Thursday, June 30, 2011

History and History----Kentucky Style

After weatherizing the stage at the fairgrounds this morning (Nick came down and he, Victor Jr and I did the deed) we went back to the hotel announced to all we had tours of historic places today. While they readied themselves Nick and I went to the Shoe Barn, right in front of the hotel and I bought my first pair of Nikes. 25 years of Reebok has ended. Though my Reeboks are young the storms in WI and MI and along the route to KY and in TN made them old fast. So I now have work shows and new shoes.
We all loaded into the van, all 12 of us, and headed down the roads about 15 miles to the capitol of Kentucky and it's state house.
We've been to a few state houses and I think I like this one best. It was really very pretty and very clean. Quiet too. No protesters around.
The art and architecture is really impressive. in one of the pix below I have the kids standing in the Supreme Court room. All South American Mahogany and unattainable today. There is a statue of Lincoln in the middle of the rotunda, since he was born in KY, and one of Jefferson Davis, likewise born here. Below is a pix of Amy, myself and Mr. Davis....since we were all born on June 3rd. Just like Tony Curtis and Dennis Forel.

Lukas posed and let me take a pix of his poison Ivy.

I don't know the man with the cool chops...but aren't they cool chops. A past Supreme court judge, I think.

After the capitol we ran out to the Wild Turkey Distillery again. Last time we had no time for a tour. They accommodated Titus and no one was bothered that we had kids along....only they could not come in the tasting room. Mami, Midori, Jim and I went in there....and Jim actually tried bourbon. Mami tried a bourbon-honey liqueur.
The kids learned about the history of Bourbon and Whiskey in the US. and the chemistry of how it is made. "It smells like bread in here", Amelia said. We explained how yeast is used to make it and bread.

At the show we had two awesome crowds again. Our clients are VERY pleased.
I started work on the new platform for our Bamboo illusion...a little.
Nothing special beyond that. Mami and Titus stayed at the hotel today.
Mild night in Kentucky tonight.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 3 Lawrenceburg...Jim's til you drop

Since our shows are in the evening we are left in the morning to do our chores, practice, or veg! Nick, Midori, and Vic Jr practiced at the fairgrounds. Mami and I

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 2 at the Lawrenceburg Fair

It was laundry day so Nick, Midori, and I drove across town (two blocks) to the laundromat. It was closed. My navigator on my phone told me the town over had one so off we went. Only a 20 minute drive. While driving out there we saw that we were on the Bourbon trail and the Wild Turkey Distillery was right in between the two towns. So 13 loads latter (really) and a Dairy Queen lunch we made our way back and decided to check out their visitor's center at Wild Turkey. We had no time for the hour tour so we hitched onto the tail end of a tour group that was coming back from the distillery. It was the tasting room part. No, we did not partake since Nick is too young and I was driving. We did get to hear some Q and A and learned a lot about bourbon. There are very strict rules if you want to call your product bourbon.
Well, back at the hotel we loaded the laundry into the rooms then loaded the family into the van for the 1/4 mile drive to the fairgrounds.

The cloud cover kept the day from getting crazy hot and so that made for a better situation for us since we have to costume up and perform.

Nick had dropped by the grounds earlier this morning to get practice time in on the trapeze. That was before our laundry road trip.

Lukas was ordered to stay at the hotel since the humidity isn't good for his poison ivy rash. He is doing well, in spite of all the places the rash has spread. You know i joked that out of all of us, him, the card carrying Indian (Native American) would be the only one to get poison much for being one with nature....or maybe this is being one with nature.

Both shows went well and we had nice sized crowds. Not bad for a Tuesday in deed.

Off stage the kids goofed around with a fur outfit that was given to us by a vendor named Elmo back in Clarksville, TN. They also worked on acrobatics, the lyra, etc. Victor and the girls created a game with the nuts, bolts, and screws from my screw bag.

In the picture of Olivia here you can see her demonstrating her flexabilty.

Only other news I can think of is I tried wearing under armor under my costume today (tight fitting t shirt made of a lycra like substance) It pulls the sweat away from your body and keeps you looking neat. It was an odd feeling but it actually kept me cooler. However, once I took it off I got the chills and my skin felt funny, and I felt nauseous...related???? I will try it once more, but my skin might not enjoy being bundled into lycra.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First Day of the Lawrenceburg, KY Fair

As the big kids were getting the staging area set up for our show I drove the hour back to Louisville to pick up Miles at the Airport. He joined us late for three reasons: first, he had prom, second, he had finals, third he was selected to go to the American Legion's Boys State in Sacramento this past week. Exhausted from the crazy week and suddenly shifting to eastern time wiped the kid out. He did not perform today but he worked his tail off back stage in spite being told he didn"t have to.

Storms were a threat all day but all broke up and went around us. However about 20 minutes before closing one small cell hit and big ole rain drops fell. Thank God we were almost completely packed up by then and our mascots were just in from strolling.

Midori went out as a mascot for the first time today. She was Blue Dog , a suit given to us in Clarksville by a vendor. She loved it.

The little girl with the wand is a new fan. Elizabeth is also the fair prez daughter.

The audiences are great. Really responsive. The first day is always feel out the crowd day. They are friendly folk out here.

Mami and Titus stayed at the hotel due to the major storm threats that never materialized.

Poor Lukas developed poison ivy today. Not sure where he got it, but he's got it bad. I sent him back to our hotel (walking distance) so he could be out of the humidity. He gets a few days off.

I want to wish my friend Dean the best on her recovery from major surgery and my best to her man, JC!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lawrenceburg, KY

A storm was threatened for Louisville and it came overnight. By morning all was overcast and cool. I liked it! We loaded into the RV and Van and started the long grueling drive to Lawrenceburg, KY. A whole hour away!
It was an uneventful drive and we made it here in the number of pieces we started off in. Our hotel is really nice and the fairground is just a stones throw from it. The kids are happy to be at this nicer hotel. The Days Inn in Louisville was the bomb.....I mean it was like it was hit with a bomb. The website showed elegant pictures of rooms and such. But they had to have been photo-shopped. Nick noticed his socks were turning black just walking on the carpet in the rooms. There were two armed security guards in the parking lot. That should give you an idea of the neighborhood. Glad to be out of there.
The American Legion is the producer for this event. So far everyone we met have been off the charts nice. The hotel people even told us since we will be sleeping late due to the late fair schedule she will arrange for us to have late breakfasts even after the b-fast area is closed. I mean the people of this town are southern nice!
Our lot for our show is spacious. We have parked the RV and trailers and the animal tent at the grounds (where Vic Jr. and I are staying) and we are set for the set up tomorrow.
After a week off the kids will need to get up on the wire and on the trapeze to get back into that performing groove. It is none stop from now until the end of August. Nothing more than a single day off here and there. We like it like that sometimes.
On the "back Home" front. We got news that our cockatiel died. He was old. The house-sitters thought they might have killed it by not taking care of it right. Possible, but it was an old bird. They also told me that a friend of theirs gave them a sob story so they let him move in for two weeks. (NOTE: The house sitters are college aged kids from our church...generally from responsible good families.) That was a month ago. There went the trust. He is out in two days. I hope they can rebuild the trust. I would hate to have to have my aging parents take the animals and board up the house. All my bushes would die!
I am excited about seeing Miles tomorrow and about performing a long busy schedule.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Cave City and park City are right next to each other. Cave city is mostly national park area with lots of caves. Park City is the area right next to cave city where you exit the hwy to get to Cave City. A bunch of entrepreneurs got the idea to build various amusement areas at the hwy exit where people going to the caves have to pass through. As a result there is a western theme park, a dinosaur park, a smaller western them park, etc. We passed through both as we hit hwy 65 to head north to Louisville.
Before we left Mami spent some time with the RV park owner, a very nice Christian lady. She is also an author. Mami borrowed her book and stayed up past 1AM watching it the night before. So I bought her a copy and the author signed it for Mami. Then they stayed and chit chatted for a couple of hours. Nice to see Mami slow down and do something other than family related stuff. " Her time!"
Above is the picture of the game I mentioned in yesterday's blog.

Louisville was only a 90 minute drive and sadly it was a bit disappointing. I suppose for a young couple or older couple it would be OK. But for a big family with a kid in a wheel chair and small kids it was, well, boring. Since we got into town around 4PM almost everything downtown was closed (museums, etc) . The parks along the river were OK but hard to get to and the river was filthy. I have seen the river front many times while driving through Louisville and the lights are awesome. But daytime it is not so exciting. And all the "attractions" are pretty far apart. As far as "big" cities go it's more of a quick visit town. Also there was no free parking anywhere...even on a Saturday eve.
We did get our few pictures in. They are below.
Being us we still had fun. We also had a pure Kentucky meal....Taco Bell....OK so it isn't a pure Kentucky Meal but the company that owns KFC owns Taco Bell too sooooooo?
By the Way the "homeless guy" below is Lukas who asked to be photographed that way. The van below was parked under the hwy near the Ohio River front. Couldn't resist taking a picture of it.
Our hotel we are at today is interesting. It is about 60 or 70 years old. It has a big lobby with lots of wood and looked like it might have been a hot spot once upon a time. But today it is a traveler's hotel and it's in or next to the "bad" part of town. The gas station/convenience store next to us has an armed guard on duty there. But that wasn't our first clue.
Still I love the old brick buildings around town. Very pretty architecture.

Friday, June 24, 2011

We were planning on going into Louisville today but decided to visit Cave City and the Mammoth Cave national Park. We found a quaint RV park ran by a nice Christian couple and settled in. The we went the 8 miles to the caves. On our way we saw a rock and gift shop and had to stop. We bought a couple of nick knacks but if I told you what some of you won't be surprised when we main them to you.
We had a choice of a couple of tours. We decided on the shortest one which was about an hour. After all it would required time and energy from the little ones...and patience. The other tour choice for the times left was a 2 hour tour....a bit too long.

We had an hour to kill before the tour so we went on some of the above ground trails which proved to be very nice indeed.
Since the caves could not accommodate wheel chairs Titus would not be able to go so I stayed with him. He and I strolled the grounds as hundreds of feet below us the rest of the fam were blasted by freezing air, told stories of all types, including one of a dead body being found once, and learning about bats and cave science.
A highlight for me today was I finally got to hang up and use my awning pepper awning lights. We made it a ceremony with pictures and an official plugging in.
There is a game here a lot like horseshoes except you have two golf balls connected on opposite ends of a 10" or so rope that you toss at a rack with three horizontal cross bars. If you can get it to stay on the bar you get points. We didn't take pictures ...maybe tomorrow.
Cynthia kicked Mami out of the kitchen today and took over dinner cooking. I took care of Titus earlier, and we forced her to go play that game I mentioned. Also we made he go in a chit chat with the owners for a while. In other words we gave her the day off. She enjoyed her chat with the owner of the RV park very much. We need to do that more often.
I suppose I will share a more embarrassing part of the day. It was probably good I did not go on the tour. You see about 5 minutes after they entered the cave and I was pushing Titus around in his chair a sudden and painful gas bubbled took a tour of my colon caves. That was followed by a sudden and frantic trip to the restroom, me Titus and Belle in tow. It would happen again and again during the hour the kids and Mami were on tour underground. YIKES. When they finally came up I rushed everyone to the van and drove straight to the park's store. Thank you Imodium.

After getting back we had dinner and Cynthia, Olivia and I ran to the store for tomorrows provisions. Amazing how in KY you can be in the wild wilderness of the caves and drive 12 minutes to a Super Walmart.
It was a good day....mostly, uh, um.