Bruce, Crutches and Non-refundables!

I’d a eureka moment in May – during a Springsteen concert in Dublin to be exact – during Last Man Standing to been exactly exact – stop talking about it girl and just do it!

So I did! I went home and straight on to Ticketmaster – yep – there were some available. OK – I might have to call in favours – birthday, xmas, anniversary… but it was doable…

Himself was in a mellow mood (actually came round very quickly after the initial shock!)

We’ll go – but on the cheap – really cheap!!

So I book 2 tickets for Springsteen in New Jersey for Sept 3rd!

Couldn’t save much on flights so that left accommodation for 4 nights and transport. Hotels at Metlife were too pricey. Getting to and from the concert had to be considered. In the end, the best option seemed to be Leo House in Manhattan and a shuttle back out to the stadium.

So that was May….

Roll on end of June and I’m home from the Galapagos with 2 broken bones. There’s a rather rotten summer ahead and the slight problem of logistics re heading off to Manhattan on crutches.

I knew I couldn’t face the city – and what would I do once I got there anyway – we literally walk miles and miles each day on city breaks. And facing public transport to the stadium? We could get a taxi but we’re still on that tight budget and we’d never get one home afterwards.

We relooked at accommodation and the obvious place to stay was out at Newark airport. A rented car would solve transport issues. The hotel price was about the same and by the time we’d include local transport, taxis, concert shuttle etc, the car wouldn’t be a bad option if we’d free hotel parking.

So far so good.

Except Leo House wouldn’t ‘play ball’. I’d gone for the nonrefundable option – I know! I know! I keep saying I’ll never do it again. But there can be a considerable difference as you know and I was really cutting corners.

Anyway – I contacted Leo House – explained the situation – acknowledged that it was a nonrefundable booking but under the circumstances…. etc..etc…. if they couldn’t see to a refund then maybe bounce the booking until we could avail of it – maybe next year and we’d pay any increase in the rate.

No – sorry – couldn’t help.

Tom phoned them and very nicely went through the situation – nope – maybe they could meet us half way? Refund us 2 nights – nope.

He rang who were genuinely sympathetic and said they’d get on the the hotel and were hopeful of some leeway.

They got the same response….

The hotel was absolutely within its rights of course – I’m only including this here to remind you all that things can happen and to be mindful of that nonrefundable pitfall.

We lived in hope right up to the end but finally cut our loses (next year’s anniversary and birthday I reckon!!) and booked Holiday Inn Express Newark for 3 nights, Atlantic City for 1 night and a car.

Through all this were the 2 cancelled concerts in Philadelphia and the niggling possibility that our own concert might not go ahead.

But – concert or not – we were off to New Jersey!

Airport assistance was great in both Dublin and Newark – who are those people who don’t want to be seen in wheelchairs in airports!

And Bruce – what can I say!

The whole experience was just a joy. First there’s the massive car park – 28,000 spaces right beside the stadium. All around us are family groups and friends spread out with bbqs, coolboxes, picnic tables… and Bruce blaring from car radios. Now you US readers might think nothing of it but for us this was a spectacle in itself. Then there are golf carts buzzing around, offering lifts across the few hundred yards to the gate where wheelchair assistance to the seat is on offer. Crutches? – no problem – just stick them under the seat.

Bruce was brilliant of course but the crowd excelled – everyone around us knew every word of every song. But this was no ordinary singsong – people were singing from their hearts – these songs meant something to them.

And that finale- Jersey Girl – for which I flew 5200kms especially hoping to hear – thank you Bruce.

P.S. – All further concerts in September have been cancelled – Get well soon Bruce – and thanks for this great memory!

29 thoughts on “Bruce, Crutches and Non-refundables!

  1. Wow, what a saga and what an experience 😀 I’m so glad you got to go, despite the crutches, and to see him, despite all those other cancellations – luck must have been on your side! But the saga re the hotel is less positive. I have to say I never choose the non-refundable option, even if it costs more initially. But even if you choose refundable you eventually hit the deadline. That’s what happened to us with Sofia last year. The apartment was cancellable up to seven days before. Four days before, I tested positive for Covid! But what a different response from the owner – he was totally understanding and allowed us to rebook for later in the year with no financial penalty, not even an admin fee. What’s more, when our chosen September dates proved a little cheaper than the original June ones, he refunded the difference 😮

    1. We had luck on our side for once all right re concert. We’ve had similar experiences to you re accommodation – so I suppose that’s why we thought we’d get a bit of leeway in NYC – a few Covid cancellations were very obliging and refunded everything. One in Cordoba didn’t refund but honoured the booking the following year. But even apart from Covid we’ve met with understanding …. we’d to cancel Turkey this summer – most hotels were refundable and easy to cancel but 2 were non refundable and both cancelled the booking no problem once we contacted them. And of course, should we get the opportunity to go there some other time, we’ll remember that and be happy to rebook with them…

  2. Marie … once again you amaze me … we’ll done .. you did it .. and Bruce rise to tge iccassion .. get well soon x

  3. Several concerts and personal visits grew up a bit north of Asbury Park and E street ! Even if was more closer to my native son Bon Jovi of my hometown!

    1. Ha – we passed the Jon Bon Jovi Service Area on the Parkway the other day! And fond memories of a great Bon Jovi Concert here in Dublin in 2006!

    2. Bruce was born in Freehold Township and Bon Jovi in Perth Amboy ,he moved to Sayreville a bit south where he auction his house in MTV ! Thanks for the memories! Cheers

  4. Brilliant! Fabulous! Fantastic! and all other OTT expressions of sheer joy. You’re a girl after my own heart – I (we) did similar things when my husband was alive, travel came before everything and ‘experiences’ before that. So glad you got to see The Man again, and to be at one of the few concerts he managed. How lucky was that! Keep on with the positivity, you’re an inspiration to us all. And I do always went the non-refundable booking route until this year when our early flight was cancelled (for which we’d had to book overnight accommodation) to a later one the next day and our return flight was cancelled to a later one (requiring a hotel booking)! Lesson learned.

    1. We made a decision many years ago t to prioritise travel and we are so glad now that we did so – we’ve seen so much and sure the house etc is still standing (although maybe not in as good a state as some of the neighbours but I know which I@D opt for!1)-
      The difference in price drives me mad but we won’t take the chance from now on – I keep saying that but I think I’ve finally learned that lesson!

    1. We went out to a game years ago on a bus – no problem. I think it must be old age setting in but when looking at the logistics at the start – ie when I had 2 working legs! – I knew we’d get out there easily enough but dreaded the thought of fighting our way onto a bus or whatever after the concert. So I checked out the shuttle service and had one sorted from midtown and back for $50 each which I was happy enough with. Even with the broken leg we were going to go ahead with that plan but the car was great – $40 parking but well worth it and made it all so easy. Having said that, now that I know the layout etc, if we were ever to do it again I’d have fewer worries re public transport….

  5. Well done Marie and of course your long suffering travel companion !!!! Some people will go to any length to be with the ” Boss”. A great story of triumph over adversity and Bruce obliged by singing Jersey Girl just for you. Remain forever young

    1. Who’s this ‘long suffering travel companion’!!!!! I hope he hasn’t been moaning behind my back!!!! He’d a wonderful time!! His only gripe was that there were 2 songs he didn’t recognise and he blamed me!!😅 😂 🤣

  6. When the pandemic hit and borders closed, I had to hastily cancel a planned 2020 Japan trip and start drawing back refunds. The only one I didn’t expect was for four nights at a hotel in Takayama, Gifu – yes, I was on a no refund deal. I let them know anyway that we weren’t coming, and they asked why – pretty sure they knew why lol. Anyway, they refunded every last cent – didn’t even take a deposit or booking fee. Now that is what I call honourable. I have ever since sung that hotel’s praises and recommended to anyone looking for a hotel in Takayama (yes, I have stayed there on another occasion.). So, I like to think I am paying them back with lots of good publicity – the WAT hotel, if anyone wants to know.

  7. What a wonderful experience, and you only live once Marie – it seems like this was well worth it. Those non refundable hotels have caught me out; I always used to book non refundable as they were cheaper and ‘I’d never not go’…but then we lost about £7k in total from a few hotels via that were cancelled during COVID (it still upsets me) and so I’ve never booked a non-flexible rate again post pandemic. I love you went anyway and made it work for your circumstances – wonderful 🙂

    1. We were caught out in 2019 due to illness and swore we’d never book non refundable again. And of course we did. Then there was Covid – and we still didn’t learn the lesson! Then Tom was ill this time last year and we had to cancel a few bits… and now this – How many warnings do I need!!!!

  8. Pleased it worked out Marie – though not a particular Springsteen fan I absolutely know what an experience a top gig can be. I’m afraid my memory of ‘Jersey Girl’ was a drunk bawling the chorus from the bar next door some years back. A shame that Leo House and others place no worth on either customer goodwill or a poor blog mention.

    1. Oh dear! I refuse to let that image taint my memory of the song!! As I acknowledge, they were absolutely within their rights and I’ve no come back but still … wouldn’t you think…

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