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Tuesday Night Grab Bag O’ Thoughts

May a fascinating new week of blogging begin … NOW !

I.  House Of Heroes / Skillet / Toby Mac – Last Friday night I saw my first rock concert in a major sports arena (non church setting) in over 3 years. This was over at the 7,000+ seat Germain Arena in Estero Florida (halfway between Fort Myers and Naples right alongside I-75). I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts over the past 25 years, and this was probably the first one ever in which there was no drinking, smoking, or drug use occurring during the show. It was a fairly young crowd. At nearly 43 I was surely at the upper tier of the demographics observed. Of course just becuase I’m approaching 43 doesn’t mean that I have to act like I’m so. I stood and sang and danced for virtually the entire show – and so did everyone around me. I had to blend in with the young and energetic crowd. House Of Heroes performed 4 songs during their short 15-minute set including two of their big hits from 2008 “Lose Control” and “In The Valley Of The Dying Sun”. Surprisingly they didn’t perform their last two hits “Code Name: Raven” or “Field Of Daggers”. Skillet were up next, and based on the crowd attendance and reaction they were the unofficial headlining act of the show. Their explosive set lasted for a little over an hour, and they churned through over a decade of hard rockin’ hits. Their music was awesomely loud, and their pyrotechnics was impressively bright. The pyro was bigger than your typical WWE show on television !  It was definitely a vivid spectacle that was so fun to experience. Toby Mac was all over the arena for his 1 hour and 20 minute show. There was no pyro for his show – just powerful lyrics, kool melodies, and lots of singing, rapping, and dancing to God Almighty. I knew most of his material – but not all of it – particularly the older stuff. He did however perform “Jesus Freak” from 15 years ago. I knew that dc Talk rocker because of Chasing Victory‘s cover version of it from a few years ago. It was a great 4-hour experience at the arena from start to finish. It was a pleasure to spend it with all of those around me who love Jesus Christ and His hard rockin’ jamz !

II.  Naples Florida – After a relaxing night in a nice and peaceful and quiet Estero hotel I spent the next morning into the afternoon playing the role of tourist / future resident in and around Naples. I visited the Naples Pier (and the adjacent beach), the Naples Zoo At Caribbean Gardens, and the Collier County Museum in East Naples. I was particularly impressed with my first ever visit to the museum, as it was far more expansive than I ever imagined. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to visit another Collier County Museum branch right after that – the Museum Of The Everglades – in secluded Everglades City. I had tried to visit that particular museum on a previous visit to Everglades City last October, but it was allegedly closed at the time. This time it was open and nearly packed. It’s always good to see lots of people getting a historical education at the museum. While I took I-75 over to the Naples area on Friday afternoon (to get over there quicker) I took U.S. 41 on the return trip back home on Saturday afternoon. Both coast-to-coast routes have their obvious advantages and disadvantages, and I shall continue to utilize them both on many future visits to the Southwest Florida area.

III.  Next Stop – Lake Okeechobee & Florida’s Treasure Coast – In about 3½ weeks I embark on a brand new road trip adventure of a lifetime. I’ve got a detailed itinerary already planned out for bright and early on a Saturday morning through real late on a Sunday night. My trek will take me up to rural Palm Beach County – and all along the entire eastern perimeter of Lake Okeechobee. I don’t believe that I have ever seen the Big Lake ‘O’ before in my lifetime (aside from up above in an airplane). After spending the night at an undisclosed location in Fort Pierce (where Florida’s Turnpike and I-95 come together) I’ll be taking a nice and slow and scenic drive back southbound along the A1A and the U.S. 1 (for the most part) with scheduled pit stops at various tourist attractions in Stuart, Jupiter, and Palm Beach before I attend a LIVE concert at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. It should be a lot of fun visiting a slice of Florida that I’ve never really seen before up close.

Well my friends those are my ‘Grab Bag O’ Thoughts’ on this Tuesday night. I’m headed to Toastmasters in just a little while, so I need to go and get ready for the fun there. Be sure to check out my ‘Thursday Night Mini Thoughts’ in just about 48 hours. Until I blog again (tomorrow night) – REMEMBER THIS !