Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kicking off our first BC tour... and getting kicked back

Hello, folks and folkettes!

Yes, we are well into our first tour of the "left coast", but this is the first time we've had a spare moment to chat.

The adventure began last Monday, a few days before our Friday departure, when we discovered that, under new guidelines, my cello is now too big to be considered oversize luggage -- i.e., the airlines won't take it AT ALL.  Not that Big Blue has put on any weight, mind you, just that the rules have changed.  Surprise!  OK, nevermind, we can send it cargo.  EXCEPT... oh yeah, the cargo office closes at 5pm on Friday and our flight doesn't arrive until 9:30pm.  How be we pick it up Saturday instead?  No, the office won't open again until Monday morning.  But Monday we're supposed to be on Gabriola Island after having played two gigs with aforementioned cello.  Sorry, nothing we can do.


Call the friendly FedEx people.  If we can get the cello in to the Barrie depot by 4pm, they can have it at our friend's house in Victoria by Friday afternoon.  Although... if the truck hits bad weather at some point along its route (geez, what are the odds of a truck hitting bad weather at some point along the route in a Canadian February?), it might not get there 'til Monday...  Ship by air?  Yes, of course we can do that... FOR $986 PLUS TAX AND INSURANCE!!!

I will not panic, I will not cry, I will not panic, I will not cry...

A few tears and panic attacks and phone calls later, we finally get it organized.  We CAN ship the cello via an earlier WestJet flight, and get our dear, darling, angelic friend Sandra to pick it up earlier in the day.  PHEW!!!  This necessitates a drive to the airport the day before, but what the heck, the cello will get there!

So... Big Blue made her first solo flight on Thursday, Sandra had some quality time with her Friday, and we joined them both Friday evening.  Don's guitars also made it with us, safe and sound, despite one of the worst landings we've ever experienced (during the stopover in Calgary, where a mighty wind was blowing), and the clearly-marked "fragile" stickers being ignored as the cases got tossed on the conveyor belt with all the other luggage.

The joys of touring...  ah, the glamour!

But we're fine, the instruments are fine, neither one of us forgot anything important (well, Don forgot his deodorant, but as all you avid listeners know, "I don't like my men too clean", so that's actually a GOOD thing...)

Picked up our rental car at National, where the guy at the counter was an incredibly nice guy (honey, this ain't the Toronto airport!) who -- after chatting us up for half an hour -- handed us the keys to a nice Subaru Outback.  Nice vehicle -- at least to ride in, Don didn't hand over the driver's seat even once, but he says it drove like a charm.  :-)

And so we got to Sandra and Landon's, and were greeted by the big, beautiful Amber (golden retriever). We can't tell you how much we've missed having a dog lean into us, or rest their head on our feet.  Yes, even the slobber and loose hair have been making us very happy people, indeed!  Oh yeah, and Sandra and Landon are great too.  :-)  Better than great, they were lovely, generous hosts all weekend, and we're looking forward to another weekend with them once our workshop is finished.

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself...  Must get back to class right now, but will fill you in on our Saturday and BC debut at Pondside Music later on.


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