Saturday, November 21, 2009

chicago, toronto,!!!

after spending a week in jacksonville for Dolly's funeral, our family took an early morning flight to Chicago to join back up with the tour. thankfully, little man napped for 3 hours and I was able to get some rest too. Rachael took the day off of work to see me, which meant the world to me! it was like a breath of fresh air to be with her. she is one of the most beautiful people alive on this earth and i actually feel priviledged just to know her! she took me and the other wife and the babies to a coffee shop nearby and then to her little nest and cooked us grilled cheese and soup for dinner:) then we all headed to the show, where I got to meet her wonderful new husband, Fletcher, and see Sarah, who also lives there! background: Sarah and I became friends when we spent 6 weeks together in Russia one summer. she always talked about this Rachael that she just knew i would love, so when we got home she introduced us....we decided that moment to live together the coming school year. Sarah just finished Med School and is doing her residency in Chicago. she is specializing in pediatrics, so i got her to look in little man's ears to see if his ear infection was gone:) it was! thanks to breastmilk in the ears...seriously, it is a cure-all

long awaited hugs

so good with children (as long as he doesn't fall on his head!)

After Boston we headed to Pittsburgh. Last time we were in the pittsburgh area we were in Munhall, outside of the city. but on our way there we drove through the city and it was SO beautiful that we've wanted to go there ever since. so, we were pretty excited about this date. unfortunately we were terribly mislead. the venue was actually in Midvale, which is just as boring as Munhall. it was in an old church and attached to it was the 'parsonage', which is now the green room. but with 3 living rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom, it was basically a house. so we had wonderful showers there (believe me, it is a big deal), and the main band's camp cooked a huge dinner for all of us...and Midvale was redeemed after all.
Next we headed to Toronto, for the 3rd time (same venue too). but this was the first time that we realized how close a really cool area was to our venue. the other two times i've hung out at the grocery store and pharmacy that our bus parks at haha. but just a half mile away is Kensington Market. our family walked there to explore, and then split a yummy pizza between the three of us:)

my favorite was Boston! we had two days off before the Boston show so we headed there and got to spend 3 full days in boston! the bus was parked downtown, so every day i walked over to Newbury Street, which is a beautiful street with lots of shopping and great restaurants and coffee. Espresso Royale Caffe was there and it was amazing. every morning i went there for a latte (decaf:) and a bagel. it is rare for me to have a coffee these days (i drink tea now) but this place was that good!

the next day i walked around with the other wife and babe, and then Grace picked me up at 4 and we went back to Cambridge, where she lives. I briefly said hello to her husband, who is back in grad-school and so must study 24/7, and then we walked around Harvard Square (which i love) and ate at a quaint little cafe. the next day she came to the show as well, and hung out with us afterwards. i was really happy to spend some time with her!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Love and Haight

it started on the drive from Reno, NV to San Francisco--the beautiful morning views that i now look forward to every morning when i wake up. that morning i woke and saw that we were surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful views. i've always had a sneaky suspicion that the northwest might be my favorite part of the country, but i am just now seeing it at the age of 26. such beautiful sights can only be bottled up and tucked away in my memory--no picture on camera can ever capture it right. so i haven't even bothered to try.
coming out of the 'desert' areas in california going into northern california, the transformation is gorgeous. the rocky and barren hills turn into rolling green hills with grass (finally) and sparse trees. higher up, huge evergreen trees dart high up into the sky. i have never seen these trees before, and never even knew i was missing anything. approaching san francisco, the land opened up to the water, the large bay areas and islands and bridges, surrounded by the rolling hills i described above, except now there were houses up and down the hills, whose windows catch the light of the sun just enough to make the landscape appear to be sparkling. so, i'm wondering.....
why do i live where i live?
ahh san francisco. i was so happy to finally be there, yet the reality i found was that i really needed a week there to experience it all. we had halloween off there, so our family took the bus over to Haight-Ashbury district. there are so many freaks there, and Lord knows i love freaky people. and they were all dressed up for Halloween. very fun... even my little munchkin was dressed up all day. he was a boxer. 

Haight street is lined with the coolest boutique stores and consignment stores. i wouldn't advise anyone to visit there without having some money they plan on spending! i unfortunately did not, and it was a miracle that we managed to get our of there without spending a dime. we did stop in the Pork Store Cafe to eat a late brunch

after that we headed down to the water to Fisherman's Wharf. It was getting chilly, so we looked around, saw a thousand sea lions (to our surprise), and then went back to the bus. little man fell asleep at 6:30 that night, which was just as well.... we figured downtown SF was no place to be out late on halloween.

This morning i awoke on the drive from SF to Eugene, OR and it was the same----amazing. surrounded by high mountains filled with tall evergreens, with streams and rivers going through the valleys. large rock formations jetting out of the ground, and farther out snow-capped mountains. we get the day off in Eugene today, the half-way point to Seattle tomorrow.  i've been wanting to come here to Oregon ever since I started reading Don Miller books.