21st July 2012
Woke up in Washington. Got a bit lost, missed the turn, ended up in Crystal City near the airport. But a long course correction saw us smack bang in the middle of a traffic jam that didn't really end until we got to Philadelphia.
Drove on tollways through green countryside. Would have been nice to check it out but there was no time. Went to Chipotle for lunch, it really is great food. Then we ended up in Walmart again and Luke bought a new bag. We figured we'd just pay extra baggage rather than try and stuff everything into our existing bags.
Wandered around Costco as well, went in the out door. This meant we were greeted cheerfully as we left by a large black guy asking us how we were doing. It wasn't quite “Hi welcome to Costco, I love you” but it was close. Inside there was a woman demonstrating a vacuum cleaner by running it endlessly over a small rug. I think the welcome guy has it good.
Finally got into Philadelphia at about 5pm. The city seemed quite pleasant after the freeways. We had to pay $25 for parking which was disappointing. Doubletree by Hilton was all very swish. At reception I asked: “This has breakfast included, right?” The woman then went off and came back with a voucher for free breakfast. Win.
Lots of people were in the hotel for the concert. Also lots were dressed up for weddings and classical music concerts across the road. After a small nap we found the metro and headed off to the Wells Fargo Stadium. The guard who sold us the tokens was exasper-wrousy but he knew where we were going. Only Aerosmith fans on the train. We ended up chatting with a couple who had been to see them in the early 80s. Not so many young fans. Oh, I feel old.
At the metro station we paid $15 for a bootleg t-shirt, just because it was funny. The name was spelled right but I'm sure the quality won't be great.
Got there at about 7.45 so by the time we got food and drinks Cheap Trick had well and truly started. We paid $10 for a philly cheesesteak and it was really awful. Had to add a lot of pickles to make it worth eating. This is meant to be the prize dish of Philadelphia? I think they need a new one.
Cheap Trick played a lot of songs I didn't know but they did do The Flame, I Want You To Want Me and the Dream Police. Didn't do If You Want My Love or That 70s Song. Guitarist came out with a 4 necked guitar which was pretty amusing.
Thanks to wine I got to queue for the ladies about 4 times and made some friends in the process. People in Philly are very talkative. Once back in the stadium I ended up chatting to the guy next to me. He was a returned soldier, had been in Afghanistan in 2010. We talked politics a bit, I said that I think the US needs to take care of their soldiers better. He said “Yeah, but you have to help yourself as well.” He said he was currently on a disability pension and that he was being well looked after. This contrasts with the various negative things we've seen about veterans all over the US.
And then it was time and Aerosmith came on. Had this moment of “Oh my god, it's really them!” when Steven Tyler and Joe Perry came out. Both were looking fairly agile although Tyler is 64 and hobbles a bit.
They played their newer 80s-90s songs first but then did brand new stuff and also older 70s hits so I didn't know all of their songs. Also a couple of covers. Still great. Danced to Rag Doll but spent most of the concert sitting down. Luke had a sore knee.
After two hours it was all over, only one encore. I wanted more but that was it. We hung back hoping to find leftover merchandise then wandered over to the train. Easy peasy, hardly anyone on it. Got back to the hotel and I was completely wired, partly due to the concert but also because I'd stupidly had a coffee at 6pm before we went. So had a hot chocolate which had aspartame in it. Even more wired. Finally turned out the lights at 1.30am but was up again at 3am thanks to the hideously uncomfortable bed. Had the worst. Night. Ever. Woke up with severe neck and back pain. Mentioned the crap bed to the reception, they didn't care, told me the beds were new but “I'll mention it to housekeeping.” So free breakfast but no sleep. Not so good.
Now... back to NY.