Our two days in St. Cloud, MN were pretty cool…and frustrating. As soon as we pulled off the interstate exit, we stopped to fuel up the rig. As I walked around the truck, I noticed that we had a leak in the rear axle seal on the tractor. Just down the street from the truck stop was a repair place. I stopped and talked with the guys who said they could fix it but it was already 3:30pm and they wanted to be out of there by 5pm. I took off to get everyone checked into the hotel so I could get back fast. There’s a huge boat show happening at the Civic Center so parking is really tough in the downtown area right now – and that’s where we were staying. Once checked in, Cindy and I took off for the repair shop and the guys were waiting for us. They pulled me right in, after helping me drop the trailer, and had us fixed by 5:30pm. They were great and took a huge load off my mind. I hate mechanical problems on the road!
Back to the hotel, get our luggage inside in sub zero temperatures – frozen by the time we made it into the hotel and just ready to get some rest.
I was up early on Friday morning to get the truck started. These temperatures have been really tough on it but it’s hanging in there. This morning, it was a slow start. And then I realized we were completely parked in – there were cars all around us, not in proper parking places, and no way out of the parking lot. Load in was early on Friday so, after some frustration and creative back-and-forth, I finally got the truck to a place where we could get it out.
The Paramount Theatre is a beautiful venue – built in 1922 I think and very well restored. The crew, under the direction of Chuck Norwood, was excellent. They had us loaded in fast, doors closed and heat back on the stage! Because it was an early load in, the day moved along at a good pace and we had time to stop for lunch. We ordered some great Thai food from one of the local downtown restaurants. After lunch, we finished setting up and were ready for the audience to arrive by 5:30pm. Doors open at 7pm.
The audience was INCREDIBLE and AMAZING. It was a full house – over sold actually. They set up additional chairs in the aisles and across the back of the theatre. They audience was such a pleasure to perform for – with me from the very beginning, laughing at every bad joke and responding to all the magic. When the show was over, they were on their feet before I even said “thank you and good night.”
Saturday morning, we had an early show for a private function. On of the local business men bought out the Saturday performance for some of his clients, friends and local charity organizations. The show moved quickly and very smoothly – no problems, no worries. Great audience.
As soon as the show was over, I had to drive Cindy to the Minneapolis airport (about 90 minutes away) so she could catch a flight back to Virginia. So David coordinated the load out and all of them (Keith and Kylie) did an outstanding job of getting it all packed up and put back on the trailer. I hated to be gone but they were on top of it all – THANKS!
Cindy had some troubles with her flights. Snow in Cincinnati caused flight delays but she made it to Charlotte with only 10 minutes before her flight. She RAN through the airport and made it to the gate only to be told that the flight was closed and there was no way she could get on. She would be stranded in Charlotte for the night EXCEPT that the guy at the gate came and got her and escorted her to the plane so she could get home! It was a long, stressful day for her!
Today, Sunday, we’re taking it easy and making the drive toward Wheaton.