Chapter 15 - A REAL DAY OFF
been on the road for a little over two weeks. Sixteen days
to be exact, but who's counting. Of course, it sometimes felt
more like we'd been out for two months! I guess that's why
I sometimes refer to a tour as a "Whale Expedition."
But by now, we were all pretty well adjusted to life on the
road. We were also getting more comfortable with the new set
list and the band was getting tighter with every performance.
show in Buffalo went well, in spite of the revolving stage,
and now it was on to Columbus. It would be a long, long day.
We would be traveling 329 miles and then doing a show that
evening. The day after the concert in Columbus, we would repeat
the process and drive another 385 miles to Dan's home town,
Peoria, and then do another show that evening as well. After
our Peoria concert, we would be heading to Madison but not
until we had real a day off. Not a day off disguised as a
'travel day' but a real day off!
several days of overcast weather, waking up to a perfect sunny
day in Peoria was a great way to start my one day off and
I wasn't about to waste it sitting in a hotel room watching
CNN Headline news. So, after a light breakfast, I was ready
to put my feet to the street and go out to find some adventure.
had an opportunity to check out a couple of really interesting
museums. Probably the best known is the 'Caterpillar' museum.
No, it's not what you think. It's not display cases filled
with a bunch of hairy little insects. I'm talking about the
company that makes the worlds largest and most widely known
earth moving equipment. You know, Caterpillar tractors, bulldozers,
etc. Giant Tonka toys for grown-ups!
visiting the museums I ended up at the river walk for a pleasant
stroll in the sun and then ended up at one of my favorite
places to visit in Peoria. There's an old department store
down by the river walk that has been turned into an antique
emporium. With several floors of antiques, it was quite easy
for me to spend most of the afternoon browsing through an
amazing collection of artifacts from yesteryear. I always
go in to these places with the intention of staying only a
few minutes and then end up staying for hours. Anyway, it
was now late afternoon and it was time to head back to the
hotel bar where I stopped in for a Guinness. What can I say?
All that walking made me thirsty.
I got to my room there was a message from Bernie saying that
Dan was having us as his guests at a special dinner with his
mother. He had arranged for a private room at one of the finest
restaurants in Peoria and had thrown a similar celebration
at the same place the last time we were in town so I knew
it would be a culinary treat.
was an evening I won't forget. After our truly amazing feast,
we went downstairs to the piano bar to have some after dinner
refreshments and we pretty much took it over. The piano player
has been there for years and he and Dan go way back. We were
all feeling pretty good at this point; even Zoot took a turn
at playing a few songs for us. Anyway, we all had a fantastic
evening and actually ended up closing the place.
to Dan, we had a perfect end to a perfect day but we all knew
what was ahead. More Roadzilla! Tomorrow would find us rolling
down the highway again, in our land yacht, headed to Madison,
Wisconsin for a concert and the day after that we would be
on our way to Chicago for another show.