What day is it anyway? 32 days on the road
I know we left off in Alexandria, Louisiana. Day 11ish? Its easy to lose track of time on tour. More so as days go by and you're in a different town each night. Of course, we have to stay on top of things due to a tight schedule and being accountable to a lot of people. "Google calendar is our best friend on the road", said no rockstar ever. But its true if you are a humble DIY performer.
An average day involves getting up between 6am and 9am for Dylan and I - depending on our next load in destination and time. Typically, we are back at a hotel between midnight and 3am. The exception is a glorious early show and I am in bed by 11. We fit this in between sleeps:
* Wake, eat, and shower if time allows. I do my hair maybe and/or work
* 3-6 hours avg drive to the next venue (or hotel first on a great day)
* Load in (2-5 hours ahead depending on the venue), sound check and eat
* Change (in a green room, hotel or in the van)
* Show, squeeze in social time, load out
* Hit the local hotel or drive a couple hours to one, shower if you haven't and sleep.
>>>>>>> While I do get plenty of puppy kisses the picture on the right is more realistic :D
We get up early for breakfast and then return for more shut eye before van call if we can - important as Dylan drives. We let everyone rest as long as possible. I try to fit in some work, Dylan as well if he's rested. We return emails, book, advance shows, send contracts and posters, do graphic design, report to partners, making sure we are on top of social media requests - it has to be done. Good internet and a laptop is priceless vs a phone in the van. Whatever doesn't get done happens in the van or a rest stop - sleeping and eating, too.
Alexandria - Port Neches - Baton Rouge - Jacksonville
We had an early show in Alexandria and were in bed by 11:30! With a leisurely 3 hour drive to Port Neches, TX the next day we were able to get a good night's sleep and fit in a stop in Lake Charles to stretch our legs. And as good fortune would have it, some friends in Port Neches generously opened their door to us for the night.
Hurricane Harvey hit the area over a month prior to our visit. Affordable hotels were slim to none with so many displaced victims, FEMA workers and volunteers staying in the area. The damage wasn't visible everywhere and some areas were spared, but it was really heart-breaking to see some neighborhoods with streets literally filled with drywall, rubbish and personal belongings so many weeks later. We learned that some people in Baton Rouge were still in FEMA housing from last year's flooding there, waiting to return to their homes, and contractors are spread thin.
The show in Port Neches was our second one there. It blew my mind that the Beaumont Enterprise contacted us and wrote us up when they have so much going on. But the economy and, I suppose, sanity requires everyone to get back to business quickly. The beer at Neches Brewing where we performed is one of the places I can't deny a splurge on a porter or two. Exceptional. I'm finding I make more and more exceptions to my personal "no beer" rule when we visit a great brewery.
The morning after, our friend Chaz made us a home-cooked breakfast for champions. Local eggs, boudin, sausages made of venison and wild hog. He brought out a big fruit platter for me (yay!). I resisted the bacon for a moment but holy moly am I glad I tried it because I've never had more perfect and tasty bacon! We had wide awake conversation about Harvey, local culture and our personal lives.
After breakfast we were off to Baton Rouge, a mere 3 hour drive. We took our time and located some leafy greens for lunch as check in was not until 3pm. I mandated rest prior to our 7 pm load-in because our show there would go late and we had a 5am van call the next morning. Baton Rouge is becoming another favorite spot and its unfortunate we often find ourselves in a rush here.
We had about 3.5 hours to sleep in beds before making the 8.5 hour haul to Jacksonville, FL (10 hours with a few necessary stops). With a time change working against us, the possibility of anything happening on the road, and an early evening show for Mercedes Benz to make, we left nothing to chance. #whydidntibarterforavanlease