Post by OneVillageIdiot on Aug 31, 2010 23:37:39 GMT -5
The FIRST gathering of the villagte idiots in Toledo was incredible. Personally I have never met up with a bunch of people for the first time where we all knew each other. The great bash Saturday night at the welcoming Village Idiot in Maumee, making some money for JDRF and meeting Crystal's close friends; hanging out all day with each other at the venue Sunday and the opportunity to (try to) sing HT to Crystal; capped off by the emotion that poured out of our fave singer/songwriter at the show ... as a Mamasox fan it still seems surreal.
The most unfortunate passing of Mark Brink, a good friend of Crystal's, put our VI Crystalmania in perspective. Right now we know we are doing what we love, and how fortunate is that. The past weekend we shared incredible comaraderie, respect and goofiness with each other. At our Monday morning VI breakfast it already felt like a reunion.
Enjoy the pictures and videos on the other threads. To all the VI's that were fortunate to be in Toledo please take turns adding to this thread with your experiences.
Post by Paul Hanni on Aug 31, 2010 23:50:19 GMT -5
Where to begin? How about with Day 1, Friday August 27.
Ok well let me begin with that I didn't expect to go to the party or the concert. I didn't think I'd be able to get off work. I put in for vacation to my boss on short notice and my boss was determined to let me sweat it out until the last minute. So I didn't know I was going until Wednesday evening on 8/25. I was pretty certain that I wasn't going by Tuesday that week so I didn't prepare other than making a hotel reservation.
So with only 1 day to prepare for the trip while having to work a full busy day on top of that was pretty crazy. I had this long checklist of things to do and somehow I manage to work it down to a few things that just didn't get done. At least I had printed out the maps I needed to get to Maureen's (sweet32peaches) house. From there she had maps to get to Liz's house (Mirrorized_vi89).
All packed and ready to rock and roll. I left Manassas, Virginia at 10am an hour behind schedule but that's ok. It'll be fine. Mo said it's only 3 hours from Pittsburgh to Toledo and it should only be 5 hours to Pittsburgh from Manassas. Well when I got to Pittsburgh I got stuck in stop and go traffic that set me back another hour, then I blew by Mo's house and had to call to figure out what I did wrong. Well Mo told me to go the wrong way on the phone so we lost another 30 minutes or so there. lol.
Got to Mo's place! Mo was happy to see me and it was great to finally meet in person. We packed up her guitar that she wanted to get signed by Crystal and her poster and suitcase and snacs. Oh and of course the chipped ham and turkey sandwiches for the trip. mmm mmm. Mo was bragging about the chipped ham sandwiches and they were really good. ;D
Leaving Pittsburgh. Mo and I were busy chatting away while we blew by the exit we were suppose to take by about 5 exists or so. lol Finally realized it and got back on track. Another 20 minutes behind schedule. Oh well we were having fun.
On to Hopedale Ohio to pick up Liz. For some reason even though I went through West Virginia on the way to Pittsburgh I had to drive through it again to get to Hopedale. hmm. Ok well we get to Hopedale without incident and passed this girl with luggage standing by the road and Mo wondered if that was Liz so I turned onto the next street and we tried to call Liz's cell phone, but no signal out in the trees. lol So I drove back down and opened the window, "Hey are you Elisabeth?" Yep she was. ;D She loaded her stuff in the trunk and said our hellos then off we went for Toledo eating ham and turkey sandwiches and jamming out to Crystal's original's from my cell phone which was hooked up to my car stereo with a special cable that would later save the day. Wow that was a long sentence. lol
Leaving Hopedale we saw some beautiful lakes where people were out in their boats fishing. So pretty. Anyway away to Toledo we went, but since we were behind schedule we weren't gonna make it in time to meet up with Jeff and Michelle for dinner. We got to Toledo around 9:30pm and Mo and Liz checked into the Park Inn. I had to be different and was staying in Maumee so we headed to try to find my hotel. Well wouldn't you know it the map lead us down the wrong path and we wasted about another half hour before finding it. Anyway I checked in and we were pretty hungry at that point. We saw a place called the Smokey Bones restaurant close by and thought that would be a good place to eat. Jeff suggested that we eat near the Village Idiot, but my gps wasn't working at that moment so they came to us.
How do we get to Smokey Bones from here? After calling Jeff and Michelle to meet us at the Smokey Bones we drove over there. The restaurant was next to a Cracker Barrel in what appeared to be a combined parking area, but there was no way to get to the Smokey Bones. It was blocked off. Look there is a back road let's try that...Nope couldn't get there. WTH. We all started cracking up because we were driving around like a bunch of idiots. Finally we figured out there was a gravel path to the restaurant from the street that was under construction. Drove around the front and sides of the place but didn't see an entrance and that made us crack up even more. ;D Ok around back there we go.
We went in and got a seat ordered some drinks and waited for Jeff and Michelle who called me on the phone a few times trying to find where we were. Finally all arrived and there were hugs all around. We all ate appetizers cuz that's all they were serving after 11pm, but they were good appetizers. Wings, Shrimp, mini sandwiches yum. We hung out there for over an hour catching up and discussing plans for the next day. We had the waitress take a group picture of us while we were there.
front: Paul and Jeff back: Michelle, Mo and Liz
Off to our hotels. That's a wrap for day 1 at least from my perspective. It seems Mo and Liz stayed up all night talking.
Day 2 August 28 Party Time!
It's Saturday and my bed at the hotel was so comfy I didn't want to get out, but I had to get up and get ready for the big day ahead. Sidney and Gail were flying in today and I had to print out directions to the Detroit airport in case my gps wasn't working again.
I got ready and ate breakfast at the hotel then it was time to go to the airport so I started following my map and within a few minutes I was lost again. LOL. Ok time to try the gps. Yay it's working today! I was back on track. Driving through Michigan I saw the sign for La Salle and waved to Jami who I haven't met yet. She laughed at me when I texted her that I waved.
I arrived at the airport about 15 minutes before Sydney's scheduled arrival and parked in the cell phone parking lot. Sydney texted me that her plane had landed on time and I went to pick her up when she got to the gate. There she was with her long curly hair. I had only seen her before over Skype and it was so nice to finally meet in person. As we were waiting for Gail's plane to arrive Sydney told me stories of meeting David Kav in Chicago and her almost missing the plane in Chicago having to resort to jumping in front of cabs to get their attention and getting a ride from a security motor cart at the airport to get to her gate on time. She was also very upset that security threw away her precious mousse that morning that you can only get from California. Apparently it was too big of a bottle and it was too late to check it into baggage. Oh yeah and the toothpaste was too big too. Geez Louise!
Gail called that her plane had landed on schedule and we went to pick her up at the gate. I had only seen Gail from avi pictures and from a video she made. It was great to finally meet and we chatted it up on the way to Michelle's house where Sydney and Gail would be staying.
We made it to Michelle's with no issues thanks to gps and Michelle greeted us and invited us inside where we met Danny who had driven in from Illinois. We all introduced each other and there were hugs all around. Michelle gives some really awesome hugs btw. While Sydney was unloading Michelle showed Gail and I the new house extension where everyone would be staying and her back deck overlooking a beautiful back yard.
After everyone was ready we piled back into our cars and drove off to the Park Inn to pick up Mo and Liz then we all headed to the Village Idiot where Jeff was already setting up. We got there pretty early and there were not many there yet so we headed back to our cubby hole where the live stream was going. Jeff caught up with everyone and showed us the bongo drums we had made for lil Tony and the MamaSox license plate cards with Holy Toledo lyrics on the back to use when serenading Crystal. He also showed us the t-shirts including the signed one that was to be raffled off that night and the Crystal Bowersox pendant that Lauri got Crystal to sign several places also to be raffled off. There was a big JDRF banner on the wall in our cubby area and later the Toledo Free Press came and set up a banner by the stage.
Jeff wanted to set up the sound system to play Holy Toledo so that we could practice on stage later on, but didn't have the cable to plug his mini laptop into the system. Paul to the rescue! I happened to have a cable in my car I use to play music from my cell phone through my car stereo and it was just what we needed.
Others were starting to arrive and we set up a tab called "MamaSox" to order pizza and drinks for everyone. The live stream was hoppin as everyone got in on the action to let the others know what was going on. Ok it's time to practice Holy Toledo! I grabbed a table close to the stage to film the amazing village idiots performances.
After the first take of our practice run I played some CB songs from my cell phone through the sound system until the local band was ready to perform. Later on we did a take two performance of Holy Toledo with a few new singers joining in.
Time for the Raffle. Michelle sold raffle tickets around the bar and then Jeff announced the raffle. I bought some raffle tickets and gave some to Jami who was at my table with her friend Sheila. Jami gave some tickets to Sheila and we were all set, but didn't have any luck to win the t-shirt or the concert tickets that the TFP was giving away. Hmm, what happened to the pendant? Jeff couldn't find it. Oh no!
After a while someone found the pendant and now that was being raffled off too. I was determined to win that pendant so I bought more tickets. A lot of them. lol Well it paid off as I was the, ahem, lucky winner. ;D
Meanwhile back at the cubby hole there was someone hogging all the video time. Apparently there was this new sensation that everyone wanted to see and it wasn't me. LOL I captured a short clip of the action.
I'm sure I don't have this in chronological order, but at one point during the party back in the cubby hole Sully was telling us a story that I got on video. So let me introduce you to Sully.
Nicky had arrived and started making her rounds to talk to everyone and then started setting up her equipment to take a group picture. However this picture was a little different. Gail had printed out round pictures of Crystal that Nicky wanted everyone to stick on their foreheads. Everyone gathered around in the middle of the bar and she took the picture. We are still waiting to see how this turned out. ;D
Wait, what's all this commotion outside?!?! It's the May's! Bobby and Franky and Terri were here!!! Woo hoo! Eventually they entered the bar and made their rounds as we introduced ourselves to them. They were all really cool and down to earth. Good people, but were they going to perform? You betcha! This was definitely the highlight of the night. I grabbed a table to take this video. Michelle grabbed the laptop so that it got on the live stream.
Let's watch some idiots dancing in the bar to Bobby and Frankie!
hmm, who is Jeff talking to on the phone? Could it be? Yes it was Crystal calling to see how the party was going! Jeff told her about Bobby and Frankie performing and she said, "Aren't they f'ing awesome!" ;D
Ok it was getting late and time to wrap up the party. We said our goodbye's and were excited for what was to come in the next day. Next destination, my hotel. hmm. my gps wasn't working again. Guess I'll have to rely on some maps I printed out. While studying my map I had the windows open in the car and this girl came leaning in my car and she was obviously having a good time. She high five'd me twice for driving the same car as her. LOL They know how to party in Maumee. ;D
Well my map to my hotel was less than adequate and I ended up driving for about 45 minutes before getting back to my hotel. I uploaded one of our Holy Toledo clips to tweet everyone and went to bed.
Day 3 August 29 Toledo concert!
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2010 10:20:00 GMT -5 by Paul Hanni