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Jan 2 05 10:33 AM
Quote: Our Excellent Clayventure in California Boston: Snowy, crowded with disagreeable people who had been stuck in the airport for over 24 hours. 2 hour delay. Then (sadly stuck in First Class) the plane took off and our excellent Clayventure began. They made us eat stuffed French toast with warm maple syrup and kept passing out beverages and hot towels. They brought us little dishes of cheeses and fruits, then glasses of milk with warm cookies. We were not good Claymates -- we had the chocolate chip instead of the oatmeal raisin. The rest of the airplane enjoyed pre-wrapped Danish and bags of nuts.
We rented a car that talks to us and told us every twitch in the road, so we made it here in no time. Here? We have arrived in Pasadena. The weather is wet -- but the palm trees are abundant and the Hibiscus is in bloom. For our friends and relatives in the east, this is preferable to the ice.
We are heading off to the Pasadena pre-concert party and then the concert -- where we have fifth row aisle seats. We will report any developments later.
Later: Noah would have been right at home -- the rain was terrible. By the time we found the party, the food was gone but the natives were friendly. Every restaurant in the area had a one hour waiting list, so we went into a bar and had the largest turkey sandwiches ever made and, as Clay often says, everything had avocado on it. We swam over to the concert hall and sat down. The crowd screamed as the lights dimmed.
Clay had his biggest best teddy bear smile on all night. He was really enjoying himself. He was wearing a (new?) purple V-neck cashmere sweater over a striped shirt and the usual gray flannels, and showed them to good advantage with the little soft shoe he does at the end of "Sleigh Ride." There were many screaming young sounding voices coming from the balcony and Clay was trying not to laugh. When he sang "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" the crowd started to melt at the first note. Once he took a step off the stage and everybody realized he was coming down into the audience, the growl must have been unnerving because Nick and Jerome both moved forward. We couldn't see who he was singing to, but he got right down on his knees. The applause was deafening. Jacob's song was particularly good, and as "Merry Christmas With Love" finished the first half, the crowd was happy.
During intermission we chatted with Bob and Linda -- their 93rd Clay Aiken concert. They're trying to decide whether or not to go to Hawaii in February. We ran into some others we had met at the Big E last September when several of them had flown East.
"O Holy Night" was, as usual, spectacular and, as usual, brought down the house. The whole section with the readers was wonderful. When Angela sang, one of the children in the choir was, uh, distracting. She kept making faces and waving and holding her hands out for shadows -- Clay had gotten teacher face over her antics in the opening number but she really went for the gusto when Angela was singing. Some of the audience laughed and waved back to the child, who showed no signs of abating until the high school choir (fabulous) came in behind the children and suddenly the little clown was cherubic.
Clay did that sexy growl thing on "Oh, baby, that's a fact" and got huge response. Huge. Due to the downpour, we didn't even look for the buses.
After a much-needed break at Disneyland, we are off to El Cajon. More later.
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