September 27, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 22

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The sound of dogs barking and licking our faces was enough to lift us out of our dormant states Sunday morning. Knowing we would feel the same way, we left Kaleb’s early that morning so he could enjoy his home in peace and quiet. We stumbled out to the van and set off for the nearest gas station to get some breakfast and ice to fuel our journey to New Orleans.

New Orleans was discussed earlier on tour as a possible day-off destination because of its proximity to Austin and also because it’s simply New Orleans. The change of schedule would only cost us an extra two hours. The decision was made to get a hotel just outside of the city and Uber in for a night of debauchery and sightseeing. (more…)

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September 27, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 21

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We woke up in a Denny’s parking lot about two hours outside of Nashville. The plan was to drive all night. The plan failed. Throughout this tour and virtually any road trip I’ve ever been a part of, when the motion of the car slows down or comes to a halt I wake up. The same principles apply to most of the guys in the van. Joey was just too tired from Ocala and we all ended up getting a little more rest because of it.

After scoping out the venue in the early morning, we found all-day parking about ½ block away; a rare commodity in a big city. Our drawstring bags and backpacks were full with gear to get us through the afternoon and we took off. (more…)

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September 24, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 20

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I woke up to Joey tugging the blankets off of my side of the bed and still felt begrudgingly grateful that we were in a hotel for another night. The morning went by too fast as we were a mere 7 minutes from the venue and our late check-out only got us to 12:00pm. Load in wasn’t until 4, so we had some time to kill. We used the time wisely by getting a much needed oil change and plopped ourselves down at a local bowling alley. It was an afternoon full of Yuenglings and a fierce pool rivalry between Joey and I. I need to put that competition to rest. He’s just too good.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Ocala is without a doubt the band A Day To Remember. The town is referenced in a handful of songs and not in the most flattering light. It’s easy to see why. (more…)

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September 23, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 19

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You would think sleeping on a couch after all of this time would be beneficial for my back, but sadly that hasn’t been reality. I don’t think I’ll ever fully comprehend how my back is somehow better after a night in the van verses a couch or even a hotel bed. Sleep familiarity is a confusing beast.

Rob was not surprisingly the first one up when I finally awoke from my slumber. First thing he asked me was if I wanted to go to the beach. I’ve given up on waiting for others when it comes to these activities based purely off of how long it takes everyone to get themselves situated. I stepped outside for a quick phone call to my Mom to wish her a happy birthday. It was nice to catch up with her for a few minutes before making my way down to the beach. Once Rob and I got there, we jumped right in. It was highly refreshing and salty at the same time. We worked our way out to the sandbar and watched the tiny fish swarm around us in a synchronized fashion. (more…)

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September 23, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 18

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Growing up, I was one of the few kids from Michigan who never went to Florida for vacation. That was where kids went on vacation when they were younger. Florida had the weather, beaches, and Disney World to keep both parents and kids happy for a good week of summer vacation. Despite having never been in Florida, I’ve always heard the horror stories about the humidity. Michigan gets a fair amount of humidity and I would be in Florida in September and not the summer. How bad could it be?

Waking up dripping sweat is never a great way to start the day. In a haze, I woke up just 3 hours shy of St. Petersberg, FL. I cracked open a Mt. Dew Kickstart and threw on Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue and got underway. I know you’re thinking that’s an odd choice considering the references to southern California, but Yellowcard is from Florida and it felt right anyway. (more…)

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September 21, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 17

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I was woken up from the slamming of the van door and the sound of thick southern accents. I was in Tennessee. Our 9 hour drive through the night had put us 25 minutes outside of the venue in Chattanooga. We always try to get to the venue early and scope out parking and the logistics of load in if we can. When we showed up to the venue, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. There was nothing around that area that even remotely looked like a venue and we were a bit concerned the show wouldn’t happen. Fortunately we were able to contact the promoter and he told us the venue was across the street from the initial address and that it doesn’t show up on Google because of how new it is. With that settled, we opted to join the boys in Only Sibling at a state park about 30 minutes outside of town. (more…)

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