So I meant to update more from England. But alas, I haven’t. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. We visited the Lake District for a couple days and stayed in a great B&B with owners who love music. They fed us dinner one night in exchange for a little mini concert. It was amazing. We tried to catch some sheep with my sister-in-law but all attempts failed. We ate scones with rum butter and cream. I bought zebra print wellies. (Those are rain boots for the Americans out there.) We played music at a camp and had fun hanging out with 11-14 year olds for a week. We played a show at my brother’s church. We told jokes. We gave hugs. We drank pints of cider. We ate Indian and Thai food. We ordered many bowls of chips. (French fries.)
Yesterday we went to St. Albans, a town that houses a really old church. When I say really old, that is precisely what I mean. The church is actually built out of Roman ruins. Now that’s old. We walked around, shopped a little, got coffee, ate Japanese food, played frisbee, and headed home. The ride home was the truly memorable part of the trip. We were passing a park that had some sort of festival going on when we heard music. It didn’t take me long to recognize the theme from Titanic (should I be ashamed?), and before I knew it a middle aged woman was belting “You’re here, there’s nothing I fear…” like whoa into the microphone. She was totally into it. Head back, arms to the side, mic held at a right angle, stance wide. This woman was the picture of an intensely emotional performance. The best part is that we caught it on video. So hopefully I’ll be able to upload it and share it with you soon.
Until then, how about a photo update?
this is my brother and sister-in-law's village
this is sylvester
i was jumping
a magnificent rainbow!
there’s more. but this will have to do for now.
So we made it across the pond to London! Well, Chorleywood to be exact. My brother and sister-in-law live in a lovely little village here. It’s really quite beautiful.
It was an adventure getting here! We were supposed to leave Philly at 1:55p and make a stop at JFK to catch a 6:25 flight to Heathrow. (There are direct flights to Heathrow from Philly, but it was actually cheaper to have the connection.) So there was a lot of bad weather in NYC on Wednesday. Bad enough that they actually shut down both Laguardia and JFK for a few hours. No flights in or out. Completely closed. So our 1:55 flight didn’t take off until about 6:00 which caused us to miss our connection. The flight from Philly was labeled a ‘connector’ flight, meaning that basically everyone on it had some sort of connection to catch (quite a few international connections) and consequently most everyone on the flight missed their connection. Thankfully, there was another flight leaving for Heathrow at 8:45 from JFK and there was space for us on it! It was an insane day at the JFK airport. So many flights had been delayed or canceled all together that the line for rebooking was ridiculously long. Somehow we figured out that we had already been rebooked and that we had to take a shuttle to a new terminal. After a lot of running around we made it to our gate, got new boarding passes, and found some water. The flight over to Heathrow was really easy. Food was pretty good, Tyler got to watch the new X-Men movie (for which I am grateful, because I hate watching those movies) and I got to lay across a whole row of seats (3) to try and get some sleep. It didn’t really happen but it was much more comfortable then being squished up next to Tyler. Although he is cuddly.
Now we’re just hanging out. My brother had to get an X-ray on his ankle today (possible stress fracture), Tyler is sleeping, and I’m hanging out with Sophie (their cat.) All in all a good day. Oh and I played Mario Kart for the first time. I know. Kinda lame that it’s the first time. I found out that I’m terrible at it (I blame my lack of hand-eye coordination) but it’s still pretty fun.
I leave you with proof that we actually work. Someone sent this video to me. It’s from the World Cafe Live show. Enjoy.
Our Avalon vacation is coming to a close. Today is our last day on the island and I’m determined to make it a good one! So far it’s 11:30 and I haven’t really done anything—so I guess I need to get cracking on that plan! I want to hit up the coffee shop, get some ice cream, go to the beach…you know, all of the fun things you do on vacation. It’s been a good time. Wednesday we leave for England and I’m really excited! Here’s hoping we can sleep on the plane.
We played an impromptu show last night at Coffee Talk in Stone Harbor. Tyler used to play there frequently when he was in high school and a little in college so we walked in yesterday morning and asked if we could play in the evening. The owner was pretty excited about it and turned into a great evening. We had a crazy storm here last night and from what I understand the lightning was pretty intense. At one point lightning struck nearby and the power surged. During that surge the air conditioner in the coffee shop shorted out so we ended the night in a really sticky room. Tyler was even more sweaty than usual, which is hard to believe. But trust me, he was.
Well, I guess I’m off to enjoy the day here. We’ll probably post next from England!
So let me tell you what happened yesterday.
We woke up late and walked to the beach. Tyler ran into the ocean with his surf board and surfed while I sat in the sand soaking up the sun. About an hour later Tyler comes out of the water looking a little funny. He approaches me and holds up his left hand. Something’s missing. That something is his wedding ring.
I was a little upset. Not at Tyler because obviously he didn’t mean to lose his wedding ring. But I was upset because it was the ring I’d given him when we said our vows. It was a nice ring. It was a sentimental ring. And for Pete’s sake it was only 2 years old! I was a little ferclempt as Tyler’s mom would say. We packed up and walked home with the intention of going to Stone Harbor to look for a new ring.
We wanted to buy something plain and inexpensive. My thought was that if Tyler could lose his ring once, it was likely that he would lose it again. So we walked in and out of every gift shop and jewelry store in town looking for a plain silver band—or really any male rings for that matter. We found a nice ring in a fancy jewelry store for $200. I knew that Tyler’s original ring was only $100, and I didn’t think dropping that kind of cash was necessary. Everywhere we went people seemed surprised that we would be looking for men’s rings. Having worked in a gift shop that sells men’s rings, I don’t think it should be so surprising that a man would want an inexpensive piece of jewelry. Finally we walked into a shop called “It’s all About Me.” We told our sad tale to the owner and he said that he had a second location across the street that sold plenty of men’s rings. He said that he would call ahead and tell them that any ring we wanted we could have for $30. Our spirits lifted, we crossed the street and Tyler began trying on rings. He found a steel ring that he really liked and I thought, “yay! and it’s only $30.” While he was busy trying them on, the owner walked over. We got to talking and we told him that we were musicians. He happened to be a guitar player and a big supporter of indie music. As we were about to check out he said, “I’m going to give this to you for $10. You’re starving musicians. I support the arts.” We were blown away. We gave him a bunch of cds as a thank you and he said he would spread the word about us.
I’m still sad that Tyler’s new wedding ring isn’t the original. But I’m happy that someone was so nice to us and wants to spread the word about what we’re doing. It never ceases to amaze me when people show us kindness like that.
So we’re at the beach! Or should I say the shore? I think that’s the proper New Jersey terminology. Tyler and I were married in Avalon two years ago, so it’s always nice to come back and soak up the memories. And the sun!
We played on the boardwalk yesterday for about an hour and half until it started storming. And what a storm it was! Thankfully everyone watching our performance was quick to pitch in and help us pack all of our equipment in the rain. Thanks to everyone who helped. We would have really been in trouble if you hadn’t!
A really adorable family came out to our set on the boardwalk. They had three beautiful little kids and they seemed to really enjoy the music. During a break I got talking with the mom and she told me when her little girl (who was less than a year old) was in the womb she used to sing “Muse” to her, and that after she was born she continued to sing her to sleep with the song. She said, “I love your song and this baby is my muse.” I thought it was the sweetest thing. You never know how people will respond to your songs or what impact they’ll have in a person’s life—I thought her story was really encouraging. It’s nice to know that people appreciate our art.
So a rainy day at the beach calls for an afternoon nap and that’s exactly what we did—napped all afternoon! It was amazing. We’ve been running hard for a week now so after we’d taken care of some administrative business, we crashed hard. It was a beautiful thing. We woke up at 6:00pm or so, helped Tyler’s mom prepare some dinner, took the dog for a walk (and got some ice cream!) and then watched this great movie “Amazing Grace” before going back to bed. If you haven’t seen “Amazing Grace” I really do recommend it. It was powerful, and not in a cheesy way.
We slept until 11am. Seems like we needed to catch up (not that that’s really possible). It’s beautiful today and I’m excited to get out on the beach!
We’ll keep you posted on our UK trip and the rest of our time here in Avalon. Have a lovely day!