Thursday, January 31, 2008

What are the Odds?

You may remember that I was able to take Hannah to see Hannah Montana in concert in Tampa back in November. It was a great last outing with just the two of us before we went back to Ukraine for Kristina. I knew that a live concert would be unfathomable for Kristina, but Hannah and I spoke about how fun it would have been to have her with us.

Back in Decemeber, Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) announced she was extending her tour and including two shows in Orlando in late January. I knew it was a long shot, but I was going to try to get tickets for the three of us. On the morning of their release, I was on the TicketMaster website with my finger perched on the key to request tickets. Unforunately, the show was sold out in a matter of minutes and I never got my request through. As the concert date approached, I checked CraigsList and eBay frequently hoping to find reasonably priced tickets. No luck. The tickets were reselling for the most rediculous prices. Kristina asked this past weekend if we could go and I explained that there was no way.

Monday morning, I was sitting at my desk reflecting on that conversation. I did one last check of eBay and Craigslist and still didn't find anything. I decided to call the Orlando Ticket Master box office, but it was 5 minutes before they opened. As I hung up on the recorded messages, I remembered a friend telling me how she had gotten tickets the morning of a show once. I steeled myself against the idea of actually getting tickets to avoid the disappointment that inevitably laid at the end of the conversation with the box office. I watched the minutes tick by on the clock in my room and decided it couldn't hurt to try. This time I got a representative and inquired after tickets for that night's show. A long sigh came across the line, "That show has been long sold out, but I can check." The click of her keyboard was audible through the phone and then, "Hmmmmm. Actually, there are a few tickets. They must have just been released." "Wait, I don't think I understood you. Did you say there are tickets?" "Yes, but let me see where they're located. They may be singles and not together," she cautioned. "Hmmmm. Well, they actually really good seats, one row off the floor." Obviously, I took the tickets. The fact that we were able to get all of them for less than the cost of what one scalper's ticket in the top balcony section was selling for, made the deal that much sweeter. I printed the tickets and couldn't wait to get home to tell the girls. Want to see what that revelation looked like?




The concert was great, even the second time around. We were so close to the stage, it was unbelievable. Everlife opened the concert. They're a girl group, three Christian sisters, and they were actually very good. Miley's dad Billy Ray Cyrus had flown to Orlando for the concert and he came out near the end and performed some songs with her. So what did Kristina think of the whole concert experience? I'd already decided that she's a hummingbird trapped in a little girl's body. Imagine that at a rock concert and you get 3 straight hours of this:



and a little of this:




At the end of a very loud evening, I was relieved to know that home was just a 20 minute drive up I-4 rather than the nearly two hour trek Hannah and I had when we had seen the concert in Tampa. We made our way through the ocean of fans pouring out of the arena and headed towards the parking garage to join the endless line of cars already snaking around the building's perimeter. I directed the children up the stairs and onto the level we had parked the car. We walked to the end of the lot when Hannah made the observation, "Mom, where's our car?" I spun around to check the level number and we were in the right place. We walked back down to the next level where a group of police officers was gathered. "Um, excuse me," I interrupted, "My car is missing." "If its a Dodge Durango, then we're trying to find it now. We think it was illegally towed," he replied. I was only slightly comforted by the fact that it hadn't been stolen. My plans to be home and in bed before 10:30 were quickly slipping away. A security guard noticed that I was wearing my school ID and offered to let us wait in the School Board Complex next door until everything was sorted out.

It was nearing midnight before the officer explained that if we wanted to get home, we'd probably have to pay the tow guy and work out the details at a later time. The tow company had taken the car waaayyyy out by the airport to an impound lot. By the time we made it there, it was after midnight and the driver had left to go get another car! We waited twenty minutes for him to return and when he came back, there was no reasoning with the man. He demanded $125 in cash to release my car. Let me tell you, I was not happy about walking up to an ATM machine at that hour. The ATM only dispenses $20 bills, so when I returned and handed him $140 he smiled and said, "Sorry, I don't have change." "So you'll just take $120 then, right?" Robert pressed. He wasn't budging. "There's a 7-11 down the road and you can probably get change there," he persisted. It was cold, it was late, and the evening needed to end. We paid him his ransom money and got the car. The evening didn't exactly end like I imagined, but its never dull around here!

11 comments:

Kim said...

How incredible for Hannah to be able to share such a huge experience with her sister - how good of you to provide underwear! I can still remember the first concert my mom took me to. It was Amy Grant’s Unguarded Tour, we were a few rows from the stage and to hear her tell it we should be amazed either of us can still hear today. Your girls will remember that concert for the rest of their lives; and when they have daughters of their own, they will thrill at the squeals of their girls when they come home with surprise tickets for their daughters. It looks like acclimating to the American experience doesn’t seem to be an issue for Kristina!
(You are one of the best moms I know!)

Leslie said...

Isn't that the funniest thing ever??? I'm good for adopting and for underwear. Where does she get this stuff???

Nataliya said...

Wow, what an experience! First you got the tickets by some kind of magic, then your car was towed - you really don't have a dull moment in your life! I can't believe this tow driver was so mean to you, but I'm glad you finally got home and the girls have great memories for the rest of their lives.

Anastasia H. said...

I believe, you had a great time together. When Galyna saw this video and she said, "Dad, I want go too".
How arae yuo doing Kristina? How is school going? Did you call or write to Annya? How is she doing?
Say hi to everybody.

Vicki Taylor said...

I smiled my way through this post, Leslie. I'm so glad you have opened your lives to this sweet hummingbird.

Christine said...

How cool! What an awesome idea to call the morning of the concert. Thanks for the future idea!

Ashley said...

The video of Kristina and Hannah on the couch is the cutest video ever! I loved that you videotaped that! I am so glad ya'll were able to go and I am sorry about the ordeal with your car. You would think if it was illegally towed that you wouldn't have to pay anything. That is crazy!

Christine said...

My girls did go to the 3D movie. THey had a great time but I'm sure it wasn't as good ad the real thing. Just wanted to share.

maria said...

Hi Leslie - my name is Maria - we met at the hotel in Odessa - we adopted Sasha (Braslavskaya) from #5 - I was showing Sasha your blog and told her that I thought you lived in Orlando - we will be there next week and thought it would be nice if we good get together. My email address is msciarrino@univision.net
We leave tomorrow - so I will check my email - If I do not hear from you by then - I will leave my number. We are enjoying your blog - Kristina looks great and so happy! Hope to talk to you soon, Maria

Leslie said...

Hey, Maria! I sent an email to your work, but got the out-of-office reply. Email me when you get to town or call me at 407-227-9682. We'd love to see you again and let the girls visit!

Anonymous said...

Great story! It would be fun to hear what Kristina thought about Valentine's Day......
Cath Hendrickson
mom to 2 Ukrainian angel adopted 6 years ago from Mariupol, Ukraine