bat in the bellfry
it is over a week in and i think it is more than fair to say that this is exhausting. there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day for everything. not enough time to get from one place to the next, not enough time to load-in all the gear, not enough time for sound check, not enough time to feed the babies, and obviously, not enough time to sleep. we make the best of the 24 hour days that are given to us, but it is a struggle indeed.
for the most part, our show days involve some working from hotel rooms in the mornings and then i take papasquared to the venue in early afternoon. i then go back to the hotel and get mama and take her and the babies to the venue. we unpack all our baby gear, settle in backstage for some play time, maybe a nap if we are lucky, while mama goes to sound check. mama comes back and we all eat dinner and she feeds the babes. then we pack up the babes and i take them back to the hotel and change them into their pjs and put them to sleep. it works for the most part. and the babies are usually dead asleep by the time i get them back to the hotel so that makes for easy nannying. there have been a couple of shows where i have stayed at the venue for the show with the babies asleep in their tents. usually this is because the distance from the hotel to the venue is too far (thus causing mama to get back to the hotel too late after the show) or because it is a long travel day and we can’t get to the hotel ahead of the show to unpack all the baby gear.
the whole exercise involves a delicate balance of planning a lot of details (driving distances, stops, baby feedings, hotel rooms, van reservations, load-in times, sound check times, dinner times) and trying to live in the moment at the same time. if you allow yourself to think too far ahead, you soon start to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of each day. i felt this especially on the day we drove 3 or 4 hours from winona, mn to minneapolis, mn to take a flight to san francisco and then another flight to san luis obispo and then rent our vans and drive 20 minutes to our hotel. it was one of those days where you really had to keep your focus on the immediate task.
on the humourous front, we spent one really odd day in wisconsin which included overhearing not one, but two discussions about cysts and drainage while at a roadside restaurant breakfast buffet. as well as a Jennys show that involved a bat flying through the theatre during the middle of their set and a fire alarm siren. it was truly bizarre.
we also have met some lovely, enthusiastic, and warm people who are so excited to have the Jennys playing in their little corner of the world. they’ve had several sold out shows and there are more to come. it is really amazing to see the genuine connection people have to their music.
by the way, please submit any tips you might have for traveling (by car and/or plane) with babies in the comments section. we’ll take all the suggestions we can get.