7/20/15- 7:30 p.m.
Around lunchtime I attempted to walk to Johnnie's Beef, a hot dog spot that came highly recommended to me by my friend, Lisa.
It was only about a two mile walk from the lot, but I was unable to get there by foot because of road construction that closed the sidewalks and narrowed the road's shoulders fairly early in the journey.
I would have just driven there in the first place, but parking would have been very tricky with my big, awkward truck.
I'm not sure why, but I was absolutely worn out when it came time to do our show tonight; I just was not feeling it.
Naturally, as soon as the show was over I was wired, and I couldn't get to sleep. I hate when that happens!
7/21/15- 7:30 p.m.
I woke up around 4 a.m. with a splitting headache. I don't know if I slept on my neck wrong, or if I was dehydrated, but the pain kept me from getting back to sleep.
I took about 3 ibuprofen tablets, and then I put my head under the shower until the hot water ran out. That soothed my headache enough to get me back to sleep, and I felt much better when I woke up.
This afternoon I joined Ryan and his family, and Luis and his wife to go see the "Minions" movie at the theater across the street.
Nico is a huge Minion fan, and he was enthralled by the movie. I was happy about how funny the film was; I expected to laugh, but not as much as I did.
We had a great, enthusiastic audience for the show tonight, which made work a breeze.
7/22/15- 7:30 p.m.
This morning I was picked up at the lot by my friend, Don Lansu. In addition to bringing frozen Lou Malnati's pizzas and a stack of "Circus Reports" for me and Ryan, Don also took me to lunch at Russell's, a great barbecue place.
Don and I ate some yummy ribs, and then we sat and caught up for a few hours. Don and I first met at Moosecamp, a clown camp in Minnesota, back in 2001, and he has kept in touch with me through the years and visited me on every circus I've been with.
It was so great to have a nice, long visit with him today.
We had another great audience for the show tonight. In fact, business has been so good that our run here in Melrose Park has been extended by another week.
That is great news for me, because I love this location so much more than the ghetto lot we'll be playing in our next town.
7/23/15- 7:30 p.m.
This morning I drove to the hotel where some of the performers are staying. I met up with the dancers, and they gave me lift to downtown Chicago.
Emma has been using an app called SpotHero to find good, cheap parking in the city. She found a valet service in the northern part of downtown that only cost $14 (as opposed to the garage right next door that charged $20....for the first half hour!) I was so grateful that the girls let me tag along in their car, because finding parking for my truck would not have been so easy or cheap.
Grace, Hannah, and Sammie headed straight to the beach, but Emma and I set off to walk around and enjoy the city a bit.
We walked down the Magnificant Mile, and we also looked around River North, which had one of the biggest McDonald's restaurants I'd ever seen.
Emma and I had lunch at Pizano's Pizza and Pasta, which had fine food, but was a bit too touristy for my tastes.
Our deep dish pizza did satisfactorily feed us, though. We split a small one and it was just enough to fill us up without making us feel stuffed.
We were right next door to Millennium Park, and Emma had never been, so we quickly walked around as I pointed out the highlights to her.
Her favorite part was The Bean, which is a landmark I always love to see when I'm in Chicago.
On the way back to the car we attempted to stop at The Doughnut Vault, which I found out about on a "50 Things You Need To Eat In Chicago" list.
Unfortunately, we visited late in the day, and the shop is only open until they sell out of the doughnuts they make in the morning. One way to make people really want your product is to deny them having it. Now I NEED one of those doughnuts!!!
Emma and I ended up walking around 8 miles today, and once I got back to my trailer and actually had a chance to sit down, I discovered I was absolutely exhausted!
Luckily I got my second wind in time for the show, which had almost a full house. The audience was fantastic, which also helped give me energy.
I was perturbed in the vacuum gag when my leg fell between stairs in the bleachers. I'm upset that that is an issue, because it is one thing if it happens to me, but an entirely different one if it happens to a sue happy audience member.
I limped my way through the rest of the gag, which I'm sure was noticeable to the crowd. Luckily the damage wasn't lasting; after I shook off the pain I just had a small scraped up area on my left leg.