Here's our hotel--the Westin. It's the tallest building in Virginia at 38 stories. I don't know why we didn't take a picture of the Sandler Center, but we were excited to see that it was right across a very small, traffic-less street. The Town Center where these places are located is very cozy.
Okay, so we check in to our hotel. Did I mention that the possibility that Rick would be staying there was a good reason for our reservations? The proximity was great too, but we were hoping. Just before checking in, we run into a fan we know from several other shows--we had originally met her and her sister at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, and more recently at Rockville. Nancy and (sorry, I forgot your name) from New Jersey are kind enough to tell us that Rick was, indeed, in the building. Yikes! After signing away a small fortune for the room, we turn toward the elevator, and a few feet away, spot Rick's road manager heading for the same elevator. We get in the elevator with Ronnie and a guitar (while I'm getting really jumpy), and wait for him to fumble around with a bunch of key cards--we knew that you had to have a key to operate the elevator-- and he pushes 15 on the control panel. I look down at the key holder in my hand to see 1503 written on it. (This is the first OMFG moment of the evening.) Turns out, only people on the 15th floor could access the 15th floor, with the help of the little cards. The elevator stops (my heart, too), and all of us get out--we're sort of disoriented, not knowing the lay of the land, so we turn circles for a second trying to figure out which way to go. But it's long enough to see Ronnie go directly to a room to the right of the elevator--room 1520 (don't forget we're in room 1503). So, I'm giddy at this point, knowing that Rick is a few rooms away, and I turn to see that James has turned the corner and gone down the hall toward our room. I turn back to see Ronnie knock on 1520. Of course I pause--and there, in the crack as the door opened, I see the top of Rick's head(OMFG)...then his face, then his neck...then his naked chest, because he ISN'T WEARING A SHIRT and he's STANDING 10 FEET AWAY! (OMFG, OMFG, OMFG!!!)I quite honestly don't really know what he was wearing from the waist down, because I think I may have passed out a little at that point. In my head, he was wearing a towel around his waist, but I think that just might have been a leftover image from Hard to Hold. Trying desperately not to scream or faint or anything (although, damn--passing out right there might have been a great thing!), I scurry around the corner toward our room before I can make an ass out of myself, and all I can tell James is, "Oh my God, Oh my God," over and over. He's going to tell people that I actually hit the floor, but what really happened was that I squatted down in our little hallway with my back against the wall to keep from keeling over. I shit you not--that's how weak-kneed I was. I can NOT handle surprises like that!
Okay, we dump our stuff in the room, and I immediately go back out for ice---well, we needed it, but it also gave me a chance to peek at the door to 1520. I'm a complete dork, I know it. Things remain fairly calm, but we're starving, and we head out to Taco Bell for a quick bite, then back up to the room for some drinks. We've each had a drink when I realize we're stuck in our hotel room drinking alone, so I come up with the ingenius plan to mix drinks in the Starbucks cups that were there for coffee the next morning so that we can take them with us to the lobby and not have to spend money in the bar. Great plan--we make a couple of trips back up for coffee, then decide to head over the front of the venue to see what's going on (there's a tiny crowd gathering). We're there maybe 2 minutes, discussing how nothing's going on, when I turn and there's Rick, 10 feet away and smiling in my direction (only mine, of course---it had nothing to do with the tiny crowd of people behind me). O-M-F-G, could we GET any luckier?
Rick's obviously off to dinner, so we know we have some time to kill, and we just might get lucky and accidentally end up in the same place again, so we go to Keagan's Irish Pub for snacks and drinks. They have the best beer-battered prawn, and Stella Artois and I had a great time. It looks like a fun little joint, but we have better places to be, so we call it quits after two beers each. We head back to the room to freshen up, then back down to the lobby bar for more quality time with Stella before heading over. We have a nice chat with a few more fans outside the place before heading in, and someone is kind enough to share cigarettes with me, because it's the thing I do when I'm drunk (which I didn't really feel like I was, but I was.)
Our seats weren't great, because I hesitated so long about going to the show for money reasons. I mean, they were GREAT seats, but if you're used to being up close and personal and enjoying the interaction with Rick at his shows, they sucked. The Squirts opened up with a few songs, during which I got irritated--James had abandoned me to drink in the lobby with strangers, and Matt Bissonnette could not stop talking about how much they love McCain. I'm thinking the whole time that I'm going to have to boycott the show because he won't shut up. He's obviously a phenomenal songwriter and artist, but dude, leave the politics outside, because I just don't want to have to stop enjoying this night because my head will explode if you mention McCain one more f-ing time. James came back when they were finished, and dragged me downstairs to have a beer with his new best friends (I forget all of their names---James probably does, too). And then it's time for Rick---and I was super-excited during the first few songs, and LOVING IT, until it hit me how shitty our seats were compared to the rest of the world, and until Rick played Bop 'til You Drop, which is Andrew's favorite song, and I got sad that he couldn't be there to see it (and I mentioned I was a little drunk, right?).
We have a plan, though, and as soon as the show's over, we kinda hightail it outta there and back to the 15th floor--knowing Rick has to come back there. We stand around the elevators for a while--until Matty Spindel, Rick's sound guy, comes up and head to his room. He says, "What are you guys doing?" Ummm...waiting for Rick (because I'm drunk, nervous, and caught off guard). He tries to tell me Rick's not staying on that floor, which I sweetly disagree with, to which he gives the smug response of, "Well, have a nice wait." Okay, I know he thought we had stalked up there and didn't belong there, but DUDE--we were right outside our own hotel room, and what do we look like anyway? I proceed to call him not-nice names for the rest of the seven minutes we have to wait, which we spent in our room...until I hear voices. We go strolling out to see Rick and Ronnie coming from the elevator, and summoning my beer balls, I call out, "Excuse me, Rick?" He turns, smiles, and I say, "Do you have time for a quick picture?" He says sure, and we pose (OMG, OMG, OMFG) with his arm around me.While this is NOT the first time I've met Rick, it IS the first time I've managed to utter anything intelligible, so YAY ME! Okay, mission accomplished, I thank him, tell him the show was great and to get some rest (am I his MOM?? HOLY COW, how stupid was that?). He thanks us, and we go on our merrily little way back to the room, and he goes to his room. Okay, but now I'm keyed up again, so we decide to go back downstairs to the bar for one last drink, and we head back to the waiting elevator, and holy frijoles, Rick and Ronnie are in the elevator heading down there too...so, we kind of stroll out of the elevator and towards the bar with him to find a mob scene of people. He's immediately swamped by all kinds of people, but we manage to sidle up close and just hang for a while. Okay, long story short because I have to go to bed---I talked to him again, told him that Andrew loves Bop til You Drop and What's Victoria's Secret, and I showed him a picture of Andrew dancing to his music that I had on my cell phone. We had a lovely conversation about Andrew wanting to smash his guitar because "Rick Springfield does it," to which he replied, "My mom told me I shouldn't do that too." (Andrew loves this story.) He later on signed a program from the show for Andrew at James' request; it reads, "Andrew, Hey Dude." Here's some more pics...
Truly awesome. It was a night full of impeccable timing, GOOD luck for a change, and great decisions. Rick's the man, as always--sweet and attentive when you're talking to him, like he actually CARES what you're saying and you're not the 5 millionth person who've told him that particular thing. We had a great trip home today, having breakfast with Mom and Wayne in downtown Va. Beach, before stopping briefly at the water to see the Atlantic.