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Cincinnati, OH (the Latest Show On Earth)

My boss Brett borrowed my car to get to his family in Cincinnati, so I rode with Jameson on this overland.

We first stopped at a hotel in beautiful Asheville. After a relaxing evening we continues to a Hawthorn Suites equidistant between Brett's house and the arena. It was a surprisingly nice hotel, very new. We may have been the first people to stay in that room!

That night we had dinner at PF Chang's. Their chicken lettuce wraps are awesome. I also enjoyed a "flight of sake", my favorite of which was the pear flavored. It was light and clean :)

(photo courtesy Jameson)

I also have to say, after spending so much time together, Jameson and I are still very much enjoying each other's company. It's easy to have fun when you're with an awesome person!

The next day we went to BJ's for lunch, then to Brett's house to get my car :) Brett took great care of my Corolla...even washed it for me! I went straight to get the oil changed and new wiper blades, and while it was in the shop I hit a nearby Plato's Closet. Didn't find anything this time, but that's thrifting for ya! After the car was done I checked on the train's progress. Mathew on train crew was kind enough to fill me in: the train would not be arriving until late. Like, midnight. Soooo...we booked another hotel. Better than waiting in a train yard all night.

The next morning we discovered that the train was still not spotted. I got groceries and went to the address where the train would supposedly be, and waited. And waited.

(photo courtesy Jameson)

Two hours later, still no train. Jameson went to a movie, and I decided to stay. I took a nap in the car, read a book, got a cup of coffee and came back. During this process a cop came by to glare at me. He circled around my car to glare at me again but saw my Ringling parking pass the second time and left me alone after that. Finally after four hours of waiting, it was 4:15 and I couldn't wait any longer....we had a show to do!!!

The situation was similar to what happened in 2012, before I joined the circus. The Fully Charged show arrived late and crews rushed to set the rigging while Dustin, the boss clown, grabbed a megaphone and performed the preshow on the concourse. What a nightmare! Even though once again the train didn't arrive on time for Built to Amaze, we HAD to get moving on setting up the show. The bus took people from the train's temporary location to the arena so that we could at least try to open on time. With only 6 hours to work with (load in usually takes 12), showside crews were hauling a$$ to make it happen.

These photos were taken about 4 hours before the doors were opened to the public. Talk about cutting it close.

(photo courtesy Chris S.)

(photo courtesy Chris K.)

Ryan M. climbing into the rigging.
(photo courtesy Ryan M.)

Two hours before the doors open, and the portal, sound and bandstand aren't set up just yet.
(photo courtesy Ryan S.)

By the time preshow started, setup was almost done. Almost. For safety reasons, guests once again weren't allowed on the arena floor. Ashley (preshow host) had to improvise a preshow from the seats (sound was up, so she didn't need a megaphone). She did a fantastic job, getting everyone to cheer and dance along with her. We were able to open the show on time, thanks to floor/lighting/sound/everyone's hard work.
Great job, Red Unit!!!

After that show we returned to find the train spotted and featuring heat, electricity, and running water. Aaaaaah.

The next morning I ran some errands, cooked, and tried out my new window clings. They're kind of disappointing...I should have used more paint for richer colors. They look like a child made them. But this is how you learn, I guess.

On Friday Brett and his wife Theresa held a little get-together at their beautiful home in the Cincinnati suburbs. It was a lovely 60 degrees and sunny, but the wind was pretty intense, so we spent much time indoors eating grilled burgers and brats, playing cards, and talking. Great way to spend an afternoon :)

The next few days were 'average'. We had a six pack over the weekend, and the crowds were great.
Here are some of Jameson's pics:
The preshow crowd as viewed from our dressing room on the 5th floor.

A large crowd watching the wheel act on Saturday.

After the three shows on Sunday, we are driving a short distance to a hotel, then traveling to my parents' house in Northeast PA so that he can meet them, and I can drop off my car before we hit the DC/Baltimore area. Looking at the schedule, it seems like we might have another load 'n go with the train arriving in DC Tuesday night and the first show scheduled on Wednesday evening (the Wednesday show is a buyout, you won't see it on the website). Should be interesting!

Other Stuff:

A very cool story about what it was like to travel with the circus in the 80s. Thank you Rhett and Jeff for sharing this with me! CLICK HERE to read.

A video by CNN Money on how to keep the 150-year-old spectacle running: CLICK HERE To watch.

Another video of a special event at Madeira Nursery. Super cute! CLICK HERE to watch.

Happy Birthday Cami! It was Rob's birthday too...did he get pied as well?


Someone is in need of refreshment.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Chuck Wagner
Apr. 19th, 2016 12:29 am (UTC)
Re load in, setup
I'm anazed they got that huge truss up and could open the doors only four hours later.
Great pictures!!
Apr. 21st, 2016 12:15 am (UTC)
Re: Re load in, setup
Yeah. This year we were fortunate and/or someone planned ahead so there was an extra day to work with in that city. Load-and-go is no fun for anyone!!!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )