After having such an amazing time in Munich, I came home and decided that if the opportunity came I would again travel to see Michael, but this time I would make my own arrangements.
I continued to go to the YANA meetings and also kept in contact with the other Irish girl I met in Munich.
In early 2000 we found out that Michael would be receiving an award at The World Music Awards in Monaco in May. This was my chance.
Again I asked round the members of the YANA group but yet again they all said they would not travel to Monaco. I also got in contact with the other Irish girl, Flea, and amazingly she said she was going. She told me the name of the hotel she had booked and gave me some advise about travel arrangements.
With this information I finally convinced one of the YANA group to come with me, not the same girl who came to Munich with me.
At first we tried to arrange our trip with a travel agent but that was working out very expensive. So we eventually booked our flights and hotel separate booking into the same hotel that Flea was staying at.
Looking back, what we did was crazy but at the time it was the only way we could get there. We flew from Dublin to Paris and then got the train from Paris, all the way through France to Monaco.
Arriving in Monaco we were spell bound, it was such a different world to what we were used to. We eventually made it to our hotel, checked in and went exploring to find the other fans.
We found the fans easily enough, all we had to do was follow the screams.
Outside the Hotel De Paris there were barriers set up and as usual the fans had covered the barriers with flags and banners for Michael. We found a spot, put out our banners and got comfortable.
Just like in Munich, being surrounded by fans was really amazing. There were fans from all over Europe, some who could not speak English, but everyone was there out of love for Michael.
Looking around I recognized some faces from Munich and I was just happy to be there in the sunshine knowing that Michael was inside the hotel.
Many of the fans did not stay at the barriers the whole time, but as we were new to all this and did not know many people we stayed at the barriers. Every so often we would hear that some fans had met Michael inside the hotel or that Michael's staff had been out collecting gifts but we were very shy and lost and missed out on alot.
On one of the days we joined the fans at the side of the hotel. Michael was playing peek a boo at the windows, and for nearly 2 hours the fans were singing and chanting to him and he was going from window to window responding.
My heart was in my mouth, oh my goodness, I was actually part of something I had seen on TV so many times, I just could not believe it.
The day of the awards, was really insane. We had heard that the awards would be shown on a big screen at the beach, but as we did not know where to go we just stayed at the hotel.
On our last day, we saw all the fans at the side of the hotel. We joined them behind the barriers. WOW I have never experienced anything like that. It was crazy and amazing and my heart was thumping the whole time. We managed to get quite near the hotel door. Suddenly the door opened and two bodyguards came out carrying Michael's children Prince and Paris. They were so tiny, Prince was 3 years old and Paris was 2 years old.
As soon as the fans saw that it was the children, everyone stopped screaming and calling Michael's name. It was really amazing to see this huge excited crowd fall silent, to not scare the children. They were taken to a blacked out van with their nanny. As soon as the children were safe, the hotel door opened again. WOW, the wall of noise, screams was crazy. He was wearing a red satin mask and black jacket. We thought he was heading to the same van that the children were in, but instead he went to the SMART car which was parked behind the van. OH MY GOODNESS, it was right at the barriers where we were. I tried to take some photos but we were getting pushed and squashed so much.
That was insane, and I couldn't believe how close I had been to him. Only 3 years after seeing him in concert on a huge stage I had just seen him walk out of a hotel and get into a car a few feet away from me.
After the cars drove away, all the fans followed them, running down the street. We couldn't as we had to go to the airport.
Just before we left we heard that Michael would be coming to London in 3 weeks time. Many of the fans were planning to go to London. WOW, was I insane, could I do that too? Why not, all the other fans were going to try to go.