art, Baltimore, Borjo Coffeehouse, caribou, Chesapeake, Christmas Cantata, Frederick, homeless, Jamestown, live art, Maryland, museum, Norfolk, North Carolina, oil painting, painting, Roanoke, Tegan & Sara, Turntable, Virginia, Walmart
Saturday, December 14 we woke up at Jordan’s place to a leisurely morning and a really awesome breakfast by his housemates. Jordan works janitorial staff at this multi-storied museum/aquarium in Roanoke, and he invited us to come check things out. We watched jellyfish and went up onto the roof to check out the rainy view, then back inside he got us into the science museum where we played around with some hands-on experiments and got to step into the butterfly house. It was a really awesome time.
(The painting done at this show was purchased as a Christmas gift by a woman at the show for her husband, so she asked that we not post her photo with the painting online. Instead, we took the above photo of another member of the audience as a “decoy” image, and posted that instead. Now that it’s after Christmas, I can post the “real” photo of the woman who actually bought the painting.)
The couple who run Turntable offered to let us crash at their place for the night, which we really appreciated. Another night avoiding sleeping in the car.
On Sunday, December 15, we had the day off (canceled show number 5 in a two week tour…). Our next show was scheduled for Norfolk, VA, so we decided to just drive up there. At around 4:15, when we were still about a half hour out of the city, we were passing by a church that had a sign out front reading “Christmas Cantata, Sunday, 4:30”. Right place, at exactly the right time. We pulled a u-turn and slipped into a pew towards the back of a large and very festive church sanctuary. It’s so interesting that you can so quietly “crash” these very intimate church events. It’s like… I dunno, like an intimate family gathering, but it’s also ok that you’re a stranger. At the end of the concert the pastor got up and invited the entire congregation to a free (very southern) dinner in the fellowship hall. Awesome!
That night we settled into the Battlefield Boulevard Walmart in Chesapeake. We grabbed a Redbox movie and as we watched it on a laptop in our car, I began to notice that there were quite a few other people settling into cars for the night all around us. Turns out this Walmart parking lot was heavily populated by homeless people. Whenever we do sleep in our car it’s typically at a Walmart parking lot because it’s so convenient… I never even considered that homeless people would think the same.
Then, waking up the next morning, we were greeted by a taped off crime scene a handful of rows in front of us in the same parking lot. Cops were swarming everywhere but we couldn’t see what was going on. Later that day when I tried googling the event I couldn’t find anything, except for this slightly terrifying news, but this happened back in April.
Around 11:00 in the morning we stopped in at the Military Circle mall to walk around and stretch our legs, and right when we arrived the food court was overtaken by middle and high school students. Turned out they were having their Christmas concerts right there, so we enjoyed watching some really adorable kids belt out Christmas songs. Often on tour we stumble upon some really awesome experiences. Or at least some crazy stories.
Ernie, one of Eric’s old college housemates met us at the mall for lunch.
Killing some more time, we walked around the fancier mall in town, and noticed a bunch of people camped out in front of Norva for a Tegan & Sara show that evening. Jealous.
In the evening we headed over to our venue for the night: Borjo Coffeehouse. They were so awesome. Not only were the people running the venue really kind, but they also fed us incredibly well and were very enthusiastic about having us come back sometime. Very cool people. The semester had recently finished so they apologized that the place was a lot deader than usual, but we had a decent audience. Plus, a friend from home who’s currently stationed in Norfolk came out to see us!
Also, I think this might be my favorite painting from this tour so far.
After the show and saying our goodbyes, we headed over to Ernie’s house. Earlier, he’d offered to let us spend the night. So incredibly grateful, especially after such an odd night in the car the night before.
The next day, Tuesday the 17th, was our last day off on this tour. Six days without shows in two weeks is way too much… We spent most of the day driving up to Maryland, where we stopped in Frederick to see our good friend Andrew, before heading over to Baltimore to stay with my older brother and his family. We’ve got only four shows left in this tour, and the next three will be here in the Baltimore etc area, so it’ll be nice to stay in one place and visit with family for a few days. Then off to Philly and after that: home and Christmas! Can’t wait! We’re so close!