Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stop 1: Edinburgh (via Paris and Dublin)

So, where do I begin?

Well, if it's Tuesday, this must be Scotland! (points for whoever gets the cinema reference! *wink*)

I like to travel. Really, I do. And generally, I travel pretty well. But, admittedly, after three flights (NYC to Paris; Paris to Dublin; Dublin to Edinburgh) I was VERY happy to finally arrive at my destination.

I think it was the 7-hour layover in Dublin that was particularly annoying -- THOUGH I did end up hanging at a pub watching Wimbledon (go Roger!) while drinking my first pint of Guinness. By the way, it is ABSOLUTELY true that Guinness in Ireland tastes infinitely better than Guinness in the States. Seriously, it's like two completely different beers.

Nonetheless, I was relieved to finally land in very rainy Scotland (rain: that would become the ongoing theme of this trip) to the welcoming cheers from the crazy Gs. For those of you new to the blog, that would be my much-loved German girls with whom I've had many wild and wonderful adventures.

We stayed at the most adorable bed and breakfast place, not too far from the concert venue (good thinking, Rike!) Contrary to the picture, no ... the place wasn't tilting, that was me. LOL

After a traditional English breakfast the next morning, we headed over to Murrayfield to get our numbers and pick up our tickets. I learned quickly the importance of breakfast on show days ... because once you got in the queue, you more often than not didn't end up eating too much the rest of the day (as can be told by the Hyde Park show, when I basically had four cough drops all day. LOL) I also learned that from the hours and hours of waiting to get into the venue, fan club members overseas truly know and take care of eachother. Throughout this whole trip, I was happy to meet so many people I had known online either through the club, this blog or on Twitter.

We finally were allowed to enter and I staked out my spot in the first row. I was blessed to be surrounded by some super-fun fans which certainly helped pass the time as we waited for the local band (Val Verde ... who were great) and the support act (Vintage Trouble) to take the stage. At some point, it started raining (of course, this is Scotland!) and pretty much continued on and off throughout the rest of the evening.

I was anxious to experience Bon Jovi in the UK, having heard all the stories about overseas fans and set lists, etc. etc. etc. I was definitely not disappointed. The show was fantastic ... the energy, completely different than in the States. I do still feel that having all the diehard fans together in the front (of either the diamond circle or the golden circle) makes a big difference. But, whatever the case, I was smitten from the first moments.

Of course, I hadn't seen a concert since Jon Bon Jovi injured his knee in Helsinki so I was curious as to exactly how much he was able to move around. In true Jon fashion, nothing was slowing him down. And, the rain wasn't slowing the crowd down in the least. Oh, I FINALLY got to take part in the whole confetti/Capt Crash chaos -- I am pretty sure I'll be finding confetti in my stuff for months to come! LOL

I had a blast joking around with David during Who Says You Can't Go Home (this became a nightly occurence as I was wearing my NY Yankees cap at every show. LOL) And, what a treat to get Wild is the Wind (have always loved that song) and a fantastic version of These Days. But, the utimate moment of the night ... hearing (in its original form for the first time since I think 95/96 for me) this incredible song! (video by Deweyjovi - great meeting you in the pit that night! *smile*)

Because of the rain, I wasn't able to take quite as many pictures as I normally do, but here are a few of my favorites ...

(it's not perfect but I sort of like how Jon is clear and Richie and Bobby are blurred a bit)

...and here's the throw...

...another successful maracas catch! LOL ...

...Jon encouraging the crowd to make even more noise...

By the end of the concert, I had fallen in love with Bon Jovi all over again ... their energy, the songs, the brotherhood and, regardless of Jon being in obvious discomfort with his knee, the aura that just surrounds one of the greatest frontmen in the history of rock.

And, that was just day ONE of the trip!

p.s. I already thought of at least 5 things I wanted to put into this post ... so come back tomorrow. LOL #SoManyMemories!