|Cousins with baby Vox ...|
|... and 30 seconds later Vox falls asleep|
The kids weren't thrilled with the long drive (it took more than seven hours to get there, but less getting back) but they held it together pretty well thanks to audio books and snacks. They liked the hotel, especially its restaurant and pool. They even liked the music festival, although it went on too long for them; we were there from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. and they got tired.
But they really enjoyed seeing their Uncle Joel and Aunt Ashley, and they cooed over Vox for the brief period of time she was awake and out of the baby carrier.
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At first Craig and I wanted to watch the bands from the area right in front of the stage, but there was a visibility problem, what with the kids being too short to see anything from the midst of a bunch of standing adults. Laurel can be lifted up onto a hip easily, but Isaac is too heavy (and also too old to accept such a demeaning position). Once we moved off to the side and found seats with a view of the stage they had a better time (the seating was also in the shade, which helped).
The festival featured two genres of music: punk rock and rockabilly/blues/roots music. I was surprised that the kids liked the punk bands best; I had assumed they would find the rockabilly more accessible. But no, they didn't get up and dance until the Buzzcocks played -- well, at least Laurel danced with Ashley, and Isaac participated by drumming along.
But by far their favorite band was the Avengers, Joel's band. Laurel said it was because she liked recognizing Joel on stage, but also because "they played beautiful music." When asked what he thought, Isaac said, "Great!"
Not to minimize the impact of the music itself, but I think their enjoyment of the Avengers was due in part to the band playing inside the club (the festival had both indoor and outdoor stages) where the visibility was much better -- the kids could stand at the raised back of the club and look down on the entire stage. The band put on a dynamic show, and both kids were held rapt for the entire set.
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And what about the safety of taking small children to a show? No worries. It was a very mellow festival, partly because of the large number of performers from the old days (like from 1955 to 1977!) and most of the audience members were nostalgic oldsters well over the age of 45. But we did remain conscious of the greatest danger to the kids: hearing loss.