This whole trip can be described with two things: long roads and panic. Long roads, for the endless 4 ½ hour drive through three states. Panic, for my heart attack the night before.When I planned this trip three weeks in advance, I probably should have thought about buying some tickets. After all, if you’re going to travel 233 miles, it’d be good to know you have a purpose for doing it. Going all the way to upstate NY for a show, without having tickets would be INSANE! Hello, my name is Lori and I am insane. In every one of my Gutenberg! experiences, this show has never been sold out, and I thought the same would be true with Ithaca. When I went online three days before, the box office site had 10 seats together and the show had already been running three weeks. There wasn’t going to be a problem, I was SURE of it.Then I went online at 1am on Friday night. In an effort to see what kinds of seats were still available, I did my 10-ticket bit and waited for my options. There were none. Okay, fine, I thought. Let’s shoot for 8 tickets. Still not available. 6 tickets? Sorry. 4? Uh uh. 2 tickets? Nope.My heart stopped.I thought for a second I might have gone blind, but the computer’s bright screen was telling me otherwise. There were no pairs of tickets available and I was going to die. My whole Saturday had been planned around a 4-hour drive to Ithaca and this damn show was sold out for the first time in my life!

I tried to breathe calmly.

In a last-ditch effort at sanity, I tried to buy a single ticket and ended up being successful. Yes! One ticket was better than zero and Jen and I didn’t NEED to sit together after 4 hours trapped in a car. Screw it. I went to another web window and tried to buy another single. The server shut down. I couldn’t do it.

I ran into my room from the living room and tried my luck on my second computer. There was another single ticket a few rows down. Okay, progress… I ran back to the living room and looked for two singles that were closer in location. In studying the seating chart I noticed they were selling 2 seats next to each other as singles – C1 and C3.

It was time for some cardio. With C1 holding in my room, I ran to the living room to get C3... and got A1 – dammit! Try again. Server down. A3. Server down again. 10 minutes later – C3. Yes! I raced back to the second computer to buy C1 and it was gone. They only save the seats for 7 minutes.

I started again. Server down. A1. A3. Server down. C1. Race to the living room. Server down again.


At 2:30am, I wiped the sweat off my face and tried to meditate before going to sleep. At 10am, I sprung out of my bed and called the box office. After I was put on hold for several seconds, I noticed that my hand was shaking. For anyone taking notes – this is when you know you’ve hit rock bottom. No one in their right mind should ever be shaking over trying to buy Gutenberg! tickets – in ITHACA. But I have never been in my right mind. People know this.

Insanity aside, C1 and C3 became mine – with a $4.50 service fee for each ticket. Insanity is not cheap.

But road trip back on!

For an 8 o’clock show and an almost 5-hour drive, we left at 2pm, ready to see the greatness of upstate NY. That greatness included trees. A monsoon-like rain storm. Jesus music on the radio. And about 4,000 yard sales on Route 79.

We arrived in downtown Ithaca at approximately 6pm, had a slice of pizza, picked up our tickets, saw llamas in a window and at 8, it was time for Gutenberg! The Musical! The details of the show, I will leave for another section but let’s just say it was worth all the Jesus music. Plus, there was a celebrity sighting – Broadway actress and In the Heights superstar, Andrea Burns. In In the Heights, Andrea played a wise-cracking hairdresser. In Ithaca, Andrea played the part of an attentive audience member. It was riveting.

By 10pm, we were back to the long roads, but thankfully no panic attack. Ithaca is a peaceful town.

Thanks for the memories!