Day 2 - Recovery!

There's nothing like a good night's sleep after being on the road for 24 hours!
With the weather forecast looking like wall to wall blue skies and sunshine, most people used the day to visit the beach, either here in West Palm Beach or up to Miami to do a bit of people watching on South beach.

There are two types of behaviour on tour – those who arrive at the hotel, grab a map and just see what the local area has to offer, and those who plan trips well in advance.  Two such ladies are Jacquie and Janet (2nd violin and piccolo) who are often seen pouring over maps and guide books in the weeks leading up to a tour, planning as much activity as they can for their free time.  So, on this the first of our two free days, they set off for the Everglades in search of alligators and as you can see, they were not disappointed!

For me, it was a day to celebrate turning 40!  So, as well as enjoying the sun and sea, there 'may' have been the odd margarita consumed too!

I have a birthday twin in the orchestra, Rachael (cello), so we decided to invite everyone to join us at happy hour in a lovely bar downtown.  Happy hour should really be called Happy Day here as it lasts from 4-7pm then again from 10pm-1am! Just don't forget to tip the waitress otherwise she'll be back to get it!

Happy Birthday to us - it was a memorable day!
At this point in the tour, we were still missing two VIPs – our stage managers (or 'roadies') Craig and Michael.  If you've ever wondered how you get 6 double basses, 8 cellos, a set of timpani, percussion, tuba, contra bassoon, not to mention the rest of the orchestra across the Atlantic, well you're about to find out!
Craig and Michael loaded the RSNO truck on Friday night after our concert at the Usher Hall and then drove through the night to Heathrow where the instruments were loaded onto pallets and then onto a freight flight bound for Miami.  They followed in a passenger flight and were then there at customs first thing on Monday to get the instruments through their own process of immigration.

Here are our instrument flight cases getting loaded onto pallets and wrapped in what looks like tin foil!
We have hired a truck for the duration of the tour and it's a truck and a half!

It's only four years old and it has already done 600,000 miles!!
A massive thank you to Craig and Michael for ensuring that our precious cargo got here in once piece.
Onto tomorrow then and the first concert of the tour.