Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The weekend my grass was blue, part deux

Do you, children of the 80s, remember those choose-your-own-adventure books?

Where you read up to a certain point and then they'd be like, "If you want Tarzan to stay in this part of the jungle turn to page 40? 

Or, “If you want Tarzan to look for the golden coconut somewhere else turn to page 63?”

Well allow me write my OWN choose-your-own-adventure book set at the bluegrass festival my friend Meredith and I went to last weekend!!

Yes, technically this adventure started when we decided to drive seven hours again to Florida for the Suwanee Bluegrass Festival.

(It turns out people haven't gotten tired of bluegrass music and are still holding festivals.)
This trip was just as magically rustic as last year’s inagural trip was – camping, eating food from a cooler, swimming in lieu of taking a shower, etc.

But the rain. Oh, man the rain. The stupid rain that comes every time I plan to do something outdoors in Florida (see here. And here.)

But this rain turned out to be the catalyst for our PICK-(IN') YOUR OWN ADVENTURE ADVENTURE (ha), so I’m not going to boycott Florida...yet. 

After a music-filled Friday evening where I met a nice guy (you always meet nice guys at this festival!) 
Meredith and I woke up Saturday morning, bluegrass-hungover, and nervously looked at the top of the tent as rain poured down. 

We crossed our fingers and looked at a radar app on my phone.

Hmmm. A big, colorful splotch was slowly moving over the entire Florida panhandle extending well into Georgia and South Carolina. This was no spring shower.

We ate peanut butter breakfast bars in the tent and contemplated this information.

But we didn’t have to sit long, because the people who camp at bluegrass festivals are the most awesome people in the world, and our campsite-mates had already collected underneath a large tarp, playing music (pickin’), laughing, telling stories and chopping wood. We happily joined them.


It was like a scene from Huck Finn (maybe…if he had a troupe…and a horse head costume...and boxed wine), where 15 of us gathered under the shelter near a river miraculously staying dry while the rain poured down, playing games and toe-tapping.


PROPER PICKIN’!!!!!



And Yahtzee! I played Yahtzee for the first time...AND GOT YAHTZEE!!!


YAHTZEE!!!!

And this is what we did pretty much all day Saturday. Awesome.

I made a ton of new friends and a mental note to dust off my fiddle and learn some chords when I got back home so I, too, could provide entertainment to a group of people in a pinch. 

I also learned a new use for the bag of wine that comes inside the boxed wine.


Box wine pillow!! Perfect for napping!

That evening, during a break in the clouds, the group wandered over to the main stage to hear Old Crow Medicine Show, the headlining bluegrass band, and they were fantastic. 

BONUS: Since the crowd was light due to the rain, we wiggled up to front row with no problem.

We woke up waterlogged on Sunday to the most gorgeous spring day, swam in the coldest river ever, changed clothes and thought about our options.

There were bands still playing the festival that day, but the only stage that was open was the indoor stage. 

Did we want to be indoors?

Did we want to wait at the campsite until the outdoor stages opened again??

Or…did we want to drive to the BEACH????

……

If you’d like Jenny and Meredith to stay in Live Oak, Florida and hear bluegrass indoors, go to page X (at the top right or left of this screen)

If you’d like Jenny and Meredith to drive to a Florida beach, scroll down.

……

BEACH!!! 

We both decided this with very little debate. 

So early Sunday afternoon we packed up our stuff, said goodbye to our new friends (“see you next year!”) and off to the beach we went.

It wasn’t just any beach. It was Grayton Beach, a special beach to Meredith and one I had already been to in a former rain-cation.

Grayton Beach was on the way back to New Orleans, so we figured that since we’d have to drive that distance anyway, why not cut the festival short and catch the sunset on a proper seashore.

And we realized that a bluegrass band we saw at the festival Friday was playing at a bar in Grayton Beach Sunday night.

BLUEGRASS ENCORE!!!!

Two girls on the open road – cheesy but true - we continued our music theme with a Paul Simon CD, windows down, and made it to Grayton in record time, pausing to take in the shore once we saw the endless horizon.


Then we sat on the beach and drank wine and cheers-ed to no rain.



We walked down the street and heard the catchy first set of the band Dread Clampitt (haha) and I could feel the sweet fiddle in my bones when we hit another fork in the road.

We looked at the clock. 

We’d either have to leave the beach at that moment to get to Panama City to spend the night with a friend….or stay the night with a new friend who lived near Grayton, meaning we could catch the second half of the show but had to leave an extra hour-and-a-half early the next morning to get back to New Orleans by 9 a.m. for work.

….

If you’d like Jenny and Meredith to leave now and go to Panama City, go to page X (at the top right or left of this page.)

If you’d like Jenny and Meredith to stay and hear more music, scroll down.

…..



Bonus: the moon sure does look pretty at 4 a.m.


:)


Here’s to next year.






-Jenny

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