15.07.2015 - 15.07.2015
This looks familiar, I sighed to myself while approaching the 141A exit from I-30 to downtown Little Rock after a six hour drive. The torrential downpour of rain snarled menacingly as my car's windshield wipers frantically whooshed back and forth at top speed. Rain is a complicated, recurring theme in my recent travels - both the reason for this current trip and why it almost got derailed.
Here is the backstory: Two months ago, I missed a concert at home in Dallas because there were tornado watches and other severe weather warnings all across North Texas, and I did not want to risk getting stuck in a bad situation. I was so bummed, so annoyed by the setback that I decided to do something about it. I looked up the band Lord Huron's tour schedule, and after researching travel deals, I decided to catch the show in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is only 300 miles from where I live and a place I never had visited. I love going to concerts, and I love to travel. It's a wonder I never traveled somewhere specifically to see a show! I felt excited, but I also kept quiet about this trip because I worried about jinxing it - after all, what if the weather acted up again? Well…
There were gorgeous, sunny skies all day long, all week long, actually, until the last five miles of my journey to Little Rock. I could barely see the lane lines on the freeway because of the water drops buoyantly ricocheting back up towards to clouds from where they came. By some miracle, I kept my cool and took the correct turns off the freeway, making it safely to my destination. Oddly, I think that all the rain that I experienced three weeks ago while visiting New Orleans actually prepared me for exactly this moment. Literally, I even brought with me the travel-size umbrella that purchased in Crescent City, and it came in handy as I walked along Little Rock's Markham Avenue in the cute River Market District, which has fun places to eat and shop. Yes, I had a total deja vu moment when I realized that once again I was exploring a beautiful city on foot in my soaking sneakers.
Two hours after eating dinner at an Italian restaurant called Iriana's, I walked two blocks from my hotel to the Revolution Music Room, and I got to enjoy an amazing concert. Lord Huron's songs have made frequent appearances on my music playlists when I have taken a road trip in the past year or so. But it is a different experience to watch the band play those songs live and to simultaneously reminisce the travel memories that you associate with those tunes. Like driving through the desert on your way to California while listening to "Ends of the Earth", or enjoying random road trips in East Texas with your sister, who was the one who introduced you to the band's music in the first place.
And now I have a new, cool travel story to tell - about the time that I embarked on a crazy 300 mile solo road trip for concert redemption after inclement weather gave me a frustrating, but ultimately amazing journey. I guess the rain, in spite of how much it drives me crazy sometimes, isn't always such a bad thing after all.