It has been quite a week. I'll you the quick recap via the tweet I sent yesterday.
EMQI'm lying in bed with my daughter, waking up, thinking about the traveling we've done since Sunday.
EMQMaine to Miami to Austin. One day off. And then yesterday, just before we're about to go to Dallas, the Baby Bus has a break down brake wise
EMQTraveling in a mini van to Dallas flashed me back to my early Firebrand days. The hot spicy chubby rides again!
EMQIt occurs to me that Dave and I might actually be certifiably crazy.
Yes, we've covered some serious ground this week.
The big news is that Lisel took her first rides on the band bus and went on her first flights with the rest of the band. I was understandably nervous about this, as she's just an itty bitty thing whose moods can be somewhat ephemeral. The idea of having a screaming baby on a bus and/or plane full of my male bandmates was...worrisome. And I don't think I was the only one who was thinking twice about this situation. I may be being oversensitive, but I thought there was a bit of a nervous vibe in the organization.
I'm happy to report that Lisel is proving to be a particularly flexible and good natured traveler. There were no fits, mostly smiles and sleeping. A little fussiness, but it was expected (she is after all, a baby) and relaltively short lived. No one was more suprised or delighted than Dave and I.
The reason we were straying from the normal separate traveling accomadations was the crazy routing issue I've been talking about in previous posts and in the twitter above. We were going from Maine to Miami to Austin over the course of 4 days. My parents left us in Bearsville, NY, right before the Maine gig, because Bearsville is like 5 hours closer to Philadephia, where we needed to return the minivan. It was either that, or pay the exorbinant fees they charge you to drop off a rental vehichle at someplace other than where you picked it up.
So we decided to hitch a ride witht the band to Brownfield, Maine, where we met up with one of my favorite people Meredith Goldstein and played the Stone Mountain Arts Center.
I seriously love this gig. Not only is it run by the coolest club owner in the world Carol Noonan (who as a former traveling musician herself has set up the downstairs/artist lounge as a road musician's heaven) but we had an amazing childcare experience. I had set up a sitter through Carol, a woman named Maggie who watched Lisel during the show. I was afraid that our little bean would cry all evening, but then, something amazing happened. Another wonderful woman, Therlise (I think this is how we spell her name) came down and in the words of Meredith, "performed some kind of baby magic/juju." It was a hold that she had perfected with her own sons, and it put our little bean right to sleep.
She slept for an hour.
No mommy neccesary.
The next day we we rode the bus to Newark, the took a plane to Miami. Easy Peasy. It was only during the cab ride to the hotel that Lisel had a bit of a breakdown. But dude, I almost started wailing myself. We had an *insane* cab driver who was racing through the streets of Miami during a torrential downpour.
The next day we got up and played a gig at noon-thirty for 4000 people at the International Pow-Wow, which I gathered was some kind of conference for event planners/travel agents. We were the musical part of a luncheon celebrating the wonders of Texas. I actually dug being part of the pitch to being people to our state. After all, I'm a fan. Texas is rad. I've seen a lot of this great land of ours, and there are very few places as culturally rich as where we live.
The backstage hang was fun. Lisel got to hang with her band uncles.
Dave's cousins Larry and Lynn Buckner came in from near West Palm Beach to watch Lisel. Of course, we had forgotten a bottle in our quest to pack as efficiently as possible for our Miami run. And of course, Lisel got hungry when we were gone and engaged in some marathon screaming while Dave and I were on stage. I thought I had fed her enough! I promise!
Thank you, Thank you, Larry and Lynn.
After the gig, it was right to the airport, and then home to Austin. The flight went well. We got home, we had a blessed day off, and then we were off to Dallas on Thursday.
Our good friend and former monitor man for Asleep at the Wheel, Mike Mercer, had graciously agreed to accompany us to Dallas to watch Lisel. Him and Lisel have a bond. She's not so much for men sometimes, but Mike has always been a favorite of hers.
Through a lucky series of happenings, Lisel and I were meeting Dave at Mike's workplace. We were in our minivan, Dave was in the baby bus. I say lucky, because between our house and Mike's place of employment, the baby bus broke down.
The brakes went out.
Yeah dude, totally scary. Luckly they stopped working when Dave was on a access road, as oppossed to say, the interstate. And Luckily he was able to pull over and park. And Luckily I was in a vehicle that we could all fit it and get to the gig in. Because this all happened at 3pm, and the gig started at 7:30pm. In Dallas.
Yeah dude, totally scary.
As far as I'm concerned, the fact that Dave is safe, and that we made it to the gig on time is all due to the kindness of the universe. We really had very little control over events, and things could have ended up very differently, and by differently I mean badly. So thank you universe. Thank you very, very much.
We're still not sure what's wrong with the van. Neither are the guys at Freightliner repair shop. It looks like there's motor oil in the brake line, which is kinda freaky as we don't know how it got there.
We made it to the gig alright. Lisel and Mike made it through the gig alright. She cried a bit, but thankfully we took a break in the middle, and we were able to calm her down.
And then she fell asleep next to Mike.
Which is like, the second time she's fallen asleep at a gig with someone other than me around!
Is it too soon to say we might be turning some kind of corner?
And then yesterday the whole fam took the bus up to Sillsby, Texas (near Beaumont) to play a gig in a honky tonk. Ray's girlfriend Michelle Valles, or Tia Mitch as she's known to Lisel came along for a sweet hang and some little bean watching. Lisel and Tia Mitch definitely have a connection. They've been hanging out since Lisel was just a itty bitty back from the hospital. The truly enjoy each other's company.
Once again, Lisel was awesome! (I'm not sure how we got so lucky) She hung with Mom and Dad and Tia Mitch and Uncle Ray all day on the ride up. Then she conked out an hour before the gig, and didn't wake up until we got home.
Like I said, we got lucky.
So that was our insane week
And we're about to do it again.
Lisel is napping next to me. I have things to do before we leave for another week, but I'm being very selfish with my baby time right now. That's because I'll be away from our sweetness for 2 whole days! I've been typing while feeling her sleeping baby warmness cuddled up beside me. Soon we'll take her to Nana and Grandpappys's and drop her off. Dave and I will take the big bus to Sioux City, Iowa, where we play tommorrow, and my folks will meet us with the baby in Herrin, IL two days after that.
I'll miss my little bean, but the trip to Sioux City is just too long. And she deserves some time not spent in a moving vehicle.
It's kind of a crazy life. And sometimes I think we're kinda crazy for attempting this. But we're doing the only thing we can, which is taking each adventure as it comes.
The baby is just now waking up. I need to feed her and then finish packing for the week. It's time to get back on the road.