Monday, February 16, 2009

Ain't Life Grand

In my recent clean-up of possessions, I ran across a small box with lots and lots of old tickets. Mostly tickets to sporting events and concerts, but a few to some musicals, ballets, etc. I found 3 tickets in particular that put a huge grin on my face. They brought back such great memories. I attended the concerts during my 6-year stint at the University of Alabama. I just noticed they were all from the year 2001. They must have been during my Junior/Senior year. I lived in the sorority house those 2 years and did a lot with this particular group of friends. More about those years at a later date...Anyways, the first concert was George Strait and friends at the Superdome in New Orleans. I remember being extremely excited about visiting New Orleans. I had these grand ideas of what the city would be like. Needless to say, I was disappointed. There are some cool things about this city; Pralines and Beignets. I remember leaving on a Friday and being super hungover for the ride. My roommate drove. We wheeled into the parking deck only to be freaked out by the valet with a gold tooth and a cracknail. We didn't stay at that dump of a hotel. We ended up staying at a nicer hotel and I vaguely remember volunteering to sleep on the floor. The first night there we ate some local cuisine and ended up at the Harrah's casino. Only one of us were legal to get in, and the rest used some other forms of identification. I only gambled with 10 bucks (which is what I always do at casinos). The next day we woke up and began our exploration of the city. I know we visited Pat O'Brians to partake in some hurricanes. I still laugh to this day remembering my roommate walk around the city. She was very freaked out by the pigeons, filth, and panties that were found all over the city. The concert was an entire day festival of country music artists. I remember seeing Alan Jackson, LeAnn Womack, Lonestar, and George Strait. We also donned our newly bought cowboy hats! Overall it was a great experience, with more greater experiences yet to come!

The next concert was Dave Matthews, early summer, Turner Field, Atlanta. The day before the concert, one of our friends bailed, leaving us with an extra ticket. This was the summer that my roommate and I partied every single night. We met a guy at one of our favorite bars, Cheap Shots. His name was Tommy and he was super excited to go to this concert with us. The next day, we left right after lunch and headed to Birmingham to pick up one of our friends and then to Atlanta. I called our friend right before we left to warn her that we were bringing a rando guy with us that we had met at the bar the previous night. She laughed it off. My roommate had on two different earrings (not out of the ordinary though). Off to Georgia we go! We got lost several times trying to find Turner field. I remember wheeling by a lady on the interstate and yelling across "how do we get to Turner field?" We finally arrived at our destination only to pay a couple of kids $20 to park in a field that wasn't theirs to take money for. Tommy was irrate! He kept walking around talking about how he wanted to find those kids and beat them up. All my friends were telling me to calm him down because he was my friend! Hardly. Anyways, as it turns out, this was a pretty intense guy. He loved his music and begged me to sneak onto Turner field (because our tickets were in the nosebleed) and dance with him down there. So I did, and it was an adventure to say the least. We arrived back in Tuscaloosa pretty late but it was worth every hour of lost sleep.

Last but not least, Widespread Panic. Oh how I loved Panic! This was their famous New Years Eve 3-night showcase in Atlanta, Georgia. My roommate and I bought tickets for ourself and an old ex-boyfriend of mine. My ex and I left Charlotte early on the 29th to head to Aiken, SC to pickup my roommate and then on to the Holiday Inn in Atlanta. My roommate's dad was less than pleased that we were staying in a "Holiday Dump." We arrived early afternoon, bought some beer, and headed to the hotel. We couldn't have stayed in a better establishment. Everyone, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone in the hotel was going to "the show." We encountered a few "spreadheads" in the elevator who let us know that there were several guys in room 6-oh-something that were making hemp necklaces as we speak, if we were interested. Well we forgot to eat dinner or lunch for that matter, and became very intoxicated, very quickly. We all did some crazy dancing that night, and my roommate "fell asleep" at the show. We ran back to the hotel after the show only to find out that we couldn't leave to get food because they would charge us another $30 to park. We tried to problem solve the best we could to get food. No delivery, no taxi, no vending machine. We decided to call rando rooms and ask for food. We talked to several very nice people who didn't have any food to offer us. Finally, I proclaimed that I was going to go out in the hall and ask the people out there for food. Guess what? They were more than happy to share their food with us. My roommate and I went to their room with a few bucks in hand, made some sandwiches, and grabbed some "Zapps" chips. Those were probably the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. The next day, we dropped my ex off with his friends at another hotel, and somewhere in that time frame, my roommate and I decided that another round of Panic was in order! We stopped back by the hotel to pickup her cell phone charger. While my roommate was retrieving that, I decided that it would be an excellent idea to buy 2 more tickets from a homeless guy on the street. I believe I spent a lot of money for those tickets. After about an hour, the reality set in that these 2 tickets might not get us in! Long story short, they worked, I did a jump for joy after the ticket was scanned, and the concert was a blast! No alcohol this last ex lied to his girlfriend about where he was and who he was with the entire weekend. He married her years later and we no longer speak.

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