Thursday, July 24, 2014

Virginia Beach

Here's the report from Day 3 of our long weekend several weeks ago.

Ah, the beach! We left Charlottesville (Day 2) Sunday morning, arriving at our hotel on a bright sunny afternoon. 
Our hotel: The Oceanfront Inn (sunglasses recommended)

We were on the beach! Here's the view from room 117.
               Note large pedal-powered vehicle on path

We had some time before sound check, so Dennis and I took a little stroll to see the sights. Only three blocks away was the famous Neptune statue.

                       Neptune statue - not quite Athena, 
                       but a pretty impressive sculpture
(Hey, there's an idea for a blockbuster action flick: Neptune vs. Athena)
             Dennis with Neptune statue in background

The beach stretches for miles, with ocean front hotels lined up along a cement path for pedestrians, cyclists and larger pedal drawn vehicles that couples and families can rent.

I can tell you that the sand was hot. And the beach crowded.

                           The ocean - up close

Our gig was a Sunday night show, part of the ongoing Beach Street Music Festival. The stage was down at 17th St., a little too far to walk. So we fought the traffic, and we won.

                   A view of the ocean from the stage

                           A view of our stage
      David's Panoramic few of the beach from the drum riser
              Our sound man sets up temporary steps, 
preparing for the possibility that our wild guitarist might wander into the audience during a solo.

During sound check we were approached by a woman with a microphone accompanied by her cameraman. It looked like a feature story team from a local television station, but it turned out to be Yesenia Perez, who hosts her own independent web based show, News With Yessi. 

Here's what it looks like on their website:
And here's a link to the brief segment she produced:
Dennis did a great job of presenting us as a newsworthy item. And Yessi did a fine interview.

After soundcheck, looking for a place to eat, we avoided the abundant pizza options and discovered a colorful little Thai restaurant. 

           We all cleaned our plates - four hungry boys.

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Abbey Road, a local restaurant which is totally dedicated to Beatles memorabilia.

We couldn't resist going inside
                     framed Beatles poster at table
                 David at wall displaying memorabilia
                    Liverpool street sign at the bar 
                  David & Dennis at pool table 
         Menu at Abbey Road (The Yoko Ono is only 5.99)
Outside, we loved coordinating with the artwork on their wall

We had time to hang out back at the hotel before heading to the show. Some of us even took a nap, before getting dressed to leave for the show. 

As we drove the few blocks down to 17th Street, we noticed a couple dressed in fanciful clothing walking along the sidewalk, headed our direction. It turned out they were headed to the stage at 17th St. It was the man who introduced us to the crowd, along with his wife. Their festive attire was part of their portraying the fictional Mayor of Beach Street USA with his wife and their dog. It gave the evening a momentary Wizard of Oz tone.

"The Mayor of Beach Street USA" with his wife and dog
                     .....and an another view

The "Mayor of Beach Street USA" turned out to be Alfred Garr, the videographer who filmed the concert we played last August at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. It was great to see him again, all dressed up as a fantasy politician.

Another moment right before the show, with me displaying the little monkey sticker on my guitar, that is a gift from my granddaughter Ella, (the sticker, not the guitar) - I wanted to document its presence at the gig.

                   The crowd gathers before the show

It was a fun crowd. The highlight of audience response was a young lady who danced with a hula hoop. She was just having fun in the audience, but we were so impressed with her skillful choreography that we invited her up onto the stage, where she joined us during a song.

After the show, we found a pizza joint and actually ordered some beer to go with it.

The next morning, I couldn't resist one more stroll into the ocean. It's not every day one gets this close.

                        One guy's feet in the ocean

Then it was a long drive back to Nashville, back through Richmond and down I-81 entering Tennessee east of Knoxville. Ten hours of driving.

It was a great adventure, but three days in a row is about all we can stand. 

Bloggin' Bryan 24July2014

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