Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Incredible Evening Revisited

The 2011 edition of our Jimmy Buffett experience did what I thought could not be possible.  It topped last year's amazing treat many times over!  Thanks one again to Nancy's daughter Caroline, we were given the royal treatment that spanned 3 days.  Being included as part of their family is truly an honor.

The trip started on Wednesday with the check in to the Canterbury Hotel and the tour of the Presidential suite by Nancy who would be sharing the suite with Caroline.  Susie & I then went to check out our room, then met up again with Nancy for a wonderful dinner at Harry & Izzy's.

Thursday morning at breakfast brought many of the lucky ones together.  We also finally got to meet our gracious hostess Caroline who had arrived late the night before.  She told us to be in the lounge of Turners around 2:30 that afternoon for some munchies & drinks as we waited for the cars to take us to Verizon.  Sean, Mary, Joe, Gracia, Cathy, Caroline, Susie & I all enjoyed an amazing array of appetizers, champagne & beer as we sat in anticipation of the evening.

At a bit after 4:00, 2 big black SUV's pulled up, and we were on our way to the venue.  We went to the outdoor patio back stage where there was more food & drinks, and when given the signal to go to Caroline's room backstage we filed in through the dining room but ran into a snag.  The "guard" at the door hesitated to let us through and we had to stand in the dining room while we were checked out.

There were many people eating & I recognized one of the background singers when Susie noticed that just in front of her was Mac McAnally.  Looking at the table he was sitting at, I whispered in her ear "if you look to your right, that's Jimmy Buffett"!
Sean, who has met Mac before, says "Hi", and shakes hands with him when Jimmy stands up meet him.  Sean, who was focused on talking to Mac saw another hand being extended to him & was about to give a polite "hi, nice to meet you" when he realized exactly who was standing in front of him.  A very awkward moment had narrowly been avoided.
Because of the guard's hesitation, we all got to shake Jimmy's hand in an impromptu meet & greet.

We were herded back to the green room, where we stayed until we were given the word that Jimmy was ready to take a nap in the room next to us and to keep things quiet, we should go back out to the patio.
Several members of the band were out there and Susie got to really meet Mac and get her picture taken with him.  We finally got to get all the chosen in one place as Gary & Sherry joined the rest of us.  Nancy even got Tom & Julie out of the rabble of commoners outside and join the chosen within the fence.

As show time approached, we all found our seats in the 3rd row, front & center.  Amazing seats, amazing show!  They played some songs we've never heard played here before, and some they haven't done in a while.

 We were told that when "Fins" was over, we all had to get backstage and into the waiting cars.  The encores would be after that and as soon as they were done, the band rushes to their awaiting vehicles and we're in the police escort out of the parking lot.

People lined the exit road, all awaiting the caravan & hoping to get a glimpse of somebody famous.  Mary in our car, & Sean in the second car rolled down their windows and were yelling & thanking the crowd like they were part of the band.
After we all arrived back at the hotel, we went across the street and took over a whole corner of Steak and Shake for a late night snack.

It was an unforgettable night, and will always be deeply indebted to Caroline and her amazing generosity.