Elizabeth had been for a while saying how she wanted to go, but the drive obviously is a bit long from Orange County (especially if she was going by herself - hubby wasn't interested in tagging along, and there was their son L to consider as well). So, didn't seem like it was going to happen after all (though it was a fun daydream idea :). I didn't even consider the possibility for myself...
...and then I got E's text message (which she NEVER does) on the day of the concert around 2pm asking me if I'd drive up with her to the concert. I've been pretty busy up to this point, both with Real Life (RL) & Work (especially with work - overbusy & working some Overtime to try to keep on top of workload), so it caught me in an interesting mood. I actually stopped to consider the request seriously! :) After a bit of texting & a brief phone call between us, figuring out some of the logistics (such as how long of an esstimated drive time, when I could get off work, how soon I could get over to her place after I drove in the opposite direction to get home and change ;-) for this last minute hair brianed scheme of ours, we set about putting the wheels in motion. ROAD TRIP!!! :)
I left work about 4:30p, headed home to quickly change and get back in the car...and managed to hit the 5 fwy (northbound) around 5pm...and merge with all the traffic heading North right then through Orange County. What normally takes around 20-30 minutes took a good hour. I showed up around 6:00pm at E's door, we piled into her car...and we were off!
No stopping for dinner on the way as we were too worried about making it to the concert by 8pm (or a bit after), when we figured that Tommy & the High Pilots would go on (doors opened at 7pm, but someone else was opening for them). Fortunately, we made it JUST in time! Yay!! :) Orange County to Santa Barbara in 2.5 hrs! Managed to arrive about 8:30pm, found parking near the Bar/Club (location for Concert)...and then found our way to Soho (the bar/club). Paid our entrance fee of $10 (and showed ID :), and to our delight, they were just starting to set up the stage for the High Pilots! We made it!!! On Time! Awesome!!
The concert itself was rocking! Energy was high - both on stage and in the crowd. Everyone was having a blast! (You can see for yourself in some of the videos I shot :)
Here's a few pics from the night:
Pic of E & myself - taken with E's camera
At one point in the night, E (wearing a knee length skirt, mind you) knelt on the floor to get a picture of the band performing on stage...and managed to get a nice cut on her knee (possibly as a result of some broken glass - someone knocked over & broke a glass near us earlier in the concert...even though it was standing room only where we were).
After the band finished playing, they hung out in the back with everyone (and of course they had a Merch table set up). We let some of the crowd pass before we even attempted to go and socialize. I killed a few minutes by buying their cd (I had been meaning to get a copy earlier, and even had plans in the works to get one mailed to me from the Pmo as they only sold at concerts and up till that day I didn't think I'd be at a show till they were back down in LA/OC areas in 2010, but seeing as I was now THERE at the concert I was totally in favor of supporting the band by *actually buying* their cd.) I even did the deal of 'buy a T-Shirt and CD for $20'. :)
I then proceded to go 'round the room, talking to each of the guys (mentioning that we saw them at Rusty's in Santa Monica and that we drove all the way up from OC - which they were suitably touched/impressed by the gesture :) and got their signatures on my newly purchased cd. Yay! :)
Unfortunately, we weren't able to hang out very long with them as it was getting late and niether of us (E or myself) had eaten any dinner that evening. We asked for a late night food spot recomendation from them (Tom, Mike, & Pmo were all nearby us at this point) since this was the band's home town - so theoretically someone might know the area/what was open this late. Mike gave us directions for a spot down the way (theoretically w/in walking distance) that could still be open, & Pmo mentioned another place nearby the one Mike mentioned, so we set off on foot (in the chilled night air) in search of food.
However, after a number of minutes of walking in the cold breezy night air, we weren't having much luck in finding any late night eateries open (besides an expensive looking restaurant that we passed on). Eventually, we turned around and stopped in the still-open CVS Pharmacy and picked up a few snack-items to tide us over. (I got some beef jerky & some kind of nuts/berries/granola/honey bar. Turns out my bar choice was a better one than E's choice - we both decided that the one she picked was Nasty! I shared some of mine with her :)
So, we hoofed it back to our car and set off on the long drive back to the OC. Fortunately, we came across a still open In N Out (it was only around midnight at this point :) so took advantage and got some real food for ourselves. Yay! :)
Then we settled in for the rest of the long drive back. Fortuately, I wasn't driving, as I many of you know how I do have a tendancy to nod off when driving (if tired enough). We got to E's house around 2am, and I got home sometime around 2:30am. Good thing that when we started hatching this crazy scheme I decided to take Wednesday Morning (12/23) off from work! (Yay for Half Days :).
And that's the end of my crazy last minute Road Trip Adventure to see Tommy & the High Pilots in Santa Barbara only days before Christmas! :)