September 8, 2015

Anaheim Tour (Yes, Tour!)

So yeah. It was that time of year. Little Bg Band went on tour. We played our hearts out, literally and metaphorically. We spent hours on a bus, hours in a clinic, hours at Disneyland creating memories that last forever. Who wouldn't want to spend time with some of their best friends in a bus, talking and laughing away the care-free time of their lives?

Day 1- Bus Ride!

I woke up at 6 am in my own bed, not really waking up. Are you kidding me? I was awake the whole night! I got ready and flew to the car with my horn and suitcase. The drive to the studio was the worst- I couldn't sit still. We finally got there, and I ran around frantically trying to find Caroleine. We loaded our stuff on the bus and sat together.

I think we talked the entire time, laughing about things like the Copacabana and stupid books while eating Ben & Jerry's.  With Caroline living pretty far away from me, it's pretty hard to get bonding time with a friend like her. We sat giggling and laughing with most people listening silently to music. I think we beat them in the fun mode.

Because Snapchat. 

We eventually arrived after I had a heart attack. Caleb told us our room arrangements and gave us our keys. Our roommates were two other fabulous girls- Bryn Chapman and Malaeka Kariuki. Even though I had a near-death experience that day, I wanted to join the rest of the band kids in the pool. We swan and enjoyed ourselves maybe a little too much, cause we were too worn out after that. 

Day 2- Disneyland!

So you were probably imagining another night of not much sleep. Bingo. We got up barely in time to make it to the tour bus. As we sat there with too much anticipation inside us, Caleb passed out our tickets and told us the rules. For most of the time, I stuck with a group of Caroleine, Josh, and Lane. We had a blast waiting two and a half hours for Disney's Pixar Cars ride. Caroleine and I even rode a carousel and felt like five-year-olds again. But when you're at Disneyland, who wouldn't feel like a child? It's the happiest place on Earth for a reason.

A couple hours later, we met up with a large group of boys like Sully(the person, not the blue monster), Joseph, Ethan, Ryan, Brian, Coby, Salem, Zane, Matt, Sam, and Charlie. While waiting in line for Toy Story Adventure, Caroleine and I had tried to learn a game called Snaps. Not fun.

- A Short and Stupid Story -

Once upon a time, I had asked to sit next to Sully on Toy Story Adventure. If you'd been on that ride before, you'd know that its a video game ride, and you get points for shooting objects. Well, here's the thing: Sully was very competitive, and he had a high score. At the end of the ride, the cart stopped at the point screen. He tried to take a picture with his phone, but he dropped it when the cart started moving again. We hit a bump and continued to exit the ride. 

Sully, Caroleine and I waited against the wall while someone went inside the ride to retrieve his phone. Needless to say, they didn't come back with a phone. They came back with a bag of battery acid.

We had a great day riding California Screamin' and eating macaroons and just being kids. Did you ever notice how many different songs the parks play?  Just imagine: you have absolutely nothing on your to-do list. You're in California on a bright, sunny day. Sunglasses on, your best friend right next to you. Your heart lifts from your chest and butterflies take the place of your stomach. The smile on your face is similar to the one when you learned how to jump rope. It's you two against the world- and the only thing you can't do is leave. You look at your best friends' face, and her smile is bigger than yours. Your heart lifts higher, and you can't help but wish this day would never end.

We rode more rides and had more fun. When the sun crept past the hills, we decided to eat dinner. The restaurant we chose had a live jazz trio swinging famous disney melodies like Colors of the Wind. Us Little Big Band kids- yeah, we ate it up. We then went to ride in a casket inside the Haunted Mansion. Because of my bad luck, the ride broke while we were in the middle of the mansion. I will never speak of the actual terror that happened in that house ever again. 

Boys being boys, everyone had wanted to ride the Tower of Terror. Allow me to tell you that the Tower of Terror is super sketchy, despite what everyone else tells you. Bryan used to tell me stories of his Anaheim tour with Little Big Band, and one of them was how he'd literally fall down the tower. He'd pull his seatbelt all the way out and sit on it, so he could fly out of his seat at the top. Bryan suggested I do it, but I didn't want to die.

After it got dark around ten, we were stupid enough to decide to go on water rides. We rode the Bear Creek Rapids. Not once, but about five times until the park closed. This ride was really special, because on the last run of the ride our float had started singing Katy Perry's Firework. When we got to the peak of the mountain and started floating downhill, actual fireworks went off.

We got back to our hotel room exhausted, ready to sleep. That so didn't happen. There was a lot of sugar and adrenaline in our system. Bryn and Malaeka were really excited too, but we needed to sleep because of our big performance the next day.

Day 3-  Clinic!

At around noon, we had a small performance in a deserted high school in front of Wayne Bergeron and Francisco Torres. Those two men are some of my idols, so it was slightly nerve-wracking to me. Wayne played with the trumpets for a bit and Francisco played with us trombones for a bit. It was great to have such a wonderful opportunity to play for musically accomplished professionals.  

Sometimes one of the two would stop us in the middle of a song to help fix a line or some intonation. However, the big picture we learned form them is that we need to play music. That doesn't make sense to you, does it? Well, it means that just like any other form of art, we need to make it art. Sure we can play notes and rhythms on the paper, but what about articulation, dynamics, and just plain stage presence? 

Wayne Bergeron teaching us a thing or two

Francisco Torres is one of my favorite people of all time. He picked up his horn to show us something, and WOW! He had amazing tone quality and time. He played a solo on one of the tunes and blew our metaphorical socks off.  He inspired me to work even harder to practice and sound similar to him. 

Me and the cooliest: Francisco Torres

Later, we had a performance at the Anaheim Garden Walk. It was one of the most awkward performances I've ever had, mostly because it was at a shopping mall. Little Big Band still managed to draw a big audience, especially because of our rockin' tunes. 

When we got back to our hotel room, we we happy and tired. I consider it an honor to be able to play for Francisco and Wayne. But man, do they scare me. Everyone actually slept in our room tonight; the excitement from the day wore us out.

Day 4- Performance!

Because of some higher power, we managed to drag our tired bodies out of bed early in the morning to get ready for a performance at the Santa Ana Zoo. Those two hours of performing really seemed to go by fast. I just love it! I can't think of anything I've enjoyed more than seeing real-life princesses. Yet agin, the band had a fair size audience. Man, nobody can resist the tunes of Gordon Goodwin played by a ton of fourteen-year-olds.

You're never gonna guess what we did after that- more Disneyland! I decided I was destined to ride the Tower of Terror without getting scared. However, because I was scared, I managed to put it off till the end of the night. I got to ride Space Mountain(my new favorite!) and my old favorite, The Matterhorn. Splash Mountain, I have to say, with a boat full of kids who can sing in tune stuck in a tunnel.... it got pretty weird in there. 

No one wanted that night to end. Who would? It felt like the greatest time of my life. Up until now, it totally was. There's nothing I would trade for spending time with musicians, princess, bandmates, human-like mouses, or my best friend.  When we got back to the hotel last night, there was a gloomy sorrow floating in the air.

Day 5- Bus Ride...

There's' really not much I have to say here. We went home. Tears were shed. Tours are just fun, you know? That's all there is to it- fun. Performances, friends, great memories. This, being my first tour, with plenty more to come, will not be forgotten.

To Caroleine: You are the most amazing girl I've met. Each and everyday is a blast with you. I love you like the sister I've never had. Your personality is so eccentric and great just the way it is. What would I not give up to spend time with you every day? Please realize how talented you are, and how I am thankful to have met you.

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