After the whole vermin debacle, ST decided that we deserved a mini vacation. So, this weekend we drove down to Baltimore! We love taking road trips. Even though we only stayed two days, we came home refreshed 🙂 Side note: We are on Day 4 of no poop. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.
We had three good reasons for going:
- To take a much needed break.
- To celebrate my dear friend Rebecca’s birthday.
- To go to our first Shane & Shane concert with my buddy Jiwon! 😀
At 9 am, we were off! Road trips with ST are so fun. We listen to music and sing and dance to the tunes. He gets so silly, I love it. Am I the only person in the world not into Van Morrison or Pearl Jam? Sorry, but I think they sound like grandpas and not in a good way. ST has introduced me to stuff I’d never listen to – Sex Pistols, Aleks Syntek, Café Tacuba, The Clash – the list goes on.
We drove straight to the ‘burbs of Rockville where we were meeting with Reebs and Jiwon for lunch. As soon as we got into the area, I Yelped “cupcakes” and was directed to CakeDreams. Little did we know they had won a Cupcake Wars battle on the Food Network! Cool, huh? Personally, I think that show is boresville but it was still cool.
Our next stop was La Tasca in the Rockville Town Square to see two of my favorite divas. Side note: La Tasca is pretty good! I’m not quite sure why it got such a low Yelp rating but I stayed away from the paella all the same.
From then on, hilarity ensued. Rebecca (affectionately known as Reba or Reebs) and Jiwon were my suitemates during my sophomore year. Reebs is the world’s most awesome story-teller. She can literally tell a story about anything and have you guffawing with reckless abandon. So she decided to tell ST the most embarrassing stories about me, ever. I was kind of gross in college.
There is never a dull moment with these two.
Happy birthday, kiddo 🙂
We ate for almost THREE HOURS. Unlimited tapas + ST + Reebs = pure, unadulterated gluttony. Topped off with lattes and cupcakes. Let’s be clear: I’d never gorged on food until I met these girls. My fondest memories of them involves foods of all kinds. We’d set ourselves down in front of the TV and go at it like raccoons in trash cans. I’m not talking amateur buffet-eating where you undo the top button of your pants. I’m talking about the kind of eating where you have to take your pants off, you’re so stuffed. Like a pro.
I didn’t take any pictures of the food since I was too busy stuffing my face and laughing but my favorite tapas were the bacon-wrapped dates, the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, and the chicken empanadas.
Rockville Town Square is adorable.
I love NYC, but I have to admit that the suburbs rock. They’re clean, people are courteous, and the shops are so cute.
After our long lunch, we parted ways with Reebs and drove down to Woodbridge, VA to catch a free Shane & Shane concert! I was most excited to see Bethany Dillon, one of my music heroes. I’ve been listening to her since she was 16 and I was 19.
The venue was All Saints Church and the concerts were to celebrate their first worship service after a rebuilding. They really know how to organize an event! There were so many great bands, plus games, food, and prizes. Sweet.
It was an outdoor concert. We didn’t know so my chivalrous hubby gave us his sweatshirt to sit on.
While we waited for Bethany and Shane & Shane, Jiwon and I caught up and talked about everything – politics, abortion, faith – she is one of the most intelligent, faithful, and strongest women I know. I am so thankful to have spent the day with her – she’s a busy woman. She totally turned me around in key issues surrounding my faith. She’s just one of those people you can turn to receive gentle guidance and prayer. One in a gazillion, for sure.
We strolled over to the band merchandise and were pleasantly to find Shane Barnard of Shane & Shane setting up Bethany’s table. How sweet! He was very pleasant and stopped to take photos with everyone, including his #1 fan 😀
It was so cute how he was his wife’s roadie.
Next, we were introduced to a new band called Freely, who was really good. They actually play and sing back up for Shane & Shane, so we knew they’d be quality. Currently, they don’t have much on the Internet about them, but I did find this YouTube video of them performing the song “Daylight.”
Then came Bethany. Oh, Bethany how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First and foremost, I love your raw and beautiful talent. I love your humility and wit. I love how you came out on stage without pretense and clad in flip flops and just started doing what you do best – worship the Lord.
Darn you, iPhone. Actually, darn me because I forgot my camera and had to resort to iPhone pictures and video 😦
She played “Beautiful” – my favorite of all her songs. It’s hard to believe that she’s only 23 and has been singing and writing for 12 years. She’s also a mom! Despite her age, she is so well-spoken and poised. Above all, she exudes humility and grace.
You can hear me and Jiwon singing along in some parts, sorry. We couldn’t help it. I wanted to tell the people around me to shut up. Didn’t they know Bethany was singing “Beautiful”? What the frack.
Introducing a new song about how God can do so much more in our waiting than in our doing.
Then came the raucous and spectacular worship of Shane & Shane. Honestly, in the beginning I was kind of annoyed that Shane overshadowed Bethany. I was never a die-hard Shane & Shane fan when they first exploded onto the Christian music scene with “The Answer” (though I loved “Prodigal Me” and played it on repeat for like, months).
However, last night totally changed my mind. As in, they blew my mind. The thing about these guys is their genuine love for worshiping God. They live to do this. They would sing, play, and stomp like this in front of thousands, hundreds, or by themselves. We didn’t even have to be there – they weren’t performing.
My favorite song from their new album “Liberty.”
For freedom, He set me free
And yes, I am free indeed
He rewrote my name
Unshackled my shame
And opened my eyes to see
I am free
I also really loved the song “Your Love.” The way they describe how God’s love breaks you down is so real.
Your love tears me up
And when its done, puts me together
Your love calls me out
Of my death and my failure
Love, Your love
For me, God’s love is a complicated thing. I crave physical love – hugs, kisses, pats on the back. Because of this, I often don’t feel “connected” with God when I worship. Despite myself, I long for feelings, which are fleeting and unreliable. I’ve always had an issue with giving and receiving love. I expect returns on my investment. But that’s not how love works.
Anyway, what a great experience. I left inspired to reflect on my own worship and to challenge myself in worship. I vow to finally start guitar lessons and buy a new guitar to replace my Takamine that’s been on the fritz for a couple of years. I shall remain on this musical plateau no longer!
Thus ended our first day.