After a few hours on the road to Phish at the PNC in Charlotte, NC, Kevin Coughlin was fast asleep and I was accidentally driving past Richmond, VA. Waking Coughlin in a panic, I pulled off the highway to adjust to the current dilemma. We found ourselves in a flea market parking lot, ate a banana with peanut butter (shared with Pig Pen, who proceeded to lick all the peanut butter off the banana), and GPS’d directions to Penny Lane Pub in Richmond, VA.
The Penny Lane Pub was quite a trip. British flags flew with pride adorning the outside of the conner placed storefront. Walking into the pub, one is awe stuck by the European feel of the space. A rusted copper fountain filled with monetary wishes, surrounded by grated metal tables and chairs, as one would see on the city streets in Italian provinces. This place was pungent with nostalgia. Posters and photographs of the ‘Fab Four’ (the Beatles) covered the walls of this dank wooden bar. The owner greeted us in his old-tymey English accent, explaining the specials that were displayed in a glass case infront of the host station. In the bar, scarves hung from the ceiling rendering the logos of classic Premiere League teams. This place had boat loads of character, as did the people who worked there.
The food was, as genuine as, the atmosphere. The bartender was friendly and happy to answer any questions we had, including one about the proper name of the scarves that soccer fans wear in Britain. P.S.: They are are just called ‘scarves.’ Coughlin ordered the ‘The Wally ’NS’ Johnson,’ a shepherd’s pie one would die for. I hopped on the ‘Ship Wreak,’ a burrito sunken in a vat of chili. We filled our stomaches and then some. Off we were, on our journey to Phish in Charlotte, NC.
After traversing country roads due to a detour off 95, from a presumably horrific accident, (exact details unknown). We inexplicably found ourselves camped out next to the FBI field offices in Prince William Forest, where it took some serious teamwork to get the tent erected and fire resurrected after the heavens opened up, raining down heavy droplets. The storm sang us to sleep.
Early to rise, Coughlin read his kindle until I emerged from my delicate slumber. We cleaned up the mess that raccoons had apparently left us some time during the night and escaped the state park to make it to Charlotte, NC in time for an enthralling episode of Phish wonderment.
After waiting in a queue of cars for about an hour, we parked and began organizing crystals and photography to sell on lot. As typical of a Phish show, we met many inspiring human beings and possibly a few aliens. No tickets were to be found on lot, so the box office was the only option. We bought tickets before the rush and were able to make it into the show for the second song, ‘Back on the Train.’
More to come!