Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thirty and...a country fan???

Probably not (even after a fabulous Garth concert). Any of you who know me, know I am NOT a country fan. I do of course know some country - very classic country such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, etc. I am not a fan of the new country - the pop country. However, I do know Garth. I would include him in my classic country category.

Both my cousin, Courtney and my roommate, Becca - my best friends, are huge Garth Brooks fans. Therefore, when he announced that he was doing a World Tour - it was all that was discussed during our visits. It's a wonder they did not crash his website with their frequent tour date check-ins. When he finally and thankfully announced a concert in Boston - it was on! They were all over it, and dragging me along for the ride.

I am always down for a concert, and a trip - and I think both were pleasantly surprised with my knowledge of Garth. I probably know more of his songs than any other country artist - besides Shania. I am not actually a fan of Shania, but when I got my first cd player in elementary school, I of course needed a cd to play in it. My mother fished me out a cd or two from the Walmart $5 bin. Since I really just wanted to use my cd player - I played that $5 cd endlessly. I listened to Shania's self titled 1993 cd, for days! I still know every word!

Saturday arrives, we take off in the morning, as there is a storm on its way - with two huge Garth fans and my happy pills. We finally encounter the storm somewhere between Bangor and Portland. Our trusty driver Courtney trudges along, while I DJ. I'm sure Becca spent this portion of the drive rolling her eyes and wondering how on earth she ended up here, while we sang our hearts out to Roxette, Pat Benatar, Bob Segar and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. 

We head slow and steady into the storm... all of the traffic is moving along together in the slow lane. Along comes an 18 wheeler - with the need to pass us all. As he is speeding alongside us - he must lose vision or control or both, because he swerves into our lane - and the water and slush come blasting at us - Courtney cranks the wind shield wipers but we have zero visibility. We are pretty sure we're under this trucks tire - hence the water wave, and the feeling that we're travelling through a car wash. Courtney holds steady and eventually the truck driver regains control - or sanity, not sure which and slides back into his lane. The singing has stopped. I pat Courtney on the shoulder for her superb driving skills, but I'm pretty sure she's still in shock. It takes a minute for us all to come around and continue our dance party. In the moment of terror, not to mention zero visibility - we didn't retrieve the "How's My Driving" number - but if we had - it would not have been a pleasant review!   
Prior to the near death experience, and the worst of the weather -
when it was still fun and games - and apparently fun to take pictures LOL
Slightly recovered from our near death experience, we arrive in Portland. The storm is raging, so we decide to stay put and eat at the hotel restaurant. BTW - if anyone is travelling to Portland and taking the train, The Clarion is the place to stay. It is located just around the corner from the train station, has reasonable rates and nice rooms. They even have air mattresses - in case 2 members of your party might be Typhoid Mary (Courtney and I), leaving the last member not too eager to share a bed with either of us. 

The big day arrives and we're all up before the crack of dawn (who knew a one hour time difference would throw you off). Courtney and I were stirring before 4am, Becca shortly behind. We arrive at the station by 7:30am, ready to go. The train comes along - and we settle into some seats.

Now, if you know me (or Courty, or Becca) then another thing you know about me is that I have a comfort zone and prefer to be in it, and you to be out of it. However, that was not an option on this trip! I have a bum knee and broke my tailbone last year - I am too old to be cramped up in a compact area, regardless of my preference on personal space. Therefore, the train ride looked a little something like this...

Another interesting factor of our train ride - sitting beside the dysfunctional divorced couple...who argued about everything that each other said the entire 3 hours. Needless to say, I felt very normal that day. 

Finally...arrival in Boston! We check into the Holiday Inn Express (yet another fabulous hotel recommendation). It was across the road from the train station and TD Garden. Even though we could not technically check in until 3pm and arrived around 11am - they stored our luggage for us, told us they would get our room ready asap and we could check in early. The view, however, leaves much to be desired. 

We decided to walk down to Quincy Market and do some browsing, souvenir shopping, etc. I loved all the old roads and pathways! It's beautiful. I also love markets. I was in my element.

The time arrived for us to think about eating. The first 4-5 restaurants we came across, had a full seafood only menu - not really the best option if you're allergic to shellfish, like me. "Lergic!" became my phrase of the weekend. As soon as we approached a restaurant and my eyes fell upon their fish and anchor decorated menu, I'd raise my finger into the air and announce "Lergic!". We eventually made our way to the Hard Rock Cafe and had a lovely meal. I tried my best to pick a nice option - which STILL landed me a whoppin' 1,147 calories on top of the bagel and cream cheese I had on the train. It was a good thing it was going to be my only real meal of the day. And, I confess...I had a Pepsi! However - I was on a trip and I decided I would try to be cautious but not crazy, and live a little. 

We ventured back to the hotel to get ready...

...and then we headed out for some cocktails before the concert. Crazy Courty wore her black high heels on the slick and treacherous Boston streets! I could barely keep upright in my boots! 

We had some fabulous nachos (waaaaay over my calories at this point, I'm sure) and magaritas/martinis at Boston Beer Works (another recommendation). This was probably one of the many prime moments that Becca decided we should NOT return to our homes, our jobs, our lives and just chase Garth on tour, drinking margaritas and singing our hearts out lol. 

It's finally time for the gates to open...Courtney and Becca have remained relatively calm, and I am shocked that I haven't had to reel them in. We venture over to TD Garden, we wait for the gates to open...everyone is still in a very serene state...I'm a little WTF. 

We file in with the crowd...Courtney and Becca: still serene. Brittany: still WTF. 

We go past security - no status change. I finally ask what the beeeep is going on. 

No tickets. We haven't received our tickets yet...they're both in panic that there is a problem. They keep pushing us along, telling us we're ok. It is now that I realize, their serene state is actually a state of panic. I'm really WTF at this point - if there is an issue and we don't have tickets, what am I going to do with these two? I will just have to walk away, go back to hotel, let everything run its course and bail them from Boston jail in the morning. 

We approach the final leg...the man asks us for our tickets. Courtney tells him we ordered them online, he kindly asks us for the credit card used to order them, scans it with his little machine hooked to his belt and out pops our 3 tickets! 

This is the exact moment the craziness sets in....I have two happy fan....atics! 

We find our AMAZING seats - thanks to Becca's inability to accept the first 20 shitty seats they tried to offer her....and wait. This was extremely painful for both of them. At one point, Courtney even threatens that if I don't know the words and can't sing along, I'll have to move!! Thankfully, I knew more Garth than she anticipated. 

Courtney was so excited, she broke the face out of her watch! 

The show finally begins...I have two people in complete awe! 

There he is, folks! 

20 years and a few pounds hasn't slowed him down! 

The Garth High - Thing 1

The Garth High - Thing 2.

It sadly comes to an end...3 hours of Classic Garth! 

I must say it was a fabulous concert, I did a lot of singing, hooting, hollering and dancing - country fan or not! We returned home safely, lucky enough to get ahead of the storm of the decade. Extra lucky to have a snow day today, and an opportunity to rest up and begin planning our life of chasing Garth on tour, drinking margaritas and singing until our vocal chords clamp up. 

Miss Rice might have a little cowgirl in her, after all ;) 

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