Friday, May 23, 2014

Monday, May 19-Thursday, May 22: Houston, TX

5/19/14- Travel Day To Houston, TX

I was blocked in by a trailer, so I wasn't able to leave Dallas today until it was moved. Once I could get my truck close to my trailer hitch, I was going to have Tatiana help me install my new sway bars to stabilize my trailer as I haul it down the road.
Unfortunately, I found out that I have to drill a few new holes in the bars coming out of the front of my trailer before I can install the saddles that the sway bars attach to.
We were able to get the new hitch attached to my truck; it is almost identical to my old one, but this one has the sleeves the sway bars fit into. Visan and Marcos Espana were nice enough to lend us their tools and know how to help take off my old truck hitch and install the new one.

Ryan and I hit the road around 3 p.m. About halfway through the 250 mile trip to Houston, I heard a loud pop.
I looked in the rearview mirror, but I couldn't see my trailer behaving erratically. Just then Ryan called to let me know I had popped a tire, so I pulled over on the side of the road and investigated.
I had indeed popped a tire, the back one on my trailer's passenger side. I called Good Sam to have someone come change it, and Ryan and Tatiana headed on while I played the waiting game.

I know that you're supposed to stay away from your vehicle while you wait for roadside assistance, but there was no shade where I was waiting, and it was going to be at least an hour before someone could help me, so I threw caution to the wind and got into my truck where at least I could stay cool.

Two local mechanics showed up after about an hour, and they got my tires switched out in no time. Luckily there were no further complications on the jump, and I caught up with Ryan at a Flying J truck stop about 20 miles from the lot.
Even though I didn't have my sway bars for the jump, I had very little difficulty keeping my rig under control. I still had some rough moments, but nothing as white knuckle as the jumps into Fort Worth or Dallas.
Once I get my sway bars completely installed, I should be on easy street!

We arrived at the lot in Houston around 9 p.m., and after a short wait we were both parked. After setting up my house, I walked around the surrounding area awhile to get my bearings.
We are on Vazquez owned property in this town, and we are located right next door to a big Fiesta supermarket, which I'm sure will come in handy during our six week stand.

5/20/14- Day Off!

Houston is well known for having great kolaches (, so this morning I set out to find some.
I didn't feel like driving all the way downtown to visit a Kolache Factory, so I looked for a nearby donut shop.
They didn't have nearly the variety of a K.F, but the kolaches I got were delicious none the less!

I went out with Ryan and his family today, but we didn't really do anything super exiting. We just bummed around the Webster area, which is about 30 minutes south east of our location.

Tonight our friends, Luigi and Silvia, came over with their son for a visit. Luigi and Silvia were both clowns on Ringling's Blue Unit the tour after I left the show, and we got to know them well during our time with Kelly Miller.
They just moved to Houston recently, so we are happy that we will get to see them often during our time here.

We had a barbecue outside Ryan's trailer, and we were joined by Enrique, the show's lighting director, and his family.
The food was amazing (and Argentinean!), and I got to practice my Spanish comprehension since that  was the main language being spoken.

5/21/14- Day Off!

Today was another low key day off. Ryan and I walked next door to the Sherman Williams to buy paint, and then Ryan touched up the dinged corner of the water box and practiced his lettering and sign painting skills.

In the evening we drove up north to meet with Alex Barney, another of our Ringling clown friends who just moved to town.
We went out to eat, and we laughed over the many stories shared, some of which were even true!

5/22/14- Day Off (Kind Of)!

Ryan and I had an early start this morning; we were both up at 4 a.m. to get into make up and costume for a 5:00 a.m. pick up.
We were taken to a UNIVISION  TV station to promote our upcoming shows.

We were joined by our ringmaster, Memo, and as you can see, we were all thrilled to be on television so early in the morning.

Luckily everyone at the station was very professional and friendly, unlike a certain station the show dealt with in the DFW area.

We only did a few teases and an interview, and we were making the people in the studio laugh, so I guess we did alright!

Memo gave us a ride back to the circus in his Porsche, which is my new preferred method of travel to and from publicities!

After cleaning up, I braved rush hour traffic and drove downtown to visit a Kolache Factory; the kolaches were delicious! I can't wait to spend lots of money there during my time in Houston!

Today was another low key day off for me. I visited a little burger shack called The Hubcab Grill, which I spotted on an online list of 38 Places To Eat In Houston.

I partook of the Sticky Monkey Burger, which was a cheeseburger with bacon, bananas, peanut butter, and monkey meat.
Just kidding, it was goat meat.
Just kidding.
Or am I?

I tried to go to a few places downtown this afternoon, but everywhere I wanted to go only had parking space in a garage, which wasn't going to happen with my big, tall, stupid, Snoopy's dog house lookin' truck.

My clown friends, Stephen and Sarah, were in the neighborhood of the circus this evening, so they came by to take me to dinner.
They have been living in Houston for the past two years, but around the time we're heading out of town, they are moving to Arizona.

Stephen and Sarah took me to an awesome sushi restaurant called Blue Fish. The three of us split five different rolls, and they were all delicious.

Even though I didn't do anything touristy on my three days off in Houston, I really enjoyed spending some quality time with friends and eating some amazing food!


Harry Kingston said...

Hi Steve,
After reading your blog and noticing several times you are blocked in by a trailer.
Steve, that is real bad planning on some ones part, a real bummer.
When you both are done you need to have it fixed were you are on the road and going.
Cole Bros when they are parked they are ALL headed out ready to go when done.
You need to get that changed quick.
Bring it up in one of those meetings you all are always having plus a fire hazard.
Harry in Texas

Steve Copeland said...


Most of the lots we play require the trailers to be packed in like sardines.
It's actually all very neat and orderly, but I will agree it was a pain since I couldn't hook my truck up before moving day to get the sway bars attached.

I prefer this way of parking to some days on Kelly Miller. At least on this show my truck is away from my trailer and ready to go, where on KM some days I would be completely blocked in or unable to leave because of mud. That was a real bummer whenever I had urgent errands to run or just wanted to get away from the circus for awhile.

But, on any show, you take the good with the bad!

Take care!


Greg Michales said...

Funny Harry mentioned Cole Bros because yesterday Cam, Carole and I went to see there show in the town next to us. We went to see the tent set up, brought watermelons for the Frisco's elephants and then did the 2nd show. The show was really good with some nice acts and we really enjoyed it. We then went to our favorite Mexican restaurant which ended up closing early so we went for Italian instead. Must be something with the circus and the connection to food. I think in a few weeks K&M will be here so visit them. I know Carole wants to see Ryan's tigers and maybe talk to him since she now has some of his cats paw prints hanging in the kitchen.
Enjoy your time Houston.

Steve Copeland said...


If you go to KM please tell everyone I say hello.
Has Cameron received his poster? I haven't had e-mail access for over a week now.

Take care,