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3 shows in 2 states in 1 day!

We all woke up elated to be leaving the Comfort Inn Landmark! Check out Anson’s yelp review (dont’t worry mom and dads, it’s good for everyone to stay a night in a zero star rated hotel at least once in their life…makes you realize how blessed you are to have options.

We drove from Alexandria, VA to The Essex Senior Center in Baltimore, MD, where we were welcomed so warmly by the Assistant Director, Ben Hoffman, and all of the members of the center. This was a lively group of seniors! (in picture…95 year old kneeling on the floor in front of me). Many got up to dance with us, and we were so happy to spend some time with them. We wish we didn’t have to run off to our next gig so quickly. We left the center by 2pm, and were on to our 3pm gig at the Essex Library just down the street….of course we rely too much on our smart phones and drove w..a…y…down the street, and had to backtrack about 15 minutes. We did make it in time, and the girls were excited to perform for all of the children. The room was on the lower level, and he air was warm and muggy, but the aloha was still flowing. We were also happy to meet Rebekah’s fun and crazy aunty from Maryland, and the rest of their ‘ohana! We came to share the aloha, and so did they.  They brought snack bags and souvenirs for all of us.  We also got great directions for our next gig in VA.

While we were performing at the library the chaperones went to Target to pickup items on the Residential Program Center’s “wish list”, and picked up some sandwiches, and waffle fries from “Chic-fil-A”…I love this place!  We used to have one of these at the Sunnyvale Town Center Mall back when Anson and I were mall rats…oh I guess we still are, but now it’s Oakridge Shopping Center.  While we were waiting in the hot, sticky, humid heat of Essex, the girls were entertaining themselves, and others!  In front of the library, which is interesting because it’s situated in a strip mall, they were in their costume (so we could arrive to the 3rd gig ready to perform), a car honked their horn, and the girls in response, immediately shook their ‘uli ‘uli in hand, and screamed!  Well, that’s all it took, and every car that passed was then honking their horns, saying aloha to them.  Many of them saw their performance at the library, and thanked them.  It was lots of fun!  When our four Yukon SUV’s came back they did the same!  We jumped in the cars, the food was distributed, and we were on our way to fill up our gas tanks….and we hit traffic!  Ugh, I thought we had crazy traffic, but not compared to MD, VA, DC area.  Wow, we saw three car accidents on our way back to VA.

So, yes, we were on our way to our 3rd gig all in the same day!  We woke up in VA, drove to MD, where we performed at two locations, and went back to VA to perform at the Residential Program Center.  It’s a drug rehab center.  After driving an hour and half back in traffic, we were welcomed by Sara, who was so sweet to us.  She had a room set up for us to change in.  The girls performed for what initially seemed would be a tough crowd to win over, but by the the middle of the show, we had them clapping, smiling, and hugging us at the end.  Sara brought us some fresh fruit, and that was a big hit!  We were craving it!  There was a man name Thomas that instantly was a hit with us, he was wearing his “chuku chuku” hat, and fit right on in with our show!  He found that hat on the street years ago, and is known throughout his neighborhood….everyone knows Thomas because of his hat.  He’s got a couple more months to go in the program, and is doing great, as are the other residents that we met.  Great people!  Some of them shared their stories with a few of us.  One used to go to the pro-bowls in Hawai’i.  One of them said, he wished we’d come back again, that we sure beat wathing TV!  Our aloha goes out to all of them, and we pray that they find strength to keep them focused on their goals, and to rid them of any dependency!

Well, by this time, it was about 8:15pm, and we were ready for some real food, and something cool to drink…preferably with free refills!  We found the Fashion Center at Pentagon City….the girls were so thrilled to walk in to air condition!  It’s a “Simon” mall, kind of like how we have “Westfield”.  We walked past a few familiar stores, then turned a corner, and “a…a..a.w..w…w…e….midstep, it began as a soft murmur….then it took them over, and the girls were in full screams…it was as though they had seen the light.  I’m sure you think I’m exaggerating, but imagine a group of 23 tween and teens who have not seen a mall in over a week, who are sleep deprived, phone, text, social media deprived, away from home, living out of a carry on bag who have just performed 3 shows in 2 states in 1 day, and you’re begin to imagine their excitement.  I must say, it is quite impressive.  A large multi-level atrium with stores surrounding, and a large American flag hanging with flag bunting draped throughout.  The girls took it all in, and had a bite at the food court, with many admirers.










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