Thursday, July 24, 2014

Monday, July 21 and Tuesday, July 22: Chicago, IL

7/21- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I met up with circus fans Doug, John, Mardi, and Rick, who took me to breakfast. We were able to find a restaurant not far at all from the lot, and I enjoyed telling them about our experiences on Vazquez and hearing circus news from other shows as well.
Before we left, Mardi, who is co-editor of "White Tops" with her husband, John, was nice enough to give me copies of the most recent issues. I was very grateful since I haven't received any of the magazines I subscribe to in the past couple of months.

Later in the day I went shopping to get a birthday present for tonight's party. While I was out I picked up a new video game for myself as well.

At tonight's show there was a family in the front row that was really enjoying our work. They were way more vocal with their appreciation than the rest of the audience was, so Ryan and I played a lot of our bits towards them to capitalize on their reactions.

After the show the family came into the ring to take a photo with us. They stood next to us and posed, but one of the kids leaned against the photo backdrop behind us and knocked it over!
We all laughed about the situation, but then not two minutes later a different family came over, and one of their kids did the exact same thing!
Luckily no one toppled over with the wall, although I'm sure it would have been hilarious!

After the show there was a birthday party for Anastasiia, one of the members of Trio Bellissimo. Her birthday is actually tomorrow, but since it is a day off, it was decided that tonight would be the prime time to party hearty.

7/22- Day Off!

The plan was to get up early this morning so we could hit the road to Baraboo by 7 a.m.
Unfortunately I woke up around 4:30 a.m., much earlier than I wanted to, thanks to a splitting headache. Note to self: shots containing alcohol and Horchata (, although delicious, have a tendency to sneak up on you, especially when combined with sangria and beer.

I took some ibuprofen, stood under my shower until the hot water ran out, and got some breakfast and coffee down my gullet to ease my queasy stomach.
By the time Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I left the lot, I felt like a million bucks. Now I just need to start marketing my miracle hangover cure, and I'll be on Easy Street!

The last time we were in Baraboo we didn't get to see our friend, Greg, because he was on vacation. I was happy that we got to visit with him today at the International Clown Hall of Fame, of which he is executive director.

Before geeking out at the Hall of Fame, we went to lunch with Greg, and his daughter, Emily. While we dined we were able to see Greg's wife, Karen, who stopped in for a brief visit on her way to a business meeting.

Back at the ICHOF Ryan and I made ourselves useful and helped Greg reorganize some exhibits in preparation for the induction ceremony taking place Wednesday night.
I really wish we could join in the celebration as Chuck Burns, Dougie Ashton, Paul Wenzel, and Swede Johnson are inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we will be performing a show as the ceremony takes place.

During the afternoon we were surprised to get a visit from Sara, who was the schoolteacher on Ringling's Blue Unit when Ryan and I were working there.
She currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany, but she was in the area visiting family and friends.

Our friend, Neal, who is the clown at Circus World Museum, came over to visit and geek out with us once he was done with work.

"Bobo" Barnett display
 Hotorini, baby! Frosty Little display
 Coco mannequin and wardrobe
 Autographed Lou Jacobs shoes

One of Keith Crary's understated outfits

After awhile our hunger for clown knowledge couldn't compete with our hunger for dinner, so all of us piled into our vehicles and drove to the Wisconsin Dells where we had dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ.

We all shared a big platter of ribs, brisket, fries, beans, corn on the cob, and corn bread muffins. In fact, you could say we all made pigs of ourselves.

See what I did there?

Unfortunately after dinner we had to head back to Chicago. The last time we visited Baraboo we didn't get back to Vazquez until the sun was coming up!
Both Ryan and I decided that we are getting too old for those kinds of hijinx, so we made sure to leave at a reasonable time tonight.

We were treated to beautiful lightning displays almost the entire drive back to Chicago, and we pulled into the lot just before 1 a.m.

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