Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Lucky Are We to be Alive Right Now - Slice of Life 3/23/17

So much has happened since I wrote my slice for Wednesday. That one I wrote ahead, on Monday, because I knew there would be no time on Tuesday. See, Tuesday after lunch we packed up, headed three hours north, checked an item of my dream bucket list, spent the night in Chicago, drove home Wednesday, and picked up our new puppy. While there are likely a million slice possibilities to unpack in the past two days, I'm going to focus this one on the reason for our trip north and Friday's slice on our new puppy. 
So a little less than a year ago I purchased the Hamilton soundtrack to see what the fuss was all about. I fell hard. There is no way to begin to estimate how many times I listened to the soundtrack. I purchased the book Hamilton: The Revolution to learn more about Lin-Manuel Miranda's process in creating the book. I've watched the PBS special around ten times. My family has begun to catch my sickness. They've already heard the soundtrack, Chris read Chernow's biography of Hamilton. In September another group of tickets went on sale for Chicago (I was presenting for Scholastic when the first group of tickets became available and missed out), I got four. WOO HOO!

Tuesday night that dream of seeing Hamilton became a reality. My family was thrilled, but I was flying. I got another monster cold, my third of the school year, because apparently I can't have a break from school and not be sick. Even a cold couldn't dampen my spirits. 
Ceiling at The Palmer House
We stayed at The Palmer House, only a block from the theater. This hotel has a special spot in my heart. My first NCTE was in Chicago in 2011. We stayed at that hotel. In the bar in the lobby I had a conversation with my friend, Colby, about blogging. He encouraged me to begin one - and this space was born. I felt like not only was I having a dream come true on Tuesday night by seeing Hamilton, but I was also getting to revisit such a special place from my past.

Chris, the boys, and I headed to dinner at a Chicago institution - Miller's Pub. After dinner we trekked over to the theater to stand in line to get in. Both in line, and in the theater, I ran into people from our tiny town. Crazy! We're from a town of 5000 people, yet at least three groups of folks were at Hamilton on Tuesday night.

Time flew and before I knew it, it was time to begin. For the entire first act I felt like I was in a dream. It was so good! At one point I looked at Liam next to me, he grinned and said, "When are the Cabinet Battles?" Which are his favorite songs in the soundtrack. I reminded him that both of those songs are in Act two. I said a quick prayer of thanks to be here in this space with my three favorite people. 

We sat through intermission and Act two began. Before I knew it, we were at the end, tears were streaming down my face, and I wished I could start the entire evening all over. Luke turned to me and said "That was amazing." Chris told me he loved it. Liam just grinned.

I didn't think it was possible for Hamilton to live up to my expectations, but it by far exceeded them. I'd go again and again if I could. If you get the chance, jump on it. It was a night I will never forget.

Slice of Life is a challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers