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Stockton, CA

We got off to a super-late start...supposed to leave at 9am, didn't move until nightfall.
But still, we arrived before midnight.

Stockton is an unfortunate city at the moment. The violent crime rate is very high, and the city declared bankruptcy this year. We had a dark day, so I was interested in seeing the Miracle Mile or at least a little of the downtown area. So I read up on safety and gave it a go.

The arena is near the Waterfront area. It's very nice, with a park and a baseball field.

(photo courtesy wikipedia)

The best way to get to Miracle Mile is via Center St.
Although taking Madison is shorter, that will lead you through about five blocks of rough neighborhood.
Of course that's the way I went. Although nobody bothered me and although it was quickest, I can't recommend that route for circus moms, kids or people who like to 'dress up' to go out.

Anyway, the 'revitalized' Miracle Mile was nice. There were some thrift stores and antique shops, and a large used bookstore that also had lots of DVDs for $3. I got two documentaries, looked through all the antique stores, and popped into a corner store for a bottle of water and a snack before heading back to the arena. People were friendly, the day was nice. All in all a good afternoon walk.

Thursday was a dark day. A mall run was offered at 1pm, using two company vans.
I wasn't interested in the mall at all, but rather a Trader Joe's about a mile down the street.

I was looking for a particular cheap wine from Rabbit Ridge, their Allure De Robles. For those who haven't heard me raving about it, this is something I came across several years ago when living with my sister in Lancaster, CA. I'm not much of a wine person, but remember very much liking this blend. But when I moved back east, it wasn't to be found in stores anywhere. After a bit of research, I discovered that this particular wine is only distributed in California, and then only to Trader Joe's, and THEN only in the month of September while supplies last. So I feel very fortunate that it became available during my last week in California!

The rest of the weekend was pretty straightforward. On Saturday we were treated to an afternoon shower, the first rain we've seen since coming to CA two months ago!

And Sunday was the first day of fall :)
We have played 104 shows here in California. What a great run!

Next is Salt Lake City. We have a heavier schedule coming up,
but there should be interesting things to do in the city.

Pictures from this week:

Stockton's mascot is apparently an asparagus...wow...

(photo courtesy Bernadette)

Sunset reaches the backstage area on our last day in California.

(photo courtesy Ryan)

My boss, Brett, wanted to (yes WANTED TO) play in the band gag during rehearsal.
I had to capture the evidence!

Here he is demonstrating the awesomeness of the trombone as compared to the keytar.