This weekend has been an absolute blast - and the best part it was all FREE! Starting with Thursday night, my friend Cassie invited me to go to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) concert on Art Hill. This is a free concert put on every year the day before the Forest Park Balloon Race. We met up with one of Cassie's co-workers, Jen, who was kind enough to volunteer her husband to drive us downtown and into the crowded park! Thanks Cody! Turns out Jen and I know some mutual people as well - small world! At the concert, we met up with Carla, Mike (faux parents) and, Jon (fauxbro - see It's Only One Mile) and sat at the top of Art Hill and enjoyed a fabulous evening of great music for free. We all brought a picnic style dinner with lots of wine and NUTELLA (which I'm now a little obessed with!) The backdrop for the whole concert was gorgeous. They had the SLSO set up right in front of the lake, so as you looked out you could see the boats on the lake and the fountains, just beatutiful! Also, the SLSO played one of my favorite tunes - Buglar's Holiday! It couldn't get better than this, could it? YES! - they ended the concert with FIREWORKS!
A change of original plans for Friday night allowed me to go to the Forest Park Balloon Glow for the 1st time! My mom and I decided to hop on the MetroLink (there was NO WAY we were parking over there!) to the Central West End stop and walked the 20 minutes into the Central Ball Fields where the Balloon Glow was taking place! This event was packed with people and dozens of hot air balloons! It was really great though, because the balloon teams didn't care if you came right up to them and their equiptmet to take pictures or even touch their stuff! My mom and I must have been there for a few hours just watching all the balloon get inflated then they did the balloon glow for an hour and a half. It was great weather and a clear sky and another great free event!
During the ride home from the balloon glow, I received a text from Brad, saying that they were having a bonfire! This night just got even better! Got home, let the dogs out, and then headed over to the Behrmann's for a good old fashion bonfire! An old fellow music friend from high school was there, Bill, who I haven't seen forever! It was great seeing him and hearing his stories from his travels in Spain. Now that he's back in the area, maybe I convince him to play BINGO with me again some night! Another reason I love Behrmann bonfires (besides the great company) they have the best snacks! Mama Behrmann made some delicious homemade salsa and she let me try some of their homegrown tomatoes, which were delish! During the bonfire, I found out the Belleville West Marching Band preview show wasn't at 8:30 a.m. the next morning as I had previously thought. That was just the beginning of their clinic, and the real run thru was to be around 11:00 a.m. I was sooo glad Clare told me this, because I didn't get home until 1:30 a.m., and wasn't about to be up at 8:30 a.m.!
So 10 a.m. Saturday morning roles around, and it's time to get ready to leave for the Belleville West Marching Maroons preview show! This will be the 1st time I've seen the West band perform this year! My mom and I arrive in time to meet up with the Behrmann's and watch the last 30 min of the open clinic and then see the full show! Since the stands were open, I went up to the very top with Cassie, Jackie, and Tyrone, to watch the show and get the "expert" critque, since Jackie and Tyrone work with the group! The show looks great, sounds really full, and I think they will get better and better each week! Go Marching Maroons! Can't wait to see you next week at the Eastern competition!
The original plan was to head to Edwardsville after the BW preview show to watch their marching competition, but we decided that due to a chance of rain on Sun, we'd better go to the Scott Air Force Base Air Show now, and not on Sun. After waiting in a long line to get into the base, a long line to get to parking, and a long line to ride the shuttle in, we finally made it to the air field! This year, the Canadian Snowbirds were there was the finale act. They are a nine-person precision air team and they were fantastic. Also, before they went on, they had a heritage flight take place which was really neat to see all the airplanes thru the years. I'm glad we went yesterday, because it did rain today!
All in all, it has been a great FREE weekend! As I'm writing this, I'm exhausted from all the fun! I think today will also be a FREE day - just relaxing and doing stuff around the house!