walking inside a TV but being a part of the image.



Petals flying...



Song for Someone. 



A slower version of Sunday Bloody Sunday (below), with all the victims of that car bomb projected on the houses. Following was Raised by Wolves. 



Next was Until the End of the World, which has got to be my favorite song of theirs. I love The Edge guitar part. Makes me want to jump!
video



I love that song so much that I'll include 2 videos! :P
video



Invisible, with the whole band in the box.



Then there was Even Better Than the Real Thing and Mysterious Ways where they pulled at girl up onto the stage to dance with Bono, like always. But it was funny the way she got up there. She was sort of dumped unceremoniously onto the stage in a pile. She made up for it with her hotness later ;)

I always feel embarrassed when taking selfies, but it's nice to see ourselves there. We were there! It was strange that the concert seemed even better after it was over. When we watched Terry's recorded clips or listened to the CD again in the car, I was like, "That concert was so awesome!"


The rest of the list was California (There is no End to Love), Ordinary Love, Every Breaking Wave, Bullet the Blue Sky, Pride (In The Name of Love), Beautiful Day, With or Without You...


The Edge belting it out. I love that.



Not sure which song, but Terry managed to get a couple good shots. Adam Clayton being all cool.



This was the beginning of Beautiful Day...



"You thought you'd found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace..."



"It's a beautiful day, the sky falls
And you feel like it's a beautiful day..."



More coolness



Light it up.



Here they are pretending to be done. We all knew they'd be back.



One cool thing about cell phones at concerts... While we were waiting for the Encore, everyone shone their cellphone flashlight around. It was soooo bright and pretty.



Here is our last video, The City of Blinding Lights. They also did Where the Streets Have No Name and 40 (from Psalm 40). They walked out to everyone singing to them "How long to sing this song." It was amazing. So cool.
video


Props to my wonderful husband for pulling off this surprise. It was a great concert and we had such a good time. Wahoo!

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