tour, this time.

hello, hello.

this post is almost entirely for the sake of documenting and not for anything, like, particularly exciting. because it wasn't, really. (which i already wrote about.) because this run was only eight days and because, while i took many photos, a small number of them weren't of a squishy baby or toddler face. the three littlest have those cheeks. you know, the kind you want to snack on. everything else was an afterthought. oh yeah, i should document this. or something.

anyway. here we are.

if you ever wondered how much space there is in the front lounge of a tour bus, see the above photo. i was sitting on one side and using the opposite couch as a foot rest. so, this obviously makes for a delightful situation when we're traveling long distances with eight adults and five small children. thankfully, most days the traveling starts and finishes while the children are sleeping. on some days (like our trip from atlanta to detroit), we're on the bus until 1pm in this type of situation. there is a lot of movie-watching, crafting, snacking, and crying that happens.

(here is where i roll my eyes as i explain that the band bus was something similar to the tardis in that they somehow had twice as much space in their front lounge than we did, even if you factor in the amount of clutter we accumulate in ours.)

day one: mobile, alabama.

we parked in a tunnel near the loading dock of a convention center-type building. (listen, it may have been a convention center, but i'll tell you right now that i didn't care enough to get specific details. i was too busy helping keep five children alive and fed and such.) my point is, it was dark, with no natural light. and from there, the green room was just inside a couple doors. it could've been raining, for all i knew.

at one point, i walked through the doors on the opposite side of the green room and was pleasantly surprised (and, like, actually quite startled) to find a hallway with floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out at blue skies, water, and boats.

day two: atlanta, georgia.

i took a shower on this day, as you can see from the above photo of me eating a banana in the bathroom. this is, clearly, something worth documenting.

the venue in atlanta was a hotel (i think?) a block and a half away from the one we took showers in, and it was beautiful inside. later, one of the kids would tell me before bed that he wished he could've ridden the elevator all the way to the top and i was like, man. i wish you had actually said that because that would've been fun.

instead, i took zero photos of the pretty hotel and this nice one of my feet in the elevator of ours instead.

day three: detroit, michigan.

[no photos to prove this day existed.]

i think we were actually in a town outside detroit, but i can't remember the name (because why would i). one of the guys on tour with us, though, talked about how he drove down 8 mile road (which is an actual thing, apparently?) when he went to the store. so, we were around there somewhere i guess.

the only thing i remember about this day is that i was the early nanny who had to wake up even earlier (at 6am) because of the long drive, the two older kids switched buses (because one of the band member's wife was with us and doing a "summer camp" with the older kids) (bless her), and we got lunch at chick-fil-a. all of which happened before 1pm, which i think speaks into the state i was in after waking up at 6am.

day four: nashville, tennessee.

we arrived early in the morning, so i got to go home before my shift started to take a shower. this day was something of a hot mess, but we survived and that's all that really matters. the truth is, i'm being nonspecific with details about this day because i think my subconscious is trying to block it from my memory.

it was hot outside, but we still went out because of desperation. i complained the whole time, the other nanny rolled her eyes at me, and then one of the moms came back with an iced latte and everything was okay for a brief moment.

at one point, i was pushing one of the kids on the swing and then he hopped off and said it was his turn to push me, which was hilarious and awesome. i tried to capture it, but (see above) i obviously failed.

day five: louisville, kentucky.

i have no photos from our actual morning in louisville, since it was brief, but here is one en-route. this was mainly to document the extent to which these windows become makeshift shelves. at any given time, you can find the following items in the windows: a stack of paper (lined, computer, construction–all crafted with or drawn on), at least one book (usually something gifted to them at a show or event), baby wipes, children's pajamas or dirty clothes they've changed out of, children's shoes.

day five (b): cincinnati, ohio.

you read that right. we were in two cities in one day, with a morning event and an evening event. the trip wasn't very far and took place, conveniently, during naptime.

load-in in cincy was a hot, hot mess. it mostly didn't effect me, but i knew about it because one of the hiccups involved possibly having to turn off the generator/all power on the bus. which, obviously, couldn't happen.

then, we had dinner at a restaurant. which, here is what i'll say about that: one of their pillars now has some new crayon art. but somehow it worked out that i got to sit at a separate table with crew members and no kids, so it was a pretty enjoyable experience for me.

day six & seven: nashville, tennessee.

we had, essentially, two days in nashville. with no relief nannies, it felt like a small marathon. i showered at their house that first morning and didn't leave until 5pm. i went home, ate, slept, and was back out the door by 8 the next morning.

this might not seem like an entirely big deal, because that is, essentially, what it is to work regular 9-5 hours, but that was the largest chunk of time i had to myself in a week. and as an introvert, it isn't enough to fully recharge.

i can't really complain, though, because the activity that next morning was a pancake breakfast at the pfunky griddle to celebrate the older boy's sixth birthday. they told us they would need a nanny to join and not only was the other nanny disinterested but i love pancakes. so yes, i was there.

later, i left to take a break and get more coffee and i managed to make it through the rest of the day.

i guess what i'm trying to say is that iced lattes are the thing that saved me this tour.

day eight: gatlinburg, tennessee.

whatever the event was one this day, it was in the morning. the moms were done by 11am, and we headed back to nashville just after 5pm.

let's back up. this day was a morning event, which means all the nannies had to be up and ready by 7am. normally when this happens, we get breaks later in the day, but that didn't happen on this day. we just marathoned it until 5, at which point we all got on the bus to drive four hours, during waking hours.

it felt insane, but we all knew that we could be home and in our own beds by 10pm that night, if we played our cards right. so we pushed through.

anyway, these photos show the area where we were parked. my thought was that it was a neat little strip, but i learned upon leaving that gatlinburg and pigeon forge (where dollywood is) is basically like a town set in a theme park. as we drove back to nashville, i watched as we passed by go karts, a ferris wheel, roller coasters, and themed places lined along the street like you see here. so strange.

that was it. and, it feels important to note that the whole thing was in promotion of their new album, facing a task unfinished. in which i am listed in the "thank you's," which makes it the second album that my name is in. it's always crazy and exciting to me when that happens.

because, actually, thank you. going on tour is not a thing i thought i would ever get the chance to do, and not only did i get to have the experience, but it was with some of the best people, and the most enjoyable kids.