19 Eugene OR
We served ourselves some lovely mix of avocado, berries and cacao nibs for breakfast. It beats "Awful" House. Tweeted out a call for a recommendations for the best coffee house in Eureka but with no reply defaulted to Starbucks. The old houses in Eureka are amazing. We were sure the Adam's family originated in one of them. Scott drove and the bambi-watch had ended and the elk-watch begun.
Driving up the coastline to Crescent City I wasn't sure if I was more blown away by Bud Powell's solo break on Celia, the totally killing chocolates by Michael Mischer that our friend Artemis brought to our Berkeley gig, the waves of the Pacific Ocean, the elks chillin' by the road or the size of the Redwood Trees. I think Paul McCartney must have been driving this way when he wrote The Long and Winding Road.
We got to Eugene around 5pm and got some cappuccino at The Beanery. I must admit that might have been the worst coffee so far, apart from the one we had in Berkeley. They just didn't know how to texturize the milk. Saxophonist Tim Willcox met us at the Jazz Station. He was going to be playing the OR gigs with us. I found it interesting that the audience in Eugene had the highest average age of all our concerts so far.
After the gig we grabbed some grassfed burgers at McMenamins. What amazed me the most was that they had all natural ketchup. (Forget the high-fructose Hunts! This is the real deal!) Around midnight we got in the car and drove towards Portland. I had told Toggi that I would drive so he could have some beers. I almost gave up half way there. I was getting cross eyed and loosing my focus when Toggi saved us both by telling me some juicy gossip. We got to Tim's house around 2am. It was so good to go to sleep.
Hours in car: 6 before gig and 2 after.
It was sweet getting sun-toasted in Tim's backyard after the chill in San Francisco. Tim served us a brunch of sauteed greens and Scott worked his magic on the espresso maker. Toggi was about to burn up in the sun so we made an emergency run to the pharmacy for some sun screen. I got on the computer to push for some promotion in Detroit and for the gigs coming up the following week. Then we headed down to the radio station where Tom D'Antoni chatted with me on air a bit. Twitter buddy Sam Hallam had recommended Stumptown as our espresso stop and that was no disappointment. Just as good as Kaffitár in Iceland. We walked a bit around town, saw St Helens in the distance with its snow-cape that seemed so odd considering the heat in town. At 6pm I called Ellen Carter a radio host at WPFW in DC. We talked on air for a while about our upcoming appearances in the DC area. We grabbed some grub in town and went to The Ivories. We had a decent crowd there and met a former wife of bassist Red Mitchell. It was nice to see our friend from New York George Colligan who had recently moved to Portland and Ryan Meagher and Sam Hallam from twitter. The best thing about this day was not to have to drive long distances.
We had an early rise, made chia breakfast with strawberries and cacao nibs. Made sure we had directions to our destination in Seattle and headed out to Barista for coffee with George and Tim. It's so nice how even though we haven't seen those two friends of ours in a long long time it's like we never parted. Cappuccino at Barista was awesome so Portland has our stamp of approval for cappuccino excellence.
Seattle was a bit further than we had anticipated. When we finally got to the city we thought google maps had given us wrong directions, got all confused and lost. There went the opportunity to sample Seattle's finest coffee. After sending an SOS to Earshot Jazz we finally found our hotel. The hotel was nice although the corridor to our room smelled like the bad part of San Francisco. We returned the rental car, looked at the long line at the original Starbucks and got ready for the gig. Across the street from our venue, Tulas, I found this old yellow piano. I meant to come back to do a video like in Healdsburg but they had closed when we finished our gig. We had a great crowd at Tulas and are so flattered to have Jim Wilke, a US radio legend, there to record us. You can see some very nice photos by Daniel Sheehan here. Too wired to go to sleep after the gig we enjoyed some organic chocolate and the Hawley's bottle of Red wine we had bought in Healdsburg. We couldn't bring it on the plane to Detroit anyway so we might as well
Hours in the car: 6