Bringing the indie rock while Meg Cabot signs books at the New York Public Library! How exciting! But wait, are we sure we brought everything? Specifically I am worried because one missing chord (cord?) could unravel it all like a jumper. Where’s me jumper? Oh no. That is the mantra that keeps me awake at night, well several nights. Usually we travel in the tour van with everything we need to do a show but since we are taking a commercial flight to do this show we had to downsize every part of our show to fit in suitcases. Tabbie has a suitcase for her dress alone but some things are just that fluffy. So we have everything ready and are packing the car when Pep breaks his bass. He tries to fix it but can’t so he decides to take his spare bass instead. He doesn’t like the color of the spare so he quickly covers it with blue painter’s tape. We haven’t left yet and we already know that the show isn’t going to sound as good as what we practiced because his spare bass has a different sound than his normal bass. I’m getting hungry now but there isn’t time. We’re already late to the airport because of this bass debacle.
Surprisingly LA traffic isn’t as bad as we usually would expect on a Wednesday night and we get to the airport with enough time to make it through security and still make our flight. You have to pay for all your checked baggage now. With our airline it is $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second. We have a suitcase with Pep’s pedal board in it - $15 and my Hello Kitty pink hard shell suitcase with a tiara shaped pińata in it - $25. We have three basses - $15 + $25 + $15 and of course Tabbie’s dress - $25. We also have a case with all the electronic equipment - $15. But wait, the electronics are too heavy and they are going to charge us and extra $50 for going over the 50 pound weight limit. Oh but wait some more, the skycap guy is so nice, he says he won’t charge us the extra $50. How nice. I think he is a musician. Luckily we sent all the shirts and CDs to the venue ahead of time so we don’t have them with us now but on the trip back we will have to bring that on the plane too. We just don’t know if the shirts and CD’s will make it the show on time. The show’s publicity contact tells me that many parcels have been lost on the way to the library and they are still searching…
OK, next obstacle… security. Shoes off, pockets empty, tiaras in the trays. Not bad here either except I get surrounded by agents because I have an open 9 volt battery and they stop Pep to ask if the metal tiaras belong to him. As luck would have it the lead agent is a librarian and security is his second job so he lets us through with the battery once he found out that we are doing a library benefit. After that we all get through security ok apart from Tabbie. She put her boarding pass in the tray through the X-ray machine and they won’t let her trough security with out it. We are now on the approved side with all the trays but they won’t let us give Tabbie the boarding pass. Approved flyers must not have contact with non-approved flyers, don’t you know. Pep with all three tiaras on his head (showing the agents what they are used for) gets the boarding pass and gives it to an approved officer who gives it to the detaining officer who approves Tabbie and we were on our way, shoes untied. I found out later that Tabbie got through with a lighter in her pocket but I got stopped for having in a 9 volt battery in my mic. Go figure. Starving now. So on to the terminal.
Walking by the stores in the terminal I realize that I brought my iPod to rehearse the songs on the plane but forgot my headphones. I buy headphones in the terminal and get on the plane. They are showing an in flight movie and so it dawns on me that I could have bought headphones for $2 instead of $15. In flight dining, cookie (biscuit) and diet coke. Still hungry…
We get to NY at 5:30 AM on Wednesday morning. I haven’t slept at all but hey we’re in NY so I can’t sleep now, too much organizing to handle. A week ago Tabbie said it was going to snow when we arrived in NY so I bought a “snowdress” which is a pink full length snow jacket which makes me look like I am stuck in a sleeping sac. All the talk about Francis Bacon made me decide that we were all in for “Snowmageddon!” Whenever anyone talked about snow in NY I would scream “Snowmageddon!” As we land I am sure it is going to be “Snowmageddon!” but I have to keep quiet because Tabbie hit me on the back of the head and told me to stop yelling “Snowmageddon!” *Snowmageddon!!!* I see some snow on the grass from the plane’s windows but when I tell Tabbie to look, she isn’t fast enough and she misses it. Now she doesn’t believe that there is snow on the runway. We arrive here.
We have sooo much baggage regular cabs will not stop for us and we have to take a mini van cab.
This cab driver picks us up even though we are musicians carrying around a concert hall. Here is that brave man.
We stay at the Casablanca hotel. OMG! It looks just like Morocco and it is sooo nice! We get checked into our room at about 6:30 AM by luck because they told us earlier on the phone that check in isn’t until 1 PM but they let us check in early anyway. At 7 AM they start their free continental breakfast on the second floor but this is no ordinary continental breakfast. This is the free breakfast to end all free breakfasts. We become very attached to the free nosh waiters. They are very nice.
Fruit, real NY bagels, cereal, eggs, pastries, coffee, juices. Wow! At night they actually play the movie Casablanca near the nosh. We pretty much live all day and all night at the nosh bothering the hotel workers. (bother, bother)
So today is our free day in NY. We wanted to come in early to overcome any possible travel delays (Snowmageddon!) but we are here on time. Quite unusual. Meg Cabot’s plane had a 6 hour delay! So we decide to take a walk to the Rockefeller center. Still no snow but the ice rink is beautiful and the famous Christmas tree is still up.
We go inside and we all have hot cocoa and watch the ice skaters. After that we walk around Rockefeller Center and look at the shops. We run across an art deco interpretation of DRAMA, I think it is pretty accurate!
Then it starts to snow outside. It is awesome. Pep has only seen snow once on our way to a show in Oregon. He is from Puerto Rico and they don’t have snow there. He starts to look for two snow flakes that match but he just gets real quiet so I don’t think he ever finds them. Latte is literally the kitten that lost her mittens so we started shopping for a purple pair at the make-shift vendor tables set up on the streets on the way back to our hotel. We walk through this road with like 20 guitar stores in it which is good to know since we might need something for the show last minute. I start screaming “Snowmageddon!” The snow in Tabbie’s hair looks fake, like we are in a movie or at Disneyland when they bring in fake snow, but it is real because it is VERY cold.
Now we all nap for a bit, utterly knackered from jet lag. I wake up and go to Toys R Us to get a new tiara because my tiara won’t stay on. Toys R Us is enormous and tourist oriented. There is a life size Ferris wheel inside it which of course I ride.
On the third floor there is a Libby Lu but it is going out of business. I get my new tiara for half off WITH a shiny pink tiara box. Score!
Back at the Hotel we go to Tony’s di Napoli for dinner right next door to the Casablanca hotel. It is amazing! I have the Chicken Marsala. After that it is back to the second floor at the Casablanca Hotel for coffee and cheese (apparently all the action is on the second floor, all day, all night) and bothering the workers (bother, bother). After that we practice the set in our hotel room with no sound. I am a bit nervous because I completely blank on the song “Size 12 Is Not Fat”. Pep forgot his bass strap at home but he is going tomorrow to the guitar stores we saw to get a new one.
One more important thing to mention about the Casablanca hotel is that they have a turn down service and they bring you free Belgian chocolate! Whoot! Good Night!
~taste the rainbow~