This weekend was Virgin Mobile’s FreeFest in Columbia, Maryland.
I decided to drive on down for the show.
Friday night we (my friend Nick and I) pulled into the parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott at about 1am. After a deadly spider incident and two pit stops- one for Cracker Barrel and the other so Nick could buy coffee since I was too tired to drive- we finally made it down, lugged all of my bags into the lobby of the hotel, then made the trek to our room. I was so tired, but thankfully I had slept a little in the car ride down (much to Nick’s dismay.)
We went to visit a couple friends who were also staying in the hotel, only a few rooms down. Some were sleeping, others just lounging… but for 1:30 in the morning our friends were a lively bunch.
The next morning, we got up at 10ish, and went to the lobby for breakfast. There was a Starbucks for food which was pretty delicious. Then we got ready for the festival. At about 2ish we arrived at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, which was about 10 minutes from where we were staying.
We walked from a side street all the way to the entrance. I was so excited and I bounced as I walked. Nick was definitely not on the same level and I kept asking him what was wrong. Apparently he was fine.
Before we walked in, we had to pick up our free shirts and cups that we got with our tickets (Nick is holding mine hostage right now – rude.)
As we walked in I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Everything was huge and pretty and I wanted to touch all of it. There was a machine that would send up suds in the shape of a heart, smiley face or lightning bolt, depending on which emoji you tweeted at freefest; there was a swing that had curtains of water falling, but as you went underneath it the water would stop, just long enough so that you wouldn’t get wet; there were so many people and so much to look at I was immediately overwhelmed and wanted to do everything. So we sat. We walked up to the highest part of the hill right behind the main stage and laid down on a blanket to wait for everyone else to arrive.
I was so comfortable with where I was and who I was with that those first 20 or so minutes were great. then we decided to explore a bit.
I really liked her head-dress 🙂
At this point during the day, it began to rain. As I stood on line waiting for my funnel cake bopping to Iconapop in the background I realized how extremely lucky I was to be there. But the problem was that it wasn’t even 4pm, and if it started to rain now and didn’t stop, waiting until 9 for Pretty Lights was going to be extremely difficult and very uncomfortable.
I was absolutely right.
It continually poured until 11pm at which point I was miserable and ready to go home. But before that, I wanted to see Pretty Lights.
We spent about a third of those 5 hours squished up against a gate trying to get into the main stage so that we would be covered.
Another third was spent watching and dancing to MGMT, who put on a great show. The last third was spent waiting for Robin Thicke – whom I dislike – to finish his set so that Pretty Lights could go on.
Derek’s show made everything worth it, my soaked jeans, water that I rang out of my sweater, the umbrella hat that I wore on and off all day; all of it was not that bad because when his light show fired up it looked like glitter was falling from the sky.
We left at 11pm. I was completely soaked. My sweatshirt was so drenched that I had to ring it out multiple times. I ripped off my shirt in the middle of the street and changed into another one without caring who saw me without a shirt on, that’s how cold and wet I was. Finally, we got back to the room, I showered, and we went to bed. It was glorious.
The next morning we woke up, went to buy Nick new shoes (because he only brought one pair and they were ruining in the rain) and then went to lunch with our friends at Jimmy Cantler’s in Annapolis. It was gorgeous, Nick and I got all you can eat crabs and ended up staying an hour and a half later than everyone else, then I drove home.
This weekend has taught me a lot, about myself, about my friends and about other people, but mostly, its made me appreciate what and who I have.
I am so thankful for my friends, and for crab meat that I don’t actually have to work for.
And this concludes the longest blog post ever.