Our sweet childhood friend Meadow and her daughter, Irene.
Today's the day! The whole reason we decided to make this crazy road trip in the first place. So here's the deal: One of Nate's favorite bands in the whole world is a group called Animal Collective. You can listen to them here.
Apparently, they very rarely tour, and when they do, they certainly don't come to Nashville. Back in January, we were browsing through their website, listening to new music when we decided to check out their tour schedule. Well, lo and behold, we discovered that they were indeed touring, but they were only doing five shows and they were all in remote locations in California.
Not ones to be deterred by a lack of geographical closeness, we started hatching a plan to go see one of these Cali shows, specifically the one in Big Sur.
For those of you who have never been, I would certainly recommend placing Big Sur, and the entire California coast for that matter, on your bucket list of places to see before you die. It is literally breathtaking. I had the privilege of living in the area when I was growing up, and really wanted to show Nate.
We had originally planned on flying and just taking Maddux to the show. It would be outdoors in the redwoods, and we could spread a blanket, put these on, and just relax and listen to music.
Well, Mother Nature had other plans apparently. Big Sur experienced a deluge of rainfall which caused a part of Highway 1 to literally fall into the ocean. And guess where that part was? Yes, right at the Henry Miller Library, which is where the concert was to be held.
Obviously, they had to move the show, which bummed us out. We were looking forward to camping near the concert site and breathing in the ocean air. But, we figured Animal Collective would be good wherever they ended up playing. The show was moved about 30 miles up the coast to the cool, laid-back town of Santa Cruz. The venue was now indoors in an 18 and older, dark club, so there was no way we could take the Little Guy with us. Thank God for Nana!
Mom, Maddux and I would drive (since my mom won't fly), and Nate would join us in L.A.
It worked out perfectly! Mom and I got to have an incredible girls' trip together, Maddux got to see some of our beautiful country, and Nate still got to see Animal Collective.
The icing on the cake was the fact that one of our good friends that we had grown up with in California now lived in Santa Cruz, and she graciously let us stay with her for the night.
Meadow and her gorgeous daughter took us to eat the most delicious organic Mexican food. It was just a little place downtown, with a few tables outside for seating, but it was amazing!
After dinner, Meadow and Mom took the kids back to the house, and Nate and I headed across the street to the concert. The people who had Big Sur tickets got to go in early, so we ended up at the front of the stage right in front of the speakers. Nate's ear suffered a bit, but I had remembered my earplugs. :)
The show was amazing! I have to say I wasn't quite sure if I would like them live or not. Their music is very textured, with lots of sounds and intricate harmonies. I didn't know if they would be able to pull it off live, but they did, and then some. We had such an incredible night. There was an after-party, but we headed home to snuggle up with Munchie. We wanted to get an early start the next morning so we could spend as much time in Monterey as possible.