Florida is not the worst state in the country, but one can only handle the perpetual warm weather and daily rainstorms for so long. 112 days were more than enough for me. The last time I wrote was Miami, sense then I have been to Jacksonville, Pensacola, Orlando, Duluth Georgia, Atlanta Georgia, Birmingham Alabama, Huntsville Alabama, and am currently sitting on the bus on a day stop in St. Louis Missouri. Upon arrival in GA I stepped off the bus and felt something I’ve not felt since I was in the mountains on my road trip. It was cold; I could see my breath and feel the grass crinkle under my feet as I walked. After months or seemingly eternal summer I felt a tinge of being home in Indiana.
My final weeks in Florida were not bad by any means. I visited The Moran Theatre in Jacksonville and went on a scavenger hunt of old wall tags. I have played this theatre at least times before.
One of the best parts about touring over and over again is walking into a venue and knowing that you’ve been there before. You know the lay of the land, the names of some of your locals, and the entire stay is like catching up with old friends you haven’t seen in years.
Halloween was celebrated in Pensacola. A few of my tour-mates knew the individual who was hosting a party at the Pensacola Opera. We arrive about a half hour late, and if I said we brought the party, I would not be lying. It was a night of drinking, dancing, and having lots and lots of people lifting my kilt to see if I was wearing it “properly”, they were not disappointed.
The above view was the last thing I saw in Florida. As I was walking to the bus to make a mad dash for the border and the Florida skies decided to give me a suitable goodbye.
Duluth was fairly uneventful, but I had some visitors in Atlanta. Caitlyn and Grant came down to Atlanta. I am not going to lie, I was more than a little nervous about sharing a hotel room with a toddler, but by the end of the stay I think Caitlyn was the only one pondering the wisdom of allow Grant and I to team up for a few days. We spent time crawling around tunnels at the Georgia Aquarium, which was a serious overload for both Grant and I. I think we may have stressed Caitlyn out a bit with our antics as well. The heated pool was another winner with all parties concerned, although that may have to do with the fact that it was warmer than some hot tubs I’ve been in. We also spent time venturing out to meet up with friends I have in the area. I don’t think any of the waiters are going to forget Grant’s accuracy with a chicken nugget any time soon. Over all it was a fantastic visit!
After Atlanta my tour headed to Birmingham, Alabama for a 4am load in with a 2pm show. My Phone failed to do the time change so I walked into the venue at 2:15 thinking it was 3:15… Add in a local smashing their hand on the trucks and a serious catering snafu… It was a rough day to say the least, but the crew killed it. Loaded in in under 6 hours and out in 2.5 hours. That’s a far cry better than the 10+ hour load ins and 5+ hour load outs we had a month ago. We also put up our first wall tag. That’ll be my 4th in Birmingham, unfortunately I didn’t get photos of the rest of them.
We stuck around Birmingham for a few extra days to celebrate Thanksgiving. So we had a massive company meal at Texas de Brazil. No big surprise I ended up on the end of the table with the rest of the old men. 😉
My latest stop was Huntsville, Alabama. Not a whole lot of excitement here, but we did manage to put up another tag (bringing my total to 3 in this venue). As I am going around finding the wall tags a little bit of me is wondering if anyone has ever tried to catalogue the works of art that tours leave behind as they travel the country. I’m going to ponder this one a bit more, but It could be an interesting project.
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