Good evening all you fine fans and supporters of the Choirboys!
It has been a rather unusual day today but, as the title says, we must never give up.
Today started off as any other day may have started. The Choirboys awoke from their slumber and eventually made their way to breakfast and then to the bus by 8:30 AM. By 9:00 AM we were on our way to Harrisburg for our scheduled tour of the National Civil War Museum. The short 40 minute jaunt with directions from our GPS gave us a nice tour of some residential neighborhoods in Harrisburg, which were not built for 42 foot buses to be driving through. However, we did get to see some of the areas of Harrisburg and, even though we had narrow, one way streets with cars parked on both sides of the street, Charlie never gave up. Eventually, we found our way to the museum on roads designed perfectly for the size of our motor coach bus.
We were greeted by Dane, one of the experts of the Civil War, who offered a presentation on slavery during this time period. The boys asked questions about the war and a bout slavery and Dane answered them all. We were then off to the various galleries to see and learn about the various phases of the Civil War with much emphasis placed on President Abraham Lincoln. The museum has a beautifully designed lobby area where we were invited to sing. The Choirboys did not disappoint and performed several songs for those who had gathered:
Following a stop in the Gift Store, we boarded the bus and were off to fuel the bus and to stop for lunch. Many of the fast food stops in Harrisburg did not have their dining rooms open for seating and, can you imagine taking the bus through the drive-thru? We decided to try a new place called “Friendly’s”. This was a small restaurant with a great server who single handedly served all of us with burgers, sundaes and more. The server even commented that we had a great group of boys.
After over eating, we returned to the bus to continue journeying our way to the east.
Now, many of you have heard about our blown out tire from a few days ago. Well, since then, we have been dealing with a constant alarm sounding while we are driving. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the bus, but we had a few issues that need to be taken care of. We drove to Bryn Mawr, PA where Charlie dropped off Joseph and I to pick up two of our three rental cars. Why, you ask? Well, you see, there are five MCI (which is our brand of bus) Service Centers in the United States and one of them happened to be near Philadelphia. So, we have made arrangements to have them look at the bus. However, we have several performances and sight seeing commitments this week and we we needed to have a mode of transportation. If we had planned to take the bus in, we needed rental cars with enough seating for 20. Well, the rental place managed to find us a mini-van, a SUV and a 12 passenger van.
The rental place near our hotel only had two of the three vehicles we needed, but made arrangements for us to get the 12 passenger van from another location. So, Joseph and I picked up two of the rentals and drove to the hotel.
One at the hotel, I picked up Charlie and we started on our 56 minute drive through rush hour(s) traffic of Philadelphia to retrieve the third car. On our way, we noticed the time and distance remaining. It indicated we would arrive by 6:15 PM. I called the rental location and they were scheduled to close at 6:00. Oh no! I asked if the representative would be willing to stay until 6:15 since we were on our way and stuck in traffic. She said she would only stay until 6:15 and if we weren’t there, she would close down and we’d have to pick it up in the morning. Well, this was not an option. We continued on our bumper to bumper journey and watched the ETA increase…6:17, 6:19, 6:22, 6:24. We felt there was a slim chance we’d make it on time and thought about turning back. But, I remembered the song the Choirboys sing, “Sizo Bambelela” which translates to mean “You must never give up”. We decided to stay the course and, by golly, we made it to the rental shop at exactly 6:15 PM. The representative motioned us in and we signed the paperwork and were on our way back to the hotel.
Upon returning to the hotel, we met the boys. They unloaded the bus while I checked us all in. We all got our things off the bus and into our rooms. Now, we will be staying at this one hotel for three days, so everything had to come off the bus since it was going into the shop. Once we got the go ahead to take the bus, Charlie and I embarked on our 45 minute drive to Blackwell, NJ to one of only 5 MCI Service Centers. There we met Steve who took down all our notes. It was now a little after 9 PM when we dropped off the bus. Charlie and I started our 37 minute return trip and arrived back at the hotel around 9:45 PM.
While we were gone, the Choirboys were able to get settled in and spend some time in the outdoor pool and enjoy some pizza for dinner.
After returning to the hotel, it was now time to take four boys shopping for lunch items. Again, while I was gone, Camden had each room make a plan for their lunches for the next three days. They had to agree on all the supplies. They then designated one member from their room to come with me to shop for their supplies. Each boy had a list of items. After arriving at Walmart, each boy got a cart and we walked the aisles to get our food supply.
The four boys loaded up the car and delivered their groceries to their rooms.
It is now 12:10 AM. All the Choirboys and the rest of the staff are sleeping. I am headed there, to0.
Tomorrow, we head into Philadelphia for most of the morning and part of the afternoon before heading to Bryn Mawr for a 7:30 PM concert. Be sure to tune in to Facebook to watch the boys perform for their second live, in person audience.