Archive for the ‘People Watching’ Category

Disney on Ice – Mickey’s Search Party

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

This evening, we skipped Mack’s band concert and took Rilianne to see Disney on Ice.  The TV commercials have been exciting her for weeks and only after I bought tickets did we realize that it was the same night as the band thing.  We enjoyed the show.

Washington, D.C. at Christmas

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

This week, I spent a few days in Washington, D.C. for work. It was nice being in the capital city around the holidays. The decorations are awesome. Here is the Christmas tree in Union Station.

Here is the Christmas tree in front of the Capitol.

I had dinner with colleagues at the Dubliner, which is an old Irish pub. The atmosphere was amazing and the food was good too.

Washington, D.C. is one of my favorite cities to run in and I continued my running streak by running each morning.

On my last evening, I walked all over the city. I found a neat holiday market but I couldn’t buy anything because I didn’t have a way to get anything back home.

The Dave Matthews Band was in town, but I kept walking.

I went to The White House and took some nice night photos and visited the National Christmas Tree. As much as it is talked about, I thought it was underwhelming.

I did like the wreathes at Union Station

Santa Saturday 2018

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Today, we were able to visit with a couple of Santas. First, we took Rilianne to see the Bass Pro Shops Santa.  It is free and it is right across the street from where Mackenzie plays indoor soccer.

Later in the afternoon, we dined at The Swanson, where I knew a familiar Santa would be.  This Santa was my sunday school teacher when I was in middle school. The kids are always impressed when Santa calls me by name.  I tell them that he knows all of the bad kids!

Hanson String Theory Tour with ASO

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

From middle school until I was about 17, I listened exclusively to country music.  I went to several concerts, including two Reba McEntire concerts. I was even in her fan club at one point.

In 11th grade, I sat in honors chemistry next to this girl named Travero. We would talk about all sorts of stuff, including our cultural differences. She was a very smart black female and I was just an average white male. At some point, she encouraged me to branch out and give other types of music a try. Of course, I didn’t know which genre to listen to so on the way home, I tuned in to the local pop station.  After listening to that for a few months, I began to watch a little MTV and became hooked on Total Request Live.

Sometime during my senior year, I was exposed to this band of little kids, called Hanson. I was intriqued that these kids, all of who were younger than me, were such talented musicians.  The song MMMBop was a little cheezy — of course, it was the late 90s when everything was cheezy — but when Weird came out, I knew it was my anthem. I bought the CD “Middle of Nowhere”. They quickly became my favorite band.

Unfortunately, they were classified as a “boy band”. All of the other boy bands were a manufactured group of while males who could sing and dance. They had no real musical talent or instrumental abilities. There was 98 degrees, Backstreet Boys, NSync, LFO, and others during that time.  Hanson on the other hand, were a set of brothers who wrote and played their own music. Grouping them with the “boy bands” has caused them to be terminally underrated.  I believe that their Christmas album “Snowed In” (now 20 years old) is the best holiday album of all time.

I attended my first Hanson concert on July 5, 1998 at Lakewood Ampitheatre in Atlanta. Two years later, I followed them from Atlanta to Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. In the years since, I’ve seen them several more times in Atlanta. I have all of their CDs and know all of their songs.  I’ve met them twice. Over the years, their music has consistently matured. Today, their art is so far from MMMBop that when the average person hears their more recent stuff, they are in disbelief when I tell them it is Hanson.

When I was on my 2nd or 3rd date with Kimberlie, I was looking through her CD collection and stumbled across a Hanson album. I knew then that she was the one for me.

It hasn’t been easy being a fan of Hanson.  Their typical fan in the beginning was 12-15 year old white females who had one or more of them as crushes. And then, there was me. I was just there for the music.  I’ve been laughed at, ridicules, called gay, etc. for being a fan.  I’ve made many Hanson friends along the way and I’ll be a fan forever.

Last night, I attended ther Atlanta show on their String Theory tour. They are touring and performing with symphone orchestras around the world.  Last night, they performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Since Mackenzie plays percussion in the middle school band, I took her along. For her, seeing the instruments at work was amazing. For me, hearing my favorite band accompanied by a 75 piece grammy winning orchestra was simply amazing.

Mackenzie and I in front of the tour bus:

Mackenzie playing a random piano outside of the arts center:

Hanson!

Over those 20+ years of attending concerts I’ve noticed that Hanson fans have changed considerably. They are no longer the cute little teenage girls. Now, they are typically 35+, overweight (this is not meant to be derogatory — I am in this boat as well). They also need a glass of wine before the show. They mostly all wear glasses (as do I sometime) and have tattoos. Oddly enough, a good bit of them smoke.  Those are just my observations.

Mercer Fan Appreciation Day

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Today we went to Macon to my old stomping ground — Mercer University — for fan appreciation day.

It’s a day where the community can come out and meet the student athletes and get autographs. The entire football team and volleyball team were on hand, but we were there for the women’s soccer team.

Mackenzie was able to get autographs from all of them. We look forward to going to a Mercer soccer game soon!

Atlanta United Flag Kids

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Today, we went to the Atlanta United game. First we watched the players enter the stadium and Mackenzie signed the golden spike.

Rilianne met a fan dressed like Santa Claus, which was the highlight of the day for her.

The World Cup final was also today and we were able to watch it on the halo screen at Mercedes Benz Stadium. It was really cool.

Mackenzie and Tristan along with some other kids from Mackenzie’s soccer club were chosen to be “flag kids”. They went out on the field during the national anthem and held the team’s flags.  This was the highlight of the day for Mackenzie for sure!

Watching the Peaches

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Kimberlie had to work today, leaving me home with the kids. We heard commercials about 4th of July activities out at Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, which is a local peach packing house. So, we decided to head out.

Rilianne loved the playground. The swings, slide, and merry-go-round were her favorites.

But most of all, she enjoyed watching the peaches come off the trucks and down the sorting lines.

Later, we went out for ice cream.

2018 Papa’s Peach Classic 5K and Fun Run

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

This morning, the kids and I ran the Papa’s Peach Classic 5K in Musella, Georgia. Rilianne also participated in the kid’s fun run. It was our first time running this race.

It was really hot! Rilianne did well at first, but I think a mile might be a little long for her. Kimberlie had to carry her a little bit.

Mackenzie came in first place in her age group. Tristan and I both came in 3rd place in our respective age groups.

Afterwards, we enjoyed homemade peach and strawberry ice cream.

Also, a big thanks fro my colleague Debi for coming out to cheer us on!

Work Trip: Minneapolis — The Mall of America

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

For the rest of the week, I’m in Minneapolis for a work trip. I’m under a social media policy that forbids me from discussing work in this forum, but I will highlight some of the fun things I am doing.

Today, I visited the Mall of America. I have always wanted to come here.

This place is amazing. There is an entire theme park in the middle of the mall — with over 20 rides. I understand it used to be Peanuts themed, but now it is themed around Nickelodeon characters.

Playing around in the Disney Store.

Lunch was had at the Shake Shack.

I discovered this macaron store.  I bought a birthday cake flavored macaron. It was one of the most amazing desserts I have ever had in my life.

Since I was traveling without kids, there was no reason to leave my paycheck at this store!

The assortment of stores was nice. It was a mix of major chains and smaller unknown (to me) stores, which made it nice to explore.  I can’t wait to return someday with the family.

Washington, D.C. with Tristan

Friday, March 30th, 2018

This past week, I had to work in Washington, D.C. Since Tristan was on spring break, I took him along with me.

At work, I am under a social media policy which restricts me from discussing my job on social media, so this post will only talk about the non-business aspects of the job.

We flew out early Sunday morning so we would have some sightseeing time.

After landing, we went by The White House on the way to The Mall and several Smithsonian museums.

My all time favorite museum in Washington, D.C. is the National Museum of American History. So, we stopped there first. We were starving so we went downstairs for lunch first. We had an awesome view of the Washington Monument and the new National Museum of African American Culture as we ate.

The region had a massive blizzard the week before we arrived and it was still cold!  There was even snow on the ground in many spots.

The National Museum of Natural History is another one of my favorites!

While exploring the city, we stumbled across this dump.

I’m still doing my running streak, which requires me to run at least 3.1 miles each day.  On Monday morning, we woke up and ran by The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial and then to the Smithsonian Metro station to go back to our hotel.

Early mornings in D.C. are absolutely beautiful. And, there are no tourists out that early. This photo looks like a postcard.

Then, I left Tristan at the hotel and went to work, which is right next door to Union Station.

After work, Tristan met me half way down Massachusetts Avenue between our hotel and my work. We visited the International Spy Museum. We also checked out the National Portrait Gallery, where Michelle Obama’s portrait had been recently unvelied.

In the same room is one of my personal heroes: Bill Gates.

For dinner, we ate at one of my favorite places — Hill Country BBQ. We were pretty impressed when Attorney General Jeff Sessions walked in.

I sent Tristan to chat him up and we both got selfies with him.

Tristan was impressed with his entourage waiting outside the restaurant.

On Tuesday after I finished work, we went to the National Museum of African American History. This museum is awesome and I regretted not being able to spend more time there (it was nearly closing time when we arrived).

On my lunch break on Wednesday, I explored Capitol Hill with a colleague.  Still snow on the ground!

Wednesday evening, Tristan and I went to he Holocaust Museum and then for a run around The White House.

On Thursday, it was good to be finished with work. Tristan and I explored The Mall and the National Air and Space Museum.  We found the car from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on display on the mall.

That evening after dinner, we went to Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream. It did not disappoint!

On my trips, I always get to FaceTime my baby!

On Friday, I reserved some sightseeing time before heading back to Georgia. We started at the Supreme Court. It was my first visit.

Then we went into one of my favorite buildings — The Library of Congress.  I think it is the most beautiful building I have ever been in.

That afternoon, we returned home to prepare for Easter festivities!