Final Good-Byes pt 1

Rough Beginnings

It has been a crazy weekend full of emotions, food, and of course some drama.  It started out with a bang, or a fire.  less than 5 minutes after leaving Kathy’s, red in the face and in tears, of course, I realized my car was burning oil.  Not little wisps of smoke, but billows of black smoke were leaving my tail pipe.  I pulled over to the closest parking lot and amazingly enough there was Valvoline Express Care (I do not see an entry on Google Maps but it is behind Advance Auto Parts – I think – in the Win Dixie Plaza). Thank you fate!

I pulled in hoping they could just make the car work enough to get me to the closest shop, and provide a referral for a shop, but when I got out of the car, they immediately saw how upset I was.  I explained, through choked sobs, that I had just said good-bye to my best friends and, yes, all of those bags are because I am leaving.  They kindly calmed me down and told me they would take a look.  And wonders of wonders it was just a part of the fuel pressure sensor that needed to be replaced.  A $20 dollar replacement, plus since I opted to get an oil change also (I was going to get one the next day any ways) no labor fee.  Thank you again fate.

So, I did get on my way and right when I got to I-4, the sky just opened up to a full flow down pour.  Of course, this means that people drive like even bigger idiots and there were around 10 accidents on the way back to Altamonte Springs.  So much for making one last happy hour yoga.  I finally got here and immediately had to get ready to go out.

Something about it reminds me of a part of Paulo Coelho’s book The Valkyries.  When they were out trying to see their guardian angels at night in the desert, their guide forgot the flashlights.  While the guide goes to retrieve the flash lights, he takes his time and Paulo is getting annoyed.  When the guide comes back he explains that when he forgets something or something takes him out of his way or takes extra time, he knows that it is his guardian angel helping keep him safe by changing his path.  I am going to think my car problems in this light and be thankful I am safe.

Girls Night Out

First up, Jazz Tastings in Maitland.  Jazz Tastings is a Jazz bar that serves a limited amount of wine, small plates, and has live jazz.  There were about 10 tables and a small 10 seat bar.  The only problem, reservations had been sold out for three weeks.  My fail everyone. What I gathered for the small amount of time i was there is that it is an okay place.  The sound was ok, the band was great, the wine was ok, the ambiance was good, but there is no room to just stand around and wait to see if a table opens up.  There is no room to dance, even sitting was cramped.  It is a great concept that the area has a great demand for, but it is not that comfortable and does offer the options that famous smaller jazz clubs, such as the Blue Note, offer. The chairs are plush and huge, I think if they got smaller chairs, or instead of a set up for tables of four, offered more social seating or just had a bigger space, it would be a great concept.  If, as a single person, I have to get there at 7:00 or 7:30 to get a bar spot for a set that starts at 8:00, but really starts closer to 7:30, and I do not even have a full menu to keep me entertained there is not a lot to get me to come back.

Final Stop

After having just an ok glass of Pinot Grigio, we decided to leave to the second stop for the night early.  We got to Tilted Kilts in Lake Mary an hour or two early.  Craig Thompson from the local band In Transit was playing that night and UFC was on the TVs.  It was not very crowded but there was a large group of people in front of Craig for a while, so we enjoyed conversation and some good food.  I had fish tacos and their home-made potato chips.  both were yummy.  Had a couple Sam Adams Summer Ales that always remind me of summers in Boston.

When the party in front of us left we got to listen to Craig better.  I suggested the place because he was playing there.  He played at the Rasa Lila Yoga Fest last year in Orlando during a flow class and it was the perfect match.  He is a great musician with a great voice and the band played really well also.  Craig can sing anything but my favorite is his more soulful jazz reggae fusion style.  Laid back chill. His version of Purple Rain was really amazing.

This was not taken at Tilted Kilt, but is Craig performing with his guitar and key board.

Anyways, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we swooned over Craig and over all it was great.

Rainy Days

When I woke up I was tired and had a head ache.   Thankfully the guy I was supposed to walk the trails with was not in town so I got out of getting up early.  The rest of the day it has been spitting rain on and off so I did not want to risk carrying my camera around the trail.  It is however, thankfully, cooler out outside.

Stay tuned for Final Good-Byes Part II and the beginning of my Road Trip to Michigan!

It’s Boney James Ya’all!

I love music.  I especially love live music.  I recently went and saw the jazz saxophone player Boney James for the 4thish time.  I love Boney James.  His music is, as my girl Ni likes to say, “baby making music.”  His concerts are a mix of jazz and soul and R&B and he is just amazing.  He blends so many genres it is great for everyone with such a smooth soulful sound you want to groove along.  Did I say I love Boney?

I bought the tickets for my friend Kathy and I to go to for her Birthday.  I much prefer gifts that are trips or experiences.  Because of car problems and a Thursday night show, we could not have dinner together before the show.  So I used my Cheesecake Factory gift certificate I won at my work Christmas party and bought us avocado egg rolls, crab and shrimp dip, and stuffed mushrooms for dinner and a piña colada cake cheesecake for desert.  And the best part?  We ate it off of the trunk of my car.  As I was setting it up waiting for Kathy to arrive, people were slowing down as they drove by.  For a few minutes I wondered if I should go someplace else to set up our picnic, until I realized I had done stranger things and will do even stranger things, so why worry.

After a nice sugar high, we went in to see the concert where there were several empty rows.  The venue was Plaza Live Theater in Orlando.  It is a stage theater converted from an old movie theater.  There are two stages.  There is a bar and food vendors inside but decoration and finish inside is minimalist. Its no frills but smaller, more intimate and has good sound.

Finally a good concert photo!

Before the show started we finally got a good picture of us together at a concert.  Opening act was a guy who pretty much played every sound you would want on his guitar and recorded them into the background and played and sang vocals over the recording.  He recorded it on the stage.  His name is Chris Burns.

Chris Burns February 2012

Right before I the end of intermission is when I found out the Japan results were up but I could not find my application number before the show.  I tried to forget about it, but like that was going to happen.  So here Kathy and I were using my phone to view my ap and hers to record the number in the middle of this concert. I apologize to the concert Gods and Boney and the people around me.  But when I found out I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, even though I did not get in.

Except for the crazy guy.  There was a guy who was telling his wife not to yell out.  it was funny since he went frickin crazy.  CRAZY.  “Boneeeeeyyyyyyy!  OHHHHHH!!!  Ohhh, yeah!!”  We wondered if he wanted a room.

But Boney was hot as ever.  The entire crowd was grooving.  Women were dancing in the aisles and next to the stage.  Boney did his dancing as usual and passed right behind us through the crowd.

It is a great way of spending one of my last weekends in the Central Florida area.  Next up?  March 2 in Clearwater to see Chris Botti!

The pictures kind of suck, but here they are!

Can someone explain to me how to wrap the photos so I can align two photos next to each other?