Charlottesville: We make a trip to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. It is creepy. There is a lot of information about what an amazing person he was, but not a lot of unbiased history. The man owned slaves. The spirit of the house feels loaded, that there is an unbalanced story and a truth in that house that is not being represented.
We play the Jefferson Theatre. It is beautiful and the people who run it are fantastic. That means a lot on this long road.
Carrboro: It is our maestro Chris Seligman's 40th birthday. We surprise him with a new set of high-thread count sheets for his bus bunk so he can sleep like the king he is. It is a very late stage time, so the whole crew gets to go out for dinner to celebrate.
When we get back to the club, the adorable Diamond Rings crew has decorated the entire backstage for Chris. Mr. Seligman is looking better then ever and we love him!! Happy birthday, Chris!
Charlotte: It was a bit muddy that day and I find Torquil rinsing his shoes in our little bus sink above the drinking glasses. Torq sees the look on my face and tells me not to worry and that he will wash all the dishes, but I can't help but feel like I am drinking Torq's shoes for the rest of the week.
Atlanta: This is the town of BLING! Best shopping in the country!!! Yes I said it -- move over, New York, budget bling is in full swing here. The crowd in Atlanta is always exceptional, great singers and they always clap in time!
Louisville: We are taught that it is actually called "Louuvuule" They have great restaurants in this town. We have two days off so we can take full advantage. The bus is parked outside a most maddening hotel. I am carrying the baby and have to go through two parking lots and three elevators to find the dumb room. This hotel is comprised of two buildings, 44 floors, a fish tank bar and 75 different kinds of Kentucky Bourbon. A bunch of us go to our favorite spot, Jack Frys (the best pork chop I have ever had), the first night and Proof the next evening. Both delicious. Proof has an art gallery attached to it, so Evan, baby and I get to wonder around with our wine looking at amazing modern art.
St. Louis: It pours with rain all day. BUS FEVER.
Kansas City: Two days off, and we are all a little sad we aren't home for Canadian Thanksgiving, so we decide to go for a nice meal.
Joseph "Joe" Bastianich is a well-known FOX reality star on Master Chef. He is known for his no-nonsense, harsh and mostly cruel analysis of food cooked for him. He makes Gordon Ramsey look like Ellen.
The restaurant we went to was Lidia's, named after Joe's famous mother. I have been a fan of Lidia Bastianich ever since first seeing her cook with Julia Child. At home, I have made her rapine sausage orechiette many times, a stellar dish.
Upon walking in, you are hammered with everything that the Bastianichs are trying to sell. Books, wine, sauce -- you name it, their name is on it.
My meal is opened with the entrée: "Lidia's signature Caesar salad," a massive, drenched, sopping situation covered in fake Parmesan.
My next course was cheese ravioli in a basil pesto, which was shoveled onto my side plate. It was enough food to feed a family of five. So disappointed, I couldn't help but think if Mrs. Bastianich were here eating with us, how embarrassed she would be with the presentation of this soulless, over-salted, fake feed bag of food.
Perhaps the Bastianichs need to take a break from their incessant judgment of others and go check in on their own kitchens.