Today marks five days into my grand summer trip, already having taken two planes and four busses back and forth between three different cities. The short of it is that my two friends, Laura Ann and Jodi, flew three separate planes to New York on Friday before bussing to Atlantic City for the weekend, back to New York for a day and then to Baltimore and back on Monday/Tuesday early morning to see Beyoncé. But of course the short of it won’t suffice.
When I first got into New York City, I spent about five hours in Port Authority reading The Bean Trees and waiting for Laura Ann and Jodi to get in (Jodi’s flight was cancelled and she got in late). Of course American Airlines wasn’t satisfied enough with cancelling Jodi’s flight and lost her luggage, promised her twice it would be there Friday night or Saturday morning, then within two days and then finally guaranteed 100% that it would get here Sunday afternoon. Nope – came in at 2am on Tuesday morning, four days later.
We stayed with my friend Jacob in Atlantic City, where I lost more than I’m willing to admit in the casinos (didn’t even realize that was the main appeal of AC) and enjoyed a long day at the beach playing Frisbee and jumping into the cool waters. Jersey was different and the same than expected, as most things are, with plenty of guidos (one of whom hocked a big one on a cop) but also people just wanting to soak in the ocean breeze and sun. The weather was perfect, and it was really good to see Jacob again.
It’s funny how Jacob has become friends with Laura Ann and Jodi through me, my friends from home befriending my friends from college. We explained it many times to his family and their friends, assuring them that we weren’t just taking advantage of their house but were all good friends enjoying a reunion.
From Atlantic City, we headed back to NYC (but for real this time – not just a day at Port Authority) to meet up with our friend Christa, who we are currently staying with. Most of the day was spent shopping for Jodi since she was still wearing her clothes from Friday and American Airlines offered to buy the things she needed for the trip. They originally said up to $100, but that is certainly not enough for toiletries, clothes, underwear and beachwear. We grabbed the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen at one of my faves, Artichoke Pizza, and headed back for the night since we had an early morning.
Monday was our Baltimore day, and of course since things can’t be easy, Megabus sold our bus tickets in front of our faces five minutes before our scheduled departure. We barely managed to make it on standby on the next bus out, which broke down after 40 minutes. No worries though – I managed to snap this cute photo in the grass at the rando New Jersey gas station we got acquainted with! Yes, those pants have both leopard print and faces, and yes, I had to wear my Yoncé outfit all day, which constantly required me to check my pockets, which couldn’t hold my phone and wallet for shit.
We got to Baltimore just in time for a sit down dinner (phew) and headed straight to M&T Stadium for Bey and Jay. I would write about the show but there are few words that capture the joy I feel when I see Beyoncé live. The production was sick, Bey managed to step up every number from her last show and the interactions between Jay and Bey were beautiful. I won’t say I didn’t cry during a good half of the show, especially when a video of Beyoncé riding slow motion on a black stallion appeared on the jumbotrons for a solid minute.
We caught our Megabus (on time) at 1:10am and got back to Christa’s apartment at 5am, and today has been mostly chill, grabbing lunch with Laura Ann’s cousins and hitting up the HBO store for some Game of Thrones shot glasses. Laura Ann is headed out tonight, Jodi on Thursday and me on Sunday, though my journey is just beginning. I’m headed to Stockholm then to begin a two week tour of Scandinavia before heading to London.