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Orlando, FL Adventures and Bread!








Train Run yaaaay!

It's been so long!
We were about 5 hours late getting moving.
After a lot of back-and-forth motion, we finally got up to speed around 3pm.
Although it was dreary and rainy, there were a few trainspotters present to see us off.



Incidentally I am in this video, around 4:13-ish.
I was eating an apple and waving at this guy.
I'm in the vestibule on car 37. Car 38 (my car) appears at 4:17.
Other cars of note:
Elephant car - 2:30
Generator car - 3:60
Pie Car - 4:03
Private/Quarter cars - 4:37 thru 4:43
Flat/Stock cars - 4:55 and on.

Throughout this run, people stopped what they were doing to wave or pulled over to take pictures.
It was really nice to see enthusiasm for the train :)

The Orlando yard is near an intersection with lots of great stuff nearby...a Publix and a Super Target, and lots of retail and food stores. These things are important when your schedule's tight and maybe you don't have time to catch the market bus. On the downside, this yard is pretty noisy, with freight and Amtrak trains going by at pretty high speeds at regular intervals. I will be investing in more earplugs :)


The band had a recording session on Wednesday.
The music we record will be used in PRs, commercials, show intermissions, etc.
We (the band, the sound guys, and the audio engineers) were at it from 9am until around 5:30pm.
Pizza break included :) Thanks guys!!!

Like all recording sessions it was slow going.
For those who've never recorded before, it's a lot of starting and stopping, playing sections instead of whole pieces, and being very patient. Mistakes will be made by everyone, and they'll be recorded, and it will NEVER be perfect or sound the way you want it to.
Getting nine people to play perfectly in one given instant is pretty much insane.
As Slick (trumpet) said, you gotta respect session musicians who do this kind of thing for a living!
We did our best. Though it was a long day, it was productive. I hope the finished product will be decent!


We had several exciting visits throughout the week!
Joey Fatone was here on Thursday filming for his cooking show on the Live Well Network.


Later on we saw him at the arena, riding one of the Circus Celebrity floats during our dress rehearsal and also filming some more at Pie Car Junior. I was careful to stay away from the cameras (no likey),
but circus rumor had it that Joey had cooked the potatoes included in today's main line.
Whatever, I like when Colleen or Uncle John makes the food. They're the best :)
Anyway can't wait to see the episode when it comes out!

Something pretty unfortunate happened that day during warm ups.
One of the Catwall acrobats fell on the edge of the trampoline and broke his femur.
I didn't see it happen but heard him yelling when they tried to move him. :(
At least he will be ok...but that will take a long time to heal.
I do not know his name. But please keep him in your thoughts!

Anyway the show must go on. We did a full run-through, then did our first show in Orlando.
I got another great 'crowd capture' photo during preshow. I LOVE it when people enjoy the acts!



Jameson (keys) had a lot of friends and family present. I noticed many other circus people talking to audience members after the show...lots of people must have family and friends here.
My friend Amanda brought her Dad to see the show. She drove two hours from Sarasota!
They were my first visitors of 2013 :)


After the show we went to a bar across the street, where she let me talk her ear off about the circus.
Amanda and I met on a two month holiday tour called Handel's Messiah Rocks, back in 2010.

She's doing a lot of adventurous stuff these days,
like kayaking and getting her scuba and gun certifications (no silly not at the same time! :P )

It was great catching up with her, and to see that she's doing well, and to meet her Dad!

On Friday Clown Alley got a visit from Steve Copeland, a former Ringling Blue Unit clown who now travels with the Kelly Miller Circus. About a month ago I found Steve's blog, and we had been chatting back and forth on facebook. It was awesome to finally meet him and his girlfriend in person!


After that show Steve offered to take several clowns and I back to the train.
We all piled into the car (go ahead, make a joke about clown cars. I know you want to!) and after a quick stop at Arby's (everybody was STARVING!) we got back to the tracks. Thank you Steve!
And although Steve couldn't be there for Saturday's three show marathon,
he thoughtfully provided a delivery of sandwiches to Clown Alley.
The clowns don't get much free time this year thanks to the Soap Gag,
which is very cool but takes a lot of prep and cleanup work.


The soap needs to be shredded first.


So on a three show day, free sandwiches are like manna from heaven :)

Also on Friday, I got to do my first explorations of 2013!!
I walked about two miles to Yalah Bakery.
Their website advertised "Genuine German Breads", and my yuppie senses were tingling,
so I had to go check it out!

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I was tempted by everything there, especially the German apple cake and 'bee stings', but exercised self control and only got a gingerbread cookie and a loaf of challah. It was late afternoon so there was a limited selection of bread, but challah is a favorite of mine so I was happy :) The owner also threw in two lavender shortbread cookies. The flowers are baked right in!


Everything was delicious. The challah loaf is not braided, and it's got a strong lemon and/or anise flavor and smell, much different from the last loaf of challah I'd tried back in Texas.
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Next I visited a salon to get my hair cleaned up,
then enjoyed just strolling down the street and window shopping.
It was a nice area near Lake Ivanhoe, with little cafes, antique shops, and a lakeside park.
There was a strange-looking art shop on the main street.
I almost walked past, but am glad I didn't,
because turns out it's owned by a couple of former Ringling Clowns!!!


Glenn and Sandy Rogers used to travel with the Blue Unit.
In addition, they've both got a long list of accomplishments in the film, theater, and design industries.
They even have a documentary!

I walked around the whole gallery before noticing
a picture of about 20 clowns posing on the White House lawn.
Glenn came right over and pointed himself out, and a few other clowns who still work for Ringling.
When I told him I was with the Red Unit, he pulled a scrapbook from behind the counter and showed me all kinds of newspaper clippings and photos from when he was with the show. It was AWESOME.
The circus has changed a great deal since his time...not better or worse, just different.
We talked for a solid 30 minutes I believe (well, he did most of the talking!).
I wish I'd been able to record the conversation! He talks fast lol!
Right before I left, Glenn autographed a bag for me!



The rest of the weekend was pretty straightforward.
Three shows on Saturday, two on Sunday, and we're moving to Jacksonville on Monday.

Built To Amaze is on the road!!!

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