This morning breakfast is a healthy affair, I thought to myself as I tumbled homemade granola into the greek yoghurt and dressed it with a liberal helping of fresh blueberries and honey from the Four Seasons de-luxe buffet. I pondered the breakfast menu for a full five minutes before deciding that Eggs Benedict three days in a row bordered on obsession. Back in the room, the rain-mist outside was incessant. The ferries came and went and the lights on the big wheel stayed on for most of the day, it was that gloomy. So reminiscent of England was this picture that I can’t deny there was a warm feeling inside as I gazed across the Puget sound before packing the bags for Portland and a run of ‘one’ gigs in a row before another day off.
The hotel checkout was simple, if not slightly embarrassing. Just the one bag of Black pepper potato chips to pay for from the mini-bar at a cost of about $5, a consequence of a moment of utter weakness last night. All aboard Jason’s bus and off to the GA terminal at the airport. It always amazes me that it is allowed for the bus to go ‘airside’ and drop us off literally three yards from the steps of the plane, onboard which Diane was waiting with a delightful salad lunch.
A short ‘hop’ down to Portland and in a reverse of what just happened, we stepped off the plane, walked the three yards to Saen’s bus and drove for 20 minutes (it’s always 20 minutes) to the venue. Another huge arena home to the NBA Portland Trail Blazers. I thought they should be called the Portland Recyclers such is the attention and commitment to recycling in this town. Nice to see. In fact Portland is such a nice town, it’s a real shame we won’t get to see ANY of it on this trip as we’re heading down to San Francisco after-show. Ah well, could be worse. Once the crew boys had made the turnaround we headed for the stage and our sound-check. A few things to look at today, a slightly different instrumentation for Corned Beef City with Mike taking on an acoustic and John playing Mandolin. John has been expertly delivering a fair bit of mandolin in the set. Some small lighting things to play with and we were done. In the very short time between sound check and show, I had the chance to meet a couple of guests. Portland residents Larry Villella from ADK microphones and Mike Stern from Briggs and Riley.
Anyone who has been to one of our current shows will know that we are introduced to the stage in ring-announcer-style by the ubiquitous omnipresence of Paul Crockford. In Seattle, Paul found a suit to suit the occasion.
I’ll let the images do the talking…..
PC in action….
After-show it was a swift turnaround and as soon as Mr. Bob was onstage we headed out back to the airport and a flight down into California and ANOTHER day off in San Francisco. Diane served up a stellar curry and we were soon being driven into downtown San Francisco. Surely one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in the world. We arrived at our hotel just after midnight and I take the elevator to the 48th floor!! and find my room. The first thing I spot is a pair of binoculars on the desk…a hotel that actually encourages voyeurism. The view is however something to behold. From here I can see the International airport, The sea mist spilling over the San Bruno hills onto Candlestick Park, the entire Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, subsequent views of Oakland and Berkeley and North towards Fisherman’s Wharf and Angel Island. Utterly beautiful, just another day on the road with this happy band of lucky men.