The sun rose in the desert and Day 3 of Coachella began. The final stretch. The home run.
We ate a light brunch at the hotel, sitting in the shade letting the water fans spray mist on our skin. We watched young people in their early twenties, dancing around the pool, drinking and burning themselves in the sun. I watched one young woman's skin turn leathery like a baseball glove.
After losing each other in the crowd a few times, James and I, as cheesy as we are, decided to wear matching shirts to the festival. Not from the same store, his from Country Road, mine from The Gap. Curious people on the shuttle asked if we were twins or at least related. Other festival staff at the bar and food areas thought it was fantastic and said it was the best way to find your friends in the sea of people.
The last time on the SHUTTLE
The shuttle trip on the last day seemed to take forever, possibly a sign to absorb as much of the experience as I could. Because in 24 hours, we would be boarding our flight home to Sydney and heading back to reality.
As we arrived, the vibe had changed as soon as we entered the gates. More people everywhere. It seemed crowded and busy in every area.
Because of the slow shuttle ride, we missed seeing Santigold which upset me at the time. But it was out of my control so I got over it.
I'll miss seeing these...
We drank Belvedere cocktails in the shade of the VIP tents and watched a really terrible band on the main stage. We walked right past Tony Hawk and my husband was pretty star struck. I had been spotting celebrities all weekend, including meeting Dita Von Teese and having chat with her in the VIP loos, but James is adamant that Tony was the best spotting of the weekend.
The Hives took the main stage and were absolutely brilliant. I've seen them before at Splendour In The Grass in Byron Bay, and they put on an amazing show at Coachella. By now, the crowd at the main stage was really swelling.
After The Hives, we headed to see The Weeknd, an upcoming hip hop singer from Toronto, Canada. The amount of drugs being smoked at this stage was unbelievable. Let's just say if you were an asthmatic, you would definitely struggle at Coachella.
The Weeknd in full force
His set was mind blowing. Such talent! All my favourites songs were played which always enhances a set for me. The sun was setting over the mountains, my eyes stung from smoke, dirt and sunlight. As the set was coming to an end, I had a real moment of exhaustion that took over me. Wondering how I could stay another 6 hours. Walking and weaving through the thousands of people in the crowd. I had a *slight* whinge to James who told me to promptly pull it together and get over it. So I did.
We decided to grab something to eat at this point and headed back to the food trucks to sample the Kogi BBQ truck which had the biggest line the entire weekend. We waited in line for over 20 minutes and started chatting with some local girls from Los Angeles. They worked in media and fashion, slightly predictable but very LA. They mentioned that the drug taking seemed to be really bad this year, more so than usual. They said they come every year, despite the lineup. Coachella to the locals, is about the experience. The camping, the music, the sun, the friends. We noticed many people weren't that interested in the acts playing, but just enjoying sitting on the grass, talking with friends, taking photos and just having fun.
We headed over to Calvin Harris who was playing in the huge dance tent on the other side of the festival. The crowd was really into it, the light show was pretty amazing so we headed into the VIP Rose Garden area.
Calvin Harris about to start
A few cocktails = husband reenacting scenes from Hot Shots
We grabbed a seat on a sofa with a prime viewing spot of Calvin playing his set.
Comfy sofa = festival win!
Calvin Harris - You Used To Hold MEEEEEE
His set wrapped up and back to the main stage we went, to see At The Drive In reunited for the first time in 10 years. The crowd was really beginning to peak now for the main act of Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre who would take the stage very soon.
Giant prawn sculpture that blew fire!
We contemplated braving the impossible crowds to see Florence and The Machine who was playing at a smaller stage but knew we wouldn't get back in time for a good spot to watch Snoop and Dre so we stayed put. I have tickets to see Florence in 2 weeks so I figured I would be seeing her back in Sydney anyway.
Finally, the crowd went silent. The stage was dark. From the moment Snoop and Dre took the stage, mayhem began. Both being local to the Los Angeles area, the locals were in 7th heaven. The special guests rolled out including Wiz Khalifa, Kurupt, 50 Cent, Eminem and of course, the infamous hologram of Tupac Shakur. Hip Hop royalty on stage at the same time. It was one of the best things I have ever seen.
I saw Snoop Dogg when he toured Australia a few years ago, but his show then felt really forced and I didn't enjoy it all that much. But his performance at Coachella was amazing. He played my absolute favourite song from his collection which had me dancing and swearing like a sailor.
As the last song was performed, we made a beeline for the exit and realised a few thousand people had the same idea. Luckily we stayed in front of the masses and boarded a shuttle bus promptly and headed home. It was over. I had done Coachella and it felt amazing. Just as I had hoped for, all these years.
We completed our nightly routine of speaking to the kids, showering the dirt off, and falling into bed. Knowing in 24 hours, we would be high over the Pacific Ocean heading home.
Our last facetime chat with the kids... Teddy looking so grown up after his first haircut.
The next morning we headed to the Cabazon Shopping Outlet in Palm Springs to do a quick spot of shopping. This turned into a 2 hour blitz in Nike, Gap, Converse and Ralph Lauren. James told me our suitcases were full and we simply could not buy anything else!
So in true shopper's form, I planned the route to Marc Jacobs in Hollywood for a few quick gifts. Then onto Century City for Kate Spade and a light dinner before bidding farewell to LA and returning our rental car.
We checked into our flight and waited to board. Reality hit and I just wanted to be home with my babies. Our flight was full of Zumba instructors, including the creator Alberto Perez and his legion of gorgeous Zumba freaks. James was lucky enough to be seated next to one of them. She was ridiculously beautiful. James was stoked to say the least.
Exhausted, James slept most of the way. I, on the other hand was kept awake from the severe turbulence we encountered for hours. I was calm about the situation, but also frightened. Thoughts of the movie Castaway came into my mind.
Coming into land on the A380
Finally, we descended, landed, and jumped into a taxi, zooming home to our babes. Teddy was so unbelievably happy to see us and Abi wanted to know every single detail of our holiday. They opened presents and sat in our laps and had to endure hours of kisses and cuddles from us both.
Abi in her new Coachella tee
Would I go again to Coachella? Absolutely. Next time, I will rent a villa closer to the festival. I will wear comfier shoes! I will take a small digital camera. I will arrive earlier and enjoy the smaller bands. I will ride the ferris wheel. But I'll be back for sure... One day...