Weekend in Santa Barbara Part 5

With my head still in the clouds from the morning adventure, the bonus that was to come that evening would ensure that my head would stay there. The hotel check-in was still a few hours away, but the drive back to Santa Barbara and a leisurely lunch would make the timing almost perfect. As perfect as the day had been thus far.

Driving without a map usually means taking the scenic route wherever I went, and that day was no exception. That’s all right, lunch first and then the hotel. There happened to be an I-Hop across the street from the hotel, although I didn’t realize that at the time. After a nice lunch and directions across the street from the waiter, it was time to check in. It turned out to be a motel not a hotel. What?! Maybe the day wouldn’t be as perfect as it should have been. My fears were allayed when I got to the room. Not bad, and significantly bigger than the downtown hotels in Chicago which were much more expensive. But the main focus on those trips the last two years was the Chicago Marathon, not the size of the rooms. As long as there was a bed to collapse on after the race, it was all good. And they did have the beds. So did this one, and a nap was in order before the show. My hearing was returning, but my ears were still a little blocked up. Maybe the nap would help. I set the alarm and kicked back on the bed with the same thought that went through my mind whenever I traveled: Bed bugs. Are they here? I had never come across them in my travels, although I did bring them home once-from somewhere. The thought of bugs crawling all over me faded as the memory of freefalling from 13,000 feet engulfed me. I drifted off.

The alarm woke me from my light sleep, which really calmed me down. Not that I was frazzled from the skydive or anything like that, but it put me in a different state of mind. The Jackie state of mind. My hearing was back to normal as well. Time to get ready.

I wanted to look sharp at the show, just in case Jackie spotted me. Of course there would be no way of knowing if she was really looking at me or not at a certain distance. If you’re close enough though, it always looks as if the person on stage looks right at you several times. Before the trip I surfed the web for classy, casual dress ideas and saw a picture of a guy with a nice shirt, sport coat and some jeans. He looked pretty sharp and that’s what I brought. Not exactly what the guy was wearing though. It just didn’t look right on me. Luckily, I had a back up pair of slacks, and that fit the bill. A blue patterened shirt, the dark sport coat and nice slacks. Not bad, certainly a departure from my regular attire. It was getting to be that time. The theatre was just a few blocks away, so no driving was necessary, but it was time to go.

The Granada Theatre looked kind of like an old apartment or office building, but the marquis in front made it clear that it was obviously a theater. Not of the movie variety, a performance theater, that held maybe a few thousand people. There was a crowd of people milling about outside but I just went directly in. They literally rolled out the red carpet in the lobby, with the ceiling ornately designed and stairs on either side that were bounded by some fancy ironwork. Very nice. The doors that led to the main hall were closed, heavy wood and just as ornately designed as the rest of the lobby. It was quite crowded, with people generally milling about or crowding around a table that was displaying Jackie paraphernalia for sale. I found the snack counter and got myself some water. The day had been a little dehydrating. After about 15 minutes or so, the doors to the hall opened and we headed in.

The seats were red, but the rest of the room was adorned in shades of gold, again ornately designed as it was in the lobby. Very nice, nostalgically old but in very good condition. An usher showed me to my seat. It was the fourth row, but off to the side, which turned out to be a good thing. The way the theater was designed, the seats curved around, so my seat was very close to the stage. Awesome. I felt good, I felt relaxed, and I knew I looked sharp. There are always nice people at a Jackie concert and this one was no exception. The couple next to me were very nice and we had some light conversation. The guy on the other side of me wasn’t as conversational, but he seemed all right I guess. Nobody was with him either. Not that unusual at one of her concerts. Once you’re a fan, it doesn’t matter who goes, as long as you do. Still, it would have been nice to share the evening with someone else. Well, there were the folks around me…

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