Sunday, December 27, 2015

Toto, We're Not In Cali Anymore

Rockapella in Laughlin 
Day 1
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Harrah's Fiesta Showroom
Laughlin, NV

My day started with me running around my house to finish packing, do some laundry, wash dishes, and wrap gifts.  Way too much to do before KP arrived, but she was patient as I finished up the last bit of it.  We had an appointment to get mani/pedis at Peridot Nails, and we got pretty colors on our nails and got to relax for a little bit.  Thank you, KP!

Pretty Nails for Pretty Ladies

We went to a drive-thru for something to eat because I hadn't had eaten breakfast, and I had announced my hunger at least 5 times.  We drove to the Ontario airport to get the rental car.  As we were about to turn onto the road to the rental car building, a big tumbleweed attacked my car.  It was scary!  The wind was crazy.  I realized that I left my coat at home, and we decided that we already needed to go to Target.  The woman at the rental car kiosk didn't ask KP most of the questions that they usually ask, so that was weird to me.  Even though we didn't want an SUV because we didn't want to deal with wind, she still gave us a "small SUV", a Jeep Cherokee.  Um, OK, but it doesn't really seem all that small.  As we waited to exit the Budget lot, the engine seemed to stop.  Then it started again.  It was bizarre.  So was the key, which took some time for us to figure out.  We transferred our multitude of bags into the rental car, and then I went to the long-term parking lot.  The sign said that the lot was full, but one of the entrances was still open, so I went in anyway, and found a space pretty quickly.  I told KP that I was ready, but I forgot to tell her exactly where to go, so she ended up going into another lot and had to tell the guy that she never parked the car so that she wouldn't have to pay.  While I was waiting, I became an information booth and answered questions that people had as they stopped at the entrance to the lot.  I'm very helpful.  I'm just glad that nothing bonked me on the head as I waited in the crazy windy conditions.  Once KP found me, I got in the driver's seat and we were on our way to Laughlin.

Oy.  The traffic on the 15 was horrendous, because people were on their way to spend the weekend / New Year's week in Vegas.  It took us about 2 hours just to get to Route 40.  It was nice when we got to that freeway so that I could finally drive fast.  By then, KP had read the manual for the car and we found out that the car turns off its engine when it's idle, in order to conserve gas.  It turns back on when you press on the accelerator or take your foot off of the brake.  I didn't like this feature because it made me nervous about sitting in traffic and stalling.  KP found out how to turn off this feature so that I could feel like I was driving a real car and not a toy with a mystery kill switch.  By the time we exited the freeway, it was already dark, and there were some hills and lots of nothingness, which made us think that we were driving into walls. 

 We finally saw the lights of Harrah's after 5 hours of driving, which really should have been about 3.75 hours.  Sigh.  Then we braved the wind to get to Hotel Registration and checked in.  KP saw a McDonald's and said that we could probably find Fred there.  Lo and behold, who should walk toward us by the sound man himself!  He was on his way for a quick dinner at the buffet.  I was relieved that he was the one that we saw because I looked like hell, all windswept and exhausted.  We put some of our luggage in our room, and then went to the elevator to go get our remaining bags.   We got into the elevator, went down a couple of floors, and the elevator door opened....and there was Steve.  Mind you, I still looked like hell.  I gasped loudly and tried to hide behind KP, but alas, the elevator did not have much space for me to hide and he smiled and said hi and we hugged each other.  Another guy got on the elevator and somehow KP informed him that it was still the second day of Christmas.  I asked Steve if they were going to sing the Kwanzaa song because today was the start of Kwanzaa.  He said that it would be a half and half show.  Ooh, neat!  He was on his way to sound check.  We walked him a little bit of the way, then parted from him to go get our luggage.  What are the odds that we would see both of them in the span of 15 minutes?  It was crazy.

Then we got into an elevator to the parking structure and there were eucalyptus leaves all over the floor, so I decided that a koala had been there.  On the way back to our room, we waited for our elevator.  I heard KP say, "Don't look."  APPRENTLY, Scott was in the elevator that we were waiting for, but he walked right by us and didn't say hello.  I still looked like hell.  It was OK by me.

Our seats were on the extreme house left.  The center seats were all taken, but we weren't able to purchase them when we bought our tickets earlier this year.  I had separated from KP to go to the restroom, and I needed a drink, so I went to the bar.  They didn't have stuff to make an Old Fashioned, so I asked for a Jack and Coke.  She poured Pepsi.  Oh, well, beggars can't be choosers at this point.  I met up with KP at our seats, and she was talking to a couple of women about Rockapella and the number of shows she attended, etc.  I sat down and drank my Jack and Pepsi, and the show started.

Rock Around the Clock
Wow, we are way over here on the side.  Steve appeared to be looking for us, but couldn't find us.  

Scott introduced the band and some guy in the audience started making requests.
Scott: "This is not an interactive program, sir!"

Jailhouse Rock
JT breaks out of that jail very easily.

Scott:  "We spent the first 3 months of the year in Reno, which was nice, but they don't have this wind."
Some lady said that she and her party brought the wind.
Scott: "Thank you for breaking the wind for us."
Ryan: "Scott's golden hair looked great in the wind."
Scott: "It was blowing the wrong way, though."

Scott:  "Who has seen Rockapella before?"
The lady by KP:  "She's been to 132 shows!"
Scott walks over to our side, and says: "Oh, it's Karla!  We know Karla.  How many shows?"
KP:  "132".  
<oohs and aahs from the audience>
Scott: "Sherry!"
Me:  "Hi!"
Scott:  "We know Sherry, too.  They came from California to see us."

Scott:  "132 shows.  That's weird because we've only done 133 shows.  What's that about?"
Scott:  "Sherry, how many shows have you been to?"
Me:  "I lost track."
Scott:  "Sherry's been to more than 100 shows."
Well, thanks for the shout-out, Mighty Blond One!
(For the record, it was my 109th show).

Dancing In The Streets
Ummm...what happened?  I think we're too distracting for FFE, because now he knows where we're sitting, and he kept smiling at us, and he messed up the verses and threw them off for a tiny bit.  It's a good thing they're all quick on their feet.

Glow Worm / It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
Jeff almost slapped Steve during his cheek solo.  Steve still smiled at us later, even though he knew that the guy that almost slapped him pointed at KP when it happened.

Satisfaction / Another Saturday Night / Cupid
I like that Jeff makes the sound of an arrow shooting through the air at the appropriate times.

Scott talked about Rudolph.  He talked about Yukon Cornelius.  Jeff made his axe falling into the snow sound.  KP was happy.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Steve was ready for us as we yelled, "YAHTZEE!!!!"

Scott:  "I got a note on my stool here.  I get that a lot.  Notes on my stool."
The note said that it was Addison's birthday.

Happy Birthday to You
Scott asked what it was like to have a birthday the day after Christmas.  Addison said that it was cool because she gets double presents.

Scott:  "My birthday's the day after Columbus Day."
Ryan:  "What do you get?"
Scott:  "Squat."
Ryan:  "That's what you get on your stool.  Double squats."

Scott regarding his rickety stool:  "I gotta tell ya, the stools in Reno are better."

My Cherie Amour
The woman next to KP needs to stop singing along.  I covered my left ear so that I wouldn't be able to hear her so much.

Ryan made a lot of low sounds.
Scott:  "It feels good.  I don't know what you said, but it feels good."

Scott:  "I am from Indianapolis, but our family just had a tragedy at Christmas.  I'm not sure I could get through this tragedy.  So we're singing this in tribute."

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
Ryan's "Jingle bells, Batman SMELLS" is hilarious.
"Call Law and Order: SVU"...because Scott watches "Law & Order"!
"'Cept Grandpa's girlfriend, she's real big."

Scott:  "Thank you for snickering at our tragedy."

Blame It On The Boogie
Steve motioned to us to bring on our shout: "MOONLIGHT!!!"
The verse was off on this one, too, but this time it was Scott.  "Trance" does not rhyme with "me".
Perhaps Scott was just hungry, because he came back from the bass breakdown, chewing while singing, probably on a Power Bar.  Dude, I think you should know by now how long that breakdown takes to finish.

Ryan was still dancing at the last "milk chocolate" line, and seemed startled that he was the only one left singing.
Steve walked very tenderly back to his regular spot on the stage after singing about Preparation H.
Scott saluted during the Dr. Pepper song.  "I love that song...made us ZERO dollars."
After Folger's, Scott: "Our greatest hit, sadly enough."

Scott:  "This message of lightning shot right through my brain."
He chose Sharon to join them on stage, and invited her to sit down.  "This is the breakaway stool."  Sharon is from Burbank, CA.  
Jeff:  "I just came from there!"  JT was spending time with his family for the holidays.  Oddly enough, none of us ran into him during that whole time.  Sharon is retired from being a hairdresser.  Scott flipped his hair.
Scott:  "What do you think?"
Scott:  "She's thinking, 'You need a haircut!'"

Stand By Me
Sharon kept pushing the microphone away, but she did sing.  

Ain't Got Time To Beg
She didn't dance, though.

Ryan: "Welcome to the Rockapella Motown, Hits, Christmas Fun Show."

Thrift Shop

Scott sang the next song for 54 years.

Where In The World Is Carmen SanDiego?
Jeff walked right on over to our side during his solo and stared at KP.  He may have made eye contact with me, too.  Later, he included some swinging hip action.

After the song, the guys left the stage, and the audience stopped clapping, and the house lights came on, and the exit music played, and KP and I were confused.  Then people started shouting, "MORE!"  I yelled, "ENCORE!!!"

Then the smooth sounds of Calvin Jones wafted through the air.

All I Want For Christmas Is You
Seriously, I love that they do this song now.  They all sound great.

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
They did the same thing as in Reno and stepped off of the stage and sang from audience level during the song.  People, please stop clapping and singing along with the guys I paid to see and hear.

KP and I spoke with the women next to her for a little while.  One of them asked me if I was from Thailand.  I told her I was from the Philippines.  She told me that she liked lumpia.  Hey, I do, too!  I almost told her that Steve also likes lumpia, but didn't want to talk to her anymore..I had a meet and greet to attend.

We talked to Fred and discussed the confusing non-encore but then an encore thing.  KP asked if he knew about any good breakfast places, but he didn't.  His fellow tech crew guy, Kyle, said that there weren't any good breakfast places around.  He's lived there for 26 years and didn't know any in Laughlin.  If we find one, we'll let Kyle know.  KP tried to get Fred to remember our room number if he wanted to call us to go to breakfast or hang out with us because he didn't know what he was going to do this week.  I said, "Why don't you have his phone number already?"  So they exchanged phone numbers and now Fred sends text messages to KP and vice versa.  You're welcome!

The stragglers of the meet and greet were almost done talking to the guys, so KP and I rushed over to see them.  Once they finished taking pictures with other fans, they all walked over to us to say hi.  Yes, Pella now walks to us!  Calvin came up behind me, actually, to hug me, then he did the same to KP.  We talked about wanting to see Star Wars.  We told Scott that he walked right by us when he got out of the elevator.  He said, "I saw you.  I just didn't want to talk to you."  I made a shocked face.  He said, "I'm just kidding.  I didn't see you."  I love you, CSL4!   I told Steve that we need to take pictures together tonight and then 4 more times.  KP told Scott that it never gets old that he remembers her name.  "You're very memorable", he said to her.  Awwww...sweet!  We said our good nights to the guys and then Jeff came back to hug KP and me because he realized that he had been talking to other people.  

Ryan photo bombing KP and Calvin

Scott backed out of this picture, then came back when I called him over

I went to the Players Club desk to get my card and we talked to Josh about the seats in the theater.  He said that they were complimentary tickets for Players Club members using their points.  Oh.  Josh thought that our nails were pretty, and said that his feminine side appreciates women's nails because they make them nice.  We came to the consensus that the color of my nails is royal blue, and Karla's are dusty rose.

Sign at the Players Club desk

We shopped for a little while. I bought a Star Wars multi-color pen for somebody.  On our way back to the room, we saw Jeff in the hallway by another shop.  We think that he was going to pretend not to see us, then realized that we were unavoidable, and deflected our attention by pointing out some socks that were on display that had Star Wars characters on them.  "Look, 9 different...flavors" and walked away.
Sherry:  "Flavors?  You want me to lick socks?!"

KP and I decided that we wanted dessert and could eat the pie that I brought.  I bought some milk to drink with it.  We finished unpacking in order to earn our dessert.  We changed into our pajamas.  We got ready to eat...but the pie was not in our room.  It was in the car.  Neither one of us was willing to go to the car in our pajamas to get the pie.  Remember, Pella is here, and we keep running into them!  So we just hung out in our hotel room and I drank my milk.

We were exhausted.  We were excited.  We were elated.  And it's only Show Number One.

Next up:  Show #2

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