Monday, November 24, 2014

Beach Bliss--Giving Thanks for Time at the Beach!

As Thanksgiving nears and we count our blessings and focus on gratitude, I give thanks for the following experience.  It has taught me that  by “giving in” instead of “giving up,” you open yourself up to possibilities and experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise had.  I am so grateful for this one!

I recently returned from a weekend at the beach.  Though it was not what I had originally planned or intended, it turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!   As usual, I packed WAY too much stuff and planned WAY too many projects!  In the end, I was happy to just RELEASE and LET GO!  To REST and RELAX!   

From beginning to end, we were blessed with gifts from the sea and the sky!  Gorgeous sunsets where the sky was on fire with hot pinks fading into lilac mists…serene sunrises where the sky was a glow in radiant warmth…and my personal favorite—a beautiful full moon rise over the ocean, complete with shooting star!  Truly magical!  

The moon rose from the ocean a pinkish-orange, then turned yellow and white illuminating a clear path of moonlight across the ocean to the shore!  We rushed to touch our feet to the glowing waters like mermaids and  danced in the moonlight like wild women playing in the ocean’s surf and howling at the gorgeous moon!  We had gourmet meals from nearby restaurants and enjoyed our ocean-view round the clock!  We had plenty of solo time to rest, read, write, reflect, walk and just veg out to the sounds of the ocean waves!  

There were great shells to be found each day—whole whelks, moon shells, scallops, clams, oysters, and more!  Dolphins played in the waves in front of us!  I even had a 90-minute massage called a “body blessing” that included reflexology and a shen energy treatment!  Thank you Ashli, it truly was a blessing!  One of my other favorite experiences was painting on the beach ALL day Saturday!!!   I started 7 new intuitive painting canvases!  I would paint a layer, then go for a walk while it dried…paint another layer and go for another walk…you get the picture!

The last day was cooler and slightly overcast and the water was calm.  The whole beach seemed to whisper “peace”.  It was a perfect ending to this much needed Retreat!   It was pure Beach Bliss!  I feel blessed and full of gratitude!  Thank you God, thank you Universe for knowing what I needed before I did and giving me this wonderful gift!   Wishing you all Peace and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From Foo Fan to Grohl Groupie--New Orleans Rocked!!!

I recently spent a long weekend in New Orleans with my awesome hubby to celebrate his 50th birthday!  He is an artist, musician, and foodie and had always wanted to go to New Orleans and this seemed like the perfect time to do it—plus, our favorite band (the Foo Fighters) were playing at the Voodoo Music Fest that weekend!  Turns out, it was even BETTER than perfect!!!  Paul and I got a much needed adult getaway where we could eat and drink our way through this music and arts loving city!  We tried everything from ‘po boys at Acme’s to hurricanes at Pat O’Briens…beignets at Cafe du Monde to gumbo at Emerils.  We wandered graveyards and voodoo shops, Bourbon Street and Jackson Square.  We caught beads thrown from balconies, marched in parades, and visited Preservation Hall for some traditional jazz!  The streets were filled with art, street performers, magic, mystery and music—LOTS of music!  We loved it!  Live music was EVERYWHERE!  But wait, there’s more—

Just as we were following an impromptu day of the dead parade down Bourbon Street on Saturday night, I spotted Dave Grohl standing on the corner about a block away from me!  I ditched my poor hubby and RAN straight to Dave Grohl!  Somehow no one had noticed him, but me.  All I could get out of my mouth when I reached him was “Oh my God! Oh my God!”  He was so nice, he smiled down at me, grabbed my hand and said “Walk with me!”  Does it get any better than that?!?!  I got to hold hands with Dave Grohl!!!! THE Dave Grohl!!!! Rock God Dave Grohl!!!  Front man for my all time FAVORITE band, FOO FIGHTERS, Dave Grohl!!!!   I got to walk down Bourbon Street holding hands with Dave Grohl!!!  I thought, “Wow guess we’re gonna do this whole parade thing together—how cool!”  It was a surreal and magical moment for sure!  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Then we stopped and I asked Dave for a photo.  This is the one time I wish I was better with technology and my cell phone!!!  I couldn’t get my phone’s camera to work :(  
Next thing I knew, Dave’s body guard came and pushed me aside telling Dave he had to go.  Dave said “Sorry, gotta go” and started walking away.  I pushed past the body guard and said, “ But, Dave, pleeeease!”  He came back, put his arm around me and posed for a couple more attempts with my camera!  This time I was able to get my phone to work and got a couple of good, but grainy Grohl photos!  THANK YOU DAVE!!!!!  Super awesome musician and all around great guy!   Then, I watched Dave disappear down the street with his body guard.  “There goes my hero…”  

By the time my husband finally caught up to me, I was teary-eyed and giddy all at the same time!  I was still in SHOCK!!! (and AWE!!!)  Paul said when I ran off he thought “What stranger is my wife talking to?  She probably thinks he looks like Dave Grohl or something!”  When he caught up to us the first time, he realized “Holy shit, it IS Dave Grohl! and where is he going with my wife?!?!” When he caught up to us again, Dave was already heading down the alley with his body guard.  Sorry, Paul.  I spent the rest of the evening glowing and Grohl gushing to my hubby!  He said, “We might as well go back to Virginia now, don’t think we’re gonna be able to top this!  and How am I going to live with you now?”  But we stayed in New Orleans and fully enjoyed the rest of our trip, especially the “FOOdoo” Fest the next day!!!  

I was sorry I didn’t get to tell Dave that he and the Foo Fighters are like part of our family!  That we’ve been Foo Fans since the very first album and have gone to several shows!  They’ve all been great,  but my favorite was at George Mason when the sound board went out and Dave entertained the crowd until it was working again!  I didn’t get to tell him that my daughters rocked out to Foos as toddlers in our concert t-shirts and that a DC Foo Fighters show was their first rock concert or that I had done a mixed media portrait of Dave Grohl-Rock God for the Art show Paul and I curated “Music and Art” in Del Ray, Alexandria, only minutes from where Dave grew up.  I didn’t get to ask about Taylor, Pat, Chris or Nate.  But I did fully enjoy my moment with DAVE on Bourbon Street!!!! My new Favorite Foo memory!!!

The next day, we headed to the park for the “Voodoo Music and Art Festival.”  It was a gorgeous day and we loved being outside listening to music on four different stages, sampling the food and beverages and looking at the art (including huge kinetic sculptures) and the amusement rides—it was fair meets festival!  Everyone loved the shirts Paul had made for us to wear to the concert!  They had a sugar skull and said “FOOdoo!”  as in Foo Fighters.  Little did we know that it was also the name of the festival’s food court. Oh well, a little free advertising never hurt anyone.

We fully enjoyed Trombone Shorty’s performance (the other main act we came to see)!  He is truly a force of nature!  He puts his whole being and energy into one end of his trombone and allows his instrument to channel his passion with such force it explodes on stage!

We were able to maneuver ourselves to prime position for the Foo Fighters!!!!  We were front row and to the side!  Dave came and played right in front of us almost every song!!!!!  One time when he came out into the crowd, he was so close you could almost touch him!  Two nights in a row!!! Lucky I didn’t pass out!!!  The Foo Fighters rocked and put on an AWESOME show as usual!  They are such an great, tight, talented, energetic, down-to-earth, fun-loving band!   And now I love them even MORE!!!  I love my hubby even more too after our magical moments in New Orleans—yes, it was even BETTER than perfect!