Ok. Well here it is, almost a week later after my trip. The warm fuzzies have worn off, but I’m hoping to rekindle some of those feelings by writing here. Boy, where to start, what to say. The trip, as a whole, was amazing. Drama free. Incident free, despite Zool’s attempts with the bad weather here in the northeast. As always, I’ll start my tale out with the day before the trip.
Thursday was upon us, and we (meaning my “party” of Madelin, Paula, and Angela) were all at work and counting down the time until we were to leave for our trip. I had a really hard time concentrating at work. My brain was already on vacation. I just couldn’t wait. In some respects though, I was very nervous about the trip, both because of the impending snowstorm here in the northeast that would inevitably affect many of us traveling to St Louis, and also because I was afraid I’d have a repeat of the previous STL and get violently ill halfway through the trip. I tried to put all those feelings of ill behind me, and get through the work day and then the evening at home.
The storm was rapidly approaching and we were all getting
nervous up here. We just went on with
our packing, and hoped for the best when we all went to sleep that night. Unfortunately, not all of us were lucky. As Zool would have
it, Laguardia decided to cancel Madelin/Paula’s
flight to STL due to the ice/snow/rain(originally
slated to leave around ) and
rescheduled them to an almost
flight out of NY. Obviously, that wasn’t
going to work because we had a
Angela and I both landed in STL around the same time (1pmish) and managed to find eachother down near the car rental/baggage claim area. I then checked in with the rental car area and then Angela called to see when Mad/Paula’s flight was due in. Well, now the airline said the flight was running late, and that they wouldn’t land until . Since that’s almost 2 hours away, we decide to take the shuttle bus over to the rental car place to get our car, and then kill time until they land.
On the bus ride over to
So anyway, at first Angela and I drove around, looking for somewhere to kill time. We were looking for a Walmart/Target/Kmart type place, but never found anywhere to stop. Eventually, I decided to turn around and just park the car at the Marriott near the hotel and just wait til we could go get the girls. I didn’t want to keep wasting gas driving around, and didn’t want to wander too far away and end up being late to pick them up. So we sat there in the car, in the cold yicky weather, and waited. Eventually I decided to fix the luggage in the trunk so that we were using as little space possible, which turned out to be a good thing because we literally had to do a drive-by to pick up at the terminal.
We ended up getting Madelin/Paula
around , after circling the
arrival terminal about 10 times because we kept getting kicked out because we
weren’t allowed to wait there. Stupid
that. Finally we all meet up and are on
our way to the hotel. I took a short
We got to the hotel, probably around 345pm, and decided to just dump our stuff in our rooms and walk to Union Station for a bite to eat. We ended up at the food court, upstairs, after I said hello to the tree I christened last year LOL. I got a steak sandwich at “The Steakery”. It was good. The others went to various places. Oh and by others, I’m now referring to Madelin, Paula, Angela, Laurie and Connie. We met up with Laurie and Connie at the hotel and asked if they wanted to come along to eat. (I previously met L&C at the Jackson Tennessee concert in 11/03). Laurie got a kids meal from subway and included with it was a boomerang or something, and she decided she’d use it to get Kevin’s attention for PW (yes it was a joke). We then hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the concert. We all wanted to leave a bit earlier to make sure we knew how to get there. I think we left at about . We then ran into Linda and Brendaly in the hotel lobby and we all discussed whether or not we knew how to get to the venue (after getting lost our first time last year) but we were all pretty sure we knew how to get there. We got there with no problems. I couldn’t believe how much I remembered. I don’t think I even used the actual directions I had printed out. I just remembered landmarks from last time. (the HUGE Amoco sign and the shell station on the corner – hmm a gas theme lol oh and the lion statues at the corner of Delmar/Trinity). We got to the venue and had plenty of time to park, meet up with others, and chill before the show.
I’m actually not going to go into details about each show, because well, it all runs together for me and I really wouldn’t have much to say. I’ll probably just make a list of fun things I can remember, from the four shows I did attend, and mention anything funny within them. Yeah, sucks to not have a memory that records it all lol. One thing I will mention is that I ended up being next to Coleen in row H. When Kevin came down to pick PW, I just knew it was her turn. I’m glad she had her camera with her (which happens to be the same camera I have, as many peeps bought the same camera after seeing my pics lol) because I didn’t have mine with me and I wanted to take pictures. I went through her bag and got the camera out assuming she’d not mind, and of course she didn’t. I took as many pics as I could, hoping they’d come out. Hopefully, she’s pleased hehe. It’s always fun when diehards get picked for PW.
We all had fun at the first show, but afterwards I was just really looking forward to getting a bunch of us together to go out to eat and have a good time. After the meet and greet, we gathered up a bunch of us and decided to go out for a bite at Maggie O’Briens. Susan was ecstatic about it, as she’d been looking forward to going back there since going there last year hehe. So, we all went back to the hotel area, and went to Maggie O’Briens, which is down the street (literally) from our hotel. We told them we had a party of about 14 people, so they sat us in the front room, back in the corner, which was comprised of mostly windows overlooking the parking lot and the street. Folks in attendance: (seated order) Susan, Angela, Paula, Madelin, Coleen, Brendaly, Boge, Krik, Moe, Linda, and me. (I might have Moe/Krik flipped, not sure hehe) Laurie and Connie were supposed to come, but somehow they ended up getting lost when they tried walking there from our hotel, and then they just ended up going back and not coming. Boge sat at one end of the table, like the king, being the only guy in a party of 11. Hehe. He spent the entire weekend in hog heaven, I’m pretty sure. We all ordered our food and had much fun talking and catching up, some people were meeting for the first time and were getting to know each other, it was great. Unfortunately the table was so long that I didn’t get a chance to talk to Moe/Krik/Brendaly/Boge that much that night. That’s the only bad thing about a large party. Inevitably you have to miss out on some conversations/fun. Many of us tried a new beverage by Smirnoff, and it really was quite good. It was called Smirnoff Twisted – Green Apple. Freaking thing tasted just like an apple. Like a green jolly rancher, really. It would be quite dangerous to drink a few of those lol. Went down too easily since you really couldn’t taste the alcohol. I had about ¾ of mine and decided that was enough cuz I was full from eating and drinking many Cokes. (See pic here - photo courtesy of Paula) Paula and I love our Coke. Though, I think it was Pepsi there, which is always a downer.
After eating, a few of us couldn’t tear ourselves away from the place. There was dancing in the back room, so we went to go check it out. Susan, Angela and I were chilling, when some dude starting hitting on Susan hehe. After a song or two, the others got tired of waiting for us (as I had the car in my name) and came to get us. Boo. We figured we’d go dancing the next night anyway, so we left. We all went back to the hotel and basically just decided on a time to meet to go to the big wicket (aka the arch) and went to bed. It had been a long day, what with all the traveling and then the shows and going out afterwards.
We met at 11:45am to go to the Wicket, as we were skipping the first Rockapella show on Saturday to get in a little bit of sight seeing. I was very sad last year, after missing the wicket due to getting sick, so it became a need of mine to make sure I got to go there this time. It’s very unlike me to skip Rockapella to do anything, so there you go, there’s your explanation. Hehe. We piled in the car (me, madelin, angela and paula) and decided to look for food along the way to the arch. While driving down market street, we notice this row of restaurants, including a Wendy’s and a TGI Fridays, so I decided I’d just make a left at the next light, and then backtrack over to the restaurants. Little did I notice that the street I was turning left onto, was a one way street, and it wasn’t in the direction I was turning LOL. Oops. Yeah. There were 5 lanes on the street. I couldn’t possibly believe a 5 lane street would all be one direction. Four lanes were occupied with cars waiting for the light to turn, while one was open. I masterfully thought that must be the only through lane on the other side, and turned into it. Then, as I turned, I noticed all the cars that were down the street, were coming in my direction. Hahaha. I was like “oh shit, this is a one way, isn’t it” and I immediately swung the car around, with no problems. It was amazing. Paula was like “if I was the one driving I would have just started crying right there”. I was like “eh, just gotta go with it and get yourself out of it hehe no harm done” lol. It was a classic moment. It was bound to happen sometime. So after righting the car I went around the block and we parked over at the restaurants.
We got out of the car, and saw that there were lion head statues across the street near the buildings, so we went across to play on them. For some reason, this guy in his car rolled down the window and said “you don’t need to feed the lions” and we were like “what?” and he said “it’s Saturday, the meters are free today.” Apparently he thought we were hanging out there by the lion (also near a parking meter) because we were gonna put money in it. We all laughed at the mishap and told him we were just playing with the lion and he laughed and said “ooooh ok. Well, God bless” and he drove off. Nice man. Not only did he want us to save money, but he also blessed us. Madelin took a picture of the 3 of us near the lion and then we went on our way. (Check out the pic here -- courtesy of Madelin) We decided to eat at TGIF, as the Wendy’s appeared closed lol. Good food. We had a waitress that was in training, and Madelin put her to good use, asking for everything to be “on the side” with her meal. I’m sure that waitress will end up very successful, after dealing with us hehe. We got done and made our way to the arch.
I love the arch (wicket).
It’s so pretty. We parked in the
parking garage and walked what seemed to be 100 miles to the actual arch. It was so cool, standing there, looking up at
it, touching it. Seeing it in all it’s grandeur. It’s
such a cool thing. I totally didn’t know
that they built it from each side, and met with one final piece, up top in the
middle. How insane is that? If one measurement was a tiny bit off, it
wouldn’t have joined properly. Crazy architects. We
took some pictures outside of the arch and then made our way into the indoor
area where all the museums and whatnot are located,
and bought tickets for the tram ride up the arch. We had a party of 4, and 5 people fit into
each tram car, so some guy got put into our car with us. His name was Doug. Doug took an immediate liking to Angela. On the way up the arch, he kept saying “hold
me! I’m scared!” with his accent (he too
After the show, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and
then went to the Westin for the fan convention/get together. The convention was very well attended. I think it was almost 40 fans, plus the 7 pellas (well, including Phil and Fred). We all had a good time hanging out. We spent
some time with Kazim, the waiter/staff guy whatever
he was, and he laughed at us a lot for being silly. We ended up taking a picture with him. He looked happy. During the time at the gathering, we ended up
talking mostly to Elliott, amazingly enough.
Boy, does he have stories. I
don’t want to reprint them here, but let’s just say that Elliott certainly had
some wilder days in his youth. J He also told us a cute story about Eli, and
how he knew Eli was going to be just like him from birth. This I’ll tell since it’s so cute. Elliott said that he was always a ladies man,
chasing the girls around up on the roof of his school trying to kiss them and
whatnot. He said when Eli was born, he saw himself in him immediately. Elliott said Eli was in the nursery and some
really hot nurse came in to the room, and Eli’s face just lit up and he looked
up and just smiled at her. From that
moment, he knew that Eli would be fated to be a ladies man as well. Isn’t that cute? We also got El to say the word “vagina” which
was just funny cuz it’s Elliott. He said he was talking to Eli about how Jules
isn’t a girl, he’s a boy. He said he
told Eli “Jules has a penis, so Jules is a boy” and then Eli went on to name all
his family members, and their “parts”. So cute. Apparently
Eli thought Jules was a girl, at some point.
It was really great to talk to El.
He’s one of the
This night, we chose the Hard Rock Café for our dining purposes. It was at Union Station, so we decided to drive there and park in the lot across the street. After some confusion with where it was, we found it and were seated immediately. We being Susan, Boge, Linda, Madelin, Paula, Angela and me. We knew we were in for trouble from the moment we sat down. Our waiter, Aaron, was as crazy and sarcastic as we were, so we had a good time with him. We would ask for things and he’d say “no” and walk away. So cute. We all wanted to take him home with us. Madelin had ordered 2 alcoholic beverages with dinner, and then asked for water, to which Aaron said “you can’t go down. You started with alcohol so that’s it. You could have started with water and then gotten the alcohol, but since you skipped that, no, you can’t have any water.” Then he left. It was cute. He came back a few minutes later, carrying a glass of water, and goes to Madelin “here’s your stupid water!” and puts it on the table. He was really fun. We gave him a nice tip I believe. I had an awesome NY Strip Steak and mashed potatoes. It rocked. I had smelled steak at the restaurant in the Westin earlier, and it planted the seed in me that I needed steak for dinner that night. Yum.
So anyway, we caused much ruckus at the Hard Rock. Singing along with the cool music on, having a great time, playing with Aaron, etc, but then left to go out dancing. Unfortunately, dancing didn’t exist anymore, at least, the Have a Nice Day Café no longer existed. We noticed on the way in that we thought the place it we remembered it to be looked abandoned, but we thought maybe we just forgot where it was. Sure enough, we were right, and it was gone, so we ended up not going out dancing. Sad. We just went back to the hotel, and went to bed.
The next day, our group split up. Angela and I went to the 130pm show, and Madelin and Paula went to the Anheuser-Busch brewery for the tour. Angela and I left and decided to grab some food before the show, because she would immediately be taken by me to the airport after the shows and probably wouldn’t have much time for a meal. We ended up at a Steak N Shake. It was quite good. It’s a diner style place but the service was incredible and the food was quite reasonably priced. They toasted their buns, which I always love. Hehe. Shut up. Stop thinking about Rockapella’s buns…
We went to the venue and chilled in our front row
seats. Yay. Awesome to end the weekend
with front row seats for both shows.
Sometime over the course of the weekend, I don’t know when it was, we
were talking about American Idol and the auditions. At one point, Madelin
did an impression of the Bulgarian chick that sang “Strong Enough” by
We killed time between the 2 shows by going downstairs and
hanging. Paula and Madelin
appeared almost immediately, all stanked up from
their tour. LOL. They even made us sit between them so that
the beer smell wouldn’t be all in one place. Gee, thaaaaaaaaaanks. We all had fun at the final show, but were
sad as the weekend was starting to come to a close. See, many folks were heading home after the
final show and not staying the night in STL.
We had to say goodbye to many:
Angela, Brendaly, Linda, Moe, Krik, Laurie, Connie…I’m sure there were more that I’m
missing. I ended up having Boge/Susan take Madelin and Paula
back to the hotel so that I could take Angela and Brendaly
(a late addition to my car) to the airport immediately following the meet and
greet. I got them to the airport, with
yet another stop in
It’s so sad when it ends. I hate leaving friends. I wasn’t even leaving yet, but I was sad because it was all just dwindling down. I got back to the hotel, where Mad, Paula, Susan, Boge and Coleen were awaiting my arrival, so that we could have a last dinner together. This time we ended up at Hooter, in Union Station. It was probably the worst of the places we ate at this weekend. I think it didn’t help matters that everyone was kinda blah about things ending, it was cold out, and people were cold as the table was surrounded by windows but seemingly no heat was on. We ate and then went to leave, stopping at various places in Union Station, including a machine that flattens out your penny and puts a design on it. I made 2 different ones, cuz I couldn’t decide. Many comments were made about how Boge always follows behind all of us. I had never really thought about it, but it was true. Never EVER does he walk in front of a woman. How sweet is that. He has them all go ahead of him, so that he can keep an eye on them and protect them. Really nice. We need more southern men around up here LOL. So anyway, Mad, Paula and I decided to go to the Presidential Casino, though Boge was kinda iffy about us “girls” going out alone lol. Man, can you imagine if he and Susan were to come up to NYC? He’d freak. We invited them to come, but they both declined. We found out that the casino had a complimentary shuttle from our hotel, so we decided to take them up on it (though it turned out to be a stupid idea as it took forever waiting). We sat in our hotel lobby for like 30 minutes, waiting. Singing most of the time, probably annoying the workers lol.
The shuttle finally came and took us to the casino. We went in and signed up for whatever we needed to redeem our coupons (we had a coupon to get in for free, and also for a free 5.00 with a 20.00 token purchase). We played various machines, but I never was satisfied with mine so I ended up moving quite a few times. At one point, I wandered away from the girls, and sat at a slot machine and started to play it. I ended up hitting 2 times on the machine, once for like 100 quarters and then another for like 240 quarters. Of course I didn’t cash out all of it, but I ended up cashing out 76.00 worth. So, if you subtract the 20 I put into it, I ended up making 56.00. Not bad. I ended up applying it to a worthy cause. Nuff said on that.
When we got back to the hotel, we decided we missed Susan and Boge, so we decided to write notes and to leave them under their door. One of the notes said “Hold me I’m scared!” (from earlier with Doug in the arch) and the other said “We love you! Love us”. We decided to go down to their room and see if they were still up, but we couldn’t do this normally. Oh no. That wouldn’t be us. We decided to act as if we were on a mission, 007 style. We were ducking in and out of doorways/hallways/vending areas etc, holding our “guns” and whatnot. It was classic. Then when we got down to the room, we slipped the notes under the door, then ran full speed back to our rooms. It was hilarious. Probably the funniest thing we did all weekend. I’m pretty sure there were like, 10 people total staying there that night, so I don’t think we disturbed anyone. We bought some crap from the vending machines, and went and hung out in Mad/Paulas room, before finally going to bed. I had to pack up my stuff, so I left their room at about to do that. So sad.
We all planned on leaving for the airport at like 1045am or something, but I wanted to see if Susan and Boge were still around. Sure enough, they were. I went to their door and Boge answered and he was wearing these overalls and it was just the cutest thing lol. So I dragged them down the hall so they could say goodbye to Madelin and Paula. We all stayed and talked a little longer than we should but hey, what can you do, it sucks to leaves friends. Finally, we all hugged again, and left. L So sad.
We did all the usual departing activities. Checked out of the hotel, returned the car, went to the airport, etc. Had a quick lunch at the airport terminal and basically walked up to our gates and boarded right away. No time for a teary goodbye. I suppose it’s better that way anyway. My trip home was uneventful, thankfully, but I already missed my friends. Here’s to hoping they do another run in STL very soon!
Now, here is a random list of fun things from the shows or stuff in general. I apologize as some are gonna be things that you had to be there to understand but I like these to be so that if I read them a year from now, I’ll be able to relive the fun:
- Our entire conversation with Elliott at the convention, just too funny.
- George attempting to do the snake at the show and nearly busting his ass
- George doing a pirouette which prompted me to say “Good Lord” which prompted him to say “Good Lord…I heard that.”
- Madelin getting busted by George for sleeping during the show on Friday night. She was in row H.
- Elliott remembering the “trouble” Angela got into in STL last year and totally making fun of her, at the Friday night m&g
- Driving the wrong way down a one way street
- Introducing Angela to our operatic singing in the car to Rockapella music, and having her join right in as if it was normal.
- Elisa bumping into Scott’s head when she was PW, then her trying to console him, rubbing his head and messing his hair ALL up. I’d love to see a pic of that if anyone caught it. He looked so cute.
- While eating at Maggie O’Briens, a guy was walking by and slipped and fell on the ice. He proceeded to get up, to which Moe started clapping, and then we all started clapping, and he took a bow. He then came in to mess around with us. We ended up buying him a beer for his entertainment.
- George singing opera, preceeding it with “Jennifer, you’ll appreciate this” because he knows I sang opera in college (and has heard an mp3 of me from that time)
- I don’t neeeeeeeeeed no sympathy!
- I so preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty! (Madelin while applying generous amounts of Chap-Stick.
- All the diehards that were picked for PW, yay!
Doing the hokey pokey in the lobby after the 330pm show
on Saturday. Getting strange looks doing
so from various members of
- Learning all of Boge’s southern sayings, like “I’ll be dogged!” and “Y’unt to?”
- Rockapella singing “I’ll Hear Your Voice” off mic, and having Boge lean forward and say “that song was sooo purty” and we nearly died laughing.
- Watching the students dance in the lobby area of COCA. Go purple tank top chick!
- Any and all of Rockapella’s incessant ramblings about whatever came to mind. Most of which end up cracking you up.
- Kevin singing that worm song. What was it, Harry the worm? Something like that lol See, bad memory.
- Kevin holding his hand out to me during Love Potion Number 9 for what felt like 5 minutes and me having no idea what to do but sit there and grin at him like a moron lol.
- And last but not least, visiting “my tree” in Union Station, and commenting on how much healthier it looked than the others around it. Must have been my special fertilizer…
And that my friends, is a wrap. I can’t wait for next time. I miss you all already!!!