Under the Sun at Ravinia

22 Jul

Hello and happy Monday!

What a weekend! From Saturday through Sunday night I don’t think I got to sit down and relax at all. That’s actually a lie. Here’s a picture of me recovering from my second 16-mile bike ride (more on that to come) with my dog, who is arguably more tired than me.

Lucy, exhausted from laying around, sleeping on my lap

Lucy, exhausted from laying around, sleeping on my lap

So, what did I do all weekend? I’m going to need to break this up into three categories and therefore stretch it out into three lovely posts:

1. Lots of crafts

2. Lots of biking

3. An awesome concert

I’m so excited about all of them but I want to start with the concert first, since it’s a one-time thing. Plus, my last post was about working out, so let’s try to change the themes once in a while, shall we?

The awesome concert

Back in May or June we bought tickets for the Under the Sun tour at Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois. For the locals among my readers, Ravinia is a pretty well-known venue for outdoor concerts with a huge, popular lawn area. In fact, the lawn areas often sell out before the pavilion seating. Here’s the thing that cracks me up — you can’t see ANYTHING from the lawn! People go to Ravinia to enjoy the music audibly, but use the lawn area to have a picnic. No one told me this before my first Ravinia experience, so we were underprepared in 2009 when we went to see Carrie Underwood hoping to actually “see” her. This time, however, we were slightly more prepared… I had my Vino2Go tumbler, a cooler, blankets, and a whole spread of food. I’ve already got my list of things to remember for next year — including, but not limited to a candelabra (not joking), a rolling cart to schlep all the goodies, and some OFF candles.

My friends waiting for the music to start at Ravinia

My friends waiting for the music to start at Ravinia

Oh, and the music! The music (almost second to the actual picnic, in my book) was awesome! The tour consisted of Fastball, Vertical Horizon, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, and Smash Mouth. If you’re surprised that any of those bands are still around, join the club. In fact, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray recently appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap if that’s any indication of the group’s star status… Anyway, Smash Mouth was considered the headliner and they did not disappoint. Some would argue that it should have been Sugar Ray, but Smash Mouth was the time the wine kicked the only group to get me dancin’ around so I approve of the decision to make them headliners. My signature move was to walk like an Egyptian for the entire song of Walkin’ on the Sun. It reminded me of a dance my BFF Lauren and I used to do in her room before CCD class.

I’d say the concert has to be one of my top 5 summer moments so far. I have a lot of summer moments, too, so don’t take that lightly. I also have some competing 90’s concerts this summer like Barenaked Ladies (yes, still touring) two weeks ago and Backstreet Boys (all 5! still touring!) in two weeks. Does this officially make me old?

I’d like to close this post with a list of tips for Ravinia goers. Bookmark this page (actually, do me a favor and bookmark the site, will you?) so you don’t forget these tips next year:

DO arrive early. The gates opened at 4 and people were lined up at 3:30. It doesn’t matter what time the music starts, get there when the gates open.

DO bring wheels. Don’t make the mistake of hand-carrying everything into the park. Ravnia is like one of the last places on earth that have almost NO restrictions on what you can bring in.

DO bring a site-identifier. My group had a Spongebob balloon but my favorite was two huge Monster’s Inc. balloons. It’s helpful for finding your friends when you’re arriving or just returning from the bathroom

DON’T be fooled to buying food. Plan ahead and bring all the goodies and save some cash!

DO remember bug repellent of all sorts.

DO bring a mix of chairs and blankets. Sometimes you want to sit, sometimes you don’t.

DO bring glow sticks! One of my favorite things I brought. Who cares if the sun doesn’t go down ’til 9 pm in the summer — glow sticks rock!

DO bring something to do from the time you get there until the time the music starts (cards, games, musical instruments). You better believe we brought our ukuleles!

I’m sure I could think of 100 other things, but if you’re not planning on going to Ravinia you’re probably already bored. What are your tips for attending outdoor concerts?


One Response to “Under the Sun at Ravinia”


  1. Crafting the Weekend Away | Gerb's Blurbs - July 23, 2013

    […] I mentioned yesterday, last weekend was spent working out, attending an awesome concert, and crafting […]

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