First let me tell you…I totally bought tickets for me and my daughters (my daughter and me…geez I suck at grammar) back in May to go to this concert. I even left a track meet to get home and purchase tickets online. That is how much I REALLY wanted to get tickets for us. Sad…this is what my life has come to.
So, I went on to booking.com and got a hotel room. Can I tell you how much I love booking.com? Now, I don’t get anything from them (though if booking.com wants to come knocking…here I am!) I was able to get a really nice hotel room at the Best Western in Oakdale, Mn which was only a little bit away from where the concert was going to be at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Booking.com had the best prices AND the best thing…totally the selling point for my family of 6, I only needed to have a credit card on file but they DON’T put a hold on your card. For a woman who doesn’t have credit cards and only debit, this is huge. It can cause such an issue when you are booking in advance and there is $200 missing from your checking account. And when you are on a tight budget, then this can also be a hindrance. Not anymore. Super excited that they offer this service. I booked three weeks in advance. Score! Okay, enough loving on booking.com.
My daughters and I got on the road…late. Sigh. Story of my life. We meant to leave at 9 a.m. but 3 hours later we headed out-of-town. The trip was not too bad. Where we live to the cities is about a 6 hour drive. Yes, I live in Mn but we live right under Canada so the Cities are quite a drive away. The trip was gorgeous. There is nothing like Minnesota in the fall…no matter how short it is. And sometimes it can be painfully short. There is a beautiful ombre that happens with the trees. Shifts of red, orange, yellow and green…just fabulous. Pumpkins lining the highway for sale…and the farmer (God made a farmer) plowing and harvesting his fields.
The hotel was super nice. Loved the interior. I was kind of disappointed it didn’t have a pool, but it did have a large spa and workout room. I am sure if I look I will see the they never mentioned a pool and I just assumed it did. The rooms at Best Western were nice. We chose a Junior Suite with a king sized bed and a pull out couch. Plenty of room for me and my two girls.
My oldest had to do her live lessons so my other daughter and I inadvertently got lost. Seriously. My GPS on my phone hates me. No joke. I wanted to go to Target and so I put that into my phone. Gentle reader, I AM NOT FROM MINNESOTA! I have been to the Cities once by myself…and THAT was Minneapolis. I don’t know the Cities at all. Oh my word…let the madness ensue. So…we get on the road. My 11-year-old is my navigator. And we’re driving and have no CLUE where we are going. Because we keep passing these Targets on the way. What-in-the-hell is going on? Where are we going??? The cuss words start flying. I suck. Literally, I wound up driving in circles in some neighborhood in St. Paul.
So, then I realized that I originally put in the address for St. Paul’s Cathedral. Note: I stopped that destination…and put in the Target destination. Ahahahaha…stupid technology. Stupid woman for trusting stupid technology. So needless to say, we found our way to the cathedral but never did make it to Target. So we turned around and went to pick up my oldest. Hahahaha!
St. Paul’s Cathedral is Free…the parking ticket not so much:
Can I just say I hate the parking situation in St. Paul. There are so many dang signs of where you can park, where you cannot park…when you can park and when you cannot. OH.MY.WORD. I read the sign…well, I thought I read the sign. The $36 dollar parking ticket tells me no, no I did not read the sign properly. I parked like 20 feet from where I was supposed to. Literally I was just inches from where I supposed to be. Isn’t that the way it goes?
St. Paul’s Cathedral is wonderful. Absolutely beautiful. Stunning. Sad. It literally broke my heart…and Gentle Reader if you knew me, you would know I am Catholic. I am also a believer in Jesus Christ. I am not nor have I ever been a believer in the Church. Any Church. GASP! Sacrilege! To me St. Paul’s was more about the power and majesty of the church than it was about the mighty love of Jesus Christ. I was also struck by the influence of the Roman culture in our churches. Statues to the 4 writers of the Gospel. Statues to the Patron Saints of the Nations. Lots of pomp and circumstance. Lots of GIANT polished stone and gilt and cold…oh so cold. Please do not get me wrong Gentle Reader. I was awed. My girls were awed. But I don’t ever want them to think that the Church is more important than what Christ did for us on the Cross. What GOD did for us by sending His Son. Okay, enough preaching from me.
Getting Lost. Again.:
So, we got lost again. And i paid $5 for a parking spot we did not even stay in. St. Paul had some work going on downtown and my STUPID GPS kept taking us in circles, so I decide, in my inherent wisdom to just pick a parking and go for it. I mean, how far could it be, right? Anyway, we walk…and walk…and walk…
Finally, we go into the Crown Plaza and look at this huge interactive map they have. This really nice concierge named Neal, gave us a map and we were back on our way…to get our car so we could get closer to where we wanted to be. I don’t think we wanted to walk 13 blocks back to our vehicle at night, in a city where we are unfamiliar! ACK!
Following a real map, we found our location…even if we had to go in circles a few times (Yes, we did!)…and even more amusing…we ended up so close to the cathedral, it was almost comical…if I hadn’t been cussing like a trucker who has been on the road for 36 hours straight.
$80 Dollars later:
Do you ever feel like that dude in the Geico commercial who is riding the motorcycle with Dolla-dolla bills just flying off of him? That was me. I felt like that dude after the ticket, paying for parking twice AND buying shirts at the concert for $35 a piece. Sigh. But my girls were happy. The shirts I purchased for them from Maurice’s ($42) went straight off in the bathroom and on came the new shirts. Double sigh. Cha-ching!
We came, We sang, We bounced:
Imagine Dragons are good. And I mean, like…so amazingly good it’s unreal! If you like them…you will love their live performance. Their percussion and guitars and vocals and VIOLIN playing is just unreal. It was so worth it! Loved every single minute of it. And the lead singer of the band is so humble…just unreal. Super amazing. You should catch them if you get a chance!
The funniest thing happened after the concert. My girls danced and sang and rocked out so hard. I bounced in my seat (I am a MOM after all…some decorum is warranted) and sang and loved watching my girls have the time of their lives. What really struck me is how diverse the crowd was. There were a lot of college students, but there were a lot of 40 to even 50 year olds and then ‘tweens and kids in the venue. This older guy tapped my girl on the shoulder and said, “Best night of your life?” And she had this biggest smile on her face and said, “Oh yeah!” He then smiled at me and I smiled back at him. He nodded his head in my girls’ direction and said, “You’re doing it right.” I laughed and felt good about that. Yeah, I am doing it right.
This is an experience that my girls and I will always remember. There were moments of frustration…but there were also moments of sheer fun. Funny little inside jokes that my husband and my other kids won’t get because they just were not there. Did it cost more than I expected…oh yeah. Were the rewards more than I expected…oh yeah. Would I do it all again…oh yeah! But next time…I will have a map on hand, and use my map skills the old fashioned way.
Stupid phone GPS. 😉