Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Taylor Swift Eras Tour in Denver- Andrea and Paige


Andrea and Paige went to Denver for Taylor Swift's concert on Friday, July 14th, 2023. We hadn't planned to go to the concert, but had been hearing about it all summer and decided to splurge for the girls to go on a fun trip to Paige's first concert. The seats weren't the best, but they had a nice view of the stage and were still exorbitantly expensive to buy from Stubhub. Unfortunately, there was a tall black pole that was positioned in their line of sight to the center of the stage, so at times their view was a bit obscured, but we were lucky to find decent seats on somewhat short notice. 

Paige wrote up the blog post that follows.

Mom and I decided to fly out to Denver and extend the Gulf Shores trip by going to the Taylor Swift Eras Tour. We got there a day before the concert and walked around, enjoying a nice dinner. The next day, we woke up late and went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. While walking around the shopping area, I realized the outfit I had planned on wearing was too hot for the weather. I managed to find a white dress and a cowboy hat to go as the era Debut. Once I had my outfit sorted, we headed back to the hotel room to get ready.

We had to leave a little early because the stadium was about a 35-minute walk away. Luckily, we found a pedicab to take us there when we were about a mile out. 

Once we entered the stadium, mom and I walked around and realized our seats were in the sun. To make matters worse, mom had forgotten our earplugs. We managed to get some from the first aid station and finally made our way up to our seats.

The concert started with the album "Lover." Taylor sang some of my favorite songs like "Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince," "Cruel Summer," "The Archer," "Lover," "The Man," and "You Need to Calm Down." She then moved on to the era of "Fearless" and performed "Fearless," "Love Story," and "You Belong With Me." Next up was "Evermore," and Taylor sang "Tis the Damn Season," "Willow," "Tolerate It," "Champagne Problems," and "Marjorie."

I was particularly excited when she performed songs from my favorite album, "Reputation." She sang "Reputation," "Delicate," "Don't Blame Me," and "Look What You Made Me Do." The next album was "Speak Now," and she surprised us by singing not only "Enchanted" but also "Long Live" from her re-released version of the album. She then moved on to the "Red" era, performing "22," "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "I Knew You Were Trouble," and a 10-minute version of "All Too Well."

"Folklore" came next, and Taylor sang "The 1," "Betty," "The Last Great American Dynasty," "August," "Illicit Affairs," "My Tears Ricochet," and "Cardigan." She then moved on to her songs from "1989," which included "Style," "Blank Space," "Shake It Off," "Wildest Dreams," and "Bad Blood." As a surprise, she performed "Picture to Burn" from her debut album, which happens to be my favorite song. She also sang "Timeless" from "Speak Now."

After that incredible set, Taylor did her iconic stage dive and returned to perform songs from her final era, "Midnight." She sang "Lavender Haze," "Anti Hero," "Midnight Rain," "Vigilante Shit," "Bejeweled," "Mastermind," and "Karma." The concert ended on a high note.

Afterward, mom and I headed back to the hotel. Thankfully, we didn't have to walk alone as there were about 40,000 people leaving the stadium at the same time. The next day, we packed up and caught a direct flight back home.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Gulf Shores 2023

On July 8th, we made the 7 hour drive to Gulf Shores Alabama to vacation with the Anders family. The drive out wasn't too bad and we got to stop at McAlister's Deli, which is always a bonus. When we arrived, we had just enough time to go to Shrimp Basket for dinner and then jump in the pool and hang out for a little while before bed. 

We stayed in the Phoenix building (801 W Beach Blvd) in unit 703 with the Gobles and everyone else was in 702, which was just next door. The building was 23 stories tall and had a parking garage attached, which had quite a few levels with plenty of parking. There were three bedrooms in each unit and we also had an awesome view of the beach from the balconies. There was an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, which had an odd shape which wrapped around and in some places under the southeast corner of the building. The kids all loved the slide and we enjoyed swimming at night as well since the pool stayed open until 10 every day.

On Sunday we went to Tacky Jack's for lunch and then went to the beach and the pool. It was one of the nicer days while we were there and we enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible. 

In the evening the kids played Twister and we went to Scoops for some ice cream. 

That evening I went to the gym with Paige and Graydon and they enjoyed it so much that we went every day while we were there. We also did the stairs challenge twice, where we went all the way up 24 stories without stopping.

Monday was a bit of a rainy day, and I had to work, but everyone else hung out and in the evening we put on some cute outfits for a group picture. We'd intended to take the picture after dinner during the "Golden Hour", but the sun wasn't too harsh with all the clouds and we thought we'd be smart to take the picture while we had the opportunity, so we took the pic before dinner. It was a little bit of a scramble as the rain was starting to drizzle, but we got everyone to the beach, set up the tripod, and we got a few good group shots and I snapped some family pics as well.

For dinner we went to the Hangout, which was quite the raucous atmosphere. As we were leaving, the clouds parted slightly, and we saw one of the brightest rainbows I've ever seen.

Tuesday the weather cooperated long enough for us to ride go karts, which is something I don't think I've done since a previous Gulf Shores trip together. Everyone was tall enough for the wild windy wooden track, and we rode it twice. Graydon wasn't tall enough, and Paige wasn't interested, but Connor and I rode the "slick" track as well. It was a flat track, all concrete, and the karts slipped around like they were on ice. Connor spun out a couple times, like most people did, and we had fun trying to drift around the track. Griffin rode the wooden track with Ryan in a double kart and he was cute waving at everyone as he raced around.

Pretty much every day we ate at Shrimp Basket, which is always one of our favorite spots. I even got a shirt from the restaurant and wore it on Tuesday for lunch.

The beach was right outside our building, which was convenient, and we had fun swimming together. It wasn't a good beach for shells or shark's teeth, and also didn't have a firm area for jogs or walks, but we enjoyed it pretty well and it was fun since we were with family.

Nate had to leave on Tuesday, and Connor and I drove back on Wednesday. Everyone else stayed until Thursday morning. Paige and Andrea took an Uber to the Pensacola airport so they could fly to the Taylor Swift concert in Denver. The drive home was a little exciting for Connor and myself since I had him drive for part of it. I think he only lasted about 45 minutes before it started pouring rain so bad we could barely see anything. It was a little dangerous and I had him pull off the highway so I could take over. He did pretty well, except for one moment when all the cars ahead were putting on their brakes because of an accident. Connor didn't notice how much they were slowing down and I had to abruptly shout at him to stop. It was a good learning experience, but we were both more comfortable with me driving instead.

Overall, it was a wonderful vacation with everyone and I'm thankful that everyone was able to make it, including Drew who recently moved to California. The weather could have cooperated a little better, but we enjoyed our time together and made lots of fun memories.


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

4th of July Pool Party

The 4th of July falls on a Tuesday this year, which isn't the most ideal day of the week for a holiday, but we still had some friends and family over to make it fun. The Gobles, Grandpa Rick, Grandma Alice, and Paige's friend Sadie all came over for hotdogs, bratwursts, mac and cheese, veggies, banana pudding, and watermelon. It was a super hot day, so a perfect pool day and we definitely put it to good use today. We set a new world record of 133 for keeping the beach ball up, and the kids also had fun playing baseball with the beachball. Millie Mae wore herself out swimming for the entire time and she drank a lot of pool water today. Sophie fell in, but she is not a swimmer and didn't enjoy it like Millie does.