As I lay here in bed, throw back, grade school-colored PJ pants on, attempting to keep the fifty pound weights from crushing my eyelids, I’m thinking about how much I have yet to do tonight; all of which includes blogging and reading of course. First up, ticket for one to the blog train. Choo! Choo!
So last Thursday, I left on my first big adventure of my life. You know it’s big because I used bold, underline, AND italics. Me and my closest friend, Hannah, went on an 8 hour road trip to Virginia Beach to see Dave Matthews Band perform. This all started when I was fed up that I was the only one in my family that had not been on vacation this year. My brothers go on vacation with their girlfriends, and my dad goes on photography trips every summer. So I convinced my mind that I was more than deserving of a little me time. I started looking around online, searching every website imaginable. Then I remembered that I had missed the DMB concert in Pittsburgh. I swiftly searched for his upcoming tour dates, and there I saw it: Farm Bureau, Virginia Beach, VA. Right away, I sent a text message to Hannah asking her if she would want to join me, which of course she had agreed to. The next two weeks were full of anticipation and excitement.
We left on Thursday morning, around 11. The GPS said it would take 6 hours and 48 minutes to drive from Pittsburgh to our hotel in Virginia Beach. So we started off our 7 hour journey. One of the good things about being friends with Hannah is that we have the same exact taste in music. The whole ride down consisted of us screaming the lyrics to our favorite songs with the windows rolled down, allowing the brisk wind to blow through our hair. So we’re driving for a couple hours, when we realize the GPS took us the back way instead of through Washington DC. We ran into construction, which added about 45 minutes to our travels. Once we got to civilization again, it was rush hour. Cars were packed together like sardines. We sat there for an hour! We finally arrived at our hotel at around 10 p.m. What originally was suppose to be a 7 hour car ride turned into almost 12 hours. Needless to say, we were bone-weary and dog-tired.
The next day, we woke up and took our travels to the beach. The area we arrived at was swimming with people, literally. So we ran into the ocean, let the waves sweep us away, then began working on our golden tans. However, that didn’t last long. It was so crowded with people that we couldn’t go more than 3 minutes without someone walking by, kicking sand up that ended up all over our suntan lotion’d, greasy bodies. So we decided to go grab some lunch, then begin to get ready for the concert that was later that night. We went to a restaurant right on the bay called Rudee’s by recommendation from her father. I had She-Crab Soup and a salad. It was well-prepared, well-seasoned, and quite scrumptious to say the least. A definite recommendation to anyone in the area. One of the things we noticed was the music they played in Rudee’s; the music was mostly John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. We were delighted because this was the exact kind of music we enjoyed. It made our visit that much more memorable.
We got back to our room, showered, and put on our sundresses. This is the night we had been anxiously waiting for, everything had to be perfect. Luckily, the concert venue was only 12 minutes down the road from our hotel. We got there about an hour and a half early. We stood in line until 6, when they opened the doors. Surprisingly, there was not much commotion and everything went pretty orderly through the ticket lines. We hurried over to purchase a tour t-shirts, then subitaneously traveled back to the lawn to get a good seat. We found an area with a perfect view; what we didn’t know was that we were about to be surrounded by drugs and drunks. The concert started, and the crowd went crazy (as expected), and as did we. Dave played a few acoustic songs, then left for a 30 minutes intermission. During that 30 minutes, the sun went down, and the drugs and alcohol set in. There was redolence of marijuana in the air around us. As soon as the second set started, everyone around us went completely wild. The family to the left of us, who were all in their 30’s or older, were passing around blunts. They also had brownies, which I’m guessing had substance in it as well. The youngest of the group, who also happened to be the most messed up, came over and introduced herself. Her name was Lola and she was around 35 years old. She said told us she came over to give us advice. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, I know this is going to be the drugs talking.” So I was prepared to hear something completely spiritual, yet bizarre. She told us to never negate anything in life, regardless of how bad it may seem. She began to tell us about how her son’s father passed away last year. She said, “Am I sad about it? Fuck no! Wanna know why? Because he’s all around me. He’s in the air. He’s in the trees. He’s everywhere. I can feel him.” A lot of you might have just laughed and thought she was crazy, but this hit home with me. I lost my mom 3 years ago. I’m still mourning her loss to this day, but Lola had a good point. Why be sad? Being sad isn’t going to bring her back. Instead, I should be rejoicing that I had such a great mother, and that I still do. Who would have thought I would have learned such life-changing advice at a Dave Matthews concert? The night went on and the concert was phenomenal. For anyone who hasn’t been to a DMB concert, you need to go. Everyone is so carefree for those 4 hours, it’s extremely refreshing to the soul.
Saturday we lounged around the pool by our hotel, continuing to work on our tans. Our hotel also had a spa in it, so we spoiled ourselves and got manicures. That night we traveled back to beach to go to the much approved beachfront restaurant called Waterman’s. After searching for parking for what seemed like eternity, we finally found $3.00 road parking, which I successfully attempted my first parallel park. (Go me!) The food was extravagant. I ordered a pasta that included cavatappi noodles, a tomato cream sauce, onions, peppers, fresh shrimp, fresh scallops, and sausage. It was worth the $20.00 I paid for it. The shrimp was huge! Another recommendation I would suggest to anyone visiting the area. That night, we decided to pack everything up and crash early to prepare for the 7-8 hour trip back home.
Overall, the experience was great. It is definitely going to be something I remember for the rest of my life. One of those, “remember when?” stories I can tell my kids over and over again until they become sick of hearing it. I think it’s important to treat yourself every once in a while. Even if you don’t think you can afford it, the memories are more valuable than any type of currency. Good friends, good music, and good food can get you through anything and everything.
Turns out, not where, but who you’re with that really matters. – Dave Matthews Band, Best Of What’s Around
Until next time,