Today was the big All-State concert. Each band had a short rehearsal this morning and at 1:00 the concert began! This day was made even more special because Keegan made the drive from Auburn to attend the concert with me – this meant a lot to both me and to Lucy. The concert was pretty long; it started with the middle school concert and proceeded to the Blue Band concert, the White Band concert and finally the Red Band concert. It is so impressive to hear how well each band plays with only two days of rehearsal. Keegan didn’t want to sit around any crowds so we were in the nose bleed section of the Dunn-Oliver Acadome at Alabama State. But these actually were pretty good seats; any seat would have been good since I had Keegan to keep me company! After the concert, all of the band kids got together for pictures and then All-State was over. It really was a great few days; dinners with the kids and parents, a little time alone (something I value greatly) and a hotel stay! Keegan, Lucy and I went out for a Mexican meal (Lucy’s favorite) and all too soon, it was time for Keegan to head back to Auburn and for us to head home.
We extended the good times on the way home. There is a place in Birmingham called the Thirstea Cafe that sells Bubble Tea and it is one of our favorite places to get bubble tea. Although honestly, we will try bubble tea almost anywhere. It truly is our favorite treat! So we stopped there on the way home – it was about half-way home so it was the perfect place for a quick stop for drinks! After leaving The Thirstea Cafe, we were ready to get home. Unfortunately, we still had two hours of driving ahead of us! It was so good to get home. Despite my love for traveling and for staying in hotels, it is always good to get back to a regular schedule. And of course it is good to see the dogs again! This was a successful trip all around and one of the best trips I have been on in awhile. It helps that the stress of work is behind me now; I sometimes think about how difficult the last year of work was for me and I remember the nausea I felt when I had to leave my car to enter the building. While there are times that I wish I had left work before I experienced these hard times I have come to the realization that I would not be appreciating my retirement nearly as much if I had left a job that fulfilled me. I am finding that retirement can be just as busy as a job; I just get to choose to do things that I find enjoyable. I have not been this happy and relaxed in a long time – I look forward to each day and the adventures that life brings……….