By Louisa Cohen
After months of bone-soaking rain, Olympic nausea, and work work work – I knew a vacation was in order. With my best friend in LA and a gaggle of hot Toronto broads needing a break as well, we planned a trip to meet in the City of Angels. On a whim, and with already aching VISA bills, we bought tickets to Coachella, the infamous three-day music festival in the desert catered to cutting edge music fans and trust fund babies alike.
Join us. You must be this tall to ride.
(Part One) Ludacris, Border Control, and Mixed Emotions.
5:45 am and my alarm goes off… I lay in my bed wondering what the hell the noise was. HOLY SHIT! Today was finally the day. Erin (my BFF Forevs) had previously tried to return from Vancouver to LA, post-Olympics. She had some issues and had to stay in the city. We were hopeful (wishful, maybe) that she would make the border cross this time. After all, it was going to be her 27th birthday, we were meeting 8 girlfriends there, and we were hitting Coachella.
Puppy handed off to moms, us girls hopped into the car with pops, and we were already discussing what celebration drink we were going to have on the plane when Erin made it through customs.
Goofing off in Alaska Air’s lineup, I became even more titillated about our trip when Erin nudged me. It was Ludacris and entourage. If you don’t know this yet, I have a major (imagined) love affair with Ludacris. The flame still burns hot. I even constructed our tabloid-blog celebrity combo name. We were Lu-Squared.
He looked stunning in simplicity; jeans, grey/silver track jacket, and some black sunglasses…and an entourage of four big big boys. I was so overcome with excitement and joy, but didn’t want to flip out… after a mimed freak-out I simply said “OMG I am so tweeting this.”
Luda and crew passed through security like a breeze; us, a tornado.
Our shoes came off, laptops came out, eyes were scanned as Erin opted for a pat-down and I chose the new body scanner x-ray. I was flagged for having hair elastics in my pocket. Then we reached what was truly our first checkpoint for potential disaster – the customs desk. I knew Erin and I being separated was a huge possibility at this time, so I was trying to stay positive. We were having a lucky day so far… right?! Behind her in line, I could hear bits and pieces… after a ten-minute conversation filled with pregnant pauses – she was sent through the double doors. If Erin was being let into the US, I had to find out waiting for her on the plane.
Waiting at the gate I was a jumpy bag of nerves: would Erin get in? Will I see Ludacris again? Am I drinking too much coffee? My blackberry was buzzing off the hook from my parents, friends in LA, Toronto, and Vancouver all wishing us luck and inquiring whether she made it…or not. I waited as long as I was allowed and started to aimlessly walk down the hallway to the plane doors – and found myself smack dab in the middle of Ludacris’ crew and their private escort onto the aircraft. Luda and I were literally walking side-by-side onto the flight; I let him pass in front of me after a while as his entourage boarded first. The second I heard that Atlanta drawl when he said “Thank you, thank you very much,” I had a silent O.
Back to reality, sitting my seat, waiting to see if Erin would show up. Thinking of ways to seduce the man no longer distracted me, we had a flight attendant that was a Nikki Minaj look-alike and was winning that race on that one.
‘Prepare for door closing.’
And with that… we were down a member of the team, I was no longer going to be with my best friend on what was ironically her birthday trip to LA. The most important team member was cut, and I was set to land in LAX alone.