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Monday, February 29, 2016

END OF THE ZIP CODE TOUR


MONTREAL AND QUEBEC CITY

JULY 13-16

Two days off before our last show. On the 13th, I went to the concierge to ask about finding a place that would sell “tubes”....for rolling up posters to fit them into my suitcase. We had obtained many posters of the shows during the tour....I usually got two of each poster, and sometimes there were two or three different ones per show. So we had accumulated quite a lot of them and needed to get them back home Fortunately, there was a Post Office just a few blocks away, and they indeed had just what I needed. So we took care of that and decided to roam around Montreal a bit. We walked down to the Old Town area, browsing into several stores, mostly just looking and wiling away the hours. We popped into a couple of the Native North American places, looking at the art and crafts they offered. Walked into a few clothing stores and such, but couldn’t really find anything we couldn’t do without, so made our way back to the hotel. That evening, we had a tour dinner that had been arranged by the band and AEG in the St. James. A chance to share time with everyone and celebrate the success of the tour. Great fun for us to all be together, mingle and discuss our experiences and share with each other what we would be doing in the coming months. Joyce Smyth got up and made a short speech of thanks and congratulations, as did Mick. So we were at that juncture again, when part of us hates to see it come to a halt, and part of us is ready to go home and do other things. We were all grateful to have this special night together and I think it helped us to appreciate what we had accomplished over the 2 1/2 months of the tour. Truly a wonderful way to wind things dow.

The next day....another day off...we had a funny experience. We decided to go to a different area to shop around, and the concierge pointed us to  the Eaton Centre area, St.e. Catherine St. So we went there and went into some department stores, and walked along the streets checking out the various shops. We had lunch in a local restaurant and then resumed our exploring. Soon we decided to cross the street to check out some places on the other side, and in our haste we would up crossing against the light, dodging some traffic. Well....as soon as we got to the other side, a Cop come up to us, quite agitated, saying that we had broken the law. Geez....ok, so he asks for some ID, which I give to him saying I was sorry, we were from the States and had didn’t mean any harm in our actions. He was not impressed, and told us to wait. After 6 or 7 minutes he came back, giving me a ticket for J walking. Ah, well. We moved on from that and shopped some more...I bought a couple of silk tee shirts in one of the department stores and Rosie picked up a couple of items, and we finally made our way back to the St. James.
That evening we had dinner at an Indian restaurant that we had spotted a couple of days before when we were walking in the Old Town. There were actually a couple of Indian restaurants we had seen, and asked the concierge which one he would recommend....the pointed us to The Taj Mahal. We knew it would likely be quite a while before we could enjoy a good curry....as Macon doesn’t have much to offer in that regard and so we enjoyed a nice spicy meal there and went back to the St. James to finish the day.


OK...last show of the tour. This would be a biggie....there were estimates that we might have 70-80 thousand folks expected at the Quebec City Festival at the Plains of Abraham. Going out with a bang. We would fly from Montreal to QC....otherwise we would have had a 3-4 hour drive, which would have been exhausting. So we made the short flight and had a police escort to the venue. It was fun, as it made quite a commotion through little Quebec City....lots of folks stopping to watch and wave to us....shouting out to us, giving us “thumbs up” and such. Good fun. At the site, we got to our dressing rooms, had a sound check, went to catering for some grub and then got ready for the show. Indeed, it was a great one to end on. I think there was a feeling on stage that this would be the last gig for quite some time, and we should all pump it up and enjoy it....which we did. Great audience....huge crowd of close to a hundred thousand....even more than was expected. So now we are done....again, that feeling of having had another fantastic tour, sad to see it end but anxious to more on to other things.
Mick and Keith both took flights after the show to NY, and the rest of us flew back to Montreal. Most of us went down to the bar of the St. James for one more final goodbye to each other. Rosie and I had a fairly reasonable flight on the 16th...leaving the hotel at 10:15 for a 12:45pm flight. Bags all ready and picked up by the bellman, we met the car that would take us to the Montreal airport.
Our flight was on time, and there were no hitches....thank heaven. We boarded up and Delta took us to Atlanta, where our man Hal Hamilton would pick us up and drive us home. Great to see Hal....and we had a nice chat about things on the two hour drive to Charlane Plantation.
FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS
We got there before dark, and Hal and Scotty had the place looking fantastic.
HOME SWEET HOME
Yard all mowed nicely, grounds groomed, our Border Collies Molly and Maggie and our Mutt Charlie greeted us enthusiastically. Scotty was there to meet us, and they helped us get our bags into the house. We talked to them for a little while, then they left us to enjoy the late afternoon and evening to ourselves. Part of me wanted to ride around some in the woods, but as we were both pretty tired, I left that to do tomorrow and in the coming days. So...home again with some great memories and experiences of the tour and some wonderful things to look forward to doing in front of us. We are truly blessed.
LIBERATED LADY....I CAN GO HOME NOW....