July 7, 2009 was for a lot of people just another day, or maybe not… but definitely not for me! Not only it was the day of Michael Jackson’s memorial, but it was one more day, one more chance to see my men, but most importantly meet and hug/twug out my man of all times, Mr. Donnie Wahlberg!!!! 🙂
Yes, I know… I thought that going on a cruise with the guys this year would be the last thing for me to go to, and then I would just get down to serious business like work… But considering the last couples months and what I have gone through including a divorce, when upgrades to 5* VIP became available for Full Service Tour… I didn’t hesitate and bought one. Even though the show again wasn’t in Portland, especially when I took Donnie’s word from back in Frankfurt that they will be in PDX this summer, I settled for Auburn, WA. And I am soooooooooooooooo glad I did that!
So, here how the day rolled out…
I was way too anxious to get to the venue as soon as possible, but at the same time took my time. I left Redmond, WA (where I was visiting my Slovak friends for 4th of July weekend) in the morning around 10:45 AM, and to my surprise, I made it to Auburn in a little over an hour. I wasn’t sure if I was able to get in, since the parking lot wasn’t supposed to open up for VIP till 3 PM. I did pull in and once security guard has found me on the guest list, he let me in. It was noon, and there were only few cars in the parking lot. At first, I thought that there were some other fans, but they were just people who were supposed to work there that night. So, yes, officially I was the first Blockhead on the site!! I know, I am seriously a geek!!! 🙂
So, I sat in the car for about 30-45 minutes till I realized that I needed to go to a ladies’ room, but there was nothing around that would look like a place where I could go. So, I decided to drive around and ended up in Enumclaw, WA, which was another little town south of White River Amphitheater where the concert was supposed to take place. Once I ran my errands, I headed back to the venue but this time around they wouldn’t let me in anymore… 🙁 so I kept on driving back towards Auburn to find a spot where I could hang out till the time is right to head back. I found this very cute little coffee shop where I ended up getting a cappuccino suspecting that I might need the extra caffeine as the night could end up being quite long for me.
I got back to the venue by 3 PM and I could already see some fans in the lot, plus few familiar faces that I have met back in November of last year in Tacoma, WA, including Kerri who had 5* for her daughter’s 10th birthday as a surprise. I could already feel the excitement about coming and meeting the guys again, seeing them live and meeting up with all these girls that I’ve talked to online for some time but have never met in person. As we were standing there in the parking lot and trying to figure out where we should go or stand to possibly get a glimpse of the guys driving into the venue… all of a sudden we saw a white van to pull in with someone sitting inside. Our first thought was that it was Donnie, as he was wearing a baseball cap, but he was covering his face so we couldn’t tell for sure. I got ready with my iPhone to take a picture as the van was approaching us. Then he removed his hand away from his face to wave at us, and that was when we all realized that it was Joey. Not only he waved at us, but he gave us this big smile and that was when I froze up…so sorry.. I’ve got no picture to share…:(
As it was getting closer to 4 PM, and I started to receive sms messages from girls from my group for meet & greet, I had to go and find them. So, here we were, waiting in line to get checked in… At this point we still had few girls missing. As we got in with our bags of swags and got our groups assigned, we realized that half of us were in group B and the other half in group D. Before I knew it, girls started to swap their groups with some other girls but then quickly realized that I was the only one who got left out in group B. At first I was bummed, but then when I realized that in group B was a Donnie spot still open, I got excited as in the other group I would have been with either Danny or Joe. I mean, I wouldn’t mind either way, but still… there is only one Donnie and would have never pass up a chance to be next to him one last time 🙂 So, I got to spend some time with my new group, got to meet my girl Karren from Alaska, who is also known as Donnie’s Chocolate Truffle, as well as Rachel and her friend Shawna who also got picked to volunteer for Joey’s “Let’s Get This Foundation” before the show. They all have been on the cruise, but we didn’t start talking till after and finally met on this day.
I also found the merchandise stand where I just HAD to buy Full Service Tour program; especially after finding out that there were three pictures from the cruise inside of it where I was in!!! They are maybe small, but what the heck, I am still in it!!!! 😀 Plus, there was a new version of a track jacket in a new forest green color that I just had to have!!! Those things are just soooooooooo comfortable, so why not, right?
It was getting closer to the time of our Meet & Greet and I knew that I had to be close by, as I was the second group to go in. What was cool about this venue was that you were in the same room waiting as the photo ops where taking place. There was just a partial “curtain wall” separation, but you could see the entrance where the guys would walk in. So I was close by waiting to get a early glimpse of them with my group. The guys weren’t even in, but I could already feel the adrenaline rush, all the excitement running through my entire body. I was like a 5-year old… probably totally making a fool out of myself, but at least I knew I wasn’t the only one 😀
…and here it was… the guys started to walk in… I had my iPhone in my hands but everything was happening so quickly that I started to move and look around all frantically trying to take a good pic of something or someone meaningful. All I got was one of Donnie when he peeked out from behind a pillar, but it was all blurry.. 🙁
Then it was time to get in line. Get rid off any belongings and head in. This time, I was determined that I will need to say hi to everyone, as I haven’t done that before. I was the last person from our group walking in and the first person I saw was Donnie who walked away from everyone towards a table with beverages where one of the girls headed straight to him.
The first one in line was Danny, but my new friend was already talking to him about her great weight loss achievement. Danny was in a great mood and told us that he feels great and fit and I don’t even know how, he offered us to feel his abs… and you know that we just couldn’t pass up that opportunity and went for it 🙂 I wanted to say few more words to him, but I knew that there wasn’t much time left and there was another girl who came by to say hi to him. It is just every time I see him, I think of my brother Robert or how we used to call him Kuko. He was his biggest fan and looked up to him because he wanted to have a body one day like his. So, at least I gave him a big hug and thanked him while suggesting at the same time that I hope than one day he will teach us some tips on great workouts.
After that all I could hear people shouting that we need to get ready for the pictures, so I rushed over to Joey to give him a hug. As I was waiting for my turn, I saw Jordan who was standing off to the side looking a little sad (later I realized that he was sick, but he was a real trooper during the show singing all the way through), so I said hi to him before I got to Joey and thanked him too. I also thanked Jordan for the great time I had with them at the cruise and he smiled at me saying: “Oh, you were there? That is great that you had fun!” Then I got to Joey and gave him a quick hug.
And again, there was that shout out at us to get back in line for the picture. So when I frantically turned around, there was Donnie who looked at me with his arm out calling me towards him. I must have looked lost at first, but not for very long. I snuggled up next him with his left arm around my neck. I couldn’t help it and asked him when they are FINALLY going to come to Portland. He responded: “Seattle is close to Portland”. I told him that I know that but tried to remind him that in Frankfurt he reassured me that they will come this summer during the tour, which ended up not happening. He looked at me and said: “I will come to Portland to hang out”. So I asked him again when is that going to be? All I could say was that hopefully I will be still in Portland when he decides to come. Then someone yelled: “Picture time!” and all I know that Donnie gently grabbed my head with his hand and put it on his shoulder while holding it. So, there was our first pic… 😉
I know I kept talking, don’t remember much of it anymore though… it all became a blur to me… Someone yelled again: “Picture time!” and Donnie told me look ahead and pointed with his right hand to the camera for the pic. And there it was…
Everyone started to rush us out to get next group in. As I started to walk away, I turned around as I didn’t want to leave yet and came back to Donnie for another hug and to say thank you again. Then it was time to leave.
As I was walking out, I realized that I still didn’t say hi to Jon, so I came back and said thank you to him as well and gave him a hug.
I felt great and proud that I did get a chance to hug them all and thank them for the great times and memories that I’ve made with them. No matter what people say or might think of me, I am happy to know that they are a part of my life. Even without being physically present in my life 24/7, there were there for me when I needed them the most during rough times without them even realizing it. It might be hard to comprehend for some, but I know that memories like these can help you in time in ways you might never even think of or be aware of.
Anyway… some of us went outside where we got a short glimpse of Joey who peeked out for a bit. I took another priceless shot of him with my iPhone 😀
Thankfully, Amy had it more together than I did at that point, so her pic is sooooooooo much better than mine 😉 Thank you sooooooooo much for sharing it with me!
After the M&G we got to mingle a little and then slowly started to move inside the venue. When I got there, Jabbawockeez were already on the stage. At first I was in section 4 row 14 (which was already an “upgrade” for me from section 104 row 9, but when I noticed Amy and Barb sitting up closer and I didn’t want to be alone before the guys came on stage, I went ahead to hang out with them who were in section 5 row 1.
Then they pointed out to me Melanie all alone, who was in section 2, in the last 7th row right in front of them, so then I went by her. And pretty much got to stay there the entire concert!!! Wow, still can’t believe it!!!
The next act was Jesse McCartney, who I still don’t who he really is. He wasn’t bad at all, in fact his songs were pretty catchy, but we all know who I came there to see in the first place. And they eventually showed up, a little after 8:30 PM. At first I tried to multi-task by taking pics and videos with both my phone and the camera… but then my phone’s battery died, so my hands got a little freeier (is that even a word? :D) and started to take one shot after another. 🙂
This is one of my favorite songs “One Song” from their latest album “The Block” starring my man, ddub!
Concert was truly amazing, but I am sure for all those who were there, the highlight moment for all of us was during Tonight when majority of fans in the venue pulled up all their “THANK YOU” signs and would hold them up for the guys to see. I think Jordan was the first one to notice who was standing in the center stage, but I was looking at Donnie of course who was on the left side, my side with his back to the crowd. When he turned around, I don’t think he knew what hit him. The reaction of all the guys was priceless. They sang through the song just looking around but once the song was over, the fans kept screaming, stumping, hitting the chairs.. I mean it was LOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUD. I didn’t know whether to take pictures or not, but that was when I took this video to remember and relive this moment later down the road.
Before we knew it, the show was over. There were a lot of girls who had plans to go to Denny’s after the show in hopes that maybe Donnie might make an appearance. He is famous for liking to go to Waffle House after the show, but since there isn’t one in Pacific Northwest, we weren’t so sure if there was a chance for anyone to show up. I wasn’t ready to call it a night and head back to Portland yet, so I went in with most of my girls. We were all following Twitter to get an idea who was going where. There were any tweets from any of the guys, except Rob Lewis and Ethan Farmer (band members) who were planning on going to downtown Seattle where Rob was supposed to perform. Nevertheless, I still tweeted the guys, as well as many of the other girls, about our open invitation at Denny’s. By the time we got our food, I had time to recharge both my phone and my camera batteries, as they were both dead.
Melanie, who is from Vancouver B.C., was getting tired and anxious to head back home. She left around 1 am, as none of us thought anything would happen. We were getting all ready to wrap up and split our separate ways. Plus I had to drive about 170 miles back to Portland, get some work done and have my wisdom tooth taken out that very same day.
Few minutes after Melanie left, and we were just sitting there… we heard some girls up front (as we were sitting the bar area) to start screaming. We all jumped up not knowing what was going on. I grabbed my camera and ran towards the door where there was already a hurdle of girls, but all I could see was Donnie & Joey walking in. All I can say, PERFECT TIMING!!! 🙂 “Lights, Camera, Action!”
Here is a video released from NKOTB, and yes… you can see me there a little too. Thanks Earl for doing such a great job filming it!!! 🙂
After that Donnie mentioned something that they didn’t have a boom box with them, so we will have to sing without music. But some people shouted that there is music in the bar, so him and Joey yelled: “Let’s got to the bar!” Since I knew where to go, I just turned around and rushed there quickly without even looking whether anyone was following. When I stopped and turned around, there was Joey walking in, so I said hi and asked him if we can take a pic together. He grabbed my camera and said “sure”. And here it is.. 🙂
I still remember the days at the cruise and running into Joey’s and Danny’s dad on numerous occasions. They were both so sweet that with my friend Kelsey and her mom, we bought pictures of both dads that were taken of each person getting on the ship and gave it to Danny’s dad to pass it on to the boys. I asked Joey whether he got that pic of his dad from the cruise and at first he said that he got so many of them… but when I clarified that it was the “official” cruise picture, he seemed to remember what I was talking about and said thank you. 🙂
I was going to go after Donnie next, but for whatever reason they all decided to head back, so he was gone before I knew it. I didn’t waste any time and followed them, and in fact got pretty close to take a pic of him and shoot another video. 🙂
Here is the same video from another angle made by my friend Dolores, so here I can be actually seen in it… 🙂
Donnie wanted us to sing another song, “Full Service”… but no one would start… So at one point he turned, looked at me and said: “Ok, you start singing it!” I asked: “Me?” like I had a hard time believing that he was in fact talking to me out of all these people. And he said: “Yes, you. Start singing Full Service”. You can only imagine how I must have felt, and as I didn’t not expect it, the only thing that I was able to get out of me was: “Right now, I don’t even know how to speak English and you want me to know the lyrics to Full Service?” and then I just nervously laughed… and he just smiled back at me… Trust me, I LOVE that song… but I seriously wouldn’t even remember even my name at this point. 😀 Before I knew it, we all started to sing “I’ll Be There”… at one point Donnie said that we should grab a hand of the person standing next to you, so you know which hand I grabbed, right? 😀 So, YES, I did held Donnie’s hand while singing “I’ll Be There” to remember Michael Jackson. And here is a video to prove it 😉 (Thank you again Dolores for sharing this video)
After that people started to take more pics and I was ready for my last chance to take one with Donnie. I didn’t want to be pushy, so I kindly let the other girls around me to go while patiently waiting for my turn. And there it was, I was ready to step in, but all of a sudden Donnie and Joe started to head for the door. I wanted to follow, but there was this girl in a wheelchair and just didn’t want to become fanatic while jumping over her to get my pic with Donnie, so I just let it go making sure that the girl was ok, as she seemed very scared that people would just run her over. I was bummed that once again I didn’t get my picture with Donnie where he in fact looks into the camera, as this time I made sure it was on at all times… not like on the cruise. 🙁 Anyway…
Even though I didn’t get my picture, I was still ecstatic about everything. I never expected to guys show up at Denny’s and THEY DID. This was just like a cherry on top of your cake. Not only I had a great time at the concert, got to meet the guys, hug and thank them all, but got to hang out with them after the show at Denny’s. However, most importantly, I got to meet so many great ladies that day and create new friendships that I would have never probably met if it wasn’t for our common passion, obsession or whatever you want to call it for our men from NKOTB!
So, once again, THANK YOU guys for everything that you are doing, for coming back into our lives and being the way you are! ? you all and hope to see you all soon again. Before then, rest up some, enjoy your time off with your family and friends and come back to us soon. We’ll be waiting for you as we’ve always been!