Our intrepid team chronicles the plight of our brave choir boys as they travel hither and yon experiencing life on the road – and having a blast!
Good evening all you wonderful fans and followers of the Choirboys. You might be wondering why our blog post is so late this evening. Well, we’ll tell you in a moment.
The Choirboys were awakened from their slumber around 8:30 AM so they could slip on down to the Best Western breakfast buffet before it closed down at 9:00 AM. Today’s plan was to have a leisurely drive across the state of Ohio. No real schedule, but we wanted to let the Choirboys sleep in a bit before hitting the road. After everyone was nourished with waffles, eggs, cereal, fruit, bacon and more, the suitcases were brought out to our home on wheels. While the Bus Crew loaded our luggage the Facilities Crew went back in to check all of our rooms for anything left behind. This is our usual routine each morning. We got the go ahead from the Facilities Crew and we headed across town to fuel the motor coach bus. While fueling, the Bus Crew took some time to wash the windshield for Charlie – she sure is a beauty! Finally, we were on the road heading east toward Dayton.
We made a pit stop along the way before arriving for lunch at the good ol’ Cracker Barrel. We even saw our first Cicadas.
After a late lunch (intentionally planned), we board that big, beautiful bus, again, to continue on our casual, slow-paced journey for the day. We managed to make it past Fairborn and nearly to Springfield when BOOOOOOOMMMMMMM. UGH! Charlie quickly moved the bus to the side of the road and, sure enough, WE’D BLOWN OUT A TIRE!
After about 15 phone calls to tow companies and tire repair shops, we finally managed to find a place that could get to us within 45 minutes. The service guy got right to work and had us back on the road. We are still dealing with some of the aftermath of the blow out. It was much larger than the 2019 Tour and caused a little more damage to the bus. Nothing a little duct tape can’t hold until we get home. We think a wire was torn out, which has now caused some alerts to stay on permanently, but the bus is back up and running! PHEW! We are so grateful to have a staff that was able to act quickly and find a solution to our problem.
While the tire was getting repaired, the Choirboys played a little game of Name That TV Show based on the lyrics of their theme song. The Choirboys didn’t do too bad with it and even surprised a bit at knowing some of the answers.
As we continued our journey toward St. Clairsville, OH for a hotel stop, the boys chatted away, read some books and played some games. We then stopped for dinner at Hardees until finally arriving at our hotel around 11:30 PM. We had hoped to arrive around 8:00 PM so the boys could hit the pool. Well, we guess we will be waiting for another day for the water and our prefect is no too sad about that, LOL!
Well, it’s now 1:00 AM and I am headed to bed. We’ll be back on the road in 7 hours and are looking forward to our tour of the battlefields at Gettysburg!
Wow, finally settled all into our hotel and the Choirboys are sleeping. Time for me to lay down some wordage and photos so you all can enjoy the journey we are on. There are at least three “I’s” to talk about today.
The first is Iowa! I never thought I’d see the day we are on tour and the weather is cooler where we are than at home. It’s nice to be away from the heat of Minnesota and into the nice summer days of mid-80’s temps with a slight breeze. The Choirboys were up early this morning to get some breakfast at the hotel, load up the bus and continue the journey East. The boys offered a Facebook morning greeting as well as a recorded birthday wish to Mrs. Mary Moen, an LOLCB friend and artistic director of the Central Minnesota Boys’ Choir. We departed the great State of Iowa to cross the river and enter Illinois – the second “I”.
As we traveled eastward, we had planned for a lunch stop in Champaign, IL at a Cracker Barrel. When we make such plans, we try to call ahead to simply give advance warning that a particular restaurant is about to experience a group of boys with great manners and behavior. Well, despite our call, when we arrived at the Cracker Barrel, there was wait on lunch seated for a good 1.5 hours!! Well, needless to say, we launched a Google search to fine a new option for lunch. We landed on Red Robin!
The Choirboys ordered mostly burgers and steak fries and devoured most of what they ordered. Our server, Brandi, stopped at the staff table and said, “This is the nicest group of boys I have ever waited on. They all said please and thank you.” It’s a proud moment for the LOLCB when we hear these compliments and we try not to take them for granted. The Choirboys demonstrated their appreciation for the amazing service by offering a song (can be seen on our Facebook Page). We then boarded the bus and were headed further east to Lafayette, IN.
During the drive we began our educational process about Philadelphia by watching almost all of the original Rocky movie. (Can you even go to Philly without running up those stairs?) The Choirboys found a few other things to do during the drive, as well.
We made it to Lafayette a little early so we stopped at a local park for break. Some of the Choirboys got out a frisbee, others got out their baseball gloves and others wandered around the park a bit to take in the beautiful weather – 83 degrees and slightly breezy. We journeied to the church and were greeted by Pastor Lisa Hood, pastor of the First Baptist Church. The team at the church helped us get the things we needed for the concert and even allowed us to use their live stream equipment, which brings me to my third and fourth “I’s” with Indiana and In person – yes, we had our first in person audience. Although small in number, they thoroughly enjoying the Choirboys.
We had decided we would snack before our concert and then head out for pizza afterwards. The local favorite pizza is from Pizza King. We called over to the restaurant only to learn their dining room closed at 9:00 PM and it was already past that. However, the manager offered to keep the dining room open just for the Choirboys. We ordered our pizza and breadsticks and waited for a bit to get our pizzas.
Tomorrow will bring a longer drive but a free day so we can leisurely cross Indiana and Ohio.
Stay tuned for more Choirboy updates.
Welcome to the 2021 Tour Blog! Wow, it is nice to be on the road again and to be blogging again from tour destinations that just one year ago were questionable. Yet, we emerge from the fog in full voice!
The Choirboys and some of their family members gathered at the Boys and Girls Club in Elk River for a wonderful send of breakfast prepared by our families. The boys devoured fresh fruit, donuts, bacon, sausage, egg bake, French Toast bake, OJ, cereal and there was even coffee for the staff to enjoy so they could have enough energy to keep up with an excited and anxious group of Choirboys. It was great to see our families socializing after a year of not being able to connect with one another.
After filling our bellies, we headed outdoors for the traditional send off photo ops followed by final hugs and goodbyes! Then, onto the bus we went and, with the green light to embark on our 44th Annual Choir Tour (thanks pandemic for wrecking our touring streak so our tour numbers no longer align with the number of Choir Seasons), Charle revved the engine and we were off – accompanied by what has become the tradition Leibig Bus Run to send us off.
Our drive was pretty typical for our ours – about 6.5 hours. As we approached I-35 South, we got a little nervous because of our last experience with this roadway (see 2019 tour and tire issues). We sailed down the road with ease. The bus found its stride and we were cruising along.
We made a pit stop a the Iowa Welcome Center. As we pulled into the parking lot, we asked Archie (our assistant head chorister and scribe) if he was feeling lucky because their was a casino next to the rest area and we briefly thought about trying to double our money at the Blackjack table. (Don’t worry Board of Directors, we didn’t let him go in, LOL). After a brief stope we were back on the road. The Choirboys settled in to their routine quite easily. This is one of the oldest and most experienced choir we’ve taken on tour so they didn’t miss a beat when they had some free time.
We stopped for lunch in Floyd, IA where we picked up some subs for the staff and for those Choirboys who forgot their lunches…hmmmm…it wasn’t even one of the first-tour Choirboys!! So, maybe we’re a little rusty after a year off from touring.
Charlie, our bus driver, got us safely to our hotel where the Choirboys unloaded and checked in to our hotel. Then, it was off to the Golden Coral for our first buffet. We love our buffets because there is something for everyone and too many great desserts. We arrived at our first live stream concert venue, First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, IA. Greeting us was Matthew Bishop, the music director. Mr. Bishop showed John and Archie the facility so they could evaluate what would need to be brought in from the bus. They then went out to instruct the other Choirboys and made their way into this gorgeous 122 year old church. Camden got our equipment all connected while the Choirboys walked through their logistics and rehearsed a little. We performed just six songs for our live stream audience (watch it on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LOLCB). Following the performance we took some time to evaluate and then headed back to our hotel.
The Choirboys are now all tucked into their beds (Camden even sings them a bedtime song – okay, maybe not). We will have an early morning tomorrow with breakfast and another average drive to Lafayette, IN where we will enter the Eastern Time Zone and perform for our first live audience. You can catch part of the concert on Facebook beginning at 7:00 Eastern.
It was a great first day back on the road and no one is complaining about the view out the front of the bus. We’re just happy for the opportunity to share our gift of music with our fans and audience members.
Watch for our morning greeting!!