As I write this I have totally abandoned my steadfast plan to unpack, return emails, do copious amounts of laundry, review and revise my to-do list and in general recover from a week away from home. Instead I’ve plowed through two heaping and glorious pieces of gluten free quiche that Jer made while in my pjs and subsequently climbing into bed. I lost the ambition pretty quickly.
Really, I just want to talk about the tour and remember every hilarious and wonderful moment on the road.
There are so many things I feel deeply and profoundly grateful about this past week. Here they are in the best way I can lay them all out.
Whit and I got the chance to traverse what is surely one of the most beautiful places in the country- and it’s all along the 5!!! The 5 North is decidedly different from the 5 South. It is green, lush, mountainous, and just plain gorgeous. And while the 5 South leads to a place I hold so dear, the drive to LA is NOT a picturesque experience. I was in awe the whole drive at the view. The road continues to be a place of wonderment for me.
I was able to see friends I have not seen in years. First stop in Redding, my old friend Jessica Fletcher appeared during sound check. I haven’t seen this amazing gal since middle school. We were two singing peas in a pod back in the 6th grade; we wrote our own stellar tunes, performed ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ in the school talent show, and made honor chorus together. It was such a delight to see her beautiful face and meet her fiancé and get to see her little sister. The glory of reconnecting with old friends is really unparalleled. Even after all these years it felt like we still shared so much.
Then we hit Eugene and two pals from my freshman dorm days came out to support the show- Jess and Phil. (They’re married! I love that I knew them when we were all little freshies and they ended up getting married!) And of course, Eugene has become synonymous with Mr. Silas Valentino. My baby brother who has somehow managed to grow almost a foot taller than me and into a strapping young lad full of whit and humor. I could see the moment the Ducks came in, Silas had brought a whole brigade of U of O friends and they were all as kind as could be. The next day he gave Whit and I a tour of his dorm and his school and my heart was as full as it could be. To see him so settled, so happy and so inspired, I just felt so proud. Not like I had anything to do with it, but even after all these years he still feels like my little baby bro, and I still worry about him and cluck over him more like a pseudo parent than a big sister. He is so in his element and I know I can rest easy.
In Seattle I saw an old pal from middle school days (yay Ross Parker!!) an old highschool pal and musical accomplice (yay Eliza!!! who by the way graciously opened her house up to Whit and I for the night!! Can’t wait to hang out again girl!!) and the Mullen family. Molly Mullen and I were in kindergarten together and became the best of pals. We both eventually moved out of the Bay Area, her to Washington State and my family to central California but we always stayed in touch. Even still it had been many years since we’d seen each other. When she walked in the door with not only her brand new husband but her parents, I nearly peed my pants with excitement!! It was such a special couple of minutes getting to reminisce about the days of our youngest youth when we would play house for hours, make our little brothers participate in our outlandish and uber dramatic homegrown plays that ALWAYS took place in the ‘olden days’, and feverishly read The Boxcar Children series. To get to meet her hubby and hear about her current life and then see her parents who were always so dear and kind to me- it was such a full circle moment and just so heart warming.
I totally fell in love with Portland. It didn’t hurt that we were staying in THE cutest house with the coolest, hippest couple ever. Cara went to college with Whit and she and her hubs showed us such a great time and put us up in such amazing and cozy digs. They live in this adorable and quaint neighborhood right down the street from not only an immense and dense and perfect park with 40+trails, but also from a bustling main street chalk full of sweet little coffee shops, restaurants and the like- all with no sales tax! We drank some truly superb coffee, made use of as much of those 40 miles as we could and just took in the city and day dreamed about bringing our boyfriends there one day because they would both love it so much too. I hurried through my book (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- so good but I definitely had TWO nightmares involving being kidnapped and shot in the head. Not so awesome) so that I could get started on the new Donald Miller book Jer gave me for Christmas. I just felt like I had to get to reading it given I was in Portland and all. Funnily enough this one is about being on the road and learning how to want only what you need, to ask the WHY questions and not the HOW, to be happy with what you already have, to feel good enough in the face of a world always telling you you are lacking in someway. It’s been a pretty powerful read, and a perfect companion for a girl on the road- and on tour at that.
We played some really great venues, met some amazing and supportive people and sang our hearts out. We learned a lot of things along the way like booking a gig on the night of SuperBowl Sunday is not the wisest thing to do if you want a crowd. We hauled all our own gear and ran our own sound if necessary. Every place we played was so receptive and kind to us and we are definitely making plans to return to all of them in the coming months. I especially want to give a shout out to Forza up in Seattle and their whole incredible team who just made us feel so welcome and so cared for. We really feel so, SO lucky to have met you guys.
We pulled into San Rafael about 2am this morning and were greeted by a giant sign of congrats, balloons and flowers everywhere from Jeremy. Honestly, I know it was only a week but I feel like I’ve written about three new songs in my head all about the missing and the distance. Shoot, what can I say.
I made it to my classes today and despite being pretty worn out and at times delirious, I felt like I was still buzzing from some kind of adrenaline and energy that we actually did it.
To Whit I would like to say, you are a dear friend, an amazing, talented and profound artist, and a pretty awesome travelling buddy. I will never forget this little adventure of ours.
Thank you to everyone who hosted us, showed us around their cities and came out to see our shows. Big thanks to the Groligs for their help in times of need J
Thank you so much to everyone who sent us off with well wishes and prayers and everyone who received us with smiles and open hearts. I feel so thankful and so excited for all that is to come.