So I was fortunate to travel to Melbourne recently with a great friend.
There was no hidden agenda. I was making a beeline to SPRINGSTEEN.
It's no secret. I have been a big fan for like.. oh.. forever. I was excited. Forget the posters from the walls of my 14 year old self. I was gonna see the man himself. In the flesh. I was beyond excited. And I was childless for 2 whole days. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but.. was it wrong to skip across the tarmac? What?
Plus we're talking Melbourne. Melbourne God I love ya. Melbourne. The town just hums doesn't it?
The shopping.. ahh the shopping.. and the coffee.. glorious. Did I mention we were staying at Crown? Crown. Is there an echo in here? Yes you read correctly. You can skip back a bit and read it again if you like.. just to be sure. Am I spruiking a bit. My oath. I had just 2 days of freedom.
Now I don't know if it's just me but are Melbourne people really friendly or what? Everyone we came in contact with.. yes everyone. Even the man that wasn't quite the full quid singing to the moon (literally) performing his solo interpretational dance en route to Crown inspired me. The man was happy God dammit. He made me feel happy although I'd be totally lying if I said I didn't feel just a smidge uneasy watching him.. What? He was like 3 feet away.. talking to people that weren't there ( well I couldn't see anybody).
So we hit the CBD the first day. No surprises there. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone. I said ANYONE.. hip pocket you were destined to be a casualty. Par for the course I'm afraid.
We did lane ways, we did coffee, we did macarons, we did department stores, we did China Town, we did sushi, we did nails, we did a lot of walking.. We did well!
We hit Richmond on our second day in. More nice folk. Trams. I even loved the trams. Even the driver was smiley.. and helpful.. Whoa yes I said helpful. My myki card was a dud but who cares. It appeared I rode for free but I paid I tell you! Take it up with Flinders Street - clearly the man was too busy talking when issuing my card. Hey these Melbourne people have a lot to say. This is my kind of place. I think Jo was amazed at my public transport cluelessness. She is a professional at these things after all. But in my defence she has quite the repertoire of solo travel experience. I was happy to follow. In hindsight, she could have led me to the gates of hell but I trusted her completely. Just maybe next time give me the heads up before scaring me half to death by announcing "this is it Tara, quick get off" as the doors were closing.. and I had armfuls of bags.. pfft.. just saying..
Enter fabulous boots. I redeemed myself from my last visit and my indecisiveness..
We shared a love of Springsteen (well I did) with all who would listen.. some were subjected to listening whether they cared to or not. The Italian shoe shop lady was a peach - she shared a love of Springsteen and shoes. I will be shopping there again.
..and then we headed off to Three Ducks Gluten Free Gourmet - gluten free compadres in Richmond. The sweetest little shop around. A Mecca for the gluten impaired and friendly faces to compliment the decor. I had been chatting to them via the www and it was great to finally meet. I stocked up on gluten fee goodies and we were again on our way.
More coffee to refuel then back to base (that would be Crown) to prepare for the biggest night of my life. We water taxied it. Up the mighty Yarra on our pilgrimage to Springsteen. We met some people on the way that shared their disbelief that some people they had met earlier, had travelled all the way from Perth to see The Boss. Imagine. "That's where we're from" we disclosed.. GASPS all round.. haha.
Unbeknownst to Jo, I had a brief moment of sheer terror inserting my concert ticket into the machine at Rod Laver Arena - what if. . My whole world could come crashing down in a matter of seconds..
Perish the thought.
We were in! JUBILATION! More skipping.
We found our seats. Great seats. Not mosh pit. Not nose bleed. Just great seats with a great view.
and then.. before we knew what was happening.. there he was. OK so there may have been tears..
I don't expect you to understand. It's complex this SPRINGSTEEN love of mine. The man rocked out for 3 solid hours. He engaged the crowd. He was quite simply.. sensational. Best night of my life. Seriously. It's right up there with Garrick (the love of my life) and the birth of my children. Glory Days indeed...
PS I saw you wink at me Bruce - it will be our little secret ;)