A Travel Journal - Part 2

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hello again Dear Reader! My goodness, I can't believe in less than two weeks I'll be on a plane back home to Blueberry Barn. Being on tour (as my father-in-law explained it earlier today) is like living your life in fast forward. You're meeting so many people and going to so many new places in such a short time that it feels like years have passed once it's over. As I write this - in the middle of Nowhere, Montana - I am struck by how long ago those first few days of the tour seem to me now, and yet I know it was only a month ago!

Well my goodness, what a lovely week we spent in California! I haven't been to the shores of San Diego since 2009, when a family vacation brought me to sunset cliffs and all the beauty the city had to offer. It was like returning to an old scrapbook when we revisited the same places I had gone to with my family.

Before I get to the journal,  let me answer some of those questions you asked!
     -First, the band plays all over, in all sorts of different venues. It's interesting in that this tour we are playing and leading worship in a lot of churches, which we are not often asked to do. It has been a lot of fun playing for the Body of Christ! We have also been playing in RV parks and community centers and concert halls.
     -Second, I play the mandolin, the penny whistle (or the Irish tin whistle) and percussion (usually a snare drum on our swing songs). It's not usually my musical ability that people comment on though, it's usually my inability to stand still, haha! Yes, I dance around a lot on stage - I just can't stand still when I'm playing music!
     -Third, our bus (a forty footer) is our home, which means it's outfitted with a kitchen, beds, and a bathroom (there's even a shower!). We normally cook and eat in the bus, as well as getting ready for shows (this can get really tight, as you must remember that there are four ladies who need to do their hair and makeup!).
If there's anything else you'd like to ask, just comment below on this post and I'll answer you directly! Life on the road is always an adventure, and I am blessed to live and work with my husband and his family. But now, on to the journaling!

One of the best things about going to San Diego was getting to see our dear friend Rebecca Friedlander (whom you may remember from this blog post from this last summer). She had us all over for dinner at her little sanctuary and oh my goodness I felt like I was walking into a magazine! Just look at her lovely table scape (decorated with fresh oranges from the trees around us and things she had bought at a local Goodwill):

We spent all evening in her orange grove, chatting, worshiping together, and catching up on all the news within each other's lives. Later that week we would play several songs at the premier of Rebecca's new film "Celtic Pilgrimage" and what a blessing that was! We even got to wear costumes similar to what we wore for her film while we played the songs, it was so much fun and such a wonderful night.

Rebecca also took us out and took some fun photos of us at the beach (in the water of course!) mostly because Quinn now had an amazing beard and Rebecca said he looked perfect for an Irish king! (Personal note: I am not a fan of the beard, but I told Quinn he could grow it out if he wanted to. And I mean, he does look pretty handsome in this photo! Haha!) She gave Quinn and I chain male to wear, and boy was it heavy! But what a fun time we had, playing in the surf in costumes and getting weird looks from all the beach-goers.
As I think I said above, I was so excited to once again be in San Diego. The only two things I wanted to do were go and see Old Point Loma lighthouse (for I just adore lighthouses!) and go to a little ice-cream shop that my siblings and I really enjoyed called Mr. Frostie's.
Everyone was very kind about this and the first thing we did was drive up to Point Loma (where my parents met at Point Loma Nazarene University) to see the lighthouse.
Someday I will live in a lighthouse, I just know I will! There's just something magical about living next to the wind and surf, don't you agree? The lighthouse at Point Loma is like a museum, with the rooms set up as if the caretaker and his family were still living there. We went on a windy, gray day, but how beautiful it was!

We sure did enjoy the sunshine and warmth of California, but soon we were leaving the green cliffs of San Diego and instead heading out into the desert once again (*sigh*). We drove into Utah and were met with the dry rocky crags, something that is the exact opposite of what I am used to. But even the desert has beauty in it, and we enjoyed hiking (and almost dying) on the cliffs of Zion National Park.
I say we almost died because we decided to climb "Angel's Landing" not knowing how intense of a hike it would be. Abigail and I made it almost all the way up before we decided we didn't want to meet Jesus yet and decided to head back down. Paul, Laura and Quinn made it up fine (though of course with lots of prayer from the rest of us).

We are now on the last leg of the tour, which will take us through Montana, the Dakotas, and back to Iowa to park the bus. I think if for some reason I could no longer live in Alaska, Montana would be the next best thing. For though there isn't an ocean, there are some lovely lakes - and the mountains are quite beautiful.

I do hope this finds you well Dear Reader! Please know that everyone here in the Alaska String Band is doing well and is very excited at the prospect of returning home. Until next time friend!

A Travel Journal - Part 1

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hello from sunny California! My goodness, I've only been away from Blueberry Barn for a little over two weeks yet it feels like a month already! And I am so sorry Dear Reader that I haven't been able to write to you thus far, but the first part of our Alaska String Band tour was quite the whirlwind - and now that we have driven across most of the the US, it seems we're finally due for some down time (hopefully at a nice beach somewhere!). But let me start at the beginning:

Getting six people, two dogs, and a very large truck load of suitcases and instruments "down south" is always a feat, and this time was no different. Yes! We were saying goodbye to cold, snowy Alaska and instead headed for...wait a minute...we're going to Minnesota first?!
We landed in Minneapolis late in the evening, and we were all happy (the dogs more than all of us) to be off the plane. Now we just needed to get to the bus:
We barely fit in the large airport elevators - and we still made two or three trips! Laura, as you can see, was thrilled to finally be on tour. But we weren't prepared for how easily Lupin would take to life in the bus...
 Yes, that's right, Lupin soon understood that if she sat in the driver's seat she was the one that was truly in charge, haha!

So far, we have already been through Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and now we are in the land of the stars, California! I have never been a big fan of the desert, but the charms of ever-lasting sunshine do hold true. It certainly does make a difference for my pale Alaskan skin, which I am trying to keep well covered in shawls or in sun screen! Quinn has already gotten sun burned and paid the price for it, and I am hoping to get out of it this time around (fingers crossed!).

Our shows so far have gone fairly well, and I am enjoying sending postcards to my friends and family far away to keep them updated on all that has been happening. Greta had a wonderful time in Minnesota with the snow, but I don't think she's enjoying the heat of the desert as much (she loves to roll in the dust though, and comes back to the bus looking gray rather than black, the silly girl!).

I shall end my entry for now Dear Reader - I hope you are well and I hope you have enjoyed this small look into life on tour! If you have any questions for me let me know in the comments and I will try to answer them in my next Travel Journal for you. Until next time, have a great day!

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