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HamFam's picture
on November 21, 2010 - 6:09pm

My "Illuminations" experience began on October 20th at the announcement of the “Begin We Begin” shows. Since I live in Sacramento and my work is in our crazy time (Budget Analyst), I could only attend the San Diego show since it was a weekend. This meant I had to go alone and miss out on attending Santa Barbara with my other Grobanite friends. That was ok because when you’re at a Josh concert, you’re never really alone.

I was so excited to see that tickets were going on sale on Friday (10/22) since it was a Furlough Friday for me. Well, then I read that FOJG members got to purchase tickets on the 21st. That was great except that I had to work. Scrambling trying to figure out how I was going to pull this off, my husband said, “I can get them for you”. What a sweetheart! So, I made sure I had all of the information he needed for the next morning…FOJG log in, Ticketmaster account information, etc. The next morning was the big day. About 5 minutes before the tickets went on sale I realized I never saw a password for the sale, which has usually been the case. I called up a friend who was buying tickets to Santa Barbara and she told me where to find the password. I frantically called my husband and explained how to get the password before the tickets went on sale. Whew…problem diverted. (Thanks Deanna!)

About 5 minutes after the tickets went on sale my husband called me at work. He said, “I don’t know if you’re going to like these tickets. I could only get Orchestra Row A”. WHAT?!?!? I was so excited! Now, to make travel plans and, of course, ask for the time off work.

As I was making my travel arrangements, I decided I wanted to make a weekend out of it. I asked my best friend if her and her 4 ½ year old would like to spend the weekend in San Diego with me. She jumped on it, so now I wasn’t travelling alone. We decided to throw in a trip to the zoo while we were there.

All of my plans were made, with great deals found for my flight, car, and hotel. I felt like I should go out and buy a lottery ticket since everything was lining up beautifully. Well, the next day my mom called and said she was having surgery on November 5th instead of in February, as planned. Wait…my show is on the 7th in San Diego. I am supposed to be her caretaker after the surgery. What am I to do now? Good thing I didn’t get the lottery ticket. After scrambling around, I found someone to care for my mom while I was away for 2 days. She would be in the capable hands of her best friend. What could go wrong?

Saturday, November 6th came really fast and it was time to leave for San Diego. Our flight and everything was going great. Even the 4 year old was being incredible sweet. We got to San Diego and before we checked into the hotel, we stopped in Old Town San Diego for some yummy Mexican Food. We weren’t there even 5 minutes when my mom’s best friend called. My mom was in the ER because of some excessive bleeding. Oh, the guilt really set in. Now what am I to do? Luckily, after a few hours in the ER, my mom was fine and ok to return home. I was just feeling so guilty about not being there but my mom told me to have a good time. Yeah, I’ll try.

The next morning, the three of us awoke to a beautiful San Diego morning. After breakfast at Denny’s we were off to the San Diego Zoo. Seeing the zoo threw a child is truly the only way to go. After a long day of walking and seeing the animals, we were off to the hotel for a much needed nap. I was so excited about the show I really couldn’t’ sleep. Before it was time to get ready for the show, we needed some dinner. Off to a drive thru we went. I got back to the hotel with a lot of time to still get ready. Well, of course, another “snafu” was in store for me. After I got out of the shower, I went to do my hair and the blow dryer just quick after a few seconds. I went to the phone to call the front desk and the phone wasn’t working. I frantically called the front desk using my cell phone and told them I needed a blow dryer. The guy said, “I’ll send someone up as soon as I can.” I said, “It needs to be immediately. I have a concert to get to!” Luckily, as soon as I hung up the blow dryer started working again. I was all good.

I arrived at the Balboa Theatre and fell in love with how intimate the setting was. I was 3rd row center and could almost touch Josh. As soon as they took the stage, the magic began. His shows never cease to amaze me. I have seen him in a number of different settings (Hollywood Bowl, Andre Agassi fundraiser, various Tours, etc.) and this one is the most “Josh-like”. It truly showcased his personality and quirkiness that endears him to all of his fans. During the show, I was able to have a few “conversations” with him since I was so close. He even took my glow in the dark glasses I offered him. He was absolutely adorable trying to be serious with them on. The show was just remarkable and very intimate.

After the show, I waited about an hour outside with the other fans so try and meet Josh. After an hour, we were told he left after there was some “press issue”. I guess some people were pressing up into him and were not listening to security. So, I guess my glasses were as close to Josh as I was to get this evening. Luckily, Tariqh came through the line. I just love that man, too. After a very funny picture with him, I was off to the hotel.

The next morning was our 8am flight back to Sacramento. As soon as I landed, I went immediately to work still on my “Josh high”.

I anxiously waited for November 15th for my CD to arrive. To my surprise, my husband texted me a picture of my package from Warner Bros with the caption, “I have a surprise for you”. I couldn’t wait to get home! As soon as I did, I ripped open my package and immediately started listening to it. I LOVE the orchestral feel to it. It just feels raw and very intimate, like the “Before We Begin” shows. Most of the songs are of love lost or missing out on love. I love that he wrote 11 of the 13 songs. Once again, very intimate and personal.

So, to end, I love the new CD and my “Illuminations” experience to date. My poor coworkers are inundated with Josh every day, all day, since I listen to the CD non-stop at work. I will convert them all to Grobanites eventually.

Great job Josh on the CD! Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing you on tour soon.

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