Hello from Burlington, VT! In the usual fashion, I’m already behind on writing here and so much has happened in less than two weeks. It doesn’t feel like we’re on the road until I look at my calendar and gasp, “I haven’t written a blog post in like ten days!”
Our gig in Binghamton gig went well. It’s not college season yet so it was a little slow, but the venue was super cool and I’d really like to play there in the fall next time we route through that way. Instead of fries, Cyber Cafe West serves chips & Gouda cheese! I wish everywhere served hunks of cheese with their food.
From Binghamton we went to Cape Vincent. For those of you that have been playing along since the VERY beginning (i.e. since the second ever blog post), this is where my dad’s place in the 1000 Islands is located. This is where Greg and I took our first ever trip for a gig in the van, just over a year ago! This year, not only did we book a return gig, but we also scheduled in a long weekend to see some family and hang out on Lake Ontario. Now, last year was the first time since about 2012 that I had been up there at all. When I was younger and full of angst, we used to spend a week or two there every summer. I hated the isolation, the lack of cell service, the intense family bonding, and basically anything else I could ever find to complain about. In the years that have passed, it turns out that I’ve become basically an entirely different person. I LOVE all of those aforementioned things. There’s hot water, electricity, and a free place for us to park. There’s a big-ass (read as: normal sized) fridge and freezer. There’s a coffee machine that makes more than one cup of coffee at a time. There’s a boat. There’s an endless supply of beers to drink and card games to play. It rules. Plus, my mom, dad, and youngest sister all came up to join us.
So, for a few days we took total advantage. We went fishing. We drank beers. We fished some more. We had a fancy steak dinner. We drank more beers. We went knee-boarding and air chairing. (Watch this video if you don’t know what an air chair is, it’s an absolute blast to ride – but we don’t do flips like that guy, sadly). We went to the beach. We played music. We did a bunch of nothing at all, too, and it was awesome. Pictures incoming:
So, tl;dr – we had a blast, and we can’t wait for next year. Oh, and the gig went well too – the people at Snug Harbor are generous tippers and a really fun group of people to perform for.
Wednesday we took the van to get new front tires (as soon as something gets fixed in the van, it seems something else already needs fixing…) and then a sharp return to reality found us sleeping at a Walmart in Watertown that night. Thursday we worked ourselves back into “tour mode” and headed for Lake Placid for our gig that evening. Lake Placid is cool. It was absolutely mobbed with people while we were there for due to a lacrosse tournament, which I always kind of hate, especially when needing to park the van. But despite all this, you can still really see the beauty of the place and of the Adirondacks. It’s a gorgeous part of New York State that I can’t believe I hadn’t seen yet.
Our gig that evening was a total blast. We played a BBQ place right on the main strip of downtown. Great dinner crowd, great drinks, great food, and a great payout – it’s all you can ask for when you’re playing to tourists! The mountainous roads to get all the way up there are not easy on our gas budget, though.
Friday was our first day here in Burlington. Unbeknownst to us, there was a major event happening here this weekend as well – the Festival of Fools, where street performers basically take over downtown. And doubly lucky for us, not only did this mean that there were tons of people in town, but our first gig was smack dab in the middle of the action. It was an early show so things didn’t get too crazy, but it was fun, and easy, and refreshing to play on a stage after doing lots of bar-room-corner gigs so far this summer. We rounded off the night with a stop at a Japanese noodle bar for dinner and a stroll through the festival – true to its purpose, we saw some pretty incredible street art that evening.
Saturday was our second gig in town, this time at an eclectic little bar/restaurant. A short set for us at only an hour, and for the first time in like 10 years I had to use a microphone on my guitar as some of the venue’s equipment was broken. I hate doing that, because you basically can’t move on stage and it doesn’t sound great in a performance setting. But we’ve managed to make a handful of fans & friends in Burlington, some of whom came out to see us at this show, so we persevered and had a good time anyways.
Yesterday, after a couple cloudy days and a lack of driving found us needing to get some juice into our batteries ASAP. It also found us leaking a whole bunch of water in never-before-seen locations from the overhead storage compartment (See? Always another repair to be done…). So, we booked a campground for the night and stopped at Lowes beforehand to patch a small hole in the top of our fresh water holding tank that I thought was the problem. Turns out, the problem is actually the roof tape we put up on the left side – it’s failed somewhere, and we’ve sprung a new leak. Once we get things dried up on the roof that’ll be the next project.
Today was a “get lots of work done because we finally have a day off” day. I’ve caught up on my part-time job work, I’ve rounded out booking for this year, and I’ve started making headway into 2019 booking. Time flies when you have to plan your entire life at least six months in advance.
Tomorrow we start heading for the coast. We have a gig in Portland, ME on Wednesday, another in Lewiston ME on Saturday, and a couple nights booked at Acadia National Park right after. I am incredibly excited to eat lobster, see the ocean, and hopefully do a little hiking, too.
The weather is warm, our fridge is full of good food and the van is running smooth right now – life is good. Now it really feels like we’re back on the road, and I’ll say it again – I love it so much. I don’t know if I’ll go back to regular house living for a long, long time. For every issue we do encounter, there’s ten amazing moments that make it worth it every time. Here’s to smooth roads and sunny skies for the rest of the summer!