Friends Fest and Enjoying the Moment

The weekend before last I went to Friends Fest in London with my kids. As a huge Friends fan, you can imagine how excited I was to go, and it was fun indeed. I was incredibly lucky to get tickets too. The event was on for five days, and it turns out the tickets sold out in something like 13 minutes – it was a fluke really that I got them, a friend on Facebook told me about the event an hour before the tickets went on sale, so I just went online and bought them with no real idea of the need for extreme urgency!  What’s even better is that the tickets were only £5 each, AND it was on my birthday weekend. Hurrah!

Here are a few pics from the day…

Vanessa on Central Perk couch

Notice how badass I am – blatantly disobeying the sign saying “No drinks in this area please.” Ha! Get me!

Vanessa and kids at Monica's table

It’s Rachel’s beef trifle! It’s Rachel’s beef trifle!

Monica and Rachel's apartment

They did a pretty awesome job recreating the apartment, see?

Vanessa and kids with Friends umbrellas

And it wasn’t even raining.

The event was organised by Comedy Central who have the exclusive rights to show Friends in the UK, and even though it was a promotion event for them, I really expected them to be trying to get more money out of people on the day, but credit to them, they didn’t at all. Other than a small stand selling some Friends branded merchandise, everything else was free in there. That cup of coffee you see me holding on the Central Perk sofa pic above, (you know, the pic where I was being a real badass), was free – yes, free coffee, tea, and cookies from the Central Perk cafe.

My daughter having her hair blow-dried in a Rachel style, also free:

Rachel's hair station

Dressing up in costumes themed from different episodes (me in wedding gown, daughter in cheerleader outfit, son in chicken head – yes he is under there), photo taken in booth and printouts to take home, completely free, no charge at all, whichsoever at all:

Friends photo booth pic

The friendly and plentiful staff from Comedy Central were also on hand to happily take all the photos everyone wanted on the many phones and cameras that were shoved in their direction. So we really did get a lot for the very reasonable £5 ticket price. And there were interesting bits of memorabilia from the show to browse too, oh, here I am again with my free coffee in front of some of the memorabilia!

Vanessa with Friends memorabilia

The main point I was going to make in this post (which I thought I might get to quicker, but apparently not), is about enjoying the moment. The area with Monica and Rachel’s apartment was sectioned off and they let groups in, a few at a time, and only for five minutes. It made sense to do that because it was clearly going to be the most popular area, and would likely have got too crowded to see anything. After the event, my son told me that during our five minutes in the apartment, he would have liked to explore a bit more, but I spent the whole time orchestrating one photo after another, making them sit and stand in various places, so that we could get all the shots, and then the five minutes were up. I realised how right he was, I thought about how much more I would have enjoyed the experience too if I’d just soaked it up a bit and looked around rather than being so totally focused on getting pictures. Of course we would want to get pictures there, but there’s a balance. Two or three pictures in the apartment would have been fine, I didn’t need twenty.

My realisation was quite timely because last week you may have seen a Tweet doing the rounds about this very subject, about taking time to enjoy moments rather than focusing solely on capturing them with our devices – Carrie Rubin referred to that Tweet in her last post if you missed it. This is definitely something I’m guilty of. Also, I don’t mind admitting – I usually want to get the photos not only to preserve the memories for us, but to have something good to show on Facebook, or on here. Really, is that more important than being there in the moment and enjoying it, creating the memories in our minds and hearts rather than in digital form? Of course it’s not.

But that aside, are you all jealous that I got to go to Friends Fest and you didn’t? Are you? Huh? Are you?

Vanessa with Friends picture frame door viewer


46 responses to “Friends Fest and Enjoying the Moment

  1. Refreshing to see an event where they didn’t gouge you for your last cent. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never watched a Friends episode. I have never read Harry Potter. I have never had a cup of coffee. Judgement or applause is at your discretion. But you had a fabulous time plus you shared it with your family. That is way cool. The couch police have a warrant out for your blatant disregard. Don’t answer the door the next couple of days.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I love the Thanksgiving themed episodes, with the trifile and the turkey and all. Glad you got to go and experience the Friends experience 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks as though all of you lived in the moment! What fun!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks like a brilliant day. I am catching up with ‘New Girl’ on Sky Box Sets at the moment and liking it more and more so perhaps in ten years time there will be a New Girl fest or, more alliteratively, a ‘New Girl Night’!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘Monica and Rachel’s apartment was clearly going to be the most popular area’ … of course … why? … and what is ‘Friends’? …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I probably shouldn’t admit this, because I was quite embarrassed at the time, but when you put that picture of the three of you sitting at the kitchen table on Facebook, at first I didn’t realize where you were. I put a comment on your post saying how much that apartment looked like the one in the show Friends. I thought I was so clever spotting that. And then I more carefully looked through your pictures and realized you WERE in the Friends makeshift apartment. I quickly deleted my comment. Hopefully before anyone saw it…

    Thank you for the mention! Like you, I’ve spent so much time trying to get pictures, I risk missing out on some things. Such was the case when we went to The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff last March. I wanted to get pics of my son with everything, and eventually I had to just put my phone away and enjoy his reactions in the moment.

    Great post, Vanessa!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, I thought I had got a notification of a comment on one of the photos that didn’t seem to be there when I went to check, that must have been the one! I actually would probably have thought you were being humorous – like “That looks just like the apartment on Friends!” and probably so would anyone else who saw it, so it would have been fine 🙂 I think we can all be prone to the picture frenzy thing can’t we! I think in future when I go places I’m going to make more of a conscious effort to allocate some picture time, and then some no-pictures-allowed time!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are such a treasure! And I’m mostly jealous about the free Rachel hair salon. I often wonder how she got such perfect hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well being a hug Friends fan, I couldn’t BE any more jealous ( said in my best Chandler voice) so happy you all had such a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So cool you got to go Vanessa. I hear you about the balance of being in the moment and capturing it for future. Most of all perhaps we need to be gentle with ourselves and know at the time we chose what we chose. I loved the photos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy belated birthday! If I’d known I would’ve baked you a cake or bought you a car.

    For every shitty export (McDonald’s) we try to make up for it with a quality on (Friends). Fun fact: I’ve never seen an episode of Friends. Not one!

    Someone recently posted a pic of people lined up along 5th Avenue to see the Popemobile drive by. Everyone, everyone, held up a mobile phone trying to get a snap. At the bottom of the pic was an older woman leaning on the blue, wooden police barricade. She was looking out with a huge smile on her face, arms crossed, no social media device in her hand. It was about enjoying the moment. I miss those days but they’ll never be back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the belated wishes! I also accept belated cakes and/or cars.

      You and cricketmuse both have never seen an episode of Friends.

      That picture you mentioned of the Popemobile drive is the one I was referring to when I mentioned the tweet going around about being in the moment, that Carrie had referred to in her post.


  12. How fun-tastic, Vanessa. Sounds like the best fun and your photos are proof you were there. 😀 What a golden opportunity. Okay. I’m jealous! 👿

    Liked by 1 person

  13. OK, I am gobsmacked by how cool that is.

    You strike me as a Phoebe. Can I rely on you to upload a photo of you singing “Smelly Cat”?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am a Friend’s nut and yes, I am jealous!! 🙂 I would have loved this exhibit. You look like you had a great time and I love the photos. Happy belated birthday. I’m glad you got to spend the day doing something so fun and crazy. 🙂


  15. Your daughter obviously has a lot of you in her…at least as far as the photo booth pics show.

    And…where was Marcelle? I didn’t see him in any of those pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think I may be the only one in the entire world who wasn’t smitten with Friends. But then, I haven’t been a TV watcher for at least 20+ years. I’m fairly clueless when it comes to pop culture. But I am extremely pleased that you were able to do something that you found fun and enjoyable on your birthday! Cheers to many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey there Vanessa! I found you through a friend (or a friend of a friend) and your blog looked interesting so I thought I’d tell you. It’s October, and in honor of my birthday month I’m hoping to find 10 fun and exciting bloggers a day and strike up a conversation with them; who knows, maybe you’ll come visit me and join in the fun, maybe even follow? Have a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I hate to admit I never really got into Friends. But what a fun way to spend the day!

    I saw Carrie’s post about that tweet and it really got me thinking, too. When you’re concentrating on capturing the moment, you miss the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well you’re not the only non-Friends fan around here. The Friends Fest was in a part of London called Brick Lane, I hadn’t been there for years but totally loved it, it’s very raw, very ethnic, loads of market stalls, loud and colorful, vintage shops, hasn’t been modernised or smartened up, it’s just very real there, so that was an added bonus of the day that I hadn’t expected!


  19. It looks like a fun visit, and it’s refreshing to hear that Comedy Central didn’t try to turn it into a huge money maker like other folks would do. (Disney and professional sports teams jump to mind!)

    I’m really trying to focus on the events around me and less on the photo taking. But there’s definitely room for improvement!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, definitely refreshing that making money didn’t seem to be the object! At least on the day it wasn’t, obviously it was part of their general promotion work but that wouldn’t have stopped others trying to fleece everyone on the day.

      I did make a conscious effort when we were away last weekend to regularly put the camera away and just look!


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