Room for 8 please!
Even though we try to pack light, we are a bit conspicuous as we trudge through the hotel lobby with our backpacks, pack ’n play, and crate of school books. Staying in hotels is definitely a change for us. There are some things that we can get used to: soft beds, warm baths, fast wi-fi, indoor pools, and biscuits and gravy or waffles for breakfast each morning. There are some things that are harder: packing, unpacking, cooking, eating, and finding a playground. About the 3rd day in, even Michael got a bit stir crazy. He and I had grown accustomed to walking around campgrounds at night, spending that time talking and getting a bit of exercise. All of the restaurant food was starting to weigh us down.
The big sacrifice comes on concert days. When we have the bus, we have all of our stuff right there on site. We have a place to retreat between Masses, a place for Truman to take a nap, a place for the kids to watch a movie while we are setting up, a place for the younger kids to change into pajamas while we are loading the gear. Without the bus, we are limited to the kids playing in the parish center. Our kids are TROOPERS! They have done great.
After 2 weeks in hotels, it is time for phase 2. We are so fortunate that Daniel from The Thirsting was sympathetic to our cause and agreed to let us use his bus! This is amazingly generous and we are so grateful! (If you are not familiar with The Thirsting, please check out their music here).
As Catholic Rock artists, Daniel and Michael’s paths cross quite a bit. On rare occasions, they even get to present together. Daniel compared our tour route with his and found the best place for us to meet up. He even invited Michael join him on stage, opening for their concert. After the concert, Michael got a quick run-down of the bus.
“Feel the power of a series 60” Daniel joked.
Michael pointed to every button on the dash and asked. “What does this do?”
“This bus is awesome!” the kids shouted as they claimed their bunk and closed the door to the back.
“This might be a tough spot to get out of,” Daniel noted as he encouraged Michael to take the wheel. Michael was more than nervous as he made a 5 point turn, positioning the bus so that he could pull out of the parking lot.
Although Michael has been driving our bus for the past year and a half, there was going to be a learning curve. The next morning, we take Daniel to the airport and drive to the next town where we can find a parking spot, a wal-mart, and a good-will. We go to work stocking up on groceries and making the bus our home for the next 6 weeks!