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Greenville, SC

We arrived FIVE HOURS EARLY! Unheard of.
Load in was a little earlier than scheduled because of that.
This hopefully gave people more time to visit the grocery or rest up for Weds.

I have been through Greenville before with Handels Messiah Rocks back in 2010.
It's really cool to return to this city!
Some things are the same, some are different.
The crystal shop and Beaded Frog are still there.
The Hyatt where we stayed on the Messiah Rocks tour is there, but they're building a new plaza in front of it.
I had to stop in at Mast General Store (Since 1883) for some old fashioned candy!

And one of my favorite places in the Carolinas, Falls Park, is just as beautiful as I remember it :)
Here are some pictures from my visit two years ago:

...and here is is at present:

(Clowns: Julio, Kelly and G)

I was able to visit more parts of the park this time. Whoever landscaped it did a fantastic job.
One of the most gorgeous spaces I've ever been in for sure. If you get to Greenville, it's a must-see!

Downtown Greenville is small but there are lots of interesting shops and bars.
One new business that caught my eye was Dark Corner Distillery.
They distill gin, absinthe, whiskey, and "moonshine" right there in the store!

"Moonshine" is in quotes because it's 70 proof :P
They were out of the absinthe ('Green Villain') when I visited the first time, so I came back the next day and the whole place smelled of anise and herbs. A dude came out of the back with a 2-foot tube of green liquid, took out a sugar cube, and started doing a 'quality check'. When I asked him for a picture he said, "Sure. Just don't sell it to the Russians".

They also gave out samples! I tried the gin ('White Tiger') first, which was a mistake...it's 90 proof! Should have started with something less 'thumbtacks'. I found it too harsh and couldn't imagine it blending with anything :/ Then I tried the Apple-achian Shine. That was far sweeter, being 70 proof and with added maple flavor. I didn't try any others as we had a show that night and I didn't want to fit any stereotypes :P

We had a fairly busy week here, so there wasn't much time for long-distance excursions.
I spent my free time strolling around downtown, window shopping, and enjoying the weather :)

Shows this week were straightforward. We had a 10am show on Friday...that's 1/2 hour earlier than normal...but it was well attended. Kids have the best reactions to events in the show. During Animal Magic when the snake is brought out, you can hear a whole lot of hysterical screaming! They also seem to love the human cannon. Right before Elliana (cannon) is going to fire, the Ringmaster asks her, "Elliana...are you ready?" and I swear all the kids five and under in the audience answer, "YEAH!!!". So cute!

Our shows on Sunday are earlier than usual because of the Super Bowl.
Most circus folks won't get to watch because they've got load out.
At least our train run to Greensboro will be short!

In the next two cities I've got lots of friends and family coming. Can't wait!

Here's some more stuff from this week :)

Remember a few weeks ago when Joey Fatone was here filming at the Pie Car?
Follow this link for the full episode!

Jameson (keys) putting up with some clown shenanigans during Preshow:

Follow the link to see photos of Red Unit clowns visiting a Greenville children's hospital!

The elephants predicting this year's Super Bowl winner: