alive festival, ohio.
THIS is it. our very first festival as first-time roadies. did we think we were prepared? yes, i believe so. but were we? no, definitely not. we arrived in New Philadelphia, Ohio at midnight without a place to sleep and limited cell phone service. brilliant. we spoke of setting our tent up on nothing but a grassy flat spot. we considered sleeping in our car. let's call those 'plan B.' first, we made ourselves familiar with this sleepy town by hopping from hotel to motel to gas station asking for availability and room rates. we came across a goldmine: $49.95 for a TWO full size bed room. perfect! it was THE sketchiest and smelliest motel i have encountered, but it sure was glorious.
CAMPING. it's living a life of simplicity, right? oh yeah sure. but it is ridiculously hard. with a car packed like a can of sardines and humid weather that drenches you without hesitation, it's difficult to do anything quick and efficiently. i already miss having a refrigerator. dumping the melted ice at the bottom of a cooler and re-filling it with a bag of gas station ice (which will inevitably melt in a matter of hours) is slightly annoying. wearing flip flops to take a shower isn't my favorite thing to do. going to bed and waking up in a sweat is not so comforting. worrying about where the heck we put the bug spray is constantly in the back of our minds; the bugs in ohio just won't quit.
HOWEVER, while we were laying on our picnic table last night/this morning gazing at the stars, we agreed upon one thing: we would not trade this experience for anything. we are blessed.
...an adorable ventriloquist/puppeteer/model, maegan. she stumbled upon our booth to escape the wretched humidity, and graced us with her spunky presence!
...kindness and generosity in the shape of a man named Keith in the form of home-made ice-cream; free all day every day.
...YWAMers: Andrew, Katie, Bethany, Joy, and Peta. they were our vendor neighbors with beautiful hearts and souls. they even brought us doughnuts and blueberry pancakes one morning.
...eric and lisa. RockForLife vendors who turned out to be our camping neighbors and late night conversationalists.
IT is such a blessing; to have the opportunity to be the faces of MyFight. this amazing purpose. this beautiful goal to help end poverty. empowering women. helping them help themselves. giving them a sustainable gift... just by making and selling one t-shirt at a time. "do[ing] small things with great love."
WE discovered that New Philadelphia is home to the worst Walmart in existence. and of course, we visited this Walmart 4 times over the course of our 5 day stay. we also discovered it is more populated by fireflies than humans. it only has one semi-legitamte coffee shop, which we visited every single morning for wi-fi, coffee, and THE best french toast you will ever have. it enjoys blowing our tent over JUST so we have something to do after a long and exhausting day. who wouldn't want to search for tiny metal steaks and re-set up your tent at 11:00 in the evening?? it introduced us to some charismatic men (drae, sean, michael, and curly) in a laundromat. New Philadelphia was the setting of a whole new level of exhaustion for me and cate, that of which we have never experienced.
1 festival down, 4 to go!
DAILY reminder, for future reference: stay calm within the chaos.