As we walked into the coffee shop we found in Brigham City (just outside Ogden, UT), Rudyard said, “Now THIS is the tour I know and love! Getting computer stuff done, having smoothies, and just finding little local coffee shops to hang out in.” It is literally like we are traveling with our dad. I kid you not, earlier today I got a text from a friend who we get to visit on tour. This was the convo…

“Hey! What 2 ice cream flavors does Rudy think will go well with Oreo’s? My mom is making an ice cream cake and she wants him to choose the flavors.”

“I don’t know, let me ask him.” I said, certain he’d be fine with anything.

I posed the question to him and this was his response.

Without hesitation, “Cookies and Cream, OBVIOUSLY. And… Roasted Banana. Yes. Roasted Banana. Those will be just fine.”  😳

I honestly wonder just how many lives this child has lived before he arrived at this one. And then I wonder if he just internally shakes his head at us with each passing day. 

Anyway, Rudy has always had a knack for photography, so periodically I will ask him to take photos of places we are. These are his POV shots from this morning. I love it.

After a bit too long sitting, I got happy feet and decided to take a walk and enjoy one of my favorite weather patterns: Warm wind. It reminds me of the Santa Ana’s in Southern California, and feels like my childhood. The deeper we get into the dry heat/desert climates, the deeper into my memory youth experiences my senses recall. Jared had some work to finish up, so I got to bop around the valley for about a half hour. I walked through parking lots, high grasses, (careful to watch for rattlesnakes), and industrial areas. 

I even found that elusive spot Mr. Shel Silverstein spoke of…

Once the boys joined me, they wanted to walk around too, but we decided to get closer to the Historic District, Historic 25th Street to be exact, in Downtown Ogden, UT. We heard there was a Tuesday night open mic that we wanted to check out…turns out it was 21+. That’s ok. We walked around town, ate some dinner and ice cream, then decided to use our time wisely and get some laundry done. We knew we wanted to hit up the Treehouse Children’s Museum the next day, so laundry, then a place to sleep were last on our agenda for this warm, windy Tuesday.

Here’s a quick shot just to remind everyone of the glamorous life of the musical road warrior. Actually, the irony is that this is picture was taken in a bathroom shared between a Flying J truck stop and a Denny’s. Well, hello there Denny’s. We meet again my old nemesis, and employer of three years. As I stood there, noting the ridiculousness of using my boujee, high-tech electric toothbrush while someone cleaned their armpits in the stall next to me, I couldn’t help but wonder if any cool, grass roots musicians wandered through MY old Denny’s doors to use the bathroom for their personal hygiene, while I slacked off at my job and slept in a back booth, cocooned in an oversized red sweater, hoping no one would see me and my shift would end soon. #employeeoftheyear  Pays to revisit our roots every now and again to gauge how far we’ve come…or how much further we need to go!

We walked into “Grounds For Coffee” for our morning Joe, and immediately felt at home. The place had just hosted a hot yoga class upstairs, and smelled faintly like nag champa, body odor, and coffee. A little Pac NW to ease our weary bones. The question on our minds this morning was, “How have we not even been on the road a full week yet?” Tour time is completely different than home time. Sometimes moving so quickly, we can’t even take it all in. Other times, creeping along causing us to question everything and wonder what we’re all even doing out here. A super sweet side note though is how loved we are and supported by our friends at home. This morning’s coffee and breakfast was taken care of by our dear friends back home, Ray and Jess Hayden, who popped $40 in our Venmo as a little encouragement! So nice to have those familiar touch points while out.

As we had promised Rudy, our next stop for the day was the Treehouse Children’s Museum in Ogden, UT. 

Rudy, perfecting his “Burt Reynolds”, with a creepy cameo from dad…

Ok, I know I’m no princess, but I wanted to play too!👸🏼

So, aside from a few mechanical, hands-on things, and a questionably age-inappropriate (albeit, hysterical) rendition of the Three Little Pigs that Rudy performed as a puppet show for us, the museum was really more geared to little ones. We still managed to goof off there for almost two hours and really had a fun time. As we were leaving, I asked rudy to put on the Conductor’s hat and hop into the train. As he grinned and gave me his signature “Rudy wave”, I was hit hard at how few of these kinds of things we have left to do. It’s not so much like he’s “slipping away” from us, it’s just transforming into a different relationship, a different season. He said, “I’m sorry you guys didn’t get to play music while we were here. I know you wanted to.” He was referencing the open mic we couldn’t do because he was underage. I said, “Dad and I are ALWAYS going to get to play music, but we are not ALWAYS going to get to spend time with you. It was no contest. We LOVED getting to be with you.” My gosh, he barely fits in the truck with us any more. He won’t at all next year. We sat quietly, digesting all that. Then, someone farted and we all laughed. There will be time for tears later. For now, we’ll soak it all up…(while holding our noses🫢).

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