Saturday, February 10, 2018

Palace Theater with Dad

Our Christmas present for my Dad was a show at the Palace Theater.  I saw tickets to see Sal "The Voice" Valentinetti, and I knew this would be the perfect show for him.   Sal was a contestant on America's Got Talent, and the judges and America just loved him.   Although he doesn't look it, he's only in his early twenties.  And yet he loves the music of the Frank Sinatra era.   Since the show, he's put together his own show with a brass band, "The Black Tie Band" behind him.   

We had good intentions of bringing Dad out for a nice meal, but realized as I called several restaurants that we would never find one near the theater that didn't have a long wait.  So we decided to stop at the next place we drove by, and it was a Wendy's!   No matter....Dad is very easygoing, and he was quite content with a hamburger and a hot cup of coffee.  Cheap date! 

Our tickets included a "Meet and Greet" before the show.   Dad didn't want to stand in line, so he sat in a chair while Hubby and I waited, then we called him forward when it was our turn.   Sal turned out to be a very friendly and personable young man.  He's extremely Italian!  When I told him this was my Dad, he says, "Forgedaboutit!  He's too young!  And who's this guy? Your Husband?  No way"!   And he turns them both toward the crowd and says, "Hey! Who do youz think is older?"  After our picture, he shakes my Dad's hand and says,  "Hey, keep it cookin', good lookin'!"




The Black Tie Band warmed up the stage.


And then Sal came out and sang many of the old standards by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitgerald, etc. In between songs he had a hilarious patter that kept us all laughing.



When we left the theater, we saw his buddy "Big Tommy" who had accompanied him to America's Got Talent and now was helping him with his tour.


It was a great night and so nice to spend some quality time with my Dad!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recycled Percussion

Recycled Percussion has become one of my favorite groups, as much for their compassion and love for their fellow man, as for their musical ability and showmanship.

I first saw this group on "America's Got Talent" and really loved them.  They hale from NH, right up the road in Goffstown, which made them the 'act to watch' for me.  They came in third place and made a name for themselves nationally.  It wasn't long before they were putting on shows in Vegas.

A couple of years ago, one of my children gave me tickets to see their show at the Palace Theater in Manchester and I was blown away!   Their show is amazing and hilariously funny.   From there I started following them on FB.   

This year, they decided to dedicate themselves to thanking the State of NH for helping them in their beginning.   They created a  show called "Chaos and Kindness" where the band members go around the state, creating chaos in their own unique way and doing many, many acts of kindnesss.  It has endeared them to many New Hampshire folks, including myself.  

Most recently, they broke the Guiness Book of World Records by doing a concert in all 50 states in 12 days!  The reason they did it was to raise money for their foundation.  They were trying to raise 50K and raised 70K instead!  The money was used to purchase Christmas gifts for needy families.  The really cool thing about this group is they do everything themselves....from purchasing the toys to distributing them.  And they call out to their fans to come and donate their time as well, thus spreading the kindness.

Anyway.....Hubby and I got tickets to see this year's show at the Palace, and it did not disappoint.


We started our night at the restaurant right next door to the Palace Theater.  It's actually two restaurants side-by-side, and you can order off either restaurant's menu no matter which restaurant you are sitting in!




I got the same seats as last time.  In the balcony along the side of the theater.  The balcony there is only two seats wide, and we are almost on top of the stage which is wonderful because you can see everything!  I do always feel like I am one of the old guys in the balcony at the Muppet Show!  LOL




They set up the stage for the Christmas season with more Christmas lights than have ever been on a stage before!!   They started out doing some of their amazing drumming.



Interspersed with the drumming were some very funny comedy skits.  Here Justin and Ryan were having a drum-off.  Ryan had to copy every move Justin made.   When Justin blew a bubble with is gum, Ryan couldn't follow because he had no gum.  So Justin gave him his.   And after blowing his bubble, Ryan offered it back if Justin would take it directly out of his mouth!  And Justin did!!



Ryan amazed us all by playing percussion on his body.  This lends credence to Hubby's "belly slapping" that he is actually using as percussion on our CD!


Ryan on the drums.  He is amazing.  I love his "drum set"....with plastic barrels and pots and pans.


Justin goes crazy on the drums!


Then they did the part of the show I liked the best.  They took nostalgic toys and created musical rhythm with them using the sounds the toys made.  Balls, bicycle bells, Hungry Hungry Hippoes, Operation...etc.  The creativity and precision to pull this off is amazing!


And Ryan was awesome on the Romper Stompers!


Then they did their iconic routine on the ladders!



Ryan was so high, he was at level with us in the balcony!


And then he jumped from the top of the ladders!


They closed out the show by playing to the top ten Rock and Roll songs of the 80's.


A little dancing




And a salute goodbye.



After the show you could meet the band and get some of their swag autographed.  I tried to take a selfie with them, but like a dummy I had the phone flipped the wrong way, and by the time I figured it out they were telling me no selfies because it held up the line!   Damn it!  

It was a fun-filled night and just a thrill to see them perform in person.  I will definitely get tickets again next time they come around!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas with the Kids 2017

Our Annual Kids' Family Christmas was this past Sunday.   All my kids and grandkids and my Dad were able to come!   We started off with a brunch of casseroles, potato boats, and quiche.   I'm so grateful I can fit this crew into my kitchen!  I love having my family around the table!!


After brunch we settled in the living room for the opening of the presents.

My Dad


Doug Kara and Emily


Kelly and Nick


Sean and Jamie


The grandkids serenaded us with some music.

Emily has gotten quite proficient on the ukulele


Audrey and Elise pounded out some "tunes" on the piano!



After a little while of listening to some of that "music" we distracted the girls with Memere's Snowman Band.


Everyone is always eager to see what the kids got for Christmas!



Jamie got me a "selfie stick" and we had a blast using that and letting the kids try it out as well.






Nick and Kelly settled the kids down by reading them a story from one of their new books.



As always, it was a wonderful day spent with the people I love the most in this world.   I always consider myself the luckiest woman in the world to have a husband, a father, children and grandchildren who gather in my home and enjoy time spent together.   It was a very, merry Christmas!






Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Adventure

Hubby and I had the pleasure of taking our two littlest grandkids out for a Christmas Adventure.  We went to Charmingfare Farm in Hooksett, NH for Santa's Sleighride and Visit to the North Pole!

When we arrived there was a tractor on the side of the walkway that Elise just had to try out.


We had about 20 minutes before it was our turn to ride the wagon, so we visited with some of the animals.


Pepere and Elise check out the chickens.


A baby reindeer


And the beautiful Reindeer Daddy.


Audrey loved making footprints in the snow.


It was finally time to ride the sleigh to Santa's North Pole!!


We brought some extra blankets and bundled up nice and warm!




The sleigh ride was about 20 minutes long through beautiful country.


There were several cute little displays along the way with all kinds of different scenes.  One of the them was the Grinch's Cave.  When I told Audrey that the Grinch was a mean guy who came and took all the Christmas presents, she looked at me with her very serious little face and asked, "Is he real?"   I assured her he was a character in a story!



We finally arrived at the North Pole and met Santa, along with Mrs. Santa and a bunch of other characters.  The girls were willing to "high-five" some of them.  Elise loved the dog, and Audrey really liked the mouse.



Neither one were interested in getting too close to Santa, so he snuck in behind them for a Thumbs Up!


We all enjoyed some cocoa and cookies, and relaxed beside the campfire.



On the way back, we got a ride on the "train" being pulled by the tractor!



After the farm, we stopped in at McDonald's for a little lunch

Audrey ate her sandwich "like a shark"  (which was her favorite animal on the previous  trip we took her on to the Aquarium!)



Elise enjoyed staring at the other diners.   A couple of times I had to grab her leg before she climbed over!



All tuckered out and ready to go home!