Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mates of State @ Bottom of the Hill, SF (1/23/15)

Last month, my wife, my buddy and I took in our first concert of the year at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.  It had been nearly 9 years since I had seen Mates of State, so it was really good to see them again; my wife and friend had never seen them, so it was a different sort of treat for them.  To start the evening, we had drinks at the Toronado, which is always a treat no matter how you slice it.

Nathan at Toronado

Suz at Toronado

A very packed Toronado on a Friday evening.

Toronado

Bottom of the Hill, Potrero Hill, SF

Completely sold out show, by the way.

Kori Gardner of Mates of State during sound check.

Jason Hammel, Kori's husband, during sound check.

Showtime...



Kori's facial expressions amused me, as shown be these photos (which I actually edited down!).








I included this mostly blurry photo because of the perfection of Kori gazing at her husband.





Good set - some "classics," some newer stuff, and some brand new stuff.

Coming up - day trips with the toddler.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

24 hours in the Carolinas, January 2-3, 2015

To finish up our Christmas vacation post-St. Kitts, we went to visit my wife's bridesmaid and her husband in Greenville, South Carolina.  The same night we arrived, her husband and I escaped the estrogen-fest (just kidding) to attend a Charlotte Hornets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game across the state line in North Carolina.  While one obviously shouldn't try to see the Carolinas in 24 hours, we weren't attempting that - just catching up with old friends.  Here are the photos.

Jess and Brian's place in Greenville.

Christopher loved it because of the carpeted stairs.

He loved to slide down them, which he can't do anywhere else he knows (wooden or concrete stairs).

"Yeeeeaaah!"

Jess and Brian had some news for us - they're expecting their firstborn!

Christopher and their dog, part 1

Part 2

Part 3

And Part 4 - the tail grab.

Brian will be a good dad.

We left Chris with the ladies and headed east on the highway to Charlotte...

...where we were among the first on the scene of a major accident.

Yikes.

One of the vehicles involved.

And the other (a big rig).

Charlotte, NC

Bank of America Stadium, which would host the Carolina Panthers' playoff game the following afternoon.

The Duke Energy Center, aka The Bottle Opener

Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Hornets (previously known as the Bobcats).









LeBron James wasn't playing due to an injury - unfortunately, I paid $100 more than I needed to since the prices plummeted with the injury news.

I drowned my economic sorrows with North Carolina craft beer, which is certainly one of the top craft beer scenes in the country (and deserves better recognition, especially on the west coast).

Some of the breweries represented.


Wide angle view from our seats.

A more representative image of our view (still nosebleed).

Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were playing for Cleveland, and propelled them to a 91-87 victory over the home team.


Time for more craft beer...

Fun times with Brian

Post-game, we had a late dinner at Cowbell Burger & Whiskey Bar.

The foie gras burger was excellent.  Something I couldn't easily get in California, obviously.

The next (rainy) day, we briefly explored downtown Greenville, SC.



Time for lunch at The Trappe Door, a Belgian beer bar.







Six different kinds of mussels and fries - very cool.

Christopher loves cell phones.


Just water, but I liked the colors.

My moules frites.



Brian took me to see the falls while the girls went home with Christopher.

Liberty Bridge, named after a corporation.




It started dumping rain right as I took this photo.

My bride and her bridesmaid, just before we made the drive to Atlanta to fly home for the season.

Coming up next - odds and ends.