Blame It All On My Roots.

On February 13, 2016 I crossed one MAJOR item off my bucket list.

I made a bucket list back in elementary school. It had a number of things on it: kiss a boy, write a book, meet Michael Jordan, hit a home run… things like that. (I was young. Don’t judge me.)

Since then I have updated and changed the bucket list but one item listed remained constant:

See Garth Brooks in Concert.

Y’all, I LOVE Garth Brooks. I always have. All through elementary school, middle school, high school, college, grad school, and post grad school I have listened to Garth Brooks. (So, all my life. Since I remember having the ability to remember.)

Sadly, Garth took a long hiatus from touring. I had to accept that it was very likely that I would never see him in concert.  I didn’t think he would ever tour again.

BUT THEN.

Then he started this tour. I wanted so badly to go when he was in Atlanta, but we couldn’t. I wanted so badly to drive to Tennessee or Florida but we just couldn’t. I let go of the dream. Even though thousands of folks were seeing him on stage I made myself accept I wouldn’t be able to go.

Then Garth Brooks added another stop on his tour. He added a stop in a state he hadn’t visited in around 17 years. MY STATE. SOUTH CAROLINA.

While I don’t know that the husband completely understands my love for Garth Brooks, he agreed we should try to get tickets. It was seriously *that* important to me.

Tickets went on sale and I spent…. an undisclosed amount of time at work hitting refresh. We didn’t get any. They sold so fast through TicketMaster and the ones on the other sites that buy all the tickets and resell them (bastards) were 3 or 4 times the original amount.

I felt devastated. I called the sister and I said to her, “I really thought this was something I was going to get to do.” My level of disappointment was semi-embarrassing.

I sighed and huffed and puffed and then got back to work. But something…something overcame me. I felt like… maybe I should try one more time to find us seats.

So I did. I checked one more time and WE GOT THE TICKETS.

“WE GOT F***ING GARTH BROOKS TICKETS!!!” is what I’m pretty sure my group text to the family said.

All this happened in December. Fast forward to February 12,2016.

The husband and I drove down to Charleston after work. We found and booked the cheapest hotel closest to the North Charleston Coliseum back in December so we felt like we were all set. The sister and her husband also booked a room there for one night; they were driving down on the day of the concert to go with us. All the hotels surrounding the Coliseum looked safe and clean and okay. So we didn’t feel super worried.

We drove the 3 long hours to Charleston and finally arrived at the Days Inn Charleston Airport hotel. I’m linking to the hotel because I need you to look at the hotel and see what you think. It seems like a lower-end but semi-decent hotel? Right? Kinda bad reviews but not the worst. Right.

So we arrived and right off the bat I’m like, crap. Crap. This…. this “hotel” looks like somewhere I might get murdered. But the husband stayed positive and kept reminding me we were here to see Garth Brooks and so we went and checked in at the front desk.

We sauntered off to the room and I swear I thought we might get knifed in the parking lot. It smelled like old garbage and smoke and there were sketchy folks meandering about but the husband was right – Garth Brooks.

The room key didn’t work in the door, so the husband kept trying the key and then turning the door handle and confusion set in. Did we have the right room? Yes. Every second that passed that we stood outside I expected to be punched in the back of the head by a stranger.

The husband finally stopped trying to force the door open and that’s when he saw the shadow of a person moving around in the room. Through the slight opening in the “curtain” on the window we saw luggage. Someone was already in that room.

We booked it back up to the check-in area and I tried to go inside. The front door was now locked and I had to talk to the lady through the small hole in the glass. That’s never good. Anyway, she apologized profusely and gave us another room and another room key.

We set off again and this time we had to walk all the way down to the back of the property, in the dark, through puddles of some foul-smelling substance and past a man walking around that looked like he may be talking to imaginary people.

Still, though. Garth Brooks.

So we make it to the second door, tucked away in a deep, dark crevice of the property, and the room key works! We open the door and immediately feel a blast of thick, hot, smoky air. As my eyes adjust I see a very dirty bowl on the nightstand and some knives spread out on the dresser. There is luggage in this room, too. Also, there is a person in there. Then, the room phone starts ringing – loud and shrill.

Am I describing a horror movie? No, no. This was our Friday night.

We slammed the door shut and scurried back to the car. At this point the husband’s positivity had run out. I locked the car once we were inside and I felt the tears coming. I think I murmured something like, “I just wanted to see Garth Brooks” as I put my head in my hands.

The husband took action and started searching for other hotels. He finally acquiesced that we could not stay in this murder hotel. Even if they gave us an empty room we ran the chance of having some other person getting our room key and walking in our room… like we just did to someone.

We checked for a hotel within an hour of the North Charleston Coliseum and we found that nowhere had an open room. I started calling all the hotels, choking back my tears, but everywhere was booked.

I called the Days Inn 1-800 number and explained what happened and begged for help. The lady that answered my pleading call was so nice…and so wonderful…because she found us an open room for the weekend in the Charleston Historic District for… an undisclosed amount of money.

After weighing our other options (sleep in the car or drive back home) we decided to pay for the hotel. (Thank you, tax return. Thank you.) We got the last available room and we left the murder hotel parking lot, a little shaken and in desperate need of a shower.

Just so you know that I’m not overselling the horror of this hotel for storytelling purposes, here’s some Google reviews (which I should have checked…I REALLY should have checked these) that prove my point:

review 1review 2

ANYWAY.

The hotel we ended up booking was a vacation changer because we were dead in the middle of historic Charleston. So on Saturday the husband and I woke up early and walked the entire day taking in the sights.

For the record, if you want to dress like someone from Charleston, here are your options:

  • A Patagonia Puff jacket (or similar variation).
  • Leggings as pants.
  • An expensive workout outfit (even though you aren’t at the gym and/or on a run).
  • Skinny jeans and brown riding boots.

THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE WAS WEARING. Except the husband and me.

We saw as many sights as we could before the concert. Once the sister and the sister’s husband arrived we went and had an early dinner at Fleet Landing Restaurant – incredible. So tasty.

And finally, finally, finally, it was time for the concert.

All I can say is that I think my head nearly exploded off my body from the amazingly awesome Garth Brooks performance. I screamed my face off. My throat hurt. My hands hurt from clapping so damn hard. I sang the lyrics (because, y’all, I knew them all) as loud as I could. Every time he finished a song he started another classic and I could hardly stand my excitement. It…it just rocked. It rocked so hard. I can’t even find the words.

February 13, 2016 = one of the best, most fun days of my life.

MKJ