Okay. Fuck. I'm back from tour and have no idea where to begin. I guess saying that I'm back is enough of a start. It was my first time spending any serious time in the south. Aside from my solo vacation to the Hostel in the Forest/Cumberland Island the December before last and a childhood family trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks, I hadn't been to the offical "South" before. The tour began and ended in North Carolina. We learned some lessons, maybe spring break isn't the best time to tour, especially in Florida. Then again, I experienced the singular horror of Ybor City/Tampa on a Friday night during the height of spring break season. Ever been to Tampa? Everyone looks like either Pete Wentz or Travis Barker. They take their architectural hair seriously down there. If it is still the home of death metal, the death metal was in hiding. Understandably so.
I have hundreds of pictures and nearly as many stories. From Charlotte strip clubs to Tampa General Hospital to getting robbed twice in one day (and puking twice in the same day) in Orlando. There were ups and downs like any tour but overall it was fun. We had the essentials: rad folks, great tunes, and more food than I care to even think about. We hit up every roadside essential except for Sheetz and Krystal. I got food poisoning from a turkey sandwich at 7/11 while everyone else digested their tacquitos just fine. Live and learn, go with the tried and true on the road. Sometimes trying to eat healthy will fuck up your stomach ten times worse than the deep-fried standards. I got my beloved Cheese 'N Eggs with raisin toast at Waffle House (smothered, chunked, and peppered) and spread apple butter on my Cracker Barrel biscuits. Despite my attempts at ordering the grilled chicken sandwich at all the fast food joints I was foiled by my milkshake obsession (Hardees has a fine one, so does Chick-Fil-A.)
The weather wasn't as warm as I'd hoped and I didn't get to spend too much time by the water. However we had a beautiful river-view in Wilmington where Sean and I got a hotel room to celebrate our anniversary (4 months...we're that kind of couple...I know) and we had some lazy beach time in St. Augustine. And I guess we relaxed poolside at the Sea World Hilton (cheapest hotel in Orlando, $42/night for four) but our relaxation was cut short when we found out we'd been robbed of all our luggage/clothing while we were sunning ourselves. But more on that story later, I'm trying to talk about how awesome everything was first before we go into the inevitable disasters that every tour seems to have. In fact my friend Glen said that "no tour is complete without someone going to the emergency room." I never did on the Battletorn tour but I also broke out in hives so badly that I thought I was going to have to. At least none of the damage was permanent and everyone walked away fine, albeit a little bit broker and with a lighter luggage load.
So I'm back, but only sort of. I've been avoiding dealing with my bedroom and both of my pillows and blanket went on tour with me so I don't want to sleep in my bed until I have a chance to do laundry. Plus Sean bought Mario Kart for his Wii, so I've been keeping busy playing video games, listening to all the rad records we bought, and plotting to practice my flute so I can accompany Sean while he toys around with the autoharp he bought in a pawn shop on our way out of Asheville.
Much much more to come in this upcoming week. And I'll be responding to comments/keeping up correspondence with all of you once this weekend is over and I'm back in the swing of life. Although the weather is getting nice finally, it's going to be hard to keep focused. Finally, weather worth being unemployed during! I've been waiting since September for this.