In the mid-June of this year, Aurel and I headed to Louisville, KY, for some live music and fun in the bluegrass state. Aurel had sneakily bought tickets to see the Arctic Monkeys and White Denim months beforehand, and surprised me with them about six weeks prior to the event.
We left on Saturday, June 14, and returned the next day (actually, I don’t remember if it was Sunday or Monday). I had requested to be off work for that Saturday and Sunday, but we were short staffed, and I had to work brunch on Saturday, which is an event in and of itself, that involves feeding hipsters reasonably priced french food for about ten hours straight. I was first to be let go, and by 3 o’clock we were headed out on the approx. 2.5 hour journey to Louisville. We had booked a hotel room at The Red Roof Inn, which is a favorite of my family’s for their general cleanliness and moderate prices, so I suggested it to Aurel for lodging.
So, it was about 3 PM, and the concert started at 7, and we were actually more excited to see the openers, White Denim, who we had met previously at their show in Nashville. They were super nice guys and it was such a fun and energetic show. I was exhausted from working, and it was decided previously that I would nap in the car on the way to the show, so as to appease any sort of grumpy behavior that could come of my being over tired.
Good idea, in theory. I took a lovely nap, and about 45 minutes into the trip, I awoke startled, as if from a nightmare, suddenly remembering that the only shoes I had were my work shoes. This wouldn’t seem so bad to most people, and especially to somebody who doesn’t often care about how they look in public, but even I had to be embarrassed to be seen anywhere other than a restaurant in these shoes.
At this point, Aurel wanted to stop for something to drink and I thought that a gas station might have sandals or something like that, but alas they did not. We continued down the highway, I in a disgruntled manner, until Aurel had a genius idea, as he often does: to make a stop at Cracker Barrel.
In America there is a chain of restaurants called Cracker Barrel; the theme of the restaurant is old time American Charm, and each one has a general store, where you can buy almost anything: books, candy, clothes, gifts, and SHOES. It just so happens, that, in Tennessee especially, there is a Cracker Barrel about every 20 miles or so. Immediately my spirits lifted and hope had been restored. We pulled off and made our way to Cracker Barrel, keeping in mind we only had a few more hours until the show started and we had only traveled for 45 minutes. I was in and out with a brand new pair of ten dollar sandals in five minutes. They’re a little worn out now, they had a good summer.
On we went to the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville. At some point, maybe an hour after Cracker Barrel, we noticed something funny. On our phones, it was all of a sudden an hour later than it had been 5 minutes ago. I being from Boston, and Aurel being from an entirely different country, we both aren’t terribly familiar with the times zones of the southern region of the country. But sure enough, upon entering a certain part of KY, the time jumps ahead by one hour. We had thought we would be right on time, but in reality we were still an hour outside the city and White Denim were most likely just starting.
We accepted the fact that we would miss them, and I apologized about the shoe incident, but Aurel kindly pointed out that we still would have missed it, even if we didn’t stop for shoes. So, on we went. We would still make it for the Arctic Monkeys, who we had been listening to the entire way, thanks to Aurel’s knack for making mixed CDs.
At last we arrived, and it was a beautiful summer night, and the theatre turned out to be quite lovely, half covered and such. We found seats in the back portion of the theatre with all the old fogeys and grabbed some beers. (This was after Aurel cut a perfectly lovely young woman in line at the bathroom upon arrival at the Amphitheater. That was weird.) We both felt much too young to be sitting where we were in the bleachers, with all the mid 30s adults and their beer bellies and bald spots. So, we boldly decided to head down front to the floor and found a great spot right up front.
Quickly we realized we were surrounded by the opposite age group to the oldies in the back. We were now surrounded by what appeared to be mostly 14-16 year old girls, and we proceeded to feel older than we ever had before. We briefly chatted to a group of three of them, and it didn’t help. We talked to them about how we listened to this band way back when “I bet you look good on the dance floor” came out. So, we decided that we could at least make them jealous by buying beer and drinking it in front of them. And that’s what we did.
At some point, Aurel wanted a t-shirt. After he bought a White-Denim-shirt, we spotted the guitar player from White Denim, who we had met two months previously. Having had two large miller lights, I went up and talked to him as if we were old friends, and apologized for missing their set, due to the time change. All in all it turned out to be a really fun show, followed by desperate hunger and a burger at The Hard Rock Cafe, which I think we both regretted.
The following day we found an adorable area of the city, which I forget the name of now, but would definitely live there at some point, if there was a reason. Aurel must shop for Vinyl at all times in life. Well, not all times in life, but on all trips to different cities he must shop for Vinyl. And I must not shop for anything, but unfortunately I cannot be the vinyl shopping companion he may want. So he found a record shop, and I walked up the street in search of a beverage. I imbibed a refreshing iced tea from an artisan coffee shop and traveled on to the local shops on the main drag of this neighborhood.I will tell anyone I meet, that the vintage clothing stores I found in this gem of a neighborhood are worth the three hour drive from Nashville. The prices and the quality of clothing beats any vintage shop Nashville has to offer. And there is something for everyone. Aurel met me and helped me pick out two blouses, one that was beautifully hand embroidered and 100 percent silk for only 30 dollars! I thought it was a bargain. He bought two albums, one being a blues compilation, and the other being a Lead Belly record.
Then, it was time to go home. It was a wonderful trip; we had fun like we always do.
Merry Christmas from aurelville.