Low Key In NC..October 2011

For my 3rd and final trip this year, I found myself in North Carolina once again. This was planned very last minute as a quick getaway while my boss went on vacation to China. I also planned it around a show at The Cat’s Cradle that featured 9th Wonder, Phonte, HaLo, The Away Team, Rapsody and Median.

This was probably my most low key vacation. I planned the trip with Michelle. I met Michelle through her boyfriend, Ting who is a Jamla Army Lieutenant like me. When I was in NC in June, Michelle took it upon herself to adopt me as her little sister.

To my surprise, I was extremely exhausted when I arrived Thursday afternoon. I suppose it was because I was so stressed out from work that I was hardly sleeping and once I got on my flight, my body decided to let go and relax. All I remember after I boarded was the attendants going through the safety procedures. I literally knocked out until it was time to land! I was so thankful I was able to book a direct flight because I was dragging myself and couldn’t imagine running to catch another flight! I stayed so close to the airport that the shuttle only took about 5 mins to get to my hotel. I even knocked out again after checking in with Michelle and talking to Darien. That night, Michelle took me to Golden Corral for dinner since I had never been. I couldn’t get over the fact that it was about $10 for all you can eat and drink! They had good stuff too like steak and seafood plus all the sweet tea I could drink?? You know I was happy!

On Friday, I spent all morning and part of the afternoon in bed, watching TV or on my computer which is something I rarely get to do. I enjoyed every minute of it! Also the fact that I had the most comfy king sized bed and 8 pillows all to myself pretty great too! I didn’t get dressed until Darien said he was coming by to hang out which was around 3. He asked me if he wanted to go to his church and just be with him through his rehearsals and I was more than happy to go. I had never been to any other church except a Catholic one and plus I looked forward to hearing Darien sing again since it had been so long. I warned him that I will be my shy self when we got there. Folks who know me know that I can get extremely quiet and shy in social situations or around new people and surroundings and I was definitely in fine form that night! Lol!

Here's my attempt of an 'artsy' shot of Darien in my room. Lol!

When we arrived at the church, it was just the two of us as he set up for the praise team practice. As folks started to arrive, the shyness kicked in and I barely managed to smile and say hi when Darien would introduce me. Everyone there was very nice and I felt welcomed. I did manage to relax a bit when we were in his final rehearsal for a play that he was in. I got shy again initially cuz we got in the big room late and I felt everyone’s eyes on us as we walked in. There were at least a dozen people rehearsing. I just sat quietly, enjoyed watching them. I’m sure people wondered who I was but everyone was really pleasant and smiling. At the end, they were gathering in a circle to pray when one of the ladies reached their hand out to me to join them while Darien was putting away some things. Since he didn’t have a chance to introduce me, just before he came to stand beside me he announced, “Oh hey everybody, say hi to my girl from Canada, Vee!” Everyone got all happy and excited while greeting me. Darien knew how much I hated being the center of attention and was just laughing at me as I probably turned red in embarrassment!

Overall, being at Darien’s church was a great experience. Even though I was brought up Catholic, I’m honestly not active in that respect. I do pray and believe but I don’t really go to mass. In fact, since my mom passed, I’ve felt a little upset with God. I forgot how uplifting it can be. Being there, hearing them sing…I can’t describe how I felt. For the first time in a long time, I felt at peace, like some healing took place while I was there. Plus seeing Darien in a different environment, seeing how happy he is there and hearing him singing again was amazing too. I so wish I could share what I heard that night!

Saturday was another chill day in bed for me. I probably could’ve called some people to hang out with but to be honest, I was quite content just relaxing. Michelle and Ting came to get me late in the afternoon and we did some shopping. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t find anything I really liked and just ended up at Target just buying my supply of Haribo Gummi Bears and some over the counter meds that are sold cheaper there then at home. We went to have dinner at an awesome Mediterranean restaurant and it was soooo good. Darien and I were supposed to meet up to hang with some friends but when he called, he was so exhausted from being out all day, at church and performing the play that we cancelled.

He and I together for a late lunch Sunday afternoon at Chilli’s instead which was really good. We also took a trip to Wal-Mart because he had to pick up a few things there. It’s always fun hanging out and just catching up with him. Some of you have seen videos (some examples are here, here and here) I’ve posted before of the times we’ve gotten together and it’s always filled with jokes and laughter.

The major laugh we had that day was when we lined up to check out at Wal-Mart. We couldn’t get over this woman’s hair. We were behind her in line and it was so hard to keep from laughing. Darien was dying to take a pic of her but he left his phone in the car. I ended up giving him my phone so he could take it cuz I was afraid of getting caught! This is what we saw in front of us:

Yes, this woman’s hair was a crazy orangy color and was somehow layered with a side pony tail!! I had tears in my eyes holding in laughter and tried so hard to avoid eye contact with Darien, afraid that I would bust out laughing! Then she briefly turned her head my way and felt my eyes bug out when I saw that she had big streaks of blonde in the front! I immediately buried my head in Darien’s shoulder, giggling and was barely able to whisper what I saw. He wanted to see it too but unfortunately, she didn’t turn around after that. He noticed another cashier with a short line not too far that was in front of the line we were in so he quickly grabbed my arm and we went there just so he could turn around and see what she looked like in the front! We wanted to take another pic so he stood in front of me so I can pretend I was taking a pic him and try to catch her. She was a little too far away but you can see the blonde! LOL! When we left, we were practically screaming and laughing because we held it in for so long!

Next, Darien dropped me off at Michelle’s place. She promised to cook for me when we were planning my trip so she was making dinner before we went to the show that night. We had baked spaghetti and garlic bread and it was sooo good. Even though I was really excited for the show and to see more of my friends that night, I was practically falling asleep on the couch while Michelle and Ting got ready to leave because I was so full! Lol!

Going to The Cat’s Cradle brought back a lot of memories. The first and last time I was there was in April 2009 for The Foreign Exchange show. I had an amazing time that night, hanging with friends and meeting some folks for the first time like my boy, Jae who’s in the Jamla Army with me. He drove down from Virginia with my boy, Chad and my girl, Eboni who’s in the army too.

The show was incredible! It was great to see everyone in their home state performing. I got to see HaLo, The Away Team and Median perform for the first time and they tore the stage down! Seeing Rapsody perform was also amazing too because she has grown so much as a performer since I saw her onstage last year in March. Heather Victoria joined Rap onstage for one of my favorite tracks, Black Girl Jedi and I was happy to see her perform too. I didn’t take video like I had planned to, I just watched the show but my girl, Trish did so I’ll post those along with my pics from that night.

Me with the Jamla Flag, waiting for the show to start

My big sis, Michelle & I and Michelle & Ting

With Jae aka Deep Six of The Jamla Army

With Sundown of Actual Proof & Heather Victoria

Meeting Tyler Woods & Median for the 1st time!

With Big Remo & Kash (Yes the dude that did the theme song to my site!)

Hangin' with my homies, E. Jones & HaLo after the show

Here are 2 vids: (Friendly Reminder: Don't forget to pause on the mp3 player on the top right before pressing play!)

Phonte & Median performing Band Practice & All That You Are

Phonte performs Not Here Anymore, Lovin' It, Life of The Party & Make Me Hot with help from DJ Flash, Carlitta Durand and The Jamla Family

I can't begin to explain how great to experience the show. To see all of them on the stage together was amazing. I swear I almost got teary when Tay and Median performed All That You Are. Seeing DJ Flash perform Joe Scudda's verse in Lovin' It was great too especially when you see 9th come from behind the turntables just to see Flash rap. I also loved when they pulled up Carlitta Durand to sing her part on Life Of The Party. The fact that Sean Boog was on stage with crutches just days after badly injuring his ankle was crazy too.

My 'Oh My God' moment was meeting Median. I've been a fan of his for awhile. I anticipated that I would freeze up when I met him and that's exactly what I did! LOL! I was standing by the merchandise booth after the show with Michelle, talking with a bunch of folks. I didn't realize Median was right beside me talking with someone. When I did notice, my eyes bugged out and I looked at Michelle. She just laughed at me, grabbed my camera and motioned for me to talk to him but I couldn't! Ha ha ha! I started to inch away from him but Michelle, suddenly called out his name to get his attention. I did end up getting my voice back and spoke to him after we took a picture. He was a really cool, humble cat...not that expected any less than that.

Monday was my last day and my flight home wasn’t until later in the afternoon so Darien and I had a breakfast date at Brigs since his class was done at 10. I was so happy that he made arrangements with Yahzarah to join us and she arrived a little later with her son, Miles. I hadn’t seen Yahz in over a year and I was so excited to see baby Miles who is adorable, of course! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my trip.

The trip home was fine. I did end up falling asleep again and for those who know me and wondered...yes, I did cry again. I guess I have to get used to the fact that every time I leave NC, there will be tears...either at RDU or when I get home. SMH!

Thanks sooo much to Michelle, Ting and of course, Darien for taking such good care of me. I love y’all. To my friends/fam, it was great seeing all of you! NC, until we meet again….(probably in the spring! Lol!)

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