After all those last-minute checks (Instruments? Check! Fab new T-Shirts? Check! School books? Check! Car snacks? Check! All four kids? Check!) we were ready to hit the road, en route to Nevada, Arizona and California.
Anyone fancy a road trip with The Springmans?
We started off with a prayer, then a hilarious story concerning a rooster (you’ve gotta ask me one day!) and the first of many tasty road snacks, then approached the end of our driveway. Are we there yet??
Passports out, complete with P2 Work Visas (Sarah is officially the youngest member of the Vancouver Musician’s Union!) and we entered WA, the first of six states on this tour.
Our first gig was in Las Vegas so we set the GPS and cruised along. And along, and along. Seriously, people, this is a LONG drive! Beautiful scenery, a plethora of rest stops, lots of reading, playing “Spot It” and balancing coloring books on laps. Luckily, we covered the hottest area through the night, and arrived in Henderson (outside of Vegas) ready to stretch out!
With a great host home, we were able to get some rest and were excited to have a quick rehearsal with Dan Falcone. If you have yet to discover the out-of-this-world trumpet playing of Dan, you need to get our CD and have a listen to “Chimichanga” RIGHT NOW! Talented doesn’t come close to describing him, and the kids had so much fun jamming with him. He had to duck out shortly since he had a gig that night. With Celine Dion. Yup.
Church that weekend had FOUR services and we were blessed to be able to lead worship and share a message about our work with World Vision and their child sponsorship program.
Dan joined us that night with one of his uber-talented bandmates for a family-friendly concert. We handed out percussion instruments throughout the crowd and had a rousing night!
Exhausted and early to bed, we didn’t discover until morning the devastation that had taken place nearby on The Strip that night. The Strip where our friend Dan had been in concert just the night before. There were no words as we drove through town amidst the mass of news crews and police cars. Pray for Vegas.
Sad to leave our Vegas friends behind, we re-loaded the van and headed south. Destination: Phoenix!
Took time for a field trip (schooling on the road!) and had fun exploring Hoover Dam. Of course, it was sheer amazement at how huge it really is, but I think we were all even more dumbfounded by the sight of a girl LAYING on the wall posing for a photo! So glad that even my 6-year-old recognized the, uh, silliness? of that!
Arizona, I have an apology to make to you…I am sorry that I had the preconceived notion that you were nothing more than a hot, dry desert where Canadian Snowbirds like to spend the winter. I can’t believe how wrong I was, and I hope you will forgive me!
Arizona is so cool! Well, it is actually HOT, and there is a lot of dry desert, but it is incredibly beautiful and diverse.
We played at several schools in the Phoenix area and made a lot of great new contacts. We will definitely look forward to going back!
Some highlights were: hot air balloons sailing through the sunrise, the tiny Cave Creek Museum where the kids got to ‘mine’ for real gems, Rancho Mañana (look it up!) and views with countless saguaro cacti. Did you know they can be hundreds of years old? There are large fines if you damage one, and every part of the cactus was used by ancient peoples, to eat, build homes and weave cloth from!
Oh yeah, there was also that little thing called The Grand Canyon! If you’ve been lucky enough to see it, you know that even trying to describe it is futile. Did you hike down the Bright Angel Trail? We made it a fair ways down and loved seeing ‘The Cliffs of Insanity” (Who’s seen “The Princess Bride”??)
Wish we could stay, Arizona, but we’ve got gigs to get to in California!
Another tragic disaster: the California wildfires. We had one gig in San Jose that had to postpone since school was cancelled for several days due to heavy smoke. Our hearts go out to all affected.
Southern California held lots of adventures and some great gigs. Old and new friends made for a fun concert in Fallbrook, and we were really encouraged at the response to World Vision in the schools. Kids changing the world for other kids is a powerful thing!
What a treat to visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo (kids go free in October! “Yay!” says Frugal Mom!) We walked about 428 miles that day, all worth it to see pandas, elephants, polar bears, koalas, and this chubby cutie, a one-month-old hippo snuggling up with mama!