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Greensboro, NC: Family, Friends and Bread

The run to Greensboro was short...it was scheduled to be 12 hours, and it ended up about 7!
I'm pretty sure that this is because Bubba, our new Trainmaster, is awesome.
Are we going to continue to be on time?? That would be fantastic!!

We also lucked out on the engineer this run. Short train runs are usually pretty jerky, because we pass through small towns or have to yield to other trains. But this guy, whoever he was, got off to such a smooth start that for the first time since joining the circus I didn't know what time we'd started moving. The rest of the run was equally smooth. Mystery Engineer, whoever you are, THANK YOU.

From 2008 to 2010, I attended graduate school at (U)NCSA in Winston-Salem, NC.
Greensboro is only about 1/2 hour from Winston-Salem. I used to sub in for the Greensboro Symphony, and had auditioned for UNCG as well. I spent a significant portion of my life here, and it was great to revisit a place that holds such fond memories.
I owe most of those good times to Jeremy and Charlie.

Jeremy and Charlie had a room for rent advertised on craigslist. I responded to the ad and Jeremy (or was it Charlie?) called me about five minutes later, thrilled to get a response from someone who seemed 'legit'. My aunt and I drove all the way down from New Jersey to check them out and see the room. I remember they were sitting on the curb waiting for us when we pulled up :) After meeting them and seeing the house, we drove off saying we had 'a few other places to consider'.
No we didn't.

Because of this chance encounter,
I made two of the dearest friends (and if I may say so, family) I will ever have.

These two have recently returned from a year in the UK, where they were attending school for landscape architecture.
On Tuesday we went to Stamey's BBQ for dinner, and then did some barhopping while catching up with each others' lives. They're working hard as usual. I can't wait to see where they end up in a year or two! These are two very talented guys. On Friday they came to see the train, then we spent the day driving around, eating, talking...just like old times.
It was great. It was definitely exactly what I needed...
a small break from the circus, with my two favorite people :)

I was so excited to have them on the train! I even shared my cake :D

Making faces over Americanos and cookies at Spring Garden Bakery :)

At this arena we had an Animal Open House, so I was able to bring Jeremy, Charlie and some of their friends to see the animals up close! They also came backstage to see some props, the dressing rooms, ferrets, a few costumes, the bandstand, etc.

Backstage is surprisingly boring...most of the excitement is in the show.
But I was proud to share my workplace with my friends :)

After the show we hung out just a bit more,
then I had to kick them out because Saturday was a three show day and I had a cold :/
Can't WAIT to see these two again!!!

Charlie's parents also came to the circus!
They're the founders of RAF Models, and both of them are fantastic artists. Their work can be found in museums, aquariums, and parks across the country.
They're currently working on an exhibit for the White House!

Unfortunately the weather was not very favorable for us that day, and we had a little trouble finding each other.
But they kindly took me for some delicious Mexican, and we got to catch up at least a little before the show.
I took them backstage afterward, and they seemed to enjoy seeing the animals, especially the poodles :)

On Sunday my Aunt and Uncle came to the show!!
My Uncle is a former merchant marine who is currently a System Administrator for Verizon.
My Aunt was a teacher in Jersey City for 20+ years, and is now a Pharmacy Technician.
I was privileged to share their home about five years ago after graduating from college.
It was great to see them, even for a short time.
(photo TBA!)

They took me to pick up a rental car for next week,
then we had brunch at Lindley Park Filling Station.
They've got GREAT sandwiches! I got the crab cake sandwich, it was very tasty!

After the show I took them backstage and through the animal compound,
then we had to part ways. Definitely not enough time together :/
I'm hoping to reconnect while the circus is in coastal Virginia.

Other friends, classmates and professors came to see the show this week too.
It was wonderful to reconnect with so many people!

Bread this week is from Spring Garden Bakery, only a block from where our train was parked.
It's Cornell bread, a 'nutritional' bread invented by Clive McCay during WWII.


I didn't realize it was a 'nutritional' bread when I bought it...the cashier said, "It's kind of like wheat", and when I got it home I found out what it was. It is just like wheat bread, only VERY dense. I wouldn't recommend it for a sandwich, but it's good for a side-snack with some honey or cream cheese on it. Flavorful and good. They had some yummy-looking muffins and cookies too, but I was still working on my birthday cake so didn't buy any :P

So that's my week in Greensboro, more or less!
One other thing...I'd like to mention that our lead trumpet and assistant conductor, Slick, is taking a medical leave starting this week (hope he doesn't mind my sharing this).
I miss him already. He's a great guy and a fantastic player, and it won't be at all the same around here without him. Here's wishing you a speedy rebound, Slick!!

Currently I'm in a motel off I-81, en route to my hometown to spend a day with my parents.
Our next week is in Philly, only three hours from my house,
so thought I'd take advantage of the longer train run to drop in.
I'll be writing about that visit next week :)

I'm awfully tired, so off I go to bed. IN A REAL BED~<3

Other random stuff from this week:

Some band gag photos:
Our 'prop' instruments waiting backstage.

Halfway through the band gag, from my perspective.