Sometimes an upcoming vacation is all that gets you through the weeks leading up to it. Bad days and frustrations are almost entirely negated by the happy chant of ‘VaCAAAAtion!’ going through the back of your mind.
Sometimes, the vacation sneaks up on you with ninja skills and smacks your unprepared self in the head with a hammer. That is how, on Friday, the 15th of July, I found myself desperately rushing out the door of my office at lunch, in order to race home and pack camping equipment and clothing adequate for a trip to Sarnia Bayfest, before Trip Buddy M arrived to pick me up.
Sarnia Bayfest: Series of weekends of outdoor concerts that happens every year in Sarnia, though this is the first time I’ve made it to any part of it. We went to the Country Music weekend, both the Friday and Saturday night concerts.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get out of work on time, on the days when you really NEED to be on time? I got stuck in a long and unnecessary conversation with someone who rarely speaks to me, except when I’m trying to leave in a hurry.
We made good time to Sarnia, arrived at the campground (big field next to a race-track – no fires allowed) we’d reserved at, and discovered that we had accidentally been reserved at the other campground (park full of small hills – no fires, no alcohol) created specifically for the concert, within a five minute walk of the concert field, yay!
We set up my (awesome, good quality, lightweight, AND inexpensively purchased at an army surplus store) tent in the least slope-ey place we could find that didn’t already have a tent on it, and headed out to dinner and then the concert. The concert was great. I love that most country artists sound like they do on their cds. Unlike many other current artists(not all… but many), most country artists that make it big have to be able to sing without the aid of computers and synthesizers. Seriously, when did ‘look’ become more important than ability in most mainstream music?
We saw Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, George Canyon, and Dry County the first night. Dry County opened, and, while I’d never heard of them, I think they might be my favourite of that night. Great vocals, great lyrics, and generally great country-rock mix sound to them. All the music was excellent, though! And the weather was perfect – not too ridiculously hot (like the day had been) and not at all buggy (surprisingly). We stood in the crowd, people-watched and enjoyed the music.
People-watching, though. I haven’t been to a country concert before, let alone an outdoor country concert. The people watching there is brilliant and entertaining! It would seem that country music brings out the same thing in many girls that Halloween does. Apparently, it grants permission to dress a bit (or a lot) slutty. I have a few
branches of my family tree who live on farms, or work on farms. I can guarantee that Daisy Duke shorts and a bikini top, even paired with a cowboy hat and (high-heeled) cowboy boots are not what girls wear while working on the farm. Trace Adkins’ music video dancers, maybe. But not really… ‘country’. Keep your honkeytonk badonkadonk covered. Seriously. Ho and Hoe… these things are not the same, and only one can be defined as ‘country’.
Now, the guys. They were the burnt canvass of tattoo artists’ dreams. There were some epic tattoos… and then there were some of ‘questionable judgment’. Some questions I can think of: What does the Monster Energy Drink symbol you tattooed, hand-sized on your stomach, mean to you? Something deep, I’m sure. Does your naked-lady-on-your-arm really reel in the ladies? Maybe you should at least apply some sunscreen on her, so she doesn’t look like a roast-pig lady. Why a giant zombie face on your shoulder? And, the winner (and also a girl)… the ford symbol over one breast, and the NASCAR flags over the other. I can’t even think of an adequate question to ask.
Apart from many many plaid shirts with the sleeves cut off, I saw a few guys who had more of a duelling banjos opinion of country music. I’m wondering if I’m not ‘getting’ the reference, because I saw three guys, over the course of the night, dressed like this: pair of overalls, one shoulder strap clipped, one shoulder strap dangling. No top. Pant legs rolled up to just below the knee. So tell me: is this a reference I’m just not getting?
short long-but-not-as-long-as-it-could-be, we walked back to our tent, cheerful and tired. I was ready for a long nights’ sleep and a day of wandering around Sarnia on Saturday.
Little did we know, the gods had other things in mind for us.
*Cue ominous rumble of thunder in the distance