Sometimes in life, the spontaneous decisions end up being the most memorable. I'm not talking about going out on a whim and doing something stupid without any wisdom (i.e. the YOLO mentality that so many teens have today), BUT sometimes a little adventure with wisdom is worth it all.
It all started when I went to go see the Backstreet Boys reunion tour this May. I've been a huge fan of them since I was like 7 yeas old, and I even went to see their reunion tour (the one without Kevin *tear* back in 2009). It just didn't do me justice. As soon as I heard they were coming back -- WITH Kevin -- I knew it would be epic. To put it simply, the show was amazing. Everything I could have hoped for. But for some reason it wasn't enough. At the end of the concert as we were leaving we saw this sign for an after party with the boys for $75. I think we were all so out of it/ tired/ on a high from the show that none of us really made a proactive decision to go to the party. The day passed, I go back to work; back to reality. For some reason that Tuesday at work I just had an itch. I wasn't done and wanted more BSB (cue my inner jr high fanatic, but that's what I felt!). Anyways, I randomly decided to check their tour dates that were still to come. Lo and behold, they were headed to Vegas for a show Friday and Saturday night. Mind you, I had never been to Vegas either and it was kind of like the stars just aligned -- I. Had. To. Go. Hand shaking, I took out my phone and texted a few of my girls to see if anyone would even be remotely down to join me on this adventure. After a few "are you crazy's?!" one of my really close friends texted back with a simple "YES." And the rest is history.
My friend Sep and I embarked on this entire fiasco, staying up til 1am that Tuesday night, booking tickets/ picking hotels/ dying of laughter at our spontaneity. Friday couldn't come any faster, but as soon as I got out of work that evening, it was on. We flew out and the plane ride itself was the beginning of a story that seems like it was almost out of a movie.
We ended up upgrading our seats a few rows so we moved up quite a bit. As soon as the plane was about to take off this woman comes rushing in, trying to catch the flight. As she's catching her breath she realizes her seat's been taken (right across us). Funny enough, the seat next to me was empty so she takes it. We don't talk the entire flight but as soon as we were landing, I peered out the window and was admiring the lights on the Strip. She asks, "Oh is this your first time in Vegas or something?" And I replied and told her surprisingly it was. She proceeded to ask if we were going to see any shows while there and I said, "Yeah, don't judge us but we're actually here to see the Backstreet Boys tomorrow night." She laughed and said, "Wow same here. I actually was just at their other show in the Bay Area last weekend too." Right then, Sep and I knew we had found a friend. Another believer, if you will ;) We went on to have a little bonding sesh and then found out the good stuff -- drumroll please -- she ended up being best friends with the Backstreet Boys' head of security. The second she said that I was like, ok this is it. We have to make something happen right now. Sadly she didn't offer any backstage access or a chance to get in the concert for free or any of my other fantasies so I gave up. We get off the plane, head out, and that's that. Suddenly, she asks us if we want to share a cab since our hotels were so close. We said sure and get in the cab. During the drive I noticed her texting a LOT. As soon as we were about to arrive at her stop, she turns to us and says, "What are both of your full names?" *Cue stars in eyes.* She goes on to say, "It's your first time in Vegas, I want to make it memorable — I'm getting you meet and greet passes to their after party tonight.
I kid you not, we were both like kids on Christmas morning, shocked with no words to express our joy. As soon as she got out of the cab and left, I started screaming like a true 11 year old girl. Our driver got back in the car and had to ask if everything was ok. LOL. We were beyond giddy. Now mind you, we had bought tickets to their concert and after party for Saturday night but this was Friday. So it wasn't even on our agenda but we just went with it. (In addition, we didn't even have a meet and greet ticket, just access to the party party, which we both had no idea what it would entail).
Even more funny, we come to realize that this after party is being held in our hotel. The hotel we randomly decided to pick out at 1am a few nights before. We check in around 11pm, get ready in a hurry, and rush over to the club. The line was out into the casino floor, but we went up with confidence and poise. In that moment I felt like true VIP royalty. As soon as we mentioned our connection's full name (after a minor glitch), it was like we were Obama and the First Lady. They opened up the velvet ropes, gave us every VIP/ backstage ticket possible and led us up the stairs through the elevator to the roof of the club.
And then it happened -- we met the boys. They walked in and for a second it almost felt like just seeing your friend out at a club and reconnecting. They were so friendly and down to earth that it seriously felt like we knew them. In that moment all I could ask myself was, "Ok what do you say to BSB?" And we just walked up to them as if they were our best friends -- "Hey guys!" -- to which I was greeted back with a "Hello beautiful" from Howie D. We took our photos, had a few moments with them (which of course, I couldn't contain myself long enough and blurted out a "I've been in love with you since I was 8" to Kevin).
The crazy thing was, maybe 2-3 people after us, they decided to shut down the photo taking since it was taking too long. The line still had maybe 50+ people in it. Again, divine favor or WHAT?! From that point on, the guys were literally partying with us in the club. We stayed out until 3am, watched Nick Carter DJ, and danced the night away. Which of course included following them around til we got a selfie with each and every one of them. And of course, I went in for the kiss with Kevin. Mind you, interesting point to note is that I was actually air kissing him but he leaned in for complete contact. [I can die happy.] It was epic to say the least.
We were on cloud 9. And this was only night one. Way to enter Vegas with a bang right? The rest of our trip consisted of hotel admiring, walking, pool lounging, eating, napping, and even me reuniting with a really good friend that I hadn't seen in ten years since our 8th grade graduation. It was perfect. The next night we went to the concert which was almost even better than the first one I went to. YET AGAIN, our lives were made when AJ decided to run off stage during one of their songs and run into the audience. Which row does he run to? Of course us. We were two away from the aisle too so he legit was in our faces, singing .. and holding the girl next to me. Like, I couldn't write this if I tried -- it was so so meant to be for us. And I'll leave it at that.
Finally, the last part of the whole trip -- which makes the above occurrences so much more worthwhile was when it was time to head to the after party (this was the one we actually had tickets for). We ended up making a stop at another club before the party, thinking it would be fine since the night before they strolled in around 1am. Long story short, we get back to the after party and see a pretty empty club. Barely any action and a slump in the all-around mood. We find out - they came for ~20 minutes, took a few photos, and left because it was their "mellow night" and they were tired of partying from the night before. No Nick DJing, no selfies with AJ, no kissies with Kevin. Imagine our dismay. Here we were, so confident from the night before, ready for part 2 with our boys -- and they were gone! All of these girls who had tickets to the after party were standing there in disappointment. I was on the edge of tears but kept telling myself, "Wait. Last night happened to you. Remember that."
And with that, we realized how kindred our decision to take this trip was. Everything that happened from start to finish was golden. It will seriously be an experience I treasure for a lifetime with a friend that was the perfect travel partner. In a sense it brought us even closer to share a memory like this together. It was seriously perfect. And while I'm pissed I had paid for a ticket to a party when they barely even showed up, the spontaneous memory I hold of how Friday night went down is probably one of the best moments I have to cherish. And makes for an epic story too, right?
The cherry on top of all of it was the way my cousin put it, "Imagine if you told 8 year old Naseem that this would happen to her one day." And that kind of just let it all sink in. As sad as one might think it seems, it truly was a "dream come true" in a sense. I wouldn't trade it for anything :) :)