Just wanted to let you guys and gals know that the tour so far has been as relaxing and fulfulling to me as most girls would say a day at the spa feels like. I don't know, there's just something about packing a light suitcase, and dragging 4 guitars and a pedalboard across the country with my honey/guitar player/road manger/best friend that just makes my mind, body and soul at peace with the world. Here's a little timeline so far:
Left for D.C. from LAX on Friday afternoon, but didn't know until we arrived at LAX to check in that our flights had been canceled. Bummer. But no biggie, lots of other options to choose from to get us flying high and East Coast bound. We chose a flight with a 34 minute layover in Minnesota. (I know, cutting it close) but the other options were similar, and all had layovers in Atlanta, which; if you've never dealt with ATL before, I'm here to warn you it is by far the WORST airport concerning delays, missed flights, etc. So we chose Minnesota. How bad could it be, right?
The problems started when we began to taxi out, and the pilot announced that we would not be departing on time, but would be leaving approx. 15 mins after our scheduled departure. 15 MINUTES!!!! With a 34 minute layover!?!?!?!? I began to panic before we even took to the skies. David calmly assured me the pilot would make up the time, and sure enough, half way into the flight, he announced we'd be arriving on time. Yay!
For whatever unknown reason, we had to circle over the airport in Minneapolis for 25 minutes before we could land!!!! The stewardess announced that everyone who did not have a connecting flight that was leaving within the next 15 min, please remain in their seats, so that passengers who were about to miss their connecting could leave ASAP.
No one listened. We were in row 25 on a gigantic plane, and every single solitary person got up to leave as if they were all headed to an immediate connecting flight. I even kindly asked those in front of me, "are you going to miss your next flight?" Some said yes, but when I got to a point on the aisle where a gentleman was pulling down his carryon from the overhead bin, he rudely asked me what I was doing trying to pass him. I asked him the same thing I'd asked the women before, "Are you about to miss a connecting flight?" His answer was no, so I said, "Well my flight is boarding right now, so if you don't mind..." and I began to jump over empty rows, springing like a gazelle to get to my guitar in the 1st Class closet, and David's guitar that was gate checked.
David didn't know I got to the guitar first, so as I'm running at full speed to the next plane; which happens to be 1.2 miles away (that's my est. distance based on asthmatic sufferage), he is still at the old gate, waiting for his guitar. I told him as we landed to turn on his phone so that we could communicate to each other who got to the guitars first, and make sure that one of us could make it to the new gate in time. HE forgot to turn on his phone for about 10 minutes....
I made it to the gate with 4 minutes to spare. Panicked and ready for an oxygen mask, I begged the guy to please hold the gate for David, as he was on his way. Some how David made it with one minute to spare, and as we gate cheked David's Dobro once again, we felt a sigh of relief as we were now on our way to D.C. and everything was going to be smooth sailing from there on out.
Gosh, I was wrong.
We arrived in D.C. exhausted but happy. As we got to baggage claim, we waited and waited for that nice big suitcase we'd checked at LAX, and for the Dobro they told us to wait for downstairs instead of at the gate where we checked it.
First out was the Dobro. The hardcase was missing it's lovely handle. Kind of an important piece of the case when carrying something as heavy as a Dobro. Dave's a little peaved, to be expected. But I think we can muster through this hiccup.
As the carousal goes round and round, and as we watch all 300 passengers gather their checked bags and leave for the night, I'm realizing my suitcase did not make the cut.
After a brief review in the Delta baggage claim office, it is discovered that apparently the baggage guys moving luggage from our LA plane to our D.C. plane didn't quite have the running skills that I did. They left my suitcase in Minneapolis.
Normally this would not be a nightmare, but the suitcase wasn't just holding our clothes and toiletries, it held over $1,000 worth of CD's, the Tour Book, battery charges for our phones, laptop, etc, and most importantly my freaking asthma and acid reflux precriptions... yes, Hope Waits can't breath properly, and has GERD. I'm a mess..;-)
At first Delta had not a single intention to do anything to help us out, except to state that the bag would arrive at 11:45 am in the morning, and since we were headed to Brooklyn at that very moment, they could have it flown to NYC, and have a courier bring it to our friends 7th floor apt. in the heart of the city. No way was I trusting that to happen.
So, in my calm, yet firm southern voice, I respectfully declined the rerouted idea, and asked them to please put us up in a hotel for the night, and to file a claim for the broken Dobro case, and asked them what was I supposed to wear in the morning, hoping someone back there had a pair of jeans and a t-shirt I could were... or maybe an extra flight attendants' uniform? Unfortunately they did not, and they also said they do not put customers up in hotels just for lost luggage.
However.... when I reviewed with them the entire day of events, from the canceled flights, to the 25 minutes of loopty looes we did in Minneapolis, to the near asthma attack I had, to the damaged guitar case, I nicely insisted a second request for a hotel voucher. And guess what, it happened! We got a great night's sleep in a Heavenly bed at the Westin, great toiletries bags from Delta that included XL white t-shirts to sleep in, $100 in flight vouchers, and breakfast vouchers for the morning.
Everything that at one time seemed a disaster, ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. Our original plan was to drive straight to Brooklyn that night, and get in at 6am. Thinking that if we got tired, we could pull over and sleep it out in the car somewhere along the way.
I'm so glad we got the Heavenly Bed instead ;-)
Days 2 &3:
Basked in the beauty that is Brooklyn. Coffee, walking, thrift shops, and lots and lots of photography. Beautiful.
Played an AMAZING set at Rockwood Music Hall. Halfway through the set, I'd actually gotten a room full of chatty Kathy's to quiet down. You could hear a pin drop. I debuted my new piano song, and after the show, met the owner who made me smile by inviting me back anytime. Met some fans, took fan photos, sold some CD's, and got to mingle for a while, listening to more great music throughout the night.
Got to sit in for 3 songs during our friend, Jarrod Dickenson's set at Caffe Vivaldi in the Village. If you haven't heard Jarrod before, you need to. Look him up. He's contagious. In a good way. Again the owner came out to shake my hand, and asked me to come back again very soon. Two nights in a row getting to impress the owners is not a bad thing!
Slept in, then spent the morning feeling the good vibes of Brooklyn for the last day here. Finally found a great little vintage suitcase for the CD's on 5th Ave and 4th St. They cut us a deal. I love bargaining. Typing now. Packing up and about to walk out the door, say goodbye to NYC, and head down to Philly for our show at the Tin Angel at 8pm TONGIHT. I'm opening for Javier Colon, the 1st season Winner of The Voice. I was a fan of Javier's from the first note that came out of his voice when he sang Cindy Lauper's "Time after Time" at his blind audition last year on the show. Please come out tonight if you are in the Philly area, and be prepared to be blown away by this genius vocalist. I'm actually getting a little nervous today; which is a fabulous feeling. My blood is flowing, and the stage is being set....
Stay tuned for more news and photos.