What I Did on Summer Vacation

Well it wasn’t exactly a summer vacation, it wasn’t actually a vacation. We have been off tour and off of work for a few weeks. Just returning Monday to do a final show the Library of Congress folks, a thank you to the sponcers. I’m making my way from Minneapolis to Detroit right now in our car. Meeting back up with Josh, who drove the truck back there from Virginia.

We certainly made the rounds during the almost three weeks of downtime. Started the trip down in Illinois with my family. There to see my folks and celebrate the 75th birthday of my Grandmother. Then just a short hop up to Josh’s folks for some R&R and shopping. I love the boutiques in Galena and always find just what I’m looking for. Picked up some great pieces to make my fall wardrobe fabulous.


The we trotted off to Dekalb, IL and spent some time with more family. We were even around for all the high school homecoming fun.

The final stop was in the Twin Cities, we had originally scheduled this to sign the closing papers for the sale of our townhouse. That unfortunately has been delayed until the end of the month. Don’t worry we made the most of our time there. Staying with Josh’s sister and getting quality time in with her boys.

Josh’s younger bother, Nathan, also came up from Illinois and thats when the fun really got started. Annika had gotten tickets to a live taping of A Prairie Home Companion. Oh yeah! It was incredible. We had missed seeing Garison Keller at the National Book Festival, that would have been a cheap second anyway.


After the show we popped over to a fantastic German restaurant called Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit in St. Paul. This place is a blast, one of the stops you make with guests from out of town. It just happened to be the last day of their Oktoberfest Celebrations.


This place is authentic and what a show. Our waitress, Heidi, cracked jokes and was on her toes. The roaming polka band stopped by and all sorts of other “chactors”.


We even played the “Boot Game”; if you’re not familiar with this let me fill you in. A glass boot is filled with 2 liters of your choice of beer and served up. The rules are: the boot cannot touch the table, the toe must point up, you must flick the glass before passing it and if the you spill beer you buy the next one. That all sounds fine until your holding this heavy monster and trying to keep the beer from splashing on you once air gets to the toes. Hilarious good times. I had more fun just watching the siblings together than all the other fun.


Oh and I cut my hair!

From Holland with Love

Now I am a firm believer that this is the perfect way to start your weekend! A sampler from a killer MicoBrewey call New Holland Brewery in Holland, MI set the mood right. With the aid of some liquid relaxants we headed to the beach. I am not a huge fan of sand in the crack but I just wanted to soak up some sun. Josh loves to swim so we thought Holland, MI would be a great place for our day off.
Josh doing him impression of James Bond
One of the other super cool parts of the weekend was this dog park, they had little obstacles and hydrants it was a hoot. We must have come during beard day.

We’re Back, I Swear

I know that postings have been a little lacking. As much as I love my job it has been stressful as a of late. So many shows and tour changes have had me hitting the hay instead of logging on. It’s certainly not due to the fact that we have not been on the road or adventurous.

Our latest leg has taken us into OHIO! The city of Sandusky hosted our exhibit last weekend and what a nice little city it was. Very friendly people and a magic place called Cedar Point. This amusement park alluded us once but we will be back. It opened for the season the day we were there for the show.

The city of Columbus was the next stop and full of fun. We were there almost a full week and explored a few different sections of town. The hotel was located in Short North, the art district of Columbus. Full of shops, galleries and restaurants it was soon to make a favorite on out list. We had some wonderful meals and great beer (you can read about that here).

Mural in Short North (Josh holding up Pippi for scale)

A venture into German Village was also on the list, this historic section of town is possibly one of the cutest places I have ever seen. All the little brick houses and gardens made for such a warm environment. Our visit was not complete without as stop into a German Restaurant called Schmidt’s, yummy house made sausages. On our walk home we stumbled into a super cool bookstore, The Bookloft, their 32 rooms of books and incredible prices could have kept us there for days I fear. This really is a lovely place to visit.

Outward Bound

Part two of our adventure was to do an overnight backpack into a National Park, we chose Canyonlands. But first a trip into MOAB and some dinner was required. Since we needed some supplies it made sense to stop for dinner too, our destination was the Moab Brewery. Not only was the food wonderful but the selection of Micros had both Josh and I skimming the menu. We tried four different concoctions.

Canyon Bottem

Canyonlands is a very large park and has three different sections to choose from, we went into the Needles district. The hiking was amazing but one of the most challenging hikes I have done. We basically went down the shear face of a canyon via switch back. By the time we reached the bottom my calves were howling. This was just the started, we had at least four more miles to go to find a camp site. What made this trip a truly unique experience for both of us was the camping, there are no marked campsites with fire rings and tent pads. This is at large, you have to be a mile off the trails and out of site. well what better way to be out of site then to tuck into another canyon. We found a great little spot with some wind protections, set up our new three man tent and settled in. Dinner was a freeze dried chili mac with tea and candy bars for dessert.

We had time to just sit up and let our minds clear, it was incredibly relaxing. Josh took so many pictures of clouds, I have slimmed them down a bit but here are more Utah pics.

Gone is a Flash

We were home last week but it felt like it was just a dream. I went to bed at our house and work up in a hotel. It was a very productive visit home, closets were cleaned, two loads to Goodwill and a load to take on the road for eBaying. Mailed packages to friends and family. We even had time to meet with a carpet guy, he will be able to install it while we are gone and then we can list the house asap.

There was of course the usual Happy Hour at Billy’s, so many people showed up. It was wonderful to connect with everyone and have some beers together.

Josh’s friend Grant enjoying our Happy Hour Giveaways