Concert 45: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
August 31, 2009
We made it!
The last day of the concert tour. We woke up in Toronto at the Hazelden. It is an exclusive, expensive, well-secured hotel in Toronto. A friend gave us the room. This happened three times in the last week. One night we slept in the car and then three amazing hotel rooms from someone who follows the blog. Now, I really felt like a groupie and a roadie. I have not figured out how to tell that part of the story. You may have to wait for the book for these details.
The important part for right now is that we had a hotel room at the Hazelden and it was a gift. Hannah, Rosie and I shared the room.
When we entered the hotel, bedraggled in appearance and with clothes in cloth grocery bags, I guess we looked a little out of place. We didn’t know the location of the elevator, the room and the Do Not Disturb sign was on. The staff walked up with us and led us to the hotel room, questioning us at every turn.
I opened the door with the key, walked in and closed the door behind us. No worries. If they posted someone outside of our door for the night, we never saw them because we did not leave the room until the next morning.
We found out later that the suspicion may have been because JB were still at the hotel. With rows of JB fans outside waiting for a glimpse and our appearance at the hotel, we may have looked like the stalking groupies that we are!
We wanted to get an early start on Aug 31. Our final concert on this summer adventure.
The streets were empty, not quite ready for the busyness of a Monday morning.
On the road to Ottawa, I stopped at Tim Horton’s. I had a Canadian morning routine after four days here. It was a large cup of coffee from Tim Horton’s, a B.E.L.T. (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato on a Bagel) and a raisin biscuit for a mid-morning snack. This would keep me going in case we did not have lunch or dinner until late. Hannah and Rosie slept almost the whole way there (5 hours)
I headed to the downtown area of Ottawa. It was the first day we did not have the name of the hotel for the JB band. We missed connecting with our “informant” and Rosie was the only one of us using phone service in Canada. Our connection did not have service either.
As I said, we were headed toward the downtown area of Ottawa when Rob Hoffman, the JB photographer, sent a tweet about looking out his bedroom window and seeing a castle. A clue! This was so much fun! Rosie started tweeting and making phone calls to people she knew.
We looked around and saw three castles. I saw the Westin Hotel next to a castle and started to head that way. A fan tweeted confirmation to Rosie. A group of fans had been outside since yesterday and , “yes,” they had seen the band at the Westin.
JB was still in Toronto and flying in later. More information for why we were escorted to our hotel room the night before.
I dropped Hannah and Rosie off at the Westin Hotel and went in search of parking. Driving around I heard the song, “Tonight’s Going Be a Good Night.” I opened the sunroof, turned up the music and sang it at the top of my lungs. YES! It was time to celebrate. We made it to 45 concerts. I was giddy with joy and amazement!
It took me 30 minutes to find parking. Walked through a flower mart. Eyes wide opened, enjoying this day. With toiletry kit in hand, I walked to the Westin Hotel, found Hannah who directed me to the Mall bathroom. 15 minutes later, I felt refreshed and ready for the concert.
By the time, I put everything in the car, the first JB band bus was pulling away from the curb. Miguel, and Garrett and Ray, three of the Horn players were standing with the girls and I got several pictures.
Time to find the venue again. It was really a night of good-byes. Although the World Tour continues in Europe beginning Oct 31 in Germany, this was the end of the North America tour. We are not sure which bands are going to Europe. I think the band is the same but you never know. Things change so much.
At ScotiaBank Place, the arena in Ottawa, Hannah had the band signing her US/Canada map. I was walking around and around the venue. Not sure what to do with myself on this bright, sunny day. No Verizon Wireless bus with The Wonder Girls and the Honor Roll. No Burger King Apple Fries, No Mike and Ike’s trucks.
I had been saying goodbye since Atlanta. Six concerts ago. First the Verizon Wireless recording studio, then the Mike and Ike staff (James and Sean), then Burger King and the rest of the Verizon staff. Said goodbye to Jordin in Ft. Lauderdale.
The Wonder Girls gave us comp tickets in Ottawa, Hannah and Rosie and me. It was a thank you for all of the times we handed out flyers, showed up to do the dance, wrote about the love we have for them.
After seeing the tickets, we decided to splurge on a front row ticket for Hannah and Rosie bought one for herself. They were good tickets, but they were too far away to interact with the band. They decided to give the comp tickets to someone who had the top seats in the arena. And that was fun to share with a mom and daughter.
In the concert, I sat alone and there was really no one to talk with on that night. I could feel the expectation rising inside of me wanting this to be the best concert ever and the afternoon and the evening felt flat to me.
I was not a part of this inner circle. Hannah had created with the band. I kept my distance to give my daughter the space to have her own experience without her mother tagging along. I am a 52 year old woman who is traveling with the youth. I reflected on how I was feeling out of place this evening. I was thinking that I was in the same place that I started in Dallas.
Then two girls called out to me during the break between Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers . Kelly and Julia. I looked around and realized that yes they were talking to me. I took a picture of them and thanked them for saying hello. They broke my pity party and the melancholy that had been creeping into the evening.
I made a conscious choice in that moment to enjoy the concert. And in that moment, I remembered that it truly is the journey and not the destination. I had flashes of all the amazing things that had shown up this summer. I remembered the moments when I felt connected. I met so many amazing people along the way. I feel like I have a new group of soul sisters: Lauren, Shelly, Susan, Abbie, Jen, Sandy and more. My younger soul sisters are Nicole, Kelley, Hannah, Stephanie and so many, I can’t even think of everyone’s name in this moment. You made the summer such an amazing journey.
And the people who kept me going on this journey, Laura, Karen D., Marty, Shelly, my parents, my aunt and uncle, Christina, Christine, Patty, Rob and more…
You all touched me along the way with your hearts and your support and encouragement.
With that transition, I appreciated every Jonas Brothers song, prank and dance move. I sang and danced until my feet hurt and my voice was hoarse. (Thanks Kelly and Julia!)
(Hannah will blog about this but here were some of the pranks:
-Jordin’s whole band coming on stage and doing the Honor Roll during the last Honor Society song
-Rachel and Leah, back-up singers for Jordin had a pretend fight scene during SOS and chased each other all over the stage (this was the funniest moment for me)
-Tape with some words on the back of Jordin’s dress
-Kevin’s piano on the stage was a miniature and he sat down and played it
-Nick reading signs to himself and not out loud.
-The whole crew coming on stage at the end with shirts about Big Rob Being For Real)
At the end of the evening, I danced in the aisle by the Wonder Girls during their meet and greet lines. They know me as Mama, the affectionate name they call me. I was embraced by all of them and by Woo and Moon and David and Hanna. It had been a wild ride for all of us.
I am not the same as when I started. Anytime you climb a mountain to reach a goal, something inside of you shifts. I will write about the Heroes Journey this weekend and give you a few more details.
(More blogs about specific concerts next week)