Abe and I left the house at 4:45 a.m. to catch our 6:00 flight to Chicago then Charlotte. People, that's early. I got myself ready, waking Abe up at the last minute. I rubbed his back to rouse him, and he looked up at me and smiled. I think he knew he was in for several days of fun.
He was incredible the entire flight. We weren't expecting that I'd be flying solo, but Ted had an unexpected job come up that shot the morning we were set to fly. C'est la vie (okay, really I freaked out when we first got that news that I'd be going by myself). Favorite part of this journey: as we boarded the plane from Chicago, Abe walked ahead of me down the aisle to our seat, blowing kisses at every passenger as we went past.
My sister picked us up at the airport and we drove the hour to Merlefest, where Abe met up again with his cousin:
Then we walked from the campground to the festival, Abe on Pappy's shoulders:
We went backstage to hear Travis Tritt sing "Here's a quarter, call someone who cares":
And made a stop by the playground on our way back to bed:Day Two:
Abe woke up asking where his Pappy was. This was his very first word of the day:
I dressed Abe in his Merlefest romper bought for him last year by his Aunt Tara, and the tradition of the morning golf-cart ride with Pappy began:
By noon, Ted had arrived after taking the red-eye and sleeping a few hours on the floor of Chicago O'Hare. We found out where our favorites, The Duhks, would be playing and settled in for an amazing show outside on the hillside stage, where I was terrified of Abe losing his balance and rolling all the way down that steep hill. We kept a tight grip on him:The Duhks are fun to dance to...or hula hoop to:
A thunderstorm and nonstop incredible music later, we were on our way back to camp to freshen up for the evening when we happened upon these guys:
This is exactly what I love most about Merlefest. The artists hobnob with the muggles. I was star-struck, borderline teary at getting to meet these guys, The Duhks, my favorite band for three years straight. Love, love, love these people. Two years ago, I got to dance on stage with them and John Paul Jones as they sang "Whole Lotta Love." And now, I got to say 'hi, I think you guys rock' directly to their pretty faces. Incredible.
Abe fakes us all out by falling asleep for a catnap during The Waybacks evening concert.
He wakes up right when we get to the camper, and is Up, Up, Up. So what else to do but another ride with Pappy before bed? Here he's blowing us kisses as he rides away while probably thinking, "suckers..."Day Three:
This is what my niece did all day, at least until her mom hid her book for a couple of hours in the afternoon:
The Hunger Games is really good. By the end of this day, right before bedtime, my niece was sitting alone in the camper, reading the last few pages and sniffling. She then appeared and declared it, "the best book I've ever read."
Yep, another day, another morning golf cart ride:
Here, Abe is wearing the "Half Full" tshirt I bought him three years ago at Merlefest. This was the very first thing either of us bought for our child once we started the adoption process. I blogged about it here.
I'll continue with part 2 later with the tale of that mind-boggling experience we had...