Sharing thoughts about Taylor Hicks and concert travels and other musical musings!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Traveling Circus Goes Broke at The Borgata

Saturday was another one of those early rising week-end mornings! As I jumped out of bed, I realized I don’t get up that fast on a work day! I quickly got ready and finished packing, said bye to the cats, and off I drove to the airport. My flight out was going to be delayed so I knew had time to get there without flying low or having my angels fly harder to keep up with me!

I decided that it would be best to fly into Philadelphia and rent a car to drive to Atlantic City. I was about to go an adventure in two cities I had never been before. As the plane was descending for the landing in Philly, I looked out the window to view the skyline. It was really quite amazing to me. I tried to picture what everything was and looked for some of the historic buildings. I don’t know if I saw any, but I definitely enjoyed the view!

Now I know I have established that I get lost easily. I can now add to that list that I can’t read the signs and get on the right bus! I went to Stop 2 as instructed but the parking lot bus stopped right in front of me and I got on. After 40 minutes of touring the parking lot, I was back at the terminal. The bus driver was quite helpful – he flagged down the car rental van for me. I was now off to rent my car!

I should have realized I was having “one of those days” kind of day. When I arrived to get my car, the reservation was for March 14, not April 14. What? Fortunately, they were able to accommodate me. With directions in hand, I was off to Atlantic City! After about an hour, I took the exit to the hotel where I was meeting other friends and staying overnight.

As I was driving down the road to the hotel, my friends were waiting on the corner at the hotel for me. Between them and me was a concrete barrier and no left turns! I saw them from the back and blew my horn. They were expecting me to come from the opposite direction! I drove down the road about a mile or so before I could find a place to turn left and turn around. We laughed about them standing on the corner watching and waving at me and how they must have looked to other passing cars!

For the show, we decided to take a cab to the Borgata. By the time we left, there were five of us in our little party. We climbed into the van and off we went. I don’t recall his name, but he was great – almost like one of the gang, you know what I mean! He was joking with us and we were all telling stories and stuff! When he dropped us at the Borgata, we made sure to get his card so we could call him to come pick us up after the show! We had our plan in motion for after the show. Little did we know we would all poop out afterwards!

The Borgata is a beautiful casino with ornate fixtures and columned arches! We walked back to The Music Box where the show was to be held. We stopped in front of the red lacquered doors and speckled floor to check out the location. Talk about glamour and glitz!

Since everyone was getting hungry, we decided to walk around to see what was available and decided to give Wolfgang Puck a try. Now if I had been gambling before dinner, I wouldn’t have been able to afford dinner! My salad was $13 and the calzone was $14! The iced tea had a nice peach flavor. The food was tasty and I know we had to pay for the name. I’d go again with friends if the opportunity arose in spite of the prices! I’d like another one of those salads, please!

We hurried back to the bright red doors just as Toby Lightman was signing her second or third song. We found our seats and sat down. I was on the right side of the stage on the third row and my pictures were going to be awesome. If you don’t believe me, just click on the link below to see them!

Not that Taylor needs much introduction, he doesn’t! But I do enjoy hearing Brian Less shout out “Mr. Taylor Hicks”! Taylor came out waving wearing a gray jacket and black shirt with his jeans and sneakers. His opening number was an original of his from his “Under the Radar” CD called “Soul Thing”. It’s always a nice rendition. He followed with “Give Me Tonight” and “Wherever I Lay My Hat”. I don’t recall if he chatted with the audience before or after “Hell of Day”, but it was cute!

He told us that “Borgata meant broke!” He’d been having some fun before the show, or maybe the night before since he was off Friday! Later he’d ask the audience if we were winning, and to be honest! Everyone laughed right along with him! Good thing we had already bought our tickets, because after a few rounds at the tables, wheels, and slots, we may not have been able to pay for them!

I believe Taylor had performed “My Friend”, a song he wrote for a friend, at another show, but this was the first time I’d heard him do it live. I really enjoy hearing Taylor perform his own original music. It’s very soothing to the ear. We got another Taylor original, “The Deal” and a romping cover, “Medicated Goo”. No show is complete without “Heaven Knows”, “The Right Place” or “The Runaround”.

As the stage cleared and lights stayed down, the stage hand brought out a stool and then took it back. I was hoping for “The Fall” which Taylor did once before as an acoustical encore. But not tonight. Instead the whole band came back and gave us “Take the Long Way Home”. Lots of good harmonica in that one! With final waves and bows, Taylor was gone and the show was over.

Since it was still a wee bit early, we decided to try our luck at the slot machines. They don’t call them “one-armed bandits” for nothing! I’d be up and then I’d be down. Up and down. Then down, down, down, up, down, gone! But you can play a lot of rounds on a $20 at the nickel machines! After that several us decided to go back to the hotel to rest and talk.

We grabbed a taxi and where told the fare to the hotel would be $40! Highway robbery, we thought! We jumped out of the taxi and called our friend from earlier! At least we asked for him! What a pleasant surprise when he arrived just a little bit later to pick us up! You’d think we were old friends out for the night!

It was late, and we wanted some drinks and water to take back to the hotel with us. Now not being familiar with the area, when the driver suggested “WAWA”, I thought it was his Bohemian accent I was hearing. Sure enough, we pulled up into the parking area of WAWA’s and unloaded for the quick pickup of refreshments. Soda, bottled water, and a ‘pit stop’! Back in the van and we were off to the hotel.

Several of us went to my room to view my pictures. We chatted for awhile and then decided it was bed time. One of my friends was staying with me and the other went to her room. Soon there was a knock at the door and here came the friend, pillow in hand, because her roommates were hogging the beds! We were going to have a pajama party! We talked until almost 4:00 AM! I think I was the last to fall asleep!

Daylight, or wake up, was around 8:30. We chatted some more, and then we had to get ready to leave. I was driving back to Philly, so I headed out around noon. I just forgot how I got to the hotel! Lost again! I stopped at a gas station for directions while talking to a friend on the phone who was trying to do a MapQuest for me. Directions in hand, I made my way back to Philly. Of course, the area was having a nor’ easterner and it was raining. That didn’t deter me!

I made it back in plenty of time. Because it was raining and I didn’t find a gas station before I turned in the rental, I wound up paying a premium for gas – nearly $7 per gallon, or about $72! They wouldn’t budge or agree it was unreasonable! I won’t be dealing with them again! I don’t care if it is in the contract! That’s gouging! I was robbed, I tell you!

At the airport I had to reschedule my flight because it was cancelled due to the weather. The best they could do was put me on the first flight out the next morning, give me a hotel voucher, and dinner. That was fine. I would go rest. Somehow it didn’t seem too bad. Until I realized I would have to get up at 3:00 AM to catch the shuttle to the airport! Morning came and I went to get on the shuttle. What!?!?! It's mid-April and the ground was covered with snow!

The shuttle driver drove a bit too fast for us. After all, he was outnumbered by four women! We got him to slow down a little. He was in a hurry because he had another run to make before his shift was up. We got off the bus and went into our terminal. I went to my gate since I had my boarding passes. I boarded the plane on time and then sat in line to be de-iced for an hour or so! As we landed in Detroit, my plane to Memphis was leaving the gate. Oh well, another reschedule and lunch on Northwest and I was good to go.

When I finally landed in Memphis, I knew I’d been on an adventure. It was time to get to work since I was already several hours late! Maybe next week-end won’t hold the same luck! Good thing I didn’t gamble too much on my plans!

Pictures from The Borgata

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