Wisconsin Is a Fabulous Place

We went to Wisconsin to play at the Band on the Sand festival for the third year in a row. We get to meet so many great people on the road, and Wisconsin is no exception. In fact, it was one of the first, if not the first, places where we felt at home on the road.

Thursday night we played at a place called Xpeditions. This place is an underground bar, street-level coffee shop, and upstairs yoga studio. It’s fantastic! We had people singing along to our songs, which is rare so far in our journey. We hung out and talked with people that love Jessie’s music, and what a treat it is to share that bond through music with strangers-turned-friends.

Friday we started making our way to Band on the Sand, but not before a little fly fishing. I fished the Timber Coulee, and it was beautiful. It’s just a little creek running along the road. I found a place to pull off the road, geared up in my waders, and started fishing while Jessie relaxed and read. While I didn’t land anything and get pictures, I did manage to hook about 6 before they spit out the hook and swam away. I had so much fun anyways.

Then Band on the Sand. I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said about it in previous years. We love it. Dennis and Joyce are fantastic hosts to us, and Dick and his wife Pam help them put on our favorite stop along our tour. Two days of music, food, and camaraderie on a sandbar in the middle of the Mississippi River is just what the soul needs. I especially needed it after the previous two weeks’ frustrations with tires and the fact that we had to leave town with a tub full of water that wouldn’t drain (more on that story later).

Jessie and I love our travels. We also love being home. I’m so glad we get to make these memories sharing our music with people.

Wyoming – What a Place!

What a trip we’ve had so far! After playing for a great crowd in Lincoln, Nebraska, we set off for Centennial, Wyoming.

None of us have ever been to Wyoming. Cam has never been west of Texas. Neither Cam nor Jessie had ever seen the Rocky Mountains. All of that changed this weekend.

As we crossed over the state line from Nebraska to Wyoming, the landscape really started to change. Hills started rolling as we passed through Cheyenne on our was towards Laramie. Then the hills started to climb and become what looked like drip-sand castles I used to make with my cousins on the beach. As we neared Centennial, we really started to climb.

Centennial is a small town claiming 270 residents. It looked like a scene out of a movie, and we felt like stars the whole time. The people were so welcoming and accommodating! We wished we didn’t have to go home so soon. In fact, I wasn’t sure Cam would even get in the car with us to go home!

We had dinner with our hosts, then they sent us up the mountain to see something really spectacular. Our host Mike gave me directions to Mirror Lake where we could stand and look straight up to a 14,000-feet-above-sea-level peak. I was so thrilled to get to see Jessie and Cam react to such beauty! We walked in near-silence (except our panting in the thin air) as we took in the majesty of the mountains. Pictures truly don’t do the sight justice.

We couldn’t believe this was work. We went back down the mountain and got to talk to Mike and his wife Kat for a little longer. They are the owners of the Historic Mountain View Hotel in Centennial, and they are also the ones coordinating the Elevation Festival we were to play the next day.

During our conversation, we started talking about fly fishing. Of course I told them I brought my rods just in case I found myself with a few minutes to fish. Mike said, “Hang on just a minute,” and he proceeded to pick up the phone to call a friend. Moments later, he hands me directions to a fishing spot on a friend’s private waters. I was overjoyed at the thought of getting to fish waters that see so little fishing pressure!

We headed to our room to get as much rest as possible. I got up early this morning to head to the fishing spot. I have been trout fishing before, but never on my own for wild trout, and never have I caught trout without a guide. Within a few minutes I had my first fish. I was nearly giddy with the fact that I had caught one all on my own! He was little, but that didn’t bother me at all!

Within a few minutes, I had another hooked. I almost wet my pants in excitement this time – I knew I had something much larger on the end of my line.

In total, I caught about 7 fish. I just couldn’t believe it. The water was cold and clear, and the fish were biting everything I was throwing – Griffith’s Gnats, Prince nymphs, Bluewing Olives, Elk Hair Caddis, and Woolly Buggers. I didn’t want to stop, but I knew I needed to get back.

I got back, got showered, packed up, and the three of us headed across the street to where we would be playing on the front porch of the Mountain View Hotel. We were set to play first, so we got plenty of time to soundcheck. It was very different playing at high altitude – it was harder for Jessie to sing, and Cam and I had to catch our breath as we played!

Once again, the crowd was fantastic! Getting to see people bob their heads, clap, and some even sing along is such a heartwarming experience. We got to meet so many great people like Mike, Kat, Mara, Gary, Rick, Jimmy, Dave, Shane, and so, so many more!

I can’t wait to go back, whether it be to play (hopefully in next year’s Elevation Festival) or for vacation. The people we met hold a special place in my heart. I love doing what I do because I get to meet such wonderful people – I mean that in the sense of my wonder for what people do and how they do it – and I get to see so many things I’ve never seen. I’m so glad Cam got to experience these things with us as well. He’s been such a trooper helping get the camper set up and torn down, and he’s been a great companion on this long journey over the last few days.

Tomorrow is the last (long) leg of the trip back home. I can’t wait to be home, even if it’s not for long. Florida and Wisconsin lay ahead of us in the coming weekends. I can’t wait to see old friends and make a few new ones too.

Steak and Green Beans

Jessie and I have decided to blog some of the meals we cook. I don’t mean to brag, but we’re some pretty good chefs. She made some curry potatoes that are the jealousy of the lunch table at my office.

Tonight I made steak and green beans for lunch for us tomorrow (because we both had other dinner plans tonight, and I had a little time to throw this together).

Jessie got two ribeye steaks the other day, so I pulled them out of the fridge and threw them on the grill. I sprinkled garlic salt on top and left them to cook while I ran inside to take care of the green beans.

I put some water on to boil, then went to town trimming green bean ends, washing them, and getting them in the boiling water.

I went outside to flip the steaks while the green beans boiled for about 6 minutes. When the steaks were flipped, I sprinkled more garlic salt on the top. Then back inside to finish the green beans.

After draining the green beans, I mixed in Emeril’s Essence Seasoning. I’ve also added some butter before, but I didn’t this time, strictly because I needed to get back to the steaks. I think they turned out fine without butter, but I much prefer some buttery goodness.

I made sure the steaks were cooked well enough through the middle, and removed them from the grill. I was able to make a great meal fairly quickly, with just a few ingredients, and very little hassle.


I would have preferred to have cooked the steaks over medium heat, but I kind of forgot to turn the grill down after lighting. I got distracted my text messages and never recovered. My steaks were slightly more well-done than I’d like, but I’m still very happy.

Pictures, Please

So I got some advice from my fellow co-workers today – MORE PICTURES!

I’ll give you pictures.  I made another quesadilla for myself tonight.  This time, I added pulled rotisserie chicken to my cheese and jalapeño quesadilla.  The end result was marvelous.  Let’s take a look:




Are you hungry yet?  I know I sure am!  Bone app a teet!

Bachelor Food

Sometimes my wife goes out for a girls night or gets hired to sing an out of town gig without me.  I miss her on those nights.  It also seems that I get really lazy at night when baseball is on TV and no dinner is prepared.  I have since discovered how easy dinner can be.

I’ve always, ALWAYS been a big fan of the ol’ PB&J, or peanut butter and jelly, for those of you who may be too civilized for such delicacies.  I also have been known to down an entire bag of pita chips with a tub of my favorite humus.  However, I have recently stumbled upon the amazingness that is homemade quesadillas.

I have done several varieties, but my favorites are the cheese quesadilla and the cheese and jalapeño quesadilla.  I have also thought of throwing in some bacon and diced potatoes for a breakfast quesadilla.  That takes a little more work, but after all, we ARE talking about BACON!

So here’s how I do it:

Take a tortilla and place it in a non-stick frying pan.

Lightly cover the tortilla with shredded cheese (Mexican blend is most appropriate).

Turn the burner on medium.

Add whatever toppings you want.

Once the cheese begins to melt, use a spatula to fold the quesadilla in half.

The underside will just begin to turn golden brown, and this is when you flip it.

The other side will then begin to golden, and this is when you’re ready to eat!

So easy!  Just slice it (if you wish), let it cool briefly so as not to glue hot cheese to the roof of your mouth, and enjoy!  Feel free to let the quesadilla brown to your liking – I like mine “rare,” but you may be more of a “well done” guy yourself.

Don’t forget to turn the burner off on the stove either.