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Jameson and I went our separate ways on Sunday. I drove a few hours to reach St. Louis for the night, while he flew to Florida to get to his house.

The next morning I did my workout solo in the hotel's gym, which was surprisingly nice!

After that I had a nice breakfast, though it was kinda strange to be eating at a restaurant alone. Not something I normally do. But I was seated near the hostess stand, so a few of the wait staff came by to chat and made it less lonely :) Plus breakfast was delicious! Avocado toast and eggs!

After the meal I went to a local music store that had great reviews, but unfortunately it was not for band/orchestra instruments. So I hopped back in the car and kept driving until I reached Kansas City. There I did a little shopping, ran some errands, and chilled at the hotel.

The next day was spent in much the same way. I checked out and had to find things to kill time while waiting for the train to arrive. I spent the afternoon at Panera working on computer stuff. As I was packing up I realized that I couldn't find the keys to Jameson's car. Oh no!! After checking everywhere, I ran outside and up to the car...and there were the keys right on the driver's seat. Ugh. So I bought another coffee, called AAA, and sat down to wait. It didn't take long for someone to come help me out, but I certainly felt like an idiot. It happens to everyone...right?

By that time the train was in the yard and close to being spotted, so I stopped at Cosentino's for some groceries and dinner. Got to the train, unpacked, and relaxed.

I woke up around 6am to the sound of the emergency backup generator making annoying beeping noises. The power was out. I sent a few texts to find out what was up, and it turned out our generator had finally kicked the bucket. Over the next three hours, attempts were made to hook us up to a rental generator which also didn't work for whatever reason. By the fourth hour I was starting to get nervous about my food, and about the band needing to get hotels. But shortly thereafter power was restored.

That afternoon I drove to the airport to get Jameson. He had an amazing time at his friend's memorial service...it sounds like it was very cathartic and much-needed for all of those left behind. Very cool :)

(photo courtesy Jameson)

We went back to Cosentino's so Jameson could get groceries and his "special milk" only sold here in KC. It comes in flavors like cotton candy and root beer! Then we went back to the train. Where the power promply went out. Again. For about an hour. But this time it was because an attempt was being made to move the aux generator car to another section of the train so that it can provide power on the next train run maybe(?) In any case it was cool to watch as they moved the cars around. It's pretty unusual for the vestibule doors to be open next to active tracks like this, but every precaution was taken before things started moving around.

The next day was opening day. After rehearsal Jameson took me to an awesome sushi place nearby. Good stuff!

That night we had a great crowd! Thank you Kansas City!
On Friday I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. Jameson was doing a poker tournament in the morning as well, so he dropped me off, then I took an Uber back to the train. The evening show was good...nothing to report.

Saturday was three shows. The weather was very nice. The day seemed longer than usual because after this we have a week off, and everyone is looking forward to it! After the shows Jameson, Rebecca and I decided to go to one of the haunted houses located next to the circus train. The most popular one is called The Beast, and it's one of the top-rated haunted houses in the country! It takes about 45 minutes to get through the house, it involves both live action and animatronics, and there are two slides, one of which takes you from the fourth floor all the way back to the first! You sign a waiver and step through the doors...then you're on your own...

(photo courtesy Rebecca W.)

We had a blast! It was super dark and creepy, and there were surprises at every turn. The effects were amazing, and the actors/scarers were REALLY amazing! Most were very interactive, and many used the elements in their scare areas (lighting, strobes, props) to make their scares much more effective. By the time we got out, we were all on edge and laughing too! It was a good time. I'll be back!

On Sunday we had two shows. Before leaving the train I made sure the plants were watered and packed several bags. The Red Unit has a dark week (no work!) until late September, so most folks are using the time to take a vacation or go home to visit family. Some members of the band are going overseas, or to the beach. Jameson and I are going to Chicago to spend our week with his family :) In the four years I've been with the circus, we've never had a dark week like this before! I'm looking forward to the vacation!

Other stuff:

Here's Colonel (the horse) and his trainer Robert Stipka fooling around between shows!

(video courtesy sea_monkey9)

It pains me to say this...this week we say "see you down the road" to Dima, Floor Crew Boss, Iron Jaw, aerialist, acrobat, and athlete supreme, besides being just a downright nice and awesome guy with the best work ethic I've ever seen. Dima, we will miss you terribly. All the best to you, Nadia, and Sacha. We hope you'll come visit!

(photos courtesy Nadia T and Deborah Grosmark)