Last weekend I returned to New York from a week-long tour in North and South Carolina. The trip was wonderful once I arrived: I played at four colleges, one conference, and gave two house concerts, and met a ton of interesting, enthused new patrons. At the beginning, I was simply thankful to make it in time to start my gigs: at 11 pm on the night prior to my scheduled flight, I received an email stating that my flight had just been canceled, and that I should call the airline for more info. I immediately went to the airline’s website (notice that I’m saying which airline this was!) and saw that no flights were going out to the Carolinas from New York. I tried Travelocity, and found one $818 fare to go to Asheville with three stops. Too risky. I tried Amtrak. All trains were sold out.
And that left: THE BUS.
Yes, I took a bus- and not a fancy one, mind you (again, I’m not stating the company)- all the way from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. That leg of the journey was 16 hours, complete with a 4 hour stopover at Union Station in DC (lugging a suitcase around for 4 hours is no fun). And then I was picked up by a taxi in Charlotte at 4:50 am that drove me to my destination in Hendersonville two hours away. The poor taxi driver’s GPS didn’t work, so I groggily offered my the use of my iPhone’s GPS, which, thankfully, didn’t keep telling us to make u-turns.
I’ll post more details when I have some time, but for now, here are two sets of photos from the trip: the first is a link to a slideshow that Asheville-based photographer Perry Hebard put together. Perry took some gorgeous photos of a house concert that I gave at the home of Doris and Ralph Loomis in Asheville. The concert was a benefit for music scholarships for UNC Asheville. Bill Bares, UNCA’s head of the jazz department, played duo piano with me on “Caravan.” For the rest of the tunes, I played solo piano (and also sang on my arrangement of “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins). Here’s that link, along with one photo from the evening.
And here are some other photos that I’ll try to add to a Flickr set later this weekend: