England Trip Report Day Two & Three
We intended to be up and running by ten the next morning but we ended up sleeping til eleven. Guess we needed it.
Once we both showered it was unbearably hot and humid in the room and we still couldn’t seem to get the air conditioning to work. It was all made worse by the fact that the temperature control on the shower was broken and seemed to be stuck on “fiery pits of hell”. It was the kind of hot and humid that even after you towel off you are immediately drenched again by your own sweat. Not fun.
We decided to buy a fan in our day’s explorations.
We had no real plans on this day by design. It was Saturday and we didn’t want to have to deal with a lot of tourists or crowds. Our thoughts were to just sort of walk up and down the street that we were staying on, grab some lunch and do a little shopping for stuff for the room.
We headed out and walked quite a distance up and down Kilburn St. finally stopping at an adorable pink themed cafe and had a late lunch before heading back in the direction of the hotel.
Since we had been unable to find a fan, I sent Rob back to the room and tried a couple more places to no avail.
Thankfully by the time I got back to the room Rob had gotten the window open and talked to the staff who said they would send a fan up.
The fan never came but Rob “figured out” the air conditioning (I’m not so certain they didn’t just flip a switch downstairs after he complained) and all was well with the world.
I got my clothing more organized and got my bag partially packed for the next day as we were taking the train up to Manchester for the first Europe concert.
Once we felt more squared away and a bit more rested, we headed out to the opposite direction of Kiburn St, looking for dinner options.
We didn’t see a whole lot on that end of the road but there was a cute little Asian place just a few steps from our hotel where we got some Chinese for dinner that night and then I ate waaaaay too many Cadbury chocolates before bed and my heart rate skyrocketed for like two hours (I’m not used to eating sugar like I used to, but damn they were good!).
The next day (Sunday) we were out of the hotel and on the underground a bit earlier than we anticipated thus making us super early for our train to Manchester and I was okay with that. I would rather be early than late.
It was the only full day of sunshine forecasted for our trip and ironically it was the coldest due to the humidity dropping off.
We waited for about an hour and then finally boarded the train where we dozed off and on for about three hours with very little actual sleep.
Upon arriving in Manchester it took us a few moments to figure out the Uber situation but once we got it sorted it was a quick ten minute ride to our hotel for the night.
We checked in and I slapped some make up on my face and straightened my hair before we headed out to the venue area to see if we could grab food before the soundcheck. We found a little pizza place and got some very thin crust Burnt Ends pizza. It worked out to be the perfect amount of food. Not too stuffed, but satisfied, we made our way to The Lowry and settled in to wait for the soundcheck.
There was a total of about 25 or so people at the soundcheck so it was very intimate.
The band came out and played four songs. Very low key as they were saving their voices and energy for the concert. They had some light banter with us all and Joey (the lead singer) warned us that he might make us sing.
Sure enough during “More Than Meets The Eye” he made the rounds and would drop down to someone during the chorus and have that person sing two lines.
I started videoing on my phone when I saw him first do this. He stopped in front of this shy girl and she quietly sang her part. I thought it was great fun and he went back to sing another verse. When it came time for the second chorus I saw Joey coming my direction but he has only briefly made eye contact with me so I thought for sure he was going to pass me. In fact he did a sort of fake out move to pass me and then dropped down to one knee directly in front of me and pointed the mic in my face.
I’m not sure how I was able to breathe, let alone sing but I kinda went on auto pilot (thank you community theater training!) and belted my two lines.
He pounded me on the shoulder, smiling, and then he was up and off singing another verse.
I was in shock and trying to act very nonchalant but the reality of it was that a 35 year old dream of mine had just come true. However short of a duration, I had just sung with my favorite band in the world of the last 35+ years!
Joey had looked at me, smiling and encouraging the whole time (all five seconds if it) and I sang to him (at least I think, I pretty much blacked out and don’t remember a thing)!
I realized that I had been videoing the whole time but had dropped my hand when he approached me so all the footage was of his crotch.
Rob managed to grab a pic at the very end so there is blurry photographic evidence of Joey smiling at me with the mic in my face.
You guys, I cannot express enough how much this meant to me. This may have been the best moment of my life (Just don’t tell my husband, because he thinks that was the day I married him). Like, my inner 14 year old was dying and could never have fathomed that this would ever take place in all her wildest dreams, though she hoped desperately for it. This moment alone made the trip all worthwhile. If we had left right after soundcheck and never even seen the concert or anything else on the trip, I still would have been amazingly happy.
At any rate, Joey did the singing thing for two more people before the song was done and they did one or two more songs after that but I was lost in adrenaline land. I also grabbed a pic that John Norum (guitarist) tossed in my direction when they were all done.
When they were done we were ushered out and told to come back in a a couple hours for the show.
In the lobby one of the other people that sang with the band approached us and he was just as jacked on adrenaline as I was. He caught me dabbing at my eyes with a napkin (which I saved, because shut up!) as I had dissolved into a teary shaking mess as soon as we got out of there.
He told me that I had done a great job and we told him the same. We chatted for a minute and Rob snapped a pic of us together before we headed back to the hotel.
Once there I just kind of sat around in a daze, smiling and laughing randomly as I thought of what had just taken place until it was time to head back to the arena.
The concert was amazing but I knew it would be. I had the best time and our seats were amazing.
Two and a half hours of pure joy and then it was back to the hotel room where I had a very hard time getting to sleep.
I’m going to put the concert pics in the next post as this is getting too long.
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