Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iowa State Fair: Janet Jackson

fyi... the next couple of posts including this one are really late and old.. but Mediacom internet has not been my friend..

Wow. Miss Jackson hit the stage in full force. I can’t even remember what happened because it all happened so fast, which sadly, is part of my disappointment in her but I’ll get to that. First off, Janet is still JANET! She still masters the moves she was doing 20 years ago. It was so great to sing and dance along to crowd favorites like Escapade, Runaway, Miss You Much, and Scream. We had floor seats so we were right in amongst the “action.” I use the word action loosely as we were way off to the side but we definitely had some SUPER Janet fans around us that kept us entertained. There was one point during her set when she came to the edge of the stage and waved in our general direction and this guy lost his mind! He was fan-girling so hard for Janet, it was amazing! The concert featured her #1s, and she has a lot of them, so she only sang snippets of some. A definite highlight was Rhythm Nation and watching her do the dance. SO SWEET! Everybody lost their marbles when she started in on the dance. She ended the show with Together Again in which she had a little picture montage of Michael in the background. I thought it was really great and the crowd loved it, jumping along with her. She was very giggly during the entire thing which I thought was funny.

And then comes the not so great parts. The show was supposed to start at 8 and she didn’t go on until about 8:33. Okay, I get it. I was totally fine with that because it was a beautiful night to be outside and we were just excited to see her. She came out and sang maybe 3 songs and then went backstage for what seemed like 5 minutes. Came back out and sang 2 more songs and then went backstage again for another 5 minutes. She came back out (still in the same outfit mind you… never did she do a wardrobe change) and performed some of her great dance songs before going backstage for maybe another 10 minutes, and then finally came back out again to sing a couple more and end the show. It was just the weirdest thing with everyone standing and dancing along one minute and then having to sit and wait for her the next. It seemed like we just spent a lot of time waiting for Janet. When she was on stage = amazing! But when she wasn’t, we were bored. In total, she performed for about an hour and 2 minutes. An HOUR!

Overall, I was really impressed with Janet both musically and dance-ability, however, I was left wanting more. I think most people around us felt the same way as you could start to hear some boos from the crowd when she wasn’t onstage people were making comments. If Janet ever comes back to Des Moines, I hope for something more.

Here's a picture of us pre-Janet setting the World Record for Stop, Drop, and Roll

Friday, September 16, 2011

Iowa State Fair: The Band Perry

Who doesn't love a free concert?  Even better (in Jenni's mind) who doesn't love a free concert at the IOWA STATE FAIR!!??  The Band Perry was playing so Jenni, Allison, and I headed downtown to get some grub, take in the sights of the fair, and hear some good country music.  We knew they were expecting a big crowd but this crowd was GIANT!  I'm pretty sure the amount of people at this show could have filled the grandstand on the main stage.  It was a bummer to have the Sara Bareilles and Sugarland concert cancelled so it was great to get to see a good country show at the fair.  The weather was perfect, a lot of our friends ended up coming to the show as well, and it was a wonderful night.

btw, the Ying Yang Twins were on the stage just up the road from The Band Perry.  Talk about a concert for everyone... :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lainey Charlotte Johnson

Welcome Miss Lainey Charlotte Johnson! (you're like, so old by now. sorry about the late post) She's so lovely!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kickball/Wiffleball Night

No games of wiffleball quite match up to the games played against the neighborhood crew in my parents backyard...but I still love a good attempt at a great game of wiffleball.  A bunch of friends got together at Legion park to take on whoever was willing to play.  The game basically consisted of Kate and I standing in the outfield no more than 2 feet apart just chatting while everyone else fielded the balls around us.  (like I said, no wiffleball game is quite like the games we used to play in our back yard of my parents house).  When we decided we had enough of that sport, we played the next best thing, kickball!  I proceeded to get yelled at by Adam for not catching a ball that was hit over my head and landed directly in front of him. :)  I was able to make some other "redeeming" catches though.  It was a great night that ended with a viewing of The Sandlot.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Josh Groban!

Finally, Josh Groban made an appearance in Des Moines.  The last time I saw him was in Chicago with Jason and Brooke.  That night happened to be one of the worst snow storms in Chicago extending all the way in to Iowa.  Thankfully, that did not stop the concert from happening.  This time, Josh came to MY city.  Jason and I met up with my coworker Christie and her husband Chris for dinner at Fongs before the show (delicious!)
Josh opened the show on the stage right in front of us so that was a nice treat.  This was a pretty scaled down show in comparison to the last time we saw him.  He spent a lot of time talking with the crowd, making fun of the Iowa State fair attenders, and making fun of himself.  He was quite witty and you could tell her really is a big dork, which I appreciate.
All in all, it was a great show and a great night!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Wisconsin Dells

Our trips to the Dells to end our summer vacation were something I looked forward to every year growing up.  We'd pack our vans full of everything possible.. and then fill the vans with our family and the Griffith family and head out on the windy river roads headed toward Wisconsin Dells.  Some of my best (and worst, I'll get to that in a minute) memories came from our family trip to the Dells.  Its funny to think back to the things we did and learned on some of those trips: how to cross a BUSY street while carrying a cooler full of goodies (thanks Cary), how to get kicked off a go-kart track (thanks Travis), how to flip your tube on the water slide and not get in trouble by the life guard (thanks again Travis), how to scope out the cute lifeguards (thanks Kim), when NOT to ride a simulator (or Shelby?) that is called White Water Rafting because you will puke after it!, what constitutes being a "big kid" and getting to hang out with the big kids at Science World (no thanks to ANYONE since I got left behind), which water slides were the fastest: kamikaze, corkscrew, or blue magnum; There is ALWAYS a winner in miniature golf, and finally how to create the most fun while staying at one of the sketchiest places in the city (thanks parents!) These lessons may not make sense and mean nothing to you, but to us, they mean a great deal of fun and memories that we will always remember.

We were lucky enough to relive some of these memories with a weekend away to Wisconsin Dells.  Things have changed so much since we were last there but we had the most fun spending the days at the water park and the evening riding roller coasters before going back to the hotel to hang out on the party deck.  It was such a lovely weekend!  I can't wait for next year's Trost/Griffith reunion.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Stuck in Chicago

Well... what started out as a whirlwind trip has basically turned into a chaotic tornado. Our flight out of Des Moines was delayed... then there were mechanical problems which caused us to leave Des Moines about 2 hours late. We missed our connecting flight in Chicago to Paris and the next available flight that wasn't full leaves tonight around 6:30. That meant we basically miss out on 2 full days of fun in Europe. We were able to re-route our flight to head straight to Germany and we are completely skipping Poland. Sad but we are going to make the most of it. AND United has already received some strongly worded messages. Thankfully, my dear friends The Neuhrings were available to pick us up from the airport and we stayed at their house last night so it was nice to see some familiar faces in Chicago, I just wish it was under different circumstances. I'm thankful they were willing to take us in. Anyways, here's your live blog update Ryan. I'm not sure how much blogging I will be able to do though. BUT, next stop (for the second time) EUROPE!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane

Today I leave for another whirl wind trip through Europe.  This time I'll be visiting Poland, Germany, Belgium, and finishing our trip in Ireland.  I am beyond excited to explore these countries and see my friend Mirjam again (who is meeting us in Belgium).  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to travel with great friends and experience so many different cultures.  I ask for prayers of safe travels from country to country and safety while we explore the different cities we will visit. Cheers!