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 Booking.com 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!