daytona beach

so patrick asked me on a whim if i would want to go down to flagler beach, FL to attend a screening of the Love Light and Melody movie... he found out the hard way (the fun way) that i usually say yest to these kind of things.

the april sun in atlanta, and then florida, feels outrageously good on my chilled chicago skin, and there are few sights so welcome as palm trees in the daytona airport...
officially in florida... daytona airport

that humidity just permeates your skin as you step from the metallic airplane into the thick, dense air.
it feels so good to be in the sun

i have not been to daytona before :) my family usually ends up in wayyyy south florida - we have a condo in marco island and have been going there for years. i've missed out on miles and miles of florida that has, for me, has been just space on a map. it's quite an exciting welcome to Daytona Beach -
whaaaaaaats up florida

we got to patrick & jessica's - jessica is a soon-to-be med student, and patrick's a fine artist - patrick's one of the most talented painters i've ever had the pleasure of knowing. seriously, he kicks ass. here are a couple examples of just stuff he has hanging on his walls. and seriously, the most modest dude ever. he and his work are so unassuming... i LOVE when people are just quietly awesome.
so freaking talented

the studio - much more organized than i picture a painter to be!

on friday night we went over to our friends' house, and at matt and jen's we played catchphrase for hours AFTER a grillout and s'mores! this night alone was worth the trip :) just simple fun with the kids. the house was full of good people, which i think is what all of us dream about when we have this kind of space to play in. matt and jen are excellent, gracious hosts.


we headed out in the wee hours, as the guys were playing some killer karaoke...
keroke at katso's

saturday after sleeping in (i'm on chicago time in florida, remember, for me 9am is 10am) we headed to a photography museum where matt's sister works - this is the venue for the movie premiere
love light and melody premiere, daytona

before the day really got started, brad warmed up on the piano and gareth toyed around with the hand percussion set... armistead and kyrie (she's on the floor if you don't see her right away) led an impromptu pseudo-yoga session
yoga preshow

we congregated in the back of the room afterwards and kyrie and i passed out funfetti cupcakes that jess and i made the night before!
gareth tries the funfetti

brad in particular had never had funfetti. i mean come on.
so of course we made these cupcakes for him :) thankfully he took it like a champ, and in this case, that means like an eight year old.

then with some time to kill, and our appetites whetted with sugar, we went to burger king. totally the natural next step. washed those cupcakes right down with coke slurpees, the best treat known to the modern universe. UNIVERSE. actually that's a lie. kyrie is the best treat known to the universe. she's adorable.
kyrié and i get icees at burger king

back at the museum, matt tested patrick on his salesman skillz, which were stellar.
love light and melody premiere, daytona

a couple hours later, a Q&A before the movie started. people were really excited about the film!
love light and melody premiere, daytona

brad introduced the narrative, and how it all began. the film played to a pretty full house, and there was more Q&A afterwards! people asked all kinds of questions from sustainability to safety to where else the movie is playing... brad and matt fielded everything gracefully and candidly.
love light and melody premiere, daytona

there was a wine-and-cheese reception in the lobby after the movie
love light and melody premiere, daytona

where we also had some fun surprises! joan (in the orange skirt) was in nicarauga last march with patrick and i and her son austin - patrick and i called joan to come out and play, and i got to meet her daughter / austin's sister too!

good friends + animal crackers = awesome fun
me, a couple blasingame women, and patrick :)

and a braddigan concert! the guys played a full set, including Solace, a song brad wrote after the first time he and i met... it was really cool for me because a lot of our friends don't necessarily know how we know each other, we just kind of show up and love on everyone. and this song was about the first contact i had into the group - i was on the scene really early, so it was interesting for our friends to learn how i met brad initially in the fall of 2004. the whole set was great, the room was intimate, and there were a lot of friends as well as new faces there.
braddigan in daytona
after the concert patrick and i went back to his parent's place to hang with jessica and her parents - this weekend was the first time they had all met! it was such a blessing to be with all of them, such a warm and welcoming bunch... just another chill night of pizza and conversation.

sunday we slept in and i headed back to chicago on the early side. got back home, lamented living so far from all my friends, but so grateful that they're only a plane ride away.