How many concerts before one is officially considered a groupie? For the last two years, Beau and I have followed Mumford and Sons to Bonner Springs on a babymoon, to Waverly, Iowa for an unforgettable outdoor stopover weekend, and last weekend, to Madison, Wisconsin as part of their latest, Arrow through the Heartland Tour. Thanks to Angie Gabel, we scored four tickets at face value the morning they went on sale, about two minutes before they sold out completely. It was months ago and we've been anxiously anticipating this nice little weekend away ever since.
We left Friday, but not before Angie and I treated ourselves to manis and pedis - just us and all the prom girls skipping school. Beau brought the kids to my parents and we were on the road shortly after lunch. We checked into our hotel, walked a block away to the Great Dane for some delicious food, and took our free hotel shuttle to the Alliant Energy Center to wait in line for the doors to open.
Traveling with these two was easy, laidback, and oh so fun. We had never been to Alliant before, and were pretty surprised when we walked in the arena and saw how small it was. We decided to be kids and wait out the show on the floor instead of in the stands, and soon found ourselves making friends (and some enemies) with the hundreds of fans packed in like sardines to see this band do their thing.
Mumford sounded amazing, maybe even better than the two times before. Sure, I will never forget hearing them sing Timshel for the first time in Kansas City, or watching them under the stars with so many friends just fifteen miles from our house, but boy did they sound great with the acoustics of an indoor arena. My favorite moments were singing and dancing to Lover of the Light with Beau, watching Marcus Mumford sing Ditmas AND run through the stands around the entire perimeter of the arena, the band singing one of my other favorites, Reminder, a cappella, and giving high fives (or at least touching their arm) of every band mate as they made their way from the floor back to the stage. I was lost in fandom, but Brian was kind enough to take 149 pictures of the mere seconds of action. It was a fantastic!
Saturday morning, we strolled through the Dane County Farmer's Market, aka, the largest farmer's market in the country. I am a sucker for this kind of thing, and this was the picture perfect morning to wander around the Capitol Square, sample salsas and for Angie and I, buy every type of flower we laid our eyes on. The guys ate, we bought flowers. It was a perfect kickoff to the market season and before long, we'll be making our weekly visit in our own neck of the woods.
It was a short trip, but a good one - the perfect little getaway with friends who felt more like family this weekend. And as for our kids - they kept Grandma and Papa on their toes, checking out a bagful of books at the library, playing on the playground, and keeping Papa busy while Grandma worked Friday afternoon.