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Two whole days off! Yay!!

After a slow morning I decided to walk to the Kroger about 2 miles away. Yes, I could have borrowed Jameson's car, but for a few pieces of fruit and a loaf of bread it didn't seem worth it. Plus the weather was warm, even if a bit wet.

I made it more than halfway there before hearing manic honking behind me. Roselli, one of our company bus drivers, had pulled up behind me in the animal crew's van. He was on his way to pick up our bus, which was in the shop on the days off for some tuning up. He gave me a lift. Thanks Roselli! You're a champ :)

I putzed around the grocery for a while and ate lunch, then it started to rain. I ducked into the ACE Hardware to ask about an insulated pot for my new flytrap. They didn't have any, but I picked up a spray bottle and a plug-in timer, figuring these may come in handy for all of this plant life. And...I bought another flytrap. Because they're fairly cheap, and I don't see them very often, so figured I may as well have two! You know, in case I kill one off :P

I again made it partway back to the train before Roselli hailed me from a nearby gas station. It was raining pretty hard at this point so I once again accepted his offer of a ride. So much for getting exercise today! Back at the train I put my groceries away, found a worm in the dirt, and cut it up to feed to the traps.
Interestingly, there's a way to cut worms to ensure that they have a chance of surviving the damage. I was careful to do this before releasing the rest of the worm.

That night some of the band guys went golfing! There's a place called Topgolf nearby, a tiered driving range with drinks, food, and games! The golf balls have microchips inside and are assigned to unique players, so that you can keep score. There are distance games, target games, accuracy games...it sounded like fun, but at the end of the day I've got zero golfing experience and wasn't about to spend six hours flailing around with a club. It looks like the menfolk had fun :)

The next day was even rainier than the first! I spent most of the day writing. Writing in this blog, writing a letter to my grandparents, writing emails, writing on Quora, writing on a prompt from my friend Kizzi's blog. Jameson went to see a scary movie.

Wednesday I attended a safety officer meeting, then ate lunch and prepared some food for the upcoming week of shows. We had one show that evening and it went well, though it was lightly attended probably due to the crummy weather (extremely windy).

Thursday, another one show day. It finally stopped raining, so after breakfast I went for a walk, taking pictures along the way.

About a mile down the road was a fenced-off entrance to a very large graveyard. After checking to make sure that a) it was a public place and b) it was considered "open" currently, I slipped through a gap in the fence. Graveyards are a favorite place for me to enjoy a quiet walk.

Parts of the graveyard were very hilly. As I started up some steps I was startled by a small movement almost under my foot. A little garter snake had come out to sun himself. I sat on the steps next to him and took some pictures. He seemed annoyed, and when I finally got up to move on he slowly slithered under some leaves.

I spent a little time enjoying the fresh air and the quiet and my own thoughts, then returned to the train for a cup of tea. The show that evening went well.

On Friday we had an early morning show, made earlier by the long commute and a preshow (we don't typically have preshows for morning shows). But the school groups were rowdy which made it fun. It's a blast seeing all the kids dancing during the pop arrangements!

During the split Jameson took me to Roswell, GA about 45 minutes down the road. This is where he grew up and went to high school. We met his brother Kyle at The Fickle Pickle, a pretty fantastic sandwich place in an area filled with cute shops. We were treated to homemade potato chips and spicy fried pickle slices. My sandwich was smoked salmon with picked onion, veggies, and caper mayo. It was delicious!

After our meal Kyle insisted that we check out Sugar Shack in the Back, a bakery directly behind The Fickle Pickle. They had mini pies, cakes, cookies, and muffins, and lots of other delicious items! Jameson got a baked oatmeal "pie" for breakfast the next day. I got a banana cake with salted chocolate icing for us to share on Sunday night :)

We walked around Roswell a bit, enjoying the fine weather (finally the sun!) and stopping at a record store to do a little digging. After a while we parted ways. It was great to spend time with Kyle!

Jameson and I continued our adventure with a drive through his old neighborhood. A lot has changed since he lived there almost 20 years ago! He was surprised by all the new shopping areas and residential developments. I really enjoyed seeing the places that are a part of his life :)

Back at the arena the second show went well, although the crowd was pretty light :/

Saturday, three shows. Nothing of incredible interest.
Sunday, finally our last two shows in Duluth! Next we have a long train run to Cincinnati. The train is notoriously late to this city...I'm talking so late that we aren't usually finished setting up by the time preshow starts!! But this time it looks like we don't open until Thursday...so maybe...for once...I don't want to jinx it, but maybe we'll be on time?!?!

Other stuff:

When it rains...train crew makes a tent.

(photo courtesy Nikki R.)

Mable and Tonka napping. AWWWWW!!!!

(photo courtesy Adria C.)

Elephants playing with fire hoses <3

(photos courtesy Adria C.)