A Trip For A Band Turned Family Vacation
Myself, my hubby and our 3 boys just got back from a week in Tampa, Fl. It was a great week, one where we were going back and forth on whether to make a family trip or not. Why? Well, because it didn’t start out as a family vacation, it all started in January when U2 announced the Joshua Tree Tour. Hubby and I have been to 4 other U2 shows together spanning over the past two tours since 2009. We have seen the U2 boys in Raleigh, New Jersey and Boston – all trips were made kid-free. They were not only a time for us to see our favorite band live, in all of their glory, but a time for us to get away, together, spend much needed one-on-one time together and do something we were both so passionate about.
But this go around, we chose Tampa. We have family there – whom I’m embarassed to say how long it had been since we’d seen – and after talking with them, we decided to make this U2 trip a family vacation. My sister-in-law and family were so gracious….and brave….to have our Tribe to her house for the week. And I mean B-R-A-V-E. Our little nuggets are no joke. Waking before 7am, causing chaos almost as soon as their little feet touched the floor the entire week – I’m sure the silence in their house once we pulled out of their driveway was welcomed!
Creating Memories, Not Having Stuff
It was a great week, I enjoyed the memories we made with our boys, one in particular, hitting up LegoLand. They had been begging since early in the year to go there for their Birthdays.
We have recently adopted a policy on giving experiences and making memories for gifts versus buying them loads of crap they’ll play with for a few hours and then toss aside only to end up in the trash or the Goodwill bin.
We spent time in the pool and even got a chance to check out a Gulf of Mexico beach; Tarpon Springs! Just beautiful, so different from the Outter Banks of North Carolina.
There were so many highlights and memories made with our boys, but nothing compares to what really brought us to Tampa – seeing U2 live at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday night (June 14th).
Finally, The Real Topic of This Post
So, I have passions outside of being a Mom and an Entrepreneur! SAY WHAT?! That’s right, I have passions that go beyond my kids and my work. I AM A PROUD AND PASSIONATTE U2 FAN! Whew! Glad to get that out there, finally! These Irish guys, this band, their music is a passion of mine outside of Motherhood and Entrepreneurhood. There is nothing like seeing this band live, NOTHING. A concept I could not understand when my hubby and I first met and his secret obsession was revealed. I had always liked this band, but to his level, eh, I didn’t get it.
Let’s go back to October 3, 2009 at the Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC (my home town). This would be the beginning of a new passion of mine. My first live U2 experience, 1 row deep from the main stage. It was the most amazing experience up to that point of my life. This was for the 360 tour (you can check out the full concert here if you’re wanting to see what the fuss is all about) and if you’re familiar, you know just how massive of a set up, (check out this cool time lapse video of the stage set up) and how amazing the show was; to this date, the highest grossing tour of all-time. I was immediately hooked, in love and obsessed with U2!
With each show we go to, our passion and love of U2 is only amplified that much more. We saw two shows for the Innocence and Experience tour in 2015, one of which we were right on the rail of the B-stage. I was so close I could see the sweat drip from Bono’s face, I could hear Larry’s actual drum beats, not just what you hear come through the sound system. I swear Bono looked straight at me at one point too. (Don’t we all ladies? But I swear, it happened! haha)
Finding What You Did Not Know You Were Looking For
For The Joshua Tree Tour revamped for 2017, we could not wait to get our spot on the rail and experience the show as close as we possibly could.
Side note: you don’t even want to get me started on the ticketless entry bullshit. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were supposed to be there with us, but because of this bullshit system, you apparently can’t have a work issue to deal with and come in later than the rest of your party. So instead, you get screwed on seeing the show and the $$ paid for the tickets. It’s complete bullshit and needs to go. It’s not preventing scalpers, it’s making things more difficult for true, real fans. Real Fans who, I don’t know, have shit come up they can’t help and have to eat a ticket, or two because of this bullshit system. Have I mentioned that this ticketless entry stystem is bullshit?
Anyways…I’ll back down off of my soapbox now.
This time around, we got great numbers for GA, 151 and 152, and at 5pm, we ran….I mean walked swiftly….to our spot, right on the rail at the tree stage, to Larry Mullen’s right (he’s the drummer by the way).
A quick fact about me: I grew up around drummers, my dad, brother and uncle all played the drums and I found myself beating around a bit on my brother’s drum set before he moved out. We have no space for a real drum set, but until then I will kick ass on the Rock Band set or tapping my hands and fingers to almost any beat.
So being so close to Larry always has such a special place in my heart. #iwanttobelarrywhenigrowup
He kicked off the show to the opening beat of Sunday Bloody Sunday and from there the tears began, and the excitment and high never ended. That could have been due to the guy smoking weed next to me the whole time, but whatever. I was excited, happy and in my glory. Experiencing a passion of mine, with my best friend (a.k.a my Hubby) and not a care in the world; not even thinking of my boys.
Who I knew were in good hands back at their Aunt and Uncle’s house, hanging with them and their cousins probably not missing us much anyway. We are so thankful to them for not only having us for much needed family time, but so we could also get away to experience and enjoy something we love so much. We only wish they could have joined us as originally planned. Did I mention already what bullshit the ticketless entry system is?
The work that needed to be done when I got home, or this blog post or the million other things a Mompreneur has to do; I wasn’t thinking about it. I was enjoying my passion, for me, because I deserve that – I deserve to have something outside of Mom Life and Entrepreneur Life, we all do.
U2 is something I can be crazy over, I can love and rely on to help me forget, if only for moment, all of those things. See, as mothers and entrepreneurs, we tend to get so damn caught up in being a Mom, being an Entrepreneur, we forget ourselves. We forget that we are more than that and deserve more (hell even demand more).
We are more than a:
- snack bitch
- ass wiper
- short order cook
- creator extraordinare
- ‘customer care rep’
- accountant (wait…what?)
We have (or should have) passions outside of that. Something that can lift us up in a different way, take our minds off of those things that we have to think about, and worry about; day in and day out. Those things in life that we love so much, but that also tend to stress us out just as much.
We need to learn to take a break, and not just a ‘I’m going to sit on the couch, binge on Netflix and eat ice cream’ kind of break. But a true, ‘I’m going to get away and experience something I absoutely love and enjoy’ kind of break.
Side Note: if ice cream and Netflix is that for you, great, but don’t sell yourself short on the passions in life.
Being Passionate About a Band Is For Crazy People
Then call me crazy. I never thought I would become such a passionate fan over a band. But that first live experience solidified my passion for this band, what they offer, how hard they work to entertain their fans and keep them coming back for more. Yes, kids, time and money keep us from following them around as much as we would like, but we will take our few opportunities to live one of our passions and live it hard.
What this band provides, in my mind, heart and soul is something I am not sure I can fully describe; knowing so much of U2’s music and the song’s meanings, for me, it is a religious experience. It cuts deep to my roots, hits me hard and lingers deep in my soul.
The U2 Fan Family Is One of a Kind
Being a fan, a part of the U2 Fan Family, takes it to a whole other level. U2 fans are simply some of the best people and I am honored to be a part of them. It is truly something when a crowd of 60-80 thousand fans sing and cheer for the entire show. Taking their phones out to light up the stadium upon Bono’s request – an absolute breathtaking scene from the view point as a GA’er.
Coming together with so many different people from so many different backgrounds, yet for one night – we are One! Needless to say, the U2 Live experience stays with me heavy for weeks after and is never forgotten. An experience my hubby and I plan to take advantage of for as long as possible, as many shows as possible. #nextstopbuffalo
I would love to hear from you…
Leave a comment below with what passion(s) you have outside of your family and work life. Had an awesome U2 experience? Please share!! #fortheloveofU2