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From Lucas: A little bit of exploring, meeting new people, and fixing cars

Hey friends,

May I continue John’s broken record and start out by saying that the boys of Garage Voice are some of the most amazing people ever? You’ve helped us so much on this tour and we owe you tons! So thanks very much guys!
Liam, Charlie, and I got up very early this morning and drove our rented van, which we nicknamed “The Voice” in honor of our Seattle band friends, to Bruce’s house for him to drive to work. We thought we were pretty clever coming up with that name, but then he then informed us that the car’s nickname was actually “Van Morrison.” Genius. Pure genius. After being dropped off at a cafe, the three of us had some coffee and computer time before setting off for a bit of exploring. The following are some of the places we stumbled upon in order:
1) A violin shop where we tested out a cello and admired all the lovely instrument stands and instruments
2) An incredible chocolate shop called Chocolat Vitale, where they generously had us sample some dark chocolate, drinking chocolate (which was PERFECT for the cold weather), and some Chipotle, yes Chipotle chocolate caramels. YUM. We’re actually playing a show there on January 21 at 2pm.
3) The Dray, a cool bar that served a variety of beers (including my personal favorite, Gulden Draak, on tap!) as well as coffee
4) The Buffalo Exchange, where the three of us got 3 quality jackets for $60 combined!
5) Finally, Bop Street Records, an amazing and slightly overwhelming vinyl record store where the owner, Dave, treated us to stories of some of his patrons/visitors including Radiohead, members of the Fleet Foxes, Questlove of the Roots, and, hopefully one day, The Family Crest! :) He also asked us to sign the wall among all the other artists who visited, so I’ll post that picture next time!
After that it was off to our open mic at The Gypsy Cafe. We ran into a bit more trouble where we believe the car ran out of gas, so we had to go to the gas station and fill up an extra canister to bring back, which I can say is definitely a first for me. After a well-received open mic at the Gypsy, we ran into another problem: the car wouldn’t start. At this point it was almost amusing how many car issues the band was having in the week and a half we’ve been up here. After waiting as patiently as we could and trying different things, though, we finally got it started and headed home, exhausted but relieved. As the saying goes, I guess, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Call me cheesy, but as dire as our predicaments over the past few days may seem, I believe that in retrospect we will one day look back and see how much this experience helped us grow stronger as individuals but more importantly as a band. I think that it’s best for a group to meet these adversities and roadblocks head-on and keep our gaze firmly and unwavering towards our goal. For me personally, running into these issues has made me realize how much I value the people I share these experiences with and how lucky and fortunate I am to have them as friends and not just band mates. I think that counts for everything.
Well, that’s it for now. I just made and ate my first ever box of Rice-A-Roni. Apparently, it’s the San Francisco treat. After eating two helpings, I can’t really understand how. Good night friends. Talk to you next week!

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