October 30, 2010

Travel Day

I call this: On the Road Again — Posted by KP @ 11:58 pm

Today was our only long drive of the fall leg of the tour: Santa Barbara to Phoenix. It’s about eight hours of driving. I believe I’ve mentioned that we don’t have our “rockstar” buses on this leg. Because the cities are for the most part close together, the schedule contains no back-to-back one-nighters, and the majority of the schedule is sit-down weeks in Phoenix and Tucson, it was impractical to rent the usual two entertainer coaches. Instead we have a single coach bus, where cast, crew and staff travel together by day.

Today’s journey is the first long trip I’ve taken with the cast. The crew bus rarely travels by day for very long. We did it once last year as part of a two-day drive, and it was boring as hell. The cast has stricter regulations about breaks and such, which can sometimes be frustrating, but it definitely is nice to stretch your legs. You also get to get out and actually experience the places you drive through.

Most of our day was spent driving through completely empty desert. At one point we stopped at an unmanned rest stop at sunset. Here are some pics.

I was very worried about how we would pass the 8 hours without satellite TV, power outlets, refrigerator, or our bunks, but it was better than I thought. I listened to music and looked out the window for the first two hours, slept for the next two hours, which took us to lunch at a strip mall area in Indio, CA. When we got back on the bus we watched the movie Hook. We don’t have TV, but the bus does have small screens and a DVD player, at least. The movie ended just as it was getting dark and the dim glowing interior lights were turned on. I was lucky that I had no one in the row behind me, so I could recline my seat way back and curl up with my pillow into a pretty comfortable position.

We traveled through a little more desert in the dark, and then hit the outskirts of the Phoenix area, which seemed to wake people up a bit. We arrived at our hotel around 7PM, so there was still time to grab a nice dinner and go exploring. The crew went out in search of margaritas, which after much walking and many closed restaurants in the downtown area, we found at a quiet place called Mi Patio.

We actually get a day off here, our only one (for the crew) on this leg of the tour. Yippee!