On Thursday, January 17, 2013, my father, Frank, & I accomplished a goal we'd been preparing ourselves for the past year (a goal my dad had been dreaming about for over 15 years!) when we reached Uhuru Peak, the 19,341 foot (5,895 meter) summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the continent of Africa & also the highest free-standing mountain on the planet...&, after 7 days of hiking, camping, fighting off illnesses, not showering & praying for the weather to hold up (mind you, with an UNBELIEVABLE amount of help from our guides & porters!!!), my dad & I (& the other 6 bad ass climbers in our group) managed to SLOWLY walk ourselves to the very top :)
I am SO proud of my dad, myself & everyone else on Team Tembo ("tembo" means "elephant" in Swahili) for having the strength (both mentally & physically) to reach the summit. I'm also beyond grateful to our four Thomson Safari guides, Prosper, Calvin, James & David, & our FORTY-THREE Thomson porters for working harder than I've ever seen anyone work for 9 straight days to assist 8 American, amatuer "mountaineers" in living out their dream of climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro.
It's incredible that it takes almost 50 people to help get 8 people up the mountain & it also makes our feat seem a LITTLE bit less impressive but, nonetheless, climbing Kili is still the most challenging, amazing, grueling, mind-opening, exhausting & beautiful thing I've ever been lucky enough to experience in my life. And the fact that I got to share the entire adventure with my 65-year-old father makes it that much more special.
Dad - I'll never be able to thank you enough for bringing me along on this trip of a lifetime & taking such great care of me when I was sick in order to help me get better & continue trekking to the summit. You're an absolute ROCKSTAR for seeing this dream through! I love you with all my heart & I cannot wait to continue celebrating with you in New Orleans this weekend! I still can't believe we're going to the SUPERBOWL! The 49ers are going to win just for us! I know it!!
I was worried I wouldn't be able to think of a way of tying my tale of our Kilimanjaro adventure into my music blog until our last night on the mountain when 1 of our guides, Calvin, did me a huge favor by putting on 1 hell of a show for us along with his chorus of porters (see the 1st video below!). Calvin, the porters & the other 3 guides also gave me THE sweetest birthday gift when we finished our descent on day 9 (which also happened to be my 31st birthday) by surprising me with a heart-shaped, chocolate cake while singing Happy Birthday to me in Swahili (see the 2nd & 3rd videos below!). It brought tears to my eyes & made saying goodbye to our INCREDIBLE crew & my fellow FABULOUS climbers that much more difficult. The people I met & was fortunate enough to spend 9 straight days bonding with on this journey made climbing Kilimanjaro an absolute joy (even when I was miserable...lol).
It may sound cliche but Kilimanjaro most definitely changed my life for the better. Now I'm ready to conquer some metaphorical mountains too...& do a Tough Mudder in June!! Who's coming with me?? :) :)
Alright so, it took a little longer than usual for Goldenvoice to give up the goods, but, at long last, the Coachella 2013 lineup has FINALLY been released! I have to admit I'm not too thrilled with the headliners although I am stoked to get to see Blur (because I was under the impression they were never going to perform together again) & I love me some Phoenix but they don't seem big enough to hold the only Saturday night headlining spot. I'm hoping there might be some additions there but we'll see.
To focus on the positive, I am SO stoked to see Yeah Yeah Yeahs (my beloved rockstar girlfriend, Karen O) again because they put on SUCH a fantastic live show & I CANNOT WAIT to see Sigur Ros for my 1st time! I tried to pull myself away from Metallica at Outside Lands in SF last summer to go see part of Sigur Ros' set but there was just no way to get from 1 end of Golden Gate Park to the other in time to catch enough of SR to make it worth the effort. Instead, I decided to continue fully enjoying what I assumed would be my 1 & only Metallica show ever :)
Other acts I'm pumped for (whether I've never seen them before or have seen them & just KNOW they're stellar live) include the following: New Order, Violent Femmes (YES!!!!), Spiritualized, HOT CHIP, Grizzly Bear, Tame Impala, Alt-J, Lord Huron, Wild Belle, Tanlines, Jessie Ware, Moby, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Yeasayer, The Stone Roses, Jurassic 5, How to Destroy Angels, Band of Horses, Beach House, Local Natives, Of Monsters & Men, Divine Fits (SO good), Aesop Rock, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Lumineers, Purity Ring, Dam-Funk, Benny Benassi, Portugal, The Man, Bat for Lashes, Major Lazer, FOALS, Ben Howard, Janelle Monae, Booka Shade, Theophilus London, Vampire Weekend, WU-TANG CLAN, Pretty Lights, La Roux, James Blake, Father John Misty, Cloud Nothings, Smith Westerns, Hanni EL Khatib, White Arrows & probably many more once I start researching the artists I don't know!!
Do you Coachella homework, people ;-) It always pays off!
When I missed Lord Huron's sold out show in Echo Park back in mid November (after the band so kindly left a FREE pair of tickets at the door for me...but I didn't get the Facebook notification that they'd messaged me until the next morning!), I was DEVASTATED. I fell head over heels in love with these guys back in August when I saw them open for Cults at The Geffen so, after I so unfortunately missed their November show in LA, I vowed to be front row & center for their next one. I may not have been immediately in the front row at their show this past Friday at The Natural History Museum's 1st First Friday of 2013 but I was close & Lord Huron was PHENOMENAL. If you get a chance to see this band, DO NOT miss it!
After seeing Punch Brothers perform Movement & Location on Conan in early December (why oh WHY did the footage disappear from the internet?! That makes me so sad!), I'm now fully obsessed with these progressive bluegrass boys. This Is The Song
OK so I'm a day late to say "Happy New Year!!!" but I have an excellent excuse.
I just spent the last few days (Saturday through Tuesday) ringing in the New Year in Ensenada, Mexico with 13 of the raddest people you'll ever meet. We rented a house RIGHT on the beach that had a hot tub & 1 of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. We ate copious amounts of delicious Mexican food (plus my special NYE scallops & prawns risotto), drank tons of tequila, beer & champagne, played with fireworks on the beach, had sing-a-longs (including a so-terrible-it-was-fabulous rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight on NYE..with sparklers & champagne in hand), played poker & other silly games, watched football, made cozy fires, wandered around town & simply had THE best New Year's celebration EVER.
It was the perfect way to relax for a few days before getting back to the grind & also a great way for me to take a break from stressing about my upcoming 2 week trip to Kilimanjaro! I leave on Tuesday 1/8 & will not return until 1/21 so, unfortunately for any avid Concert Addict Chick followers, my blog will be going silent for 2 whole weeks beginning next Tuesday BUT I have over 500 posts & PLENTY of stuff I'm sure you haven't seen so please browse around while I'm gone! My "Favorite Songs" category is chock-full of stuff you NEED to hear :) Speaking of Auld Lang Syne...Andrew Bird's twist on the old NYE classic is 1 of the best ones out there:
And this is just plain adorable. I heart JGL & Zooey SO much!