Between the Verses: July in a Lyrical Nutshell

July was a very long month; with work, travel, grand opening parties, and all things life, it required a conscious push to march hard toward each thing that was ‘next’ on the docket.  It was a definite challenge to constantly fire on all cylinders, but it was worth it, and thankfully interrupted by a handful of very memorable and unreasonably perfect summer nights.

While summer nights in Charlottesville all typically equate to the good life, there was one Saturday in particular that stood out from the rest.  It had been a pretty full day of MADness (see this post for a more macro level recap) and life-things, so by the time 5pm rolled around, I was ready for a low-key summer cville night and I knew exactly where I wanted to go: the Sarah Bareilles concert at the n’Telos Wireless Pavillion downtown.

fuel sweat grow: sarah bareilles charlottesville

It might not necessarily sound like a relaxing night — going to a concert — but one of the most beautiful things about Charlottesville is just how accessible and intimate the entire downtown scene is, concert venues included.  You would think that being such a small town with smaller venues might not attract the same caliber of artists, but it’s just the opposite.  We are spoiled.

By 5:15 I had convinced Elly and Dar to come with me; at 5:30 I had all of our tickets in hand.  By 6pm I had picked them up in the party bus (enjoy the slightly exaggerated mental image) and we were en-route to Bella’s for a little pre-show wine and dinner. It was the perfect prelude to a ladies night out, and I didn’t think it could get much better – but it did.

fuel sweat grow: sarah bareilles charlottesville

The weather was perfect.  No humidity, low heat, rain AND insect free; a seemingly impossible combination.  Add on a box seat upgrade from MAD auto girl herself, Jamie Schwartz, and you’ve got the best of everything right there.  Also, she played this song, which might have completed my life.

fuel sweat grow: sarah bareilles cville

Fast forward two and a half weeks; skipping over week 1 of work back in Charlotte, all of the adventures in Charleston for the Grand Opening party, CLT work week 2, and say hello to this past Monday which brought the 2nd Installment of Sarah Bareilles into my summer, this time with 3rd row seats at the Uptown Amphitheater at the Music Factory.

fuel sweat grow: sarah bareilles

Sometimes you just need it; lyrical connection, live music, an escape from the day to day, and a night out with friends.  The Charlotte show brought another night of seemingly impossible summer weather: no humidity, low 80’s, and just a general calm in the air that lends itself directly to a state of relaxed euphoria.  Tack on 5 people I love, and you’re really gaining momentum.

fuel sweat grow: sarah Bareilles

I’m not sure what it is about this particular artist; if it’s the nostalgic connection some of her songs have to my happiest and most painful memories, or if just the perfect storm of conditions and known songs was enough to peel back every layer of stress and concern that have formed around me, but I seriously considered quitting my life to follow this tour and see if I can find all the answers somewhere between the verses.

Since I had this same feeling at the Delta Rae show in Charlotte just a couple of months back (good thing it was their last tour date), I’m going to chock it up to being a love and connection for music – live music specifically – and am committing to doing a better job of making time for these blissful life escapes.  We all need a break from time to time; a recharge, and reconnection, to reflect and process the chaos that came before and will undoubtedly come after.

So, that being said….who’s got any good suggestions for must-see shows?

 

Wednesday, Thursday, FRIDAY….plus a little weekend

This week was more than a little crazy, but despite the long work days and project balancing, I was in Charlottesville and that in and of itself is something to be celebrated.  And it was, because Friday’s After Five is back for the season and we all finally have a renewed sense of motivation and drive to push through the rest of the week.

Fuel Sweat Grow: Friday's After Five 2014

Based on sales there were an estimated 20K people in attendance on Friday, only slightly down from last year – which I’d imagine was a result of the 50 degree chill, but still no place in the world I’d rather be.

Earlier in the day I actually took a little lunch break adventure as a part of our #MADloveCville campaign around town, and grabbed some sweet Cadbury Egg FILLED cupcakes from SweetHaus and dropped the off with a note and free class for a little ‘Free Sweet, Free Sweat’ action.

First Stop: the NEW Sass Factory Salon on Main Street (next to Bella’s).  These ladies are awesome, and despite being MAD in their own right, they’re some of our favorite clients to have in class so it made perfect sense to drop in.

fuel sweat grow: Sass Factory Salon #MADloveCville

Stop #2 happened at lululemon Charlottesville (showroom now located next to Shenanigans in the Main St. Annex) where Coach Kiks watched over the sweet little bundle and made sure it went to a good home.

Fuel Sweat Grow: lululemon #MADloveCville

I had two more cupcakes to give out, but was tight on time, so I saved them for the evening and left one with the awesome police at the information booth on the way in to Fridays to give out with their best discretion, and soldiered on into the MADness that was Fridays to give out the remaining treat, along with about 50 free class passes.  The beauty of Charlottesville is the community, the events that bring us together.  It’s rare to be able to go out every Friday night and know where all your friends are, and that there’s a single place to bring everyone together without having to juggle scheduling and multiple obligations.  For the constantly over-scheduled and under-available of us, it is the best way to streamline friends and friday plans into a pretty concise and guaranteed package.

By 8pm it was time for some food, and wine apparently, and Orzo was an easy choice after last week’s great dinner.  My parents were in town checking out houses, again, so it was a great meal to add to their slow tour d’Charlottesville.

Fuel Sweat Grow: Orzo kitchen

While it was pretty substantial that my parents were looking to retire in my favorite town in the world, the most substantial thing was the unlikely reality of the place they finally found.  My parents have a thing for water and land, which made some of their initial choices a little ‘interesting,’ but they eventually found ‘the one,’ that just so happens to be a house that I’ve observed from afar more times than I can count.

It’s not central in town, or on the typical beaten path that everyone would know, but if you were a rower at Virginia, it was on your daily path…on the water.

fuel sweat grow: Rivanna House

The edge of their property lines up with the final 250 meter marker on the rivanna 2k course, on the water UVa rows on.  It’s beautiful, it’s sentimental, and it’s the last little puzzle piece tying so much of my college experience together.  Even though they aren’t planning to move for a couple of years, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be sooner rather than later.  And the best part?  There’s a pool that will be ready by closing in a month, and you better believe I’ll be ready too.

All in all the weekend was a pretty great start to ‘summer,’ and the rest of what’s to come.