I guess it is really tacky to write about another man on my husband's and my anniversary (a fairly big one!), but stick with me - this post is really all about my husband. Back to my original thought - yep, that is Johnny Mathis in the picture taken by me!!! I had the pleasure of attending a concert on my anniversary week-end in Jacksonville, Florida. I was on the second row in the orchestra pit and the concert was close-up and personal! Oh, and to Alycia Nichols - yes, he sang your song and I said your name twice - lol!!
I will get back to the trip in a minute, but first I want to explain how important Johnny is to my anniversary. When my husband and I were high school sweethearts (see the above photo - cannot believe I am showing this!), our song was "Misty" sung by Johnny. When we were not listening to the Beatles or some other groups, we were courting on my living room sofa listening to my hi-fi (remember those!) and the vinyl record that we listened to the most was an album by Johnny Mathis. We decided early in our dating years that "Misty" was going to be "the" song for us. How could we not fall in love listening to that music - what a voice and the songs he sang were just too romantic!
Fast forward a few years later and here we are at our wedding. Oh, we were so young and ready to begin our married life without any idea about what that really meant!! Five years later, our daughter was born and seven years, after that, our son was born. "Misty" remained our song and the funniest rendition we ever heard was at Disney World, when our daughter was three. We were dining in a restaurant and there was musician walking around the dining room playing an accordion. He asked for requests and, of course, we requested "Misty". That song on an accordion played like a polka kept us laughing the whole time. I only wish that I had a recording of it!
In 2007, my husband and I went to Atlanta to see Johnny at the fabulous Fox Theatre, but I had a different camera and this was the best photo that I shot. Despite the lack of good photos, the evening was wonderful and we promised that when Johnny returned to Atlanta, we were attend another concert. However, he never returned!
Now, this is the time, when I am ready to discuss my dear, sweet husband! When he realized that we had a big anniversary year coming up, he went on the Johnny Mathis website and found that a concert was planned in Jacksonville the very week-end of our anniversary. Oh what a wonderful surprise for me!!
We headed to Jacksonville on a very overcast day. We had planned to have a vacation of several days, but the weather did not cooperate and we cancelled part of the trip, due to the bad weather that was predicted. However, the weather held off for us, while we were there, but we made a very good decision to leave early the day following the concert.
Have you ever been to Jacksonville? I had traveled through the city on several occasions, but had never stopped to enjoy it. The city sits on the banks of the St. Johns River and is the largest city in the contiguous United States by area. In case you did not notice, I
became obsessed fell in love with this beautiful blue bridge. All of the downtown area is quite modern and seems to be well kept.
The venue of the concert was the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. It is a beautiful building that opened in 1997. It has three performance facilities, but our concert was held in the Moran Theater which has approximately 3000 seats.
Here is a shot of the balcony
and here is one of the stage, before the performance started.
The best part of the trip (other than seeing Johnny, of course!) was that our hotel was directly across the street from the Times-Union center!! My husband is a terrific planner.
A fun place to visit downtown is The Jacksonville Landing, which is a shopping and restaurant area on the river. It was very conveniently located only a block from our hotel. I am pretty sure that all of my University of Georgia fan friends have visited there many times. The annual University of Georgia vs. University of Florida football game is held in Jacksonville every year.
This is a view of the Landing from the river side. We a very late lunch at the American Grill and the food was outstanding.
While we were at the Landing, I spied the perfect anniversary gift, but it did not make it home with us - lol! How would you to own a boat like that one??
Finally, it was time to return to the hotel and get ready for the big evening. This is the first thing that greeted us in the lobby of the concert hall:
I can tell you that I was getting pretty excited by then and I still had no idea where we were sitting. I forgot to take of photo of our seats, but only three people were between Johnny and us. I felt like he was singing directly to us for at least half of the show!! It is incredible how he has managed to protect and keep his voice all of these years. He has to make some concessions to an older voice, but he still sounds like he did, when I was a teen-ager. What a gift he has. Needless to say, when he sang "Misty", I was quite emotional!!
Well, I had better get busy and tell my husband how much I love him and appreciate all of the thoughtful and generous things that he does for me. It has been a wild ride all of the years that we have been together and I can truly say that I have never been bored. Happy Anniversary, Darling - I am looking forward to the next 45 years!!
I love you,