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Moline, IL - The Whole Week

First, the train run!
It was nice to see the train moving again after so much time bouncing around in Texas!
The first morning I woke up and after eating breakfast, went next door to do some more cleaning in Jason's room.

Boys are GROSS. Just sayin'.

I did the best I could. Then Eric (head porter) came by to clean for REAL. He had a complete arsenal of supplies and went to work scraping goo off the walls and dust from the dark corners. It took him probably about 4 hours. I kept him company a bit, and also went out onto the vestibule, watched a movie, and cooked lunch. At night I stayed on the vestibule to watch the sun set and say hello to people passing by.

On Wednesday I woke up pretty early and treated myself to pancakes and eggs from the pie car. Uncle John was cooking, so I got four monstrous pancakes and two perfect sunny-side-up eggs :) I made some coffee and ate on the vestibule, and tried to figure out where we were. Somewhere in Kansas, perhaps? Oh, my phone says it's Missouri.

The train is rocking from side to side a lot on this run. I had a theory that it's because we're traveling east/west, therefore when we turn north/south it won't rock as much. But some of the crew say it's because the tracks are crappy (you can bet they used a more colorful descriptive word lol).

(a few hours later)
We just left a water stop that took about 4-5 hours. During that time we weren't allowed off the train. I watched a movie, did some stretches, practiced, ate lunch, read, and took a little nap. By the time the train started moving again it was dinner time, so I ate that and went onto the vestibule to check out the sunset.

This part of Missouri is full of farmland and little towns centered around graneries, canneries, etc. It's good to be away from cities for a while. There's something here that I'm REALLY allergic to though! I was sneezing like crazy!
We're about 8 hours behind schedule. This isn't unusual, but I can tell we're trying to make up for lost time because we're FLYING.

Arrived safely in Moline around 10:30am.
After breakfast I got off the train and walked to the venue; it's about 3 miles away and a straight shot from the train yard. I didn't actually go inside because load in was taking place, and I didn't want to be in the way.
I found the visitor's center and got a map of the walkable downtown area. It's a quaint 'city', with nice clean streets and lots of little restaurants and cafes.

Most of the interesting stuff seems to be on 5th street. I visited a thrift shop, and found an ice cream shop with homemade treats that I'll definitely visit before we leave. They had a bunch of our old programs displayed in their windows.

Our new sax player moved in today. His name's Tim, and he seems like a nice guy. His move in was similar to mine; once he had all his stuff in the door, Brett took him to the grocery (and me, yesss) so he could stock up. I have to remember to tell him to get a plug for his sink before the next train run! It cuts down on engine noise by like 75%.
During that trip, I found out that he's allergic to several foods including fish, kiwi, and avocado. I was like, "uh...HOW allergic to fish are you?" Haha. I eat fish every day. He said it shouldn't be a problem.

Tomorrow will be his first show. I wonder how it will go? It'll probably be smoother for him than it was for me!

Today's show went well. Tim got most of the transitions, and although he played quietly he still covered most of the part. In a week I'm sure he'll feel comfortable with it :)
He and LJ (floor crew guy) and I walked back to the train tonight, because we missed the first bus and it was nice out.

The rest of the week went smoothly as well. We had three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday, and one today (Monday). On Saturday night some of us went to a popular local Bierstube. I'm not really into beer, but I took a picture of Slick's boot:

I had an IPA and some handmade pretzels. We learned a bit more about Tim; he's from some island north of Seattle, and before this, he worked on a cruise ship for EIGHT YEARS. No wonder living on a train doesn't bother him!

On Sunday I took a walk along the Mississippi. It was very beautiful but VERY buggy! I literally had to hold my breath in some places! But got some pics of the lilypads on the banks, and a lovely sunset. I have a thing for sunsets this week lol.

Today into tomorrow we're headed to Lexington, KY. The train will be parked very close to the venue. Hooray!!
This'll be Tim's first train run. Hope he enjoys it!