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Jameson met me in Albany, and we got a hotel near the airport. I was exhausted! The train wasn't due to arrive in Rochester until Tuesday afternoon, so we killed time on Monday at a mall, and on the drive of course, and on another hotel.

On Tuesday we hit the grocery and went back to the train. I spent the day unpacking, cleaning, doing laundry...all the chores. We also went to the gym.

Wednesday was a dark day. Spent time at the gym, and later on Jameson and I went to look for pumpkins to carve! This close to Halloween there weren't many options, but we found three that fit the bill! The little white one is a "backup" in case one of us messes up our carving!

While Jameson was watching the Cubs game, I prepped the pumpkins! No guts no glory!

All done and ready for carving!

And of course I kept the seeds for roasting in my compact NuWave oven!

Thursday was opening day. It felt good to be back! I was surprised when many folks stopped me in the hall to say "welcome back" or "we missed you". Thanks everyone, I feel loved!!

One of our favorite things about the Rochester arena is that there's a Dinosaur BBQ right next door! After rehearsal we all headed over there for some fantastic barbecue. I had the classic brisket sandwich, cucumber tomato salad, and cornbread! Yum.

The show went well. Back at the train, our awesome clowns were ready to scare our pants off with the annual Haunted Clown Car! WoooOOOOOOooooo! This year's theme was the Wizard of Oz! They did a fantastic job. My favorites were the flying monkey and the scarecrow. Great job everyone!!


Follow the yellow brick road...

Enter if you dare...

Happy Halloween!!

(all Haunted Clown Car photos courtesy Dean K.)

Other folks got dressed up for the event too. Here's Eric and Evelyn as the Mad Hatter and Alice!

The next day we had only one show. Jameson and I carved our pumpkins! He used a stencil for his. Go cubbies! I freehanded mine, and although it wasn't perfect it definitely turned out better than expected! This was our fourth annual pumpkin carving together. I love our pumpkins!

That night at the show we had a sub filling in for Brett, Rob Slowik, infamous trumpeter and conductor with the Big Apple Circus band. He sounded fantastic. Thank you Rob and it was great to see you again!!

On Saturday we only had two shows. Feels like quite a short week. For the rest of the weekend our sub was Hardin Butcher. He's played with us on other shows so we knew he'd be awesome already :) Both shows went well, and since Dino BBQ will be closed on Sunday we hit it again, this time for wings. SO GOOD.

Sunday, two shows. I threw out my pumpkin because it shriveled up and caved in on itself, but the others I will keep for another week. Our shows went well. Today was the anniversary of Slick's death, so I came in to work feeling a little depressed, and I think I wasn't the only one. We miss our friend. But then Miss Claudia came by in her, ummm, interesting costume...and I couldn't help but smile.

After the last show Jameson and I found a hotel here in Rochester. Tomorrow we'll kill some time here before heading to Pittsburgh.

Other stuff:

This is an extremely well-written article from the Washington Post about the relationship between elephants and the circus. It's quite long, but if you can make time to read the whole thing it's definitely worth it. It starts of with an acknowledgement of how circuses handled their elephants in the past, followed by a detailed, in-depth look at how these animals are cared for in the present, whether performing or in retirement. There are also several videos attached to the article. CLICK HERE to read.

This skeleton has been following train crew around...demonstrating what NOT to do. Power lines are dangerous kids!

And no roof surfing either! BAD Skelly!

(photos courtesy Nikki R.)

Circus kid Halloween costumes! You guys look fantastic!!!

A photo of the scenery near the Rochester arena, courtesy Chaz (drummer).

A shot of the beautiful fall foliage on the train run to Rochester, courtesy Nikki R.