GET YOUR LED OUT
Somehow, when I was in my early marriage days, my husband at the time, his parents, his sister and her boyfriend coordinated a trip to Six Flags in New Jersey. This was before the one opened in Massachusetts and well before our son was a shiny beam of light in our lives so I am going way back here. Early nineties back. The fact that we all went somewhere together was a feat in itself, but that we chose a three day trip to an amusement park is definitely a head scratcher in hindsight. Nonetheless, it was one of the most hilarious and joyful trips I can recall in my young married life.
In the early days of marriages, back then anyway, young couples in my circle didn’t have much money so our vacations had to be a bit creative. Road trips were a little more cost effective, couple this with an amusement park and a discounted Marriot Residence Inn and a mini vacation is what we ended up with. Though I cringe at this combination now, this trip was well before I developed a taste for the higher end places to stay on the road less traveled, ignorance was indeed bliss.
Six Flags Amusement Park back in the early nineties was a really fun way to get out some stress. I didn’t realize any of this at the time as the six of us entered the park ready for the new Spiderman ride that had just opened. Dave and I got on this web of a roller coaster that turned us literally upside down on our heads as it twisted and turned for what seemed like an hour, but was probably more like ten seconds. Up, down, back and forth at a speed that took our breath away, the screams began on the first incline and never stopped. I screamed my guts out along with every other person on that insane ride. Then when the ride came to a screeching halt, we got off and stood in line again and did it all over again.
We went on every single roller coaster ride for the next two days together, we got Dave’s parents on a few and laughed so hard we almost peed our pants. We screamed and laughed some more and I can remember thinking how lucky I was to have landed in a family who would even consider traveling to an amusement park for a weekend. It was a memorable and happy three days and the amount of screaming and yelling on each ride was better than any therapy session I would find myself in my later years.
Getting the literal led out was what I did two nights ago at the Get the Led Out Led Zeppelin Tribute band concert I attended with two friends, one who is as big of a Led Zep fan as me. THE GREATEST ROCKBAND OF ALL TIME, was what I would drill into my son’s head and all of his friends when they were eight or nine who found themselves in my mini COOPER convertible rocking out. We arrived standing out like shiny white light in my friend’s white Mercedes SUV, my two friends looking like they were attending a tennis match more than a rock concert.
As we looked for a parking spot in the already packed venue surrounding the concert stage, I quickly realized that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. I mean we were never in Kansas to begin with, but attending a concert in the Indian River Campground in Webster, Mass was an experience you just can’t make up. On a river, Indian River to be precise, surrounded by camp areas with names like Conway Twitty and Gran Ole Opry packed with full on campsites each one set up to outdo the next one was a flash from my past that made me giddy. Dave and I used to go camping all over New England way before the term Glamping became a vocabulary word. I was one of these campsites and could totally relate to the whole super fun experience.
People were drinking, riding around in golf carts, the preferred form of transportation at seasonal campgrounds, smoking cigarettes like it was the 1970s and sporting Led Zeppelin T shirts as they proudly air guitared among each other. Smoke was everywhere as the lights from the stage with the river and the Indian River Princess Cruiseship as its backdrop showed the vapors. I looked at my friend amazed at the amount of blatant pot smoking everywhere when I realized, oh yeah, we are in Massachusetts, POT SMOKING IS LEGAL now! Everyone there looked and acted (me included) like they just stepped out of my high school yearbook except thirty-five years later. Throaty voiced women talking about yesteryear with their scraggly hair husbands hanging on to their hair of the past for dear life. AND IT WAS A BLAST.
I got to time travel Friday night with two of my dearest friends tailgating with bio dynamic wine (sorry I do have my standards) in the back of a white Mercedes eating Italian grinders and chips from Ricottis and screaming, singing and fist pumping my guts out. I danced and jumped and pumped and whoooo hooooed all night because I know the words to almost every single Led Zeppelin song. I was brought back to my life in high school like I was placed in a time machine. Back to the Future and for three hours it was just like I was on that roller coaster.
One thing I have learned from the wisdom of this past three years is to say YES to fun. To live in the parties, the gatherings and the playfulness of invites that come my way. Attending a Led Zeppelin tribute band who sounded just like Led Zeppelin on a Friday night was a non stop partying and gloriously happy evening. And yes we are going again. August 17th, Plymouth Mass if anyone out there cares to say yes to their own dormant selves. I got my led out and can’t wait to get it out again.