Cool Ranch Dorritos. Check. Java Monster Energy Drink. Check. Passport and Wallet. Whoops. Losing the most crucial travel items possible fifteen minutes before tour departure is not a good way to start a trip. The inability to buy a decent spirit as any 24 year old man should able to is a pretty heavy harsh on the mellow, but I've somehow found comfort in the company of awesome people, awesome shows, and frighteningly synthetic gas station snacks. Seattle was a perfect beginning point. Aside from a show that I was pretty stoked on, we got to chill with my buddy and inspiration Ian Furgeson, who's music, art, and general presence are a huge breath of fresh air. Seattle was a lot more welcoming and appealing than any previous trip. It really is an awesome city and I can't wait to stay for a decent amount of time and explore it.
Thus far we've also played Salem, Portland, Reno, San Francisco, and Modesto, with the SF show undoubtedly being the best. Bottom of The Hill is a great venue, the familiar faces were refreshing, and the show felt genuinely awesome in general. We were lucky enough to stay in the company of my good friend Eric Eischer, who's story and influence are much the same as Ian's in Seattle. His daily delivery of Eric-style motivational text messages are some of the highlights of each day. "You are capable of anything and everything. Always believe in yourself. I do. Blessings" is just one example.
We ended up in Dolores Park the next day, lying in the grass and taking in ample amounts of sun and stray exhales of sneak-a-tokes from the park-goers. The scene was surreal, like a setting from some utopian dream. People lay freely in the grass, being young, being healthy and happy, and taking the time to simply be, and be stoked on being. There was a couple there rolling around and kissing in the grass. I wanted to tell them how beautiful they were, or maybe take a snap shot of them so as not to forget that moment of theirs, but I realized that was moment was theirs and not mine and I simply let them be. By an hour into our indulgence in the sun, John had a beard stuffed full of flowers, we were enjoying some coconut popsicles, and my good friend Kelsey from Portland had somehow managed to coincidentally cross our path in the park and join. As much as that city has changed in the last few decades, there are still heavy traces of undeniable benevolent energy that permeate that place as they likely existed in the sixties. That place is still magical.
Reno, A.K.A. Captain Unexpected. We had absolutely no clue of what to expect from the biggest little city in the world, but it somehow ended being completely awesome. My friends Alisa and Marcus who I met in London a while back made a detour on their trip to Portland and took the time to fly out to Reno and come hang out for the night and we had a blast. A friend of Jonathan's somehow managed to get us a free suite at some ridiculously lavish Reno hotel. We must have cracked up for the first twenty minutes about how ridiculous the place was, and I could never accurately describe how over the top the room was. John, Aaron, and Jonathan jumped back and forth from the two king size beds, like Tom Hanks in that trampoline scene from Big. John and Aaron put on the two robes awaiting us. I attempted to indulge in every way possible, taking a shower with not one, but two shower heads pouring down on me from two different directions, and watching the plasma screen TV placed in view across the bathroom. At one point as I was drying off, I stood there, center of the bathroom, naked in my blinding white Portland glow, staring at this place in bewilderment, and most likely must have mumbled to myself, "You gotta be fuckin' kidding me."
Back to the reality of driving countless hours in a baking van, we're on our way to Los Angeles tonight. We are super stoked on L.A. and San Diego in particular, which are, for all intensive purposes, our "home" areas. All in all, this trip has been and will most likely continue to be an amazing one. Being able to play music that I truly enjoy with some of my closest friends, and being able to play every single night for people all around is seriously an incredible opportunity in my life.