The five service pups I've raised...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer means outdoor concerts. . .

Great venue for great music All shows SOLD OUT! Chris jams with Mark, his guitarist

Me with Jim and Kerry girl Me with Chris and Kerry

It may almost be July 4th, but I was just thinking back to how great my summer started off. As I pretty much consider Memorial Day weekend as the launch to summer. On May 31, I went and saw an awesome concert, it was a great way to begin my summer in Southern California.

As an outdoor concert is one of the pinnacles of summer. And one of my favorite venues is Thornton Winery in Temecula, just about an hour north, inland from my home – this is our local wine area. I’ve seen many concerts here and it is so lovely. Rolling hills and vineyards are all around. Thornton has a lovely patio area with a fountain, intimate seating and a scrumptious menu.

One of my favorite artists is Chris Botti. Knowing this, my friend Jim treated me and we went up to see his concert. A jazz trumpeter that got his start from being on tour with Sting, Chris’ trademark now is his rendition of songs typically from the American Songbook, such as “My Funny Valentine” and “Fly Me to the Moon”. But as evident from his recent concert at Boston Symphony Hall last October with multiple artists, Chris can also excell at playing other genres as well.

Now this day was gray and drizzly and we were wondering what we could encounter when we got further north and more inland. Fortunately as we exited the freeway, the clouds just started to lift and a few more miles east and we had sunshine! Woo hoo! What a relief, as coastally it really had been damp and chilly.

Jim and I took Kerry my yellow lab with us and a high light of the day (besides getting Chris’ autograph) was getting his photo with Kerry. I asked Chris if he liked dogs, and he replied “I love dogs!” And then I knew for certain– I really do love this man. A dog lover and a talented musician –what more could a girl want?

Locally Thornton was one of the first venues in S. California to support Chris as an artist so he always comes on his yearly tours. He played two dates and two shows on both days and all of them were sold out as you can see from the photo above. So it appears that I’m not the only Californian to enjoy his talent.
Jim and I had great seats just to the side of the stage. Due to Kerry we also met some really nice people that wanted to know about service dogs. Jim does public speaking on behalf of disability awareness so he also got some business cards, and networked with folks.

It was a great, sunny day in wine country. Then we returned once more to the drizzly fog on our way home that afternoon. We even had tortilla soup at the San Marcos Brewery when we stopped for an early dinner. Ahhh, the fickleness of So. Cal weather in May. (I'm so glad July brings plenty of sunshine to the coast -finally, after our May Gray and June Gloom).
Here's some footage from the show. I love this song. See more at

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