This weekend has been a long one. I thought that when I made the decision not to go back to Alaska, I was done traveling long distances for short periods of time. Apparently, I was wrong. This weekend I traveled from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Los Angeles, California for Z Berg’s prom. I packed up my car at four in the morning on the 31st and set out on a three-hour drive to Chicago, parked my car at a hotel and caught a four-hour direct flight to LAX. Thankfully the timing worked out that I managed to land in LA at the same time that my friend Dezzy’s flight from Florida landed. We were supposed to pick up our rental car from HERTZ then but apparently, I failed to scroll all the way to the bottom of my confirmation email to read the fine print and so we ended up taking an Uber to our hotel in San Gabriel. With hotels, I get pretty lucky because my real-life job is as a night auditor at a Hilton brand hotel. This means I get pretty nice discounts at Hilton hotels all over the world. So, we stayed at the Hilton Los Angeles/San Gabriel and I got to say it would have definitely been worth the full price to stay there. It’s a beautiful hotel and the staff were all super nice.
Since we’d gone without our rental car for the first day Dezzy and I had to cram all of our tourist plans into the same day as the Prom, but we still made it work. We got a rental car from the Turo app delivered to our hotel in the morning and were able to get out to the Griffith Observatory to see the Hollywood sign, sadly it was an overcast day so there wasn’t much to see from up there so we headed downtown to see the stars. I think we managed to find most of the ones we wanted to see but large crowds like that aren’t really my cup of tea and I was not a fan of all the costumed people touching me (I’m talking to you Spiderman).
With how quick this trip was we didn’t really have time to do too much, we missed out on using the hotel’s pool though with the grey weather it was probably for the best. Prom was scheduled to go until one AM, so we set some time to get back to the hotel and rest beforehand, Dezzy had to be at the airport at four am so we knew we’d be getting no sleep. We also wanted plenty of time to get all fancy for Prom (I bought an off the shoulder dress specifically to show off the black parade lyrics I have on my shoulder and was ridiculously excited when someone actually noticed them).
Prom itself was the real adventure. I did attend my high school prom though it was all very last minute, so I didn’t get to fully enjoy it and Dezzy wasn’t able to attend so this was a bit of a do-over for both of us. It was so fun to see everyone dressed up in their best just standing in line in the parking lot of the Garbaldina society. Once inside everything was just the right amount of chaos for a prom. The atmosphere was very relaxed, there was dancing, drinking, photos, and some really good music. Z was just as delightful on the stage as she is online.
The music played that night was a great mix and you could really tell that everyone was just having fun performing. It was more like a bunch of friends hanging out and jamming than a real organized concert and I feel that it was a really unique thing to experience. Z Berg performed new and old songs with a diverse cast of characters from Dan Keyes to Alexander Greenwald. Naia Izumi, self-proclaimed “weirdest person” performed a couple great songs. The legends Wendy and Lisa played an amazing set including a couple songs they co-wrote with Prince. Seeing Ryan Ross was exceptionally exciting for the fourteen-year-old emo kid inside me, getting to meet him would have probably killed the past me (I’m trying to get better at this whole, meeting my idols thing. You should have seen me meeting Jon Walker in 2014). The performances ended with the whole crew getting back up on stage and having a blast as they performed “All out of tears”.
The end of the night got a super chaotic as everyone rushed about to meet Z and Ryan, there was a lot of confusion and everyone’s emotions were running pretty high. Sadly in all the Chaos Dezzy and I ran out of time. We were able to get pictures with Ryan and a bit earlier in the night pictures with Gabe Saporta who was there hanging out, but I missed out on getting a picture with Z because the clock struck two and we needed to return to the real world.
In all, I think we made the most of the trip that we could have. I think that next time I’ll plan a little more time in LA because we had less than forty-eight hours this time and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be exhausted for days. Prom was certainly worth the trouble of getting to it and I’m definitely going to try and get out there next time Z Berg and friends decide to put on a show.