Just to start off with something kinda silly:
WHAT? I’ve only ridden THREE? This means I need to TRAVEL more. I mean, okay, I did just have a sweet ass one-day trip to Philadelphia (more on that later), but you know me. Perpetual wanderlust. Chicago in February, here I come. I’ve been invited to Atlanta for New Year’s (not sure if I’ll be able to afford that, though).
Oh yes, how could I FORGET all the years I’ve ridden the lovely (not) COTA of Columbus, Ohio? But they don’t have COTA on their nifty little site, so yeah. Never mind, then.
This weekend, I went to Philadelphia partly to catch a Bob Dylan concert and partly to hang out with adamselzer and other friends who enjoy Bob as well. And also, to satisfy some wanderlust, of course. It was cheap, so WHY NOT, right?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, actually. All I know is that I felt pretty brave. My flight landed 30 minutes early! That was a good thing because I had to figure out how to catch the train into the city. THAT part wasn’t hard. The hard part was getting the damn changer to take my money! See, their ticket machines does not accept the new bills, and of course, that’s all I had. There was a change machine next to it, and the stupid thing wouldn’t take my money because there was a fold in the bill. Back up the stairs I went to the ATM to take out a nice, crisp $10 bill (because the other one just wasn’t crisp enough even though it had just come from an ATM, too), and the damn machine finally took it. I ended up with all sorts of $1 coins, some of which I used to pay the $5.50 train fare.
The train showed up and off stepped a conductor, dressed in a conductor’s uniform. He was very patient, answering the repetitve questions of us tourists, but teasing us and saying that only the FIRST question was free. The next would be one million dollars! Just as the train was about to pull off, the conductor shouted “ALL ABOARD!” It was so neat.
Took the train to Center City, a huge convention center that was right by Chinatown, where Adam’s bus would be stopping. We finally found each other and then met up with Adam’s friend Peter Stone Brown, who drove us to the arena to get tickets for the BOB SHOW.
Then there were hiccups. First, they made Pete pay $10 just to park for the box office. The line at the box office was long and SLOW. Come to find out that there was a Cirque de Soleil show going on, that had just begun, and they were only serving customers who were buying tickets for that. They told us to leave. We left. Pete did get his $10 back. Tried to find tickets at Pete’s place on the internet. Bad seats only. Decided to try later. We all walked to the store so Adam could get money and I could get FOOD. I hadn’t eaten all day and was starting to feel faint. We went back, played some Dylan music, and ate lots of snacks. Peter’s an amazing storyteller, and he’s been to over 100 Bob Shows.
More Bob fans showed up, and we headed to get food and then took the subway the arena. By this time, there were no more tickets for sale on the internet. Adam still needed two–one for me, one for him. He yelled it out at JUST the right time, as a guy turned around and said “You need two? I got two.” Now, Adam is a seasoned Dylan-concertgoer himself, so he looked at the seats, and was kind of hedging on buying them. I told him it was up to him. Another guy told him to give them to us. GiVE THEM. “Merry Christmas,” he said. “Enjoy the show!” FREE TICKETS!!! FREE TICKETS! And the seats were great. Lower level, row 9. “Bob bless you,” Adam yelled to the guys as they were walking away. “Bob knows all, Bob sees all. He wouldn’t let us miss a show.”
Bob Dylan started off with a live premier: The Levee’s Gonna Break. My second Dylan concert ever and I got a live premier. Woo!!
Sixteen song set and every one was right on. Again, I loved “Highway 61 Revisted,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and well, everything. I even put up with that “Spirit On The Water” song I’m not fond of. Heh.
The Racounteers opened and they rocked as well. There were old people in the front row who were head banging like crazy.
The only bad thing about the show was the number of people who wouldn’t sit the hell down and shut the eff up. UGH. They were annoying! I’m like “WHY COME TO A CONCERT AND LEAVE 38947985 TIMES DURING THE SHOW??” What the fresh hell are you thinking??? Do you really need a beer RIGHT NOW???? UGH.
The encores of the 21st century don’t really consist of lighters anymore. Oh no, it’s the glow of cell phones now. Prettier and safer, too. I like it. Although a few people did have lighters and they took advantage of the darkness to light cigarettes. Ew. That took a bit of the fun away from the encore.
The consensus after the show, for all of us who were there and had met up again, was that this was one of the BEST EVER. And I was there. YEAH!!!
Today consisted of breakfast at a yummy diner/bakery, and then some quick sight-seeing. Pete took us to West Philly, where Adam freaked out over the gorgeous Victorian homes and the Charles Dickens statue in the park. He was happy. I also saw Independence Square, the Liberty Bell (which is a lot smaller than I thought it’d be), and lots of horse-drawn carriages. It’s a beautiful part of the city. There was really no time to stop and take pictures, and I didn’t have my camera on me anyway, so I suppose I’ll have to go back sometime.
Airport adventures were interesting. Southwest let me take a HUGE bag of 3 oz or smaller liquids through yesterday, but since Adam’s flight was leaving earlier than mine, I went through the AA checkpoint with him so we could hang out til it was time for him to board his plane. They made me take everything out of my bag, saying it was too big, and since Adam didn’t have any toiletries, gave him some of my stuff in a smaller bag and gave me the rest. THEN Adam beeped going through security and had to get searched. But once I’d gotten inside, I didn’t have to go through anymore security once I headed to my own terminal. So I was able to take all the stuff he was holding and put it back in my bag with no problems.
I found out, at least at Philadelphia International, that as long as you have a boarding pass, it didn’t matter which airline or terminal you were supposed to go to, that you can go to any checkpoint and get checked and wait with people. Pretty cool, huh? Surprising, that’s for sure, with all the security restrictions and things these days.
The Burger King at the airport had a broken broiler, so no flame-broiled Whopper, Jr. for me. I had to go with the corned beast sammich I’d originally purchased. And those airport shops are dangerous little tempting traps when you have a lot of money (I ended up spending WAY less that I’d anticipated!) and time to kill before your flight takes off. The Hallmark trapped me, and of course I got a little something for Aidan.
So, Philly was fun enough. Very interesting experiences, very good food, and of course, the Bob Show was amazing. I had a really good time.
Did you know that today is the 143rd anniversary of the Gettysburg Address? I’ll bet you didn’t. And man, is it already nearly 8pm? Wow does time fly, even when your plane lands 25 minutes ahead of schedule.
But this is a short week! Three days, then FOOD FOOD FOOD! And I plan to start my Christmas shopping! I do, I do, I do! YAY. But you know, even though I’m starting to hear Christmas music in some stores and see decorations here and there, it doesn’t really FEEL Christmasy yet. Strange for me, right? I mean, I am always ready in October. But now I’m like “Oh crap. It’s gonna be here before I know it, then little Aidan’s birthday too!” Time is flying.
I think that’s all for now. Til next time!