Carrie and I had the tour on our calendar for a long time but refused to talk about it. In all honestly, we didn't know how to talk about it. Touring for the two of us is easy. We know what to expect, how to pack, where we are going, which airport line we should be standing in, etc. But this particular tour was different. Our son Cruz had turned one just a couple of weeks before we filled an obscenely large red suitcase full of too many of his clothes, toys, and bottles, and then placed him along with his Grandmother on a plane that would carry us all to London. We had no idea how Cruz would navigate such a long flight, but our anxieties were somewhat eased as he fell asleep at an undisclosed location over the Atlantic. The plane landed, and we were all jet-lagged, but we had made it. With each passing day, both Cruz and Katy (his Grandmother) grew to be the perfect traveling roommates and companions complete with their own set of inevitable inside jokes. From London to Wales to Scotland, Katy's self-titled "Granny-Nanny" effort allowed Carrie and I the physical and mental space to perform concerts in rooms full of beautiful British souls. Somewhere along the way, Cruz even learned how to say "dog!" with the perfect English accent (a pronunciation he has held onto upon our return). With our traveling chops honed, and after three weeks in the U.K., we were poised to board another plane for the second leg of our tour in Italy. While speaking with the promoter of our concert in Edinburgh the night before our flight, we mused at the differences between Brits and Italians. "The British love their dogs," he said, "and the Italians, their children."
In a strange and beautifully inefficient way, touring with a family in Italy makes perfect sense. It's difficult to say where the music ends and family begins as everything runs together in the most chaotic and harmonious run-on sentence you can imagine. There is no time to consider this, however, as you load up the car and drive up the mountain and navigate the one-lane winding road and enter the restaurant where there is a fire in the fireplace and there sits the wine on a table filled without about 20 other smiling faces and you only know about half of them and that's okay and the language barrier is there and after the second glass of wine it really doesn't seem to matter (breathe, eat, drink, smile, repeat.) After all, the bagna cauda is divine, and the pasta transcendent. So take an espresso, head back down the mountain, and play a concert in an ancient stone building repurposed as a museum. All of it as a family.
I am grateful for this artists' life. I am more grateful for my Mother in Law.