Well, tonight's my last night on this tour, and I have to say...it feels like I've been driving for years! But, I'm really going to miss this. It feels like forever, but it also went by really fast. I don't know how that's possible, that's just the way it feels. Yesterday morning I had a nice breakfast with my aunt at Cracker Barrel. (As a kid I used to think that CB only existed in Missouri, because we'd only go there when we visited for a family reunion...so it brought back a lot of memories.) We had a lot of fun talking, catching up, solving the problems of the world, etc. You know...girl talk stuff! Anyway, she sent me on my way with a little baggie of goodies, which was AWESOME! She is a great cook, so I was so happy to see a bag of her banana nut bread. I've been rationing it over the last two days, but I only have one piece left. It's so tempting!! Anyway, I took a photo of it so that I can remember it even after I've eaten it all. On the way out of town I snapped one more photo of the arch. Isn't it pretty?? Yesterday I had to drive from St. Louis to Columbus, which is about a 7 hour drive, and non-exciting. I was making a LOT of phone calls from the road yesterday, but in between towns and on those hilly roads my phone did quite a bit of cutting out. (You could not 'hear me now', thanks a lot Verizon.) So I tried to keep myself entertained by watching for the state signs as I was getting close to the borders.
I traveled through Indiana... And a few hours later crossed under this pretty arch into Ohio. I arrived in Columbus with about two minutes to spare, so I started setting up my equipment at Vic's right away. It's a cool place...a music room with a bar and good food. And I was excited because my friend Bobby (who is an AMAZING guitar player...http://www.myspace.com/tonejunketmusic) came with some of his friends from town to see me. Bobby and I went to college together at St. Olaf, and now he's in the PhD program at Ohio State University studying geography.
After I finished playing, and I called Bobby up to play a song as well, we went out for ice cream at the place where everyone goes when they're in Columbus. I certainly didn't want to be left out of that! We went to Jeni's, and I had Thai Chili ice cream. It was like spicy peanut butter ice cream...surprisingly delicious! Then we went back to Bobby's place (I was falling asleep) and ended up talking about music for a long time. He's working really hard on getting some of his songs placed on TV and in films, and he's meeting some success. When you check out his myspace page you'll know why!
This morning I took off to check out Columbus a little bit, and went out for some breakfast at the Northstar Cafe. I got some work done while I was eating so that I wouldn't feel guilty about spending some time exploring. I walked past an electrical workers union building, and as a lot of you know I'm a Pete Seeger fan, and since he's a fan of the unions, I thought he'd like to know that the union is alive and well in Columbus. I visited a few little shops on High Street (that's one of the main streets in town) and spent some time looking around the Ohio State Bookstore. I also walked around the campus a little bit. It's very pretty. I snapped a photo of the sign so that you could see some of the grounds. My favorite part about this sign is that it says: THE Ohio State University. After walking around a little bit I got back into my car (I was kind of putting it off) and on one of my breaks in Ohio...I saw some Amish people! I was so pumped! As you may remember, earlier this tour I bought some Amish Cheddar Popcorn just so that I could feel like I had seen some Amish people...but here was a mom and son selling some jam and other homemade goods on the side of the road. I didn't catch them in the photo because I didn't want to be rude, but I gave them a little wave! Soon after that I crossed into West Virginia. I didn't even know I was going to be going through West Virginia (I do NOT have a PhD in geography) and I was instantly seduced by an attraction sign that promised a view of a golden palace. Well, I took a wrong turn somewhere and just ended up wasting 30 minutes, without seeing a glimpse of a palace. Instead, I saw these little fawns on the side of the road. How cute are they? They were a little scared of me, but only when I pulled out the camera did they turn to run away. After getting back on the highway after my detour failure, I finally got into Pennsylvania. It felt like it took forever today! I was so happy to get back into Pittsburgh. I really like this town, and took a photo of these eyes, which were in downtown Pittsburgh. Just like a painting they followed me even as I was driving away. Tonight I play with my friend Heather at D'Vine Wine in Wexford, so I'll take some photos and let you know how it went tomorrow! I can't believe I'll be sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night...I think I'm going to sleep pretty late on Saturday!