How I Spent My Wonderful Halloween

Fest 11 was just last weekend, and a friend and I traveled from New York down to Florida to attend. Just as our luck would have it, our flight back on Monday would have coincided almost exactly with Hurricane Sandy hitting NYC, so of course we were stranded.  I know what you’re thinking, we should have been happy to be out of the fray and given more time in sunny Florida.  Fear not, I still found things to complain about!

After way too many hours on hold with Delta, I originally thought we’d get a plane back to New York Tuesday, Wednesday the latest.  We made arrangements to stay for a few extra nights and went back to enjoying Fest.  Come Monday morning, we hear from Delta again that they’re anticipating a week-long closure of New York airports. Unhappy of the prospect of being stuck in a $160 per-night hotel room and worried about our family back home, we decided to make it a road trip.  I rented a car from the airport, drove up to my grandparent’s house for a day to let the roads clear up in the northeast, and then started the long journey back home.

Filling up right next to a fireworks store in South Carolina. Smart!

While some of my friends were using Halloween (and power outages) as a reason to get drunk on a weeknight, we were drinking red bull and eating the finest snack foods that rest stops have to offer.

No Halloween would be complete without a spin or two of AFI’s All Hallow’s EP, so thanks to Spotify’s mobile app we were able to listen to great tunes like “The Boy Who Destroyed the World” and the excellent cover of the Misfits’ “Halloween.” If AFI ever gets around to recording new music, I really hope they go back to this old style.  This EP and their album Answer That and Stay Fashionable were among my first forays into the punk section of my local record store, so they’ll always be old favorites of mine.

As an aside, after seeing about a thousand billboards on the way up, we stopped at the ON THE BORDER in South Carolina.  I’ve never been, despite knowing of its existence, and was actually getting excited as we got closer and closer.  Now, let me say that I mean this in the nicest, most inoffensive way: that place is the worst.  I couldn’t even drive through the whole (half?) mile stretch, I had to turn around, use the gas station and get the hell out as fast as possible.  It’s supposed to be a tourist trap, but I could barely spend 10 minutes there. Something about it simultaneously creeped AND bummed me out. Sorry, weirdos who own On the Border.

Such amazing sights on I-95!

The trip took about 17 hours, which could have easily been much longer.  I was a little worried about the condition of the Jersey Turnpike, but since we hit it at about 10:30PM, it really wasn’t a problem.  I rolled up to my house a little before 3AM for some much-needed sleep.  We came back to power-outages and long gas lines, but it was good to be back to help out my family after Sandy.


Favorite album for the ride? Frank Turner’s recent collection Last Minutes and Lost Evenings. Was Fest 11 worth all the trouble? I’ll see you there next year!


We’re almost on the guestlist, but we’re always stuck in traffic