zondag 28 juni 2015

Sat 13/6 - Chicago-Saint Louis: 2x Bottle Rockets... Amtrak train

woooooooo!!! honkinggg
okay no matter what from here, I’m in the Amtrak TRAIN and its HONKING hahaha wooo!!
Ok but we came here to see the Bottle Rockets so lets hope for the best.
This is a “highspeed” train wonder how fast we will go.
I hope the train will go a bit faster than this.

woke up early due to jetlag, and stayed in bed feeling very confused, anxcious, and feeling sorry for myself and wanting to go home, (I feel a bit better at this moment)
We took a cab back to the Union Station, it took a bit longer than the one yesterday, maybe tourist-detour, or maybe he avoided the traffic? Anyway, we saw a bit of the town, I always loved Chicago and enjoyed the views of the river, the lake, the old buildings, the old bridges. And loved the beautifull churches.
dont you just wanna jump aboard of trains with such names, no matter the destination?

As you know I’m a train geek and that took over as soon as we entered the building again. We were way too early, and went to get a bite. Only two things open at 6.30 am:
mac donalds and dunkin doughnuts :-P but the last one sold fruit! waiting for the train we saw something interesting called “reversable escalator” :-D






 We all had to wait inline inside the station, then show your ticket and then walk on the platform and directly go on the train unlike at home. It was a bit of a dissapointement that it looks just like a European train on the inside. This is more spacy though, and comfortable. Plenty of room for our bags. The feeling is the same as at home (like the wobbling :-) ) but the constant honking  makes it pretty clear that we’re in an American train :-) I wonder if I will be sick of the honking by the time we’re in STL.












"you are here" :-)

and here are poweroutlets next to your seat and we’re suppose to have wifi but it stopped as soon as we left the station.
we’re going at a good speed now.
there’s a café on the train (unlike at home) so we wont starve nor are we forced to eat stroopwafels for lunch.
ok now thats a good thought that just came up: if we’re not going to be able to see the Bottle Rockets (or less) we’re going to enjoy the trip in a different way!!

we’re passing old real cute looking american towns.
trailerparks
Joliet! Blues Brothers :-)
Conductor is chatting outside with some train-spectators. I just keep telling myself “they have a calculated time to stop here and its not time to leave yet” but I also keep thinking LETS MOVE.
teehee funny conductor “ladies and gentlemen please take a moment to check your cellphone. If you’re not in the possession of your cellphone, I may” :-)
weird trainjunctions here
We just found out the train honks for every crossroad.
Beautifull Illinois on my right hand, endless fields of green with typical american farms and phonepoles. Last time we saw this everything was white (very pretty too)

--
we heard so many dreaded things about American trains always being delayed, (Brian even told me about a 11hr delay on Chi-Stl, thanks!) that we were a bit nervous, but then I looked on the amtrak website and it said the train was running 20 minutes too early?!
HUH?!
well, so it was. I asked the conductor and he said “this is the first time in a while we’re not too late. Its the first time in 6 months we’re early, but we’ve never been 20 minutes early, and I dont know why”
I’ll tell you why, its because of us, we attrack crazy shit :-D
when we were almost there, all of a sudden everyone on the opposite side of the aisle grabbed their cameras and started clicking away. I knew what was going on, grabbed mine and joined them; a spectacular view on the Arch and the skyline!



How great it was to see it, we MADE it, we were back, and we’re in Saint Louis!!
Robert joked that it would be funny if the train would stop on the bridge and make 11hr delay. Brian later told us that was exactly what happened with the 11hr delay he told me about earlier :-D :-D


It was hot and humid in Saint Louis, just as we were warned. Felt like walking into a bathroom where someone just took a shower. Trainstation was tiny but modern, nice and clean, and also a Greyhound station. Very clean bathrooms (as everywhere)

Marcia and Steve came to pick us up in their bright orange car. So good to see them again, and so super good of them to pick us up! Nice ride to the house concert. I just couldnt believe I was in Saint Louis. AGAIN.
Also: I was so relieved that we made it!!! No matter what from now, we would at least see two concerts.

Ricks house was in a very nice neighbourhood. As soon as we walked in, I recognized it from many pictures of previous house concerts. Rick is a very nice guy! we brought stroopwafels, and other guests brought food too and it was like a horn of plenty, mmm... we met some nice people and we had some food. I was so tired, I probably introduced myself to the same persons 3 times. I already noticed the band was in the backyard so it was about time to go and say hi.
The moment I longed for for 1,5 years, and feared would never come again yesterday!!  just fantastic to see them again. We didnt bothered them for too long and went back inside (also because it was brainmelting hot outside)

We picked a nice seat and around 2 the concert started. Rick, who is a very creative guy, made a “spin the bottle rocket” wheel of fortune that determend the choise of song catogory. Spin it clockwise baby :-D

several guests were invited to spin it, and he asked me either first or second!! I felt a bit embarrassed as I looked and felt overheated (and still in my travel clothes) but gave it a good swing. cant even remember the catogory it went.
several other out of state guests spinned it too, there were people from chicago and Washington state!


I enjoyed the show, but was a bit overwhelmed with being here and also so tired. I’m glad it was seated. Loved to watch and listen. Watching John Horton getting a laugh attack is almost worth the trip alone :-D


One of the highlights was when Eric sang a Neil Young song (might have been Long May You Run)
Only bad part was the gig ended too soon, but I was happy and gratefull, also to be here at Ricks house, that I saw so often on pictures of other shows.



We gave away more stroopwafels (we were determined to get rid of them the first day) and several people brainstormed with us about how to get a car for us. As it didnt work, we even went as far as asking the band for a ride (to Wisconsin, we could take train or bus from there on), but they said we wouldnt fit in as they were packed already. I felt bad for asking it, because I know bandvans are a special sacred space for a band. Also, I dont want 4 men to have to hold their farts for 7 hrs :-D


theres a long story with this picture ;-)

we joined Marcia and Steve and went to the lovely Angela, their friend, who opened her house for us in between shows. More people were invited and we enjoyed good food, great company and a wonderfull place to hang around and rest a bit. And two cute doggies!



although I feel realy sorry for the flowers, this caused me a laugh attack I really needed.

enjoyed the deck with the view on the big garden with all the trees.... it was just so relaxed sitting there.
we also discussed what to do when we dont get a car and have to stay here untill monday (and take the train back to Chicago) it looked like that was going to happen.

after some wonderfull hours we got back in the car and went to Off Broadway. It had changed a bit since last year, now there was a very nice patio to sit outside and have a drink. We met a whole lot of people and familiar faces, great seeing everyone! Robert had a"belgium style" beer :-D

First artist of the night was Jimbo Mathus. We've seen his name around but didnt know the music, and we were in for a nice suprise!

Next up was Eric Ambel with his own band, that now consisted of Jimbo on guitar, Bottle Rocket Keith on bassguitar, and ex Brandos Phil Cimino on drums. what was a bit weird for us. We were looking at two ex Brandos sharing the stage with a Bottle Rocket :-D anyway, great music. Eric was playing the guitar he swapped with Brian Henneman. (the one in the back on this picture)



although I was enjoying the evening, I got more and more exhausted with every minute. We've been to quite a bit of stress the last two days and only slept for 3 hrs or something. I feared for the Bottle Rockets show. I was so wrong :-)

I had a nice spot right at the front this time and the show was fantastic. They opened with Alone in Bad Company, "my song" and nothing could have been better. It was just perfect.The Bottle Rockets in front of that red curtain. I was back! The unbelieveable adventure of 2013 was continuing into the next chapter... it was just really, really happening.





I felt a bit weird the whole show, like I was inside a movie. Not watching one!
the new songs are great. It was a bit weird to hear "Monday" as new song as we already heared it back in 2013. Expetations for the new album are high!
Anyway, it turned out in a superb show, I was enjoying every moment and couldnt stop telling myself i was looking at the Bottle Rockets again.
Unfortunately I had a minor breakdown when Eric joined the band in the end for Cortez the Killer and I had to go to the back and lean to a wall.

Meanwhile we were meeting a bunch of old and new friends. One of them was Johns wife Liza. She asked what was going on and I told about our transportation/credit card problems.
Aaaand.... she spoke the fabulous words "what if you take Johns car? It will be standig still for 5 days otherwise anyway!"
WTF.
I coulnt believe it. Was this the answer? Does John want to drive it back from Chicago? What about insurance? What about 1000 more things?
after the show we discussed this with John and it seemed like it was going to work!
WE GOT A CAR!!!
John just gave us his car!
we were so happy!
Phonenrs and adresses were exchanged and we were just totally excited.
meeting up with Janet... and someone needs sleep! :-)

Back home with Marcia and Steve, who live in a nice house in the middle of beautifull nowhere with a cute dog called Rocky. (the kids were not home)
we slept so well!

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