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We arrived at Jameson's parent's house late and went straight to sleep.

In the morning we went downstairs and were greeted enthusiastically by Addison and Mo. Addison has really grown up! She is 1 year old and about 80 pounds, so believe it or not she's still got growing to do! She is much more well-behaved than she was when we first met...but she is still a goofball <3



We enjoyed a day hanging out with Jameson's Dad, eating a fantastic lunch at a local Italian spot and taking a tour of , the town where Mr. Boyce grew up. He says it's changed a lot, but some things, like the house he used to live in, are still the same. For dinner Mrs. Boyce made us kale, a savory beef pot pie, and some truly delicious oven-roasted brussels sprouts. How anyone can make brussels sprouts taste good is a mystery to me.

All too soon it was time for us to leave. The Boyces gave us each a bag of Valentine's goodies (I love my fuzzy socks!! Thank you!!) and a hug and sent us on our way. We made good time to the train and were thrilled to see that unlike two years ago, it was parked in a place that's visible from the road.
And THE YARD IS PAVED. Halelu!

feb15-2015-4

After a short rest Jameson and I went to Pie Car to participate in a Valentine's Day PR. There were pink and white balloons near the doors and vases of cut roses on the tables...far from the normal Pie Car decor :D We had been told that the media folks might interview us, but instead we were each given a rose, a piece of cake and a few strawberries and were told to "act cute" while a cameraman gathered footage of us "eating" and "talking" and "making googly eyes" and whatnot. It was actually kinda fun! I have never been good with cameras and was nervous, but Jameson was very natural and calm. Hopefully we will get to see the footage!
feb15-2015-2

Opening day went well. We have a fill-in BMX guy while Koji and Dan heal (Dan wrenched his back last week). This arena is similar to Greensboro in that the ramp is right behind the portal, so once again we're pulling out the heaters and slipping on the thermal clothes. We are also on ice this week (they left the ice on underneath our rubber mats) so the floor is REALLY cold! And when the elephants come out, the mats shift and you can feel/see everything on the bandstand move. Kinda funky.

For dinner Jameson drove Brett, Tom, Tim and I to Tony Luke's, a famous Philly sandwich stop. Although they were late to the cheesesteak wars, Tony Luke's offers other delicious original sandwiches such as the Roast Pork Italian: sliced pork slow roasted and marinated in various spices topped with sauteed brocolli rabe and sharp provalone on a delicious hoagie roll. I had to try it.



You can't really see the broccoli but it's there, under all that pork!
After that amazing meal we hit a small kiosk to get Powerball tickets. Why not, it's up to a quarter million! I don't think I've ever bought a lottery ticket before! None of us won :P

Thursday was a typical split day. My friend Beth Ann came to the morning show with her family, and they had a lot of fun. It was great to meet her husband and kids!

feb15-2015-5

After the show I got a rental car, and Tim and I went to a laundromat because the train washers are locked due to the cold weather. The night show went well. With the space heaters and thermal clothing it was at least bearable. But by Friday it was getting even colder. After the morning show we were informed that there was no water on the train, but train crew was working hard to keep the pipes from freezing. Thanks to our contract, the band was allowed to get a hotel room for the night. During the rare times we find ourselves using this contract benefit, I always feel extremely grateful.


The next day was Valentine's Day! Jameson got me some thoughtful gifts, a Neil Gaiman short story book and a huge box of chocolates! <3 <3


At the arena, I was flattered to receive valentines from several clowns and the Mongolian troupe! The valentines were delivered via wardrobe...you put your valentine in the box, and the school kids delivered 'em!


Unfortunately the frigid temperatures persisted through the six pack weekend. We ended up in the hotel for three nights. Meanwhile train crew rented some heaters to keep the water flowing at the train (they were only partially effective from what I've heard). Pie Car Jr. was located outside the arena here, so they had to prepare food for us in a -10 windchill. Things were not much better for the dancers and crew members, who had to endure the arctic draft coming through the portal every time they made an entrance. But even though the cold made everything uncomfortable and difficult, everyone worked hard and got through the weekend. Circus Fit indeed :)

Everyone was exhausted by the time we got to Monday. The President's Day show was in the evening, so we had the whole day to rest. I checked out of the hotel and returned to the train to pack for a trip to my parent's house, then wrote this post :)


Next stop is Brooklyn. We will be there for two weeks, and although we have a ton of shows the hardest part will probably be getting through that nine pack right off the bat.
feb15-2015-3

But guess what! Jameson's friend is letting us stay at her apartment while she is out of town! It's only about 1.5 miles from the arena! Sure beats a two hour bus ride to and from the train every morning and night! Thank you!


Other stuff:

An article featuring Brooklyn native Brian, and how he became a clown with the Greatest Show on Earth. CLICK HERE to read.

Gemma's 500th cannon shot was on Saturday! Congratulations!!!


(photo courtesy ringling.com)

Applesauce got some great shots of the Wells-Fargo Arena with his drone! The first picture shows the arena with the animal tents in the foreground, and the second is of the Eagles stadium.
feb15-2015-3
feb15-2015-4

Reynier and Matt came prepared for this weather :P
feb15-2015-5