3/11 Day falls every year on March 11 but it's officially celebrated bi-annually by the band (three-eleven) and their thousands of fans with three days of festivities and a 5 hour concert. It's usually in New Orleans, but it's been derailed twice. Once, by Katrina and this year, by a doctors convention that booked ALL of New Orlean's hotels. It took a month to process and share with you all of the things I learned this year. Enjoy.
1. As much as I love my boyfriend... it's always more fun to stay with my girls. For the first two I attended, we implemented a "no boys" rule where we kept our room girls only and all stayed in the room all 3 nights. Those trips and memories are priceless. The last trip got messy, and this one we were spread out and the girl time seriously lacked. No impromptu shopping trips, sharing clothes, doing each others hair and make up, going to random dance clubs, closing out the bars, and then laying in bed watching "COPS: Bad Girls."
I missed my ladies. I guess a good compromise that I tried to set up is to stay closeby everyone. It's a bummer to be so secluded at different hotels. Next time, adjoining rooms!
2. Gotta learn to take it easy... as excited as we all are to see each other, there is no reason to buy shot after shot after shot! And if we're going to do that... do not wear heels. Note to one of my buddies... slow down before the show! It IS called 3/11 day. You don't want to get sick or sleep through it. The point of partying is not to miss out on all of the fun.
There's always next...next year.
3. Maximize your time... don't sleep in all day, don't waste time waiting around for people, take initiative, eat early and make the most of your time. Charge your phone and your camera and be ready for the day and the adventures that will unfold.
And don't dwell when things doesn't work out. Overreacting doesn't help ;)
4. Make sure your electronics are on your side... you're going to want to see so many people and there are going to be lots of people who want to see you... but that doesn't mean anything if your phone dies at 9pm and the night's barely started. It was kind of a bummer after the fact to see pictures of things people did and wonder, wtf, where was I? Also a bummer was getting home and realizing your camera was on a ridiculous setting that made all your pictures basically unusable.
It's a vacation you've been waiting 2 years for... it can be a bummer to not see people and not get the high-quality pictures you wanted. Be prepared, then make the most of it!
5. Truly make the most of every moment. It's a gift to be surrounded by good friends. Not to be too sentimental, but this group and these friendships are a gift. I got goosebumps several times. This bond is so deep... some people are so treasured they will be carried forever. Shannon and I saw Mark Holt shirts during the show and had a moment where we had to choke back tears. His presence was felt as well as Mike Hardman's. Running and Beyond the Grey Sky were emotional tributes.
It's beautiful to know that through this love, they will be carried in peoples hearts forever.
6. Let go... no reason to hold on to a grudge or bring old feuds with you. I really should have let some things go to make the most of my trip. I have to admit, I did avoid bars and situations because people I had no desire to be around would be in the vicinity. I definitely missed out. And I know that others did the same thing. Kind of a bummer because that's not the place for it.
Next time, bury the hattchet and just grin and bear it. No need to be friends with everyone, but not worth it to keep enemies. Leave the attitude at home!
7. Plan better! Save more! Do more! Shoulda, woulda, coulda... my hotel was awesome but it could have fit 10 more. We definitely did not budget for the trip. I missed out on buy ANY merch! I'm glad I've been to Vegas countless times but I didn't walk the strip or go to any of my usual favorite spots and I missed out on many a photo op.
Next time, the shoe box piggy bank is making a return... as well as a to-do list.
All in all, I don't want it to sound like I had an awful trip. I just mismanaged a lot... waited around, excluded myself and planned poorly. But I did get to see (mostly) everyone I wanted to, spent at least an hour or so, shared a drink or two, snapped a pic, dropped a knee... you name it.
The show itself was unforgettable. No matter what, the entire group was together, the love was felt, the place was rocked... It made everything else worthwhile. I really truly love being a fan of this band and grateful for everyone that has come into my life because of this journey. I appreciate those relationships, above anything else.
Much love to my friends :)
I've got a clique that's more like a family...
New Orleans 2008
(sorry if the formatting is all messed up, I switched over to the new blogger format and it won't work with me, AT ALL! HELP)