Tag Archives: San Francisco

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

I know that it is only the US that celebrates Thanksgiving on this day, but for those of us who live in the USA – it is one of our major holidays. I wish everyone celebrating a very happy one.

At this moment while you are reading, I can guarantee that I am cooking. (I’m writing this a bit early to accommodate my schedule!) Our holiday is not incredibly fancy, and we don’t have a lot of people over – just the kids and my mom, but it is nice. We watch the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade and then the Westminster Dog Show (no, I’m not kidding).  We are not a football family (American football), so we avoid it like the plague! Today we’re eating a late lunch rather than a dinner because after this insanity is over, we have to pack up our trailer for camping. We leave early tomorrow morning.

That’s right, I’m the crazy person who suggested that we go camping this weekend after I cooked. 6 AM Friday, we are on the road.  (Who thinks that is really going to happen? Anyone???) Someday, I’m going to learn to keep my crazy thoughts to myself. This, my friends, is not that year. In all seriousness, I don’t think we would have gone except that the other side of our family – Walt’s side – is going, and we wanted to be able to spend time with them. So, I’m looking forward to getting packed and on our way tomorrow morning.

This brings me to the section of the blog where I share what I am most thankful for this year, because it IS Thanksgiving, and that is what the holiday has come to mean for my family, particularly this year. Sorry for the sap.

I am grateful for learning how to take time to breathe, center myself, and focus on the things that matter. I’m still working on living my life in gratitude, but I’ll accept the baby steps and learn from them.

My family. When I get overwhelmed, they are always here. I love having my two older kids out in the world, even though I miss them at home. I love that they share their successes, and even their hardships and failures with me. I’m also really thankful to have a lot of time with my youngest. I have learned so much about her this year. I can’t parent her the same way I did my older two – she is so different, and I love her uniqueness. She doesn’t let me get away with a single thing!

I am so humbled by the way my brother has handled his illness. I could not say and do the things he has in the past year. He says it is because of his faith, and maybe that is true for him. I just know that I don’t have his grace OR his strength. The same holds true for his wife, my husband’s sister. I am not half the person either of them are, that is for certain.

Now for the fun part:

This band. This crazy, silly, ridiculous BAND. Like it or not, I’m still writing about them, contemplating their antics, and having fun. They remind me to keep living my life and to enjoy the journey, which I am.  I also am thankful for them as people. They make me laugh, and I love that. Pure joy. I’ll take it every single time. I think they know we adore them…spit zone, eye rolling, winks, brightly colored flood pants and all.

Oh and Simon? Sixth row in Vegas, December 30th. You’re REALLY gonna need to spit for distance, and I wish you luck. You didn’t quite make it in San Francisco. I’d probably get some practice in beforehand, my friend.  BRING IT.

Can’t hit me, Simon!!!

I will never forget “Ordinary World” in both Oakland and San Francisco. Raw human emotion, undisguised by a stage name or “rock star” imagery. Simon showed us a bit of himself those nights. I know the pain of losing a parent, as many probably do. I know what it is like to have to pick up the pieces, move on and find whatever “normal” is going to look like from then on. Those nights, I felt that same pain rushing right back. Grief is just an incredibly deep hole. Sometimes I feel like I’ve climbed out of it, only to fall back in. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, yet there was something about having him share that on stage with all of us…I don’t know what it was, I’m not quite sure it is appropriate to say I was thankful being there to share it…I just know I felt it.

This blog is special to me, otherwise I simply wouldn’t take time to write each day. I know it isn’t perfect, and there are a good many things I could do to improve the site, our branding, my tone, my writing, etc. I appreciate the opportunity I give myself to write, even when my darling husband says, “You blog today? Again??” (Yes, again Walt. It’s DAILY!!!) It is cleansing at times, and entirely too much fun to ever consider giving up in others. Thank you for reading and supporting Daily Duranie. 

I’m also so thrilled to have a new friend brought into my life by none other than Dom. Writing about a song he was featured in led me to a new friend in Michael Kratz. Cannot wait to see what 2018 brings for each of them. All good things, I hope!

Thank you to Lori & Suzie, our touring buddies. A trip would not be the same without either of you, and I am hoping we get to do some more of that next year! Thank you also for getting those tickets to the Vegas show, girls – otherwise Amanda and I would have been sitting at the BAR!!!  A thousand thank you’s to Suzie, who is my spirit animal in ways I cannot explain here. 😀

Lastly, of course I am thankful for my good friend Amanda. She puts me in check when necessary, gives me encouragement and plenty of grace. I am not even remotely close to being as selfless as she is, but she gives me hope in humanity when I’ve just about given up. (BTW – have you written anything for our project?? Me neither. I need to get that done! EEK!)

Moving on…I’m sure it’s gotta turkey carving time by now, so I must go. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate, and to those who do not – have a lovely weekend ahead!

-R

 

Day One on the hills in San Francisco!

Daily Duranie is together and in San Francisco!  If you were on Twitter last night, you already know that we arrived yesterday, and even ventured out in search of food (and drinks!).  We called it an early night because my counterpart had already been up for the better part of 24 hours, and she’s still sleeping as I type!  The funniest thing to happen thus far was when we wandered around the floor of our hotel, in jammies, searching for the ice machine. It was quite a scene as we prayed to the Duranie gods that no one open their door to find us sneaking down the hallway. We walked the entire way around our floor, realized there was no machine, and then discovered we had to go down a floor for it, on the elevator! Thankfully nobody saw us, but they may have heard us laughing hysterically in the elevator on the way back up to our room!

Originally we were going to only drive part of the way yesterday, but the more I drove, the more I realized that by the time I really got tired, we’d almost be here anyway. So, we added a day and got here around 8 last night. Not terrible, and the drive was easy (although driving up the very steep hill to our hotel is another story and not for the faint of heart).  It’s nice to have the extra time to explore, something we rarely get when we’re traveling between shows.

One thing I’d forgotten about San Francisco—or blocked from my memory (I don’t get up here very often)—were the hills. Like, the entire city is built on hills, and I don’t mean just a little hill, but these incredibly steep hills. Driving on them is not fun. Walking UP them is something akin to torture. I was ready to lay down and call it after about 50 feet up the first one during our walk back to the hotel last night, but we made it.  Barely.  I will take pictures and tweet them from the Daily Duranie account today. I should have just taken video of me trying to walk. Far, FAR funnier.

Today, I think we’re doing the tourist thing! Amanda has never been here, and I’ve been several times—but not enough to really know the city. We’ve had a few things mentioned: Alcatraz, Museum of Modern Art (definitely want to do that), Golden Gate Bridge (Amanda won’t step foot on it but I’m sure she’ll at least take a photo from a distance!), and there’s some sort of hop on/hop off city tour that might be fun.  We’re pretty much open to anything, just as soon as I can get her to wake up.  I also hear that there are wine tasting rooms near Ghirardelli Square, so I’ll be getting us over there at some point before we leave.  She’s burrowed under covers in her bed (understandable given her marathon day of traveling yesterday) and I’m up and ready to go like it’s Christmas morning. I’m a light sleeper on any given day, and with the city noise outside—I’m up!

Our roommates come in later today and then the real party begins! We’re on several forms of social media, but I think Amanda and I settled on using Twitter and Snapchat for this trip (although I’ll throw things up on Facebook and Instagram too – it just might be a bit later). Amanda is going to handle Snapchat and I’ll do Twitter, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll do some Facebook live and/or video blogs.  So, if you’re not already following us—you should!

-R

Daily Duranie is on the road again!

Here we come!!  Daily Duranie is on the road again for west coast shows 2017!!

In some ways, it seems as though I’ve been holding my breath since March to get this trip started, and in others it feels like the time flew right by!

As you are reading this,  I am frantically throwing clothes into my rolling backpack, trying to figure out how much I can stuff in there because I can’t make my mind up about what to wear. I know that I have at least four pairs of shoes going with me, and thirty-six outfits.

We are going to TWO shows. Just two. Yes, I realize it sounds like I’m packing for the next month (Don’t tempt me. I have my car and I’m not afraid to drive it to Canada, never mind Hawaii…which I still wish I could somehow sneak, but I suspect my family will notice my absence by then)…But we’re also going to be out on the town on Thursday night, and I need choices. LOTS of choices.

I’m also trying to remember everything I need to bring. I can almost guarantee I will forget something vital, because I almost always do. Amanda has her tour binder, which is likely very thin (as opposed to last summer, which was insane), but for today, we have no set plan other than to get food when she lands and probably head north.

I’m trying not to think about how this is the final leg, and that I don’t exactly know when the band will be back after this. I’m trying to think about how I can’t wait to see friends, to see my favorite people, and to hug as many people as I can, until “next time”.  I’m also looking forward to socializing and not worrying about what time it is, or whether or not I should be doing laundry, dishes, or making dinner. I can’t wait to sing, dance and yes, even cheer and scream a little for idols and people I adore.

I won’t think about what comes after that, because at least for the coming days – I’m living in the moment, enjoying the glow from summer shows!

-R

 

 

School’s out for Summer!

I am ready for summer! Today, as you read this, I am at work, and it’s the first day without students in the building. I am hoping for a quiet day so that I can get to the task of cleaning out my supply cupboard and packing away things for summer. I have two days to clean out – today and Tuesday, and then on Thursday I go down to San Diego for a final staff meeting, and then I am off for the summer. I made it through my first school year!

I can hardly wait to have real time to myself. I have a stack of books next to me on my desk (in my new office space!) to read, an office to paint, and maybe a book proposal to write with Amanda. Imagine that! My son graduates in two weeks, and then I have to get ready for Amanda to visit in July along with a wild and crazy road trip as well as a camping trip for the family. It’s going to be a busy and fun summer and I haven’t even gotten to the part where I take a bulldozer to Gavin’s room so that we can pack him up for college!

Of course, I’ve had summers before. I mean, they happen each year.  I just don’t know if I’ve ever really appreciated them quite as much. After all, for twenty years, I stayed at home. I became very well-versed in the art of procrastination because if I didn’t finish something, I always had tomorrow. But now, I have about eight weeks completely to myself, and then I’ll work from home for a few days, and then it’s back to the grind.

But first, it’s fun time, and that means planning for a road trip to the Bay Area. Amanda arrives in California on July 5th, and then we are going to spend a night somewhere up in the LA area, and then drive to San Francisco the following morning. We’ll have a night to ourselves, and then shows the following couple of evenings before we head back down to Los Angeles. It’s a short trip, but somehow I think we’ll find enough time for a fair amount of craziness! It is funny because this time, I haven’t given a lot of thought as to what the band might play—it would be lovely to hear a different set list, but I suspect we’re going to be getting a carbon copy of what we heard in Rancho Mirage—and we’re going to like it!

Yes, I’m excited for summer and am looking forward to having time to obsess over Duran Duran a little with Amanda and friends, too. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the idea of summer quite so much, and I intend to make the best of it.

That’s a warning for those of you coming to the Bay Area in July.  Yes, you too, Duran Duran.  Good luck!

-R

 

San Francisco, here we come!

This week has FLOWN by.  I don’t know where Monday and Tuesday really went, but it’s already Thursday.  I said goodbye to friends on Saturday night and Sunday, came home and by Tuesday afternoon had tickets for summer.

The planning happened in the blink of an eye, particularly since I hemmed and hawed about going most of the drive home from Palm Springs. I said I wouldn’t do more shows this year. Somehow, all of that flew out the window somewhere between Riverside and Rancho Santa Margarita, where I live. (Yes, I live in a town with an alcoholic drink in the name. I KNOW.)

We agreed that due to my current working situation – buying tickets is impossible. Working at a school is great until you need to be online to buy something. The wi-fi is sketchy, and many websites are blocked, which makes the presale process difficult. I absolutely adore the kids I work with, until I want to eat lunch or get a phone call. That’s when every child in the school wants to come and visit Miss Rhonda in the office for a band-aid or needs a hug. So Amanda stepped up to take the hit for both of us.

Now, I have to tell you that I didn’t even look at my watch that morning until probably 10:25 or so – well after tickets went on sale. I wondered how Amanda had fared, because normally she texts me. I figured that she knew I wouldn’t be able to answer her and would call later, but something told me I should just check. So I texted her:

Did you survive or did Ticketmaster finally do you in?!?

I was in the middle of recess, which I describe as managing chaos. I simply have to keep my eyes on 120 students. Sounds easy, right? Sometimes it is. Most days, it is not.  So, it wasn’t until about fifteen minutes later that I checked my phone and saw that Amanda had replied.

I am fighting Ticketmaster.

Oh nooooooooo

She explains that she had trouble with Live Nation – the site (while on her laptop) thought she was a bot. I’m sorry I’m not sharing all of those texts, but they are sprinkled with vulgarity and threats of all kinds (although we didn’t say much about the band, so that’s a plus!!). So then she tried on her phone, and amazingly enough, that worked. But Ticketmaster was another story for a variety of reasons I don’t even want to get into. She tried the online customer service chat, then she tried calling – I can’t even tell that story the way Amanda does, but basically it took her thirteen minutes to even get to a real person, and when she finally did get through, it sounded (to me) as though the person couldn’t hear her and HUNG UP. 

As I read her texts, I couldn’t help but take turns laughing, (I am pretty sure Amanda wasn’t laughing but damn!) and then being infuriated right along with her. I have to say – the entire episode sounded like something I’d watch on a sitcom! It was so bad I couldn’t believe it. Every form of imaginable technology seemed to fail her that day.

But we have tickets. They’re GA, and waiting all day is going to suck, but we have tickets, and we’re going to make it a party.

I’m excited. I haven’t been to a concert in San Francisco before, and I hear the Fox Theater in Oakland is gorgeous. We’re looking at places to stay, and I’m THRILLED this is only four months from now….and those four months are going to be jam-packed: I have college visits, my wedding anniversary, my youngest and Amanda share a birthday, Mothers Day, my sister’s birthday, Gavin’s graduation, Fathers Day, Gavin’s birthday, Fourth of July, and then I leave with Amanda, so time will absolutely fly.

Thank goodness!

I hope the band doesn’t forget how to play Careless Memories by then. I saw they added it to their set list tonight in Houston….

Hope to see many of you in the GA line this summer!

-R