Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mom's 75th Birthday in Los Angeles

My mom LOVES to throw parties and she is spectacular at it! My dad really wanted to give her one for her 75th but she just wasn't in the mood. She did mention to me, several times, that "all" of her friends were going to see Neil Diamond, but the concert was sold out. My mom LOVES Neil Diamond, I'm sure it has a little bit to do with the fact that her name is Caroline, but that's understandable! Even if I could get tickets I knew that my dad was in no way capable of taking my mom to a concert of this magnitude, but I could, and I knew it would be the most awesome gift for my mom. I spoke to the siblings and everyone was up for making the tickets a group gift so off I went in search of tickets online. WOW - could not believe the fees those ticket resellers charge you! The tickets themselves looked pretty reasonable but after you pay $50 a piece surcharge and then $20 for shipping, forgetaboutit!! I did some browsing on Craigslist and found some good seats from a woman willing to sell them to me at face value. I was pretty nervous paying in advance on Paypal, not really knowing if they were counterfeit or not, but her email signature showed that she was a CPA with an address in L.A. and she told me that if we paid through Paypal they were guaranteed...or some such thing. I knew it was a gamble but I went for it and lucky for us they were the real deal!

When I told my mom that her kids were sending her to the concert and that I, the first-born and favorite (at that moment, anyway!), was going to fly in and take her, I could feel her joy flying through the air waves! My parents have been going through a rough time recently and I knew that my mom really needed this lift. When I purchased the tickets I had no idea where we would actually be (in the U.S.) when the concert came around but I had a free ticket on Southwest and knew it wouldn't be too difficult to change if I needed to. I hoped that we would be in Idaho by then and the Spokane airport was less than an hour away and as luck would have it, that all worked out perfectly.

My parents live in Palm Desert, CA and most of our extended family lives in Los Angeles. My mom is super close with her brother and his wife (Uncle Hal & Aunt Dee) and they had planned a trip to see them in their new home in the valley and to escape the summer heat of the desert. I didn't know that they were going to be in L.A. or I would have gotten us tickets at the Greek Theater (which would have been awesome!) but instead had tickets at the Anaheim arena which was closer to the desert. My mom drove from L.A. to pick me up in Orange County, we went for a nice dinner and then headed to the concert.

I don't think my mother has ever been to a large concert like this and although she is only 75 she quite often walks with a cane and I didn't even think about this when I was trying to get the best seats - on the hindsight she would have had a much easier time had we not had to walk down a pretty steep flight of stairs without a banister. Luckily we got their early and took our time getting down the stairs, we had great seats and it was so much fun watching her take it all in. We both knew we had to leave early in order to be able to get out of their safely but we also wanted to be sure to catch "her song". He put on an amaaaaazing show and played over 90 minutes straight with no opening act! It seemed as if the concert was slowing down so we made our way, ever so slowly, back up the stairs and then perched ourselves at the top just in time to catch "Sweet Caroline" - the usher was awesome and gave us a primo viewing spot. My mom had a blast and will never, ever forget it - and nor will I!

We drove back to Los Angeles where I dropped her off at her brother's house and then I headed over to stay with my cousin Cher. Cher and I are very close - we are three years and one day apart and I hadn't seen her in at least a year. She is recently separated and in a great  condo with a big bed for us to share. It was like a slumber party for three nights! My aunt and uncle had a BBQ with more family and friends and I had such a great time seeing everyone.

Family BBQ

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Debby,, you rock! So glad you and your Mom had this fabulous experience together! Such good memories, I'm sure!