While I kicked off birthday week in Vegas to see Usher in Residence, I actually celebrated my birthday with some of my besties in Houston for the inaugural Honeyland Festival. Have I said how much I love girls trips? You know there are going to be endless jokes, uncontrollable laughter, an abundance of shenanigans, and core memories locked and loaded. This is especially true when the “girls” in question are the very people who grew up with you as you transitioned from childhood to adulthood.
We met each other our first weekend of new student days/freshman orientation at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, of all places. Ya’ll know there weren’t that many black students on campus, so when we saw each other, it was a beacon of hope that we could create a sense of home away from home. Twenty-two years later, they are still home and I could not imagine my life without them. So, girls trips are life lines because it means spending quality time with each other. The Honeyland Festival was just the backdrop of some much needed girl time.
This was our first true outdoor music festival and I have lots of thoughts about the overall experience. I will say that it was the first ever, so that means we were guinea pigs and it showed. Logistically, things could have been better when it comes to parking/transportation, lighting (it got hella dark out there at night and that was mad unsafe), number of food options (omg the lines were insane), food and drink quantities to match the crowd (lots of underestimating how much food and alcohol was needed), and space for the food and drink stage (you couldn’t hear and there wasn’t enough space to sit).
The musical lineup was stellar and I enjoyed every single act that performed. Well, except Ms. Summer Walker. Baby, that was a snooze fest you hear me. I understand she has anxiety so I was trying to work with a sista, but she gave nothing. I’m not sure she wanted to be there. But I was there for Mary J. Blige and she didn’t disappoint. It was my first time seeing MJB in concert and I immediately transported back in time to middle school me when MJB burst on the scene with real love. Even after sitting outside in the cold and rain for 8 hours!!!!! She was a whole mood.
Growing up, I always loved the movies where groups of friends came together as adults and you got to see the depth of their relationship over the years. Longterm friendships are so crucial to our survival. It is something truly special about spending time with people who have known you through decades – they have witnessed your evolution and growth, been with you through the ups and downs of life, and have carried you as you became the woman you are today. Friendship is top tier! Get you some friends who will be your riders for life. Cheers to my crew, my tribe, my chosen family, my soul mates. AND, more girls trips in the future. I mean, how many is too many?