November 12, 2012

Grocery Store Tour and Piano Guys!

We had a big weekend!  Super big!  Well, I'm counting Friday as part of the weekend because that's really where the fun began.

Friday we woke up to snow, bundled up, pulled on our snow boots, and headed for Macey's grocery store for a store tour with some other online schoolers.  It was a lot of fun.  On the way, the kids talked about what they thought they'd get to see and it was interesting to hear them, on the ride home, compare what they thought it would be like with what it was really like.

Haven looking into the trash compactor.

They learned about how much milk one store sells per day.  I was floored!  2,000 gallons per day?!?!  We went in the back room and watched a demonstration with the little fork lift and the trash compactors.  The back room was smaller than we envisioned.  They must just unload most trucks directly on to the shelves.

After the tour was Hannah Jane's Daring Club for girls, which met at the library.  The boys and I hit the McD's playground while we waited and then headed back to the library where they played online and I got some lesson planning done.  Then it was home for a quick clean up and dinner before taking Hannah Jane to the Kappa Delta house for a space themed night of fun with her girl scout troop.

Saturday morning it was off to our favorite sledding hill.  Last year was a lousy winter and we didn't get to sled a single time until maybe May!  It's not even Thanksgiving and we've already gotten a second sled worthy layer.  Bodes well for the winter to come, although the newspaper is predicting another warm, dry winter, so we better get in all the sledding we can

All of that was fun, but the biggest event of the weekend was going with Hannah Jane and Haven to see the Piano Guys live!  They saved their allowance and bought their own tickets.  Hunter wasn't into it, and neither was Joe, so they stayed home and had a movie night together.

Haven, practicing his air piano riffs while he waits for show time.
I had no idea just how big this event was going to be.  I mean, they're a little YouTube sensation, yes, but it's just YouTube, right?  And it's a small venue on a college campus.  If you don't know the Piano Guys, here are a couple of our favorite videos.

Because the tickets did not assign seats, we got there early to make sure we got a seat that was good for the kids.  I thought getting there an hour and a half early might have been an unnecessary precaution, but boy was I glad we went when we did!  There was already a short line of people who looked like they had been there for hours.  Quickly the lines filled up in both directions from the main doors.  People were pushing, ill mannered elderly folks cut in line, probably assuming no one would call an old person out on being rude.  Some people who came to buy tickets that night went away crying, while others sat down and made signs saying they'd buy your tickets and offering triple what we paid to get in.  It was madness!  But once the show got started, I saw why.

The Piano Guys were so fantastic.  They were funny, wholesome, and talented.  Every second of the show was a joy and my face hurt by the end of the night from smiling so much.  Hannah Jane freaked out at every song, whispering, "Can you believe it?  Oh my gosh!  This is my favorite!"  Haven perfected the fan squeal and screamed like a maniac after each song.  He especially loved their bit about the cello part for Pachelbel's Cannon being a boring repeat of 8 notes and how Pachelbel must have hated cello players.  I hadn't seen this video before, but here's their fantastic makeover of the song.  Haven cracked up as the cello player ate a banana as he played, threw it over his shoulder, ate some cotton candy, and fell asleep.  It was adorable.  Soon, though, Haven couldn't fight the sleepies any longer and was passed out across my lap.

The highlight of the show, for me, was when they turned up the house lights and asked if there were any professional piano players in the audience.  After a long wait, a man ran down from way up in the back.  he was a member of the piano faculty and his son dared him to go up.  What happened next was easily the most entertaining 5 minutes of any musical performance I've every seen.  This random professor went up, and with one hand behind his back, played along side the Piano Guys, making them seem like school kids.  Together they rocked, standing, kneeling, using elbows and foreheads while they played.  It was spectacular!  And it was clearly the most surprising random audience pull ever.

Hannah Jane wanted to hand around and get autographs, but Haven was out cold over my shoulder and the line for meeting the guys themselves was long, so I coaxed her out the door, back into the snow.  In the van, she vowed to save every allowance dollar earned in case the Piano Guys ever come back and for buying a Piano Guys shirt next time she sees them.  She was inspired.  She droned on about how she needs to refocus her musical energies on something like cello instead of flute, because obviously it's cooler.  I tried explaining that it was cool because he played cello in a completely different way from every other cello player and she could do the same for flute.  She look skeptical and unconvinced.  Still, I can't teach her cello and I'm not

We got home very much past bedtime and the kids quickly zonked out in the tent that gets set up every weekend in the living room.  It was such an amazing night!

Last night we had a wonderful observance of the Birth of Baha'u'llah, but that holy day is still in progress, so I'll save that post for tomorrow, when we've lived it to its fullest!

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