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Monday, January 8, 2018

Ok, Let's Do This...




2017 was a weird year. I have no other way to describe it. 

On the few days leading up to New Year's day and on New Year's day itself, I found myself not really being able to remember much of 2017. Every year I can always look back and pick out the moments that changed me, that challenged me, the moments where I felt truly accomplished and like I had conquered a goal, but I couldn't do that so much looking back on 2017. When I try to look back at 2017, I see a grey cloud and feel an overwhelming feeling that I didn't accomplish very much. 

Bummer. 

Of course I know that isn't totally true. Of course I accomplished things. Of course I'm very proud of those accomplishments. That thumbs down feeling though, is what I keep coming back to and when I look at 2017 as a whole and when I break it down into pieces, I can see where and why it holds such an odd and sort of desolate feeling. 

A lot of life happened 2017. I was really, really busy and I let myself get bogged down with it. I didn't give myself the opportunity to work it out and I was pretty hard on myself for not having the time and not being in the best head space to get back to my normal creative working self. I mean, the last time I blogged was in April. And honestly, I tried. I tried to force it and every time I started writing it felt like my mind was just taking out the trash. If there's one thing I hate, it's forced creativity or forcing myself to write just for the sake of writing because I think it's what I'm supposed to do. There's a difference to me between writing out the bad stuff and writing because I have nothing better to do. A huge part of my identity is wrapped up in writing and when I can't accomplish it the way I want to, I can get discouraged and that melancholy often finds its way into other parts of my life. 

I dealt with a lot of health issues in 2017. Moving into a new place and adjusting to that. Being on the road a lot and living out of a suitcase most of the time. And the most memorable change in my life from 2017, the one that likely is the reason for most the year having a dull sheen to it, is that I lost my best friend of almost 12 years, my best guy, my dog, Jack Jack, suddenly and right in the beginning of the year and it freaking sucked. It still sucks and I've struggled moving on from that. 
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But, I'm owning this behavior and taking my time and my mind back this year. I thought I would share my process with you guys, just incase any of you might be out there needing some encouragement as well. 

At the start of every year I set a list of goals for myself. These are things I'd like to work on, work toward achieving, ways to better my mental and physical health...etc. Every year I list 20 goals I want to focus on for that particular year, and these 20 goals are split up into 4 sections: Health, Personal Happiness, Career & Misc (which are usually ways I can better the world & others and personal goals not necessarily related to career.). For example, a few years ago one of my health goals was to eat less meat and make my way to becoming vegetarian and mostly vegan. Another year a health goal was to work at completely cutting out fast food. On the career end, one year it was to go on my first cross country tour and on the MISC end, a couple years ago I decided to go cruelty-free with all of the beauty brands I use and I cut out brands that aren't cruelty-free. Some of the goals are as simple as getting up earlier in the morning, going on more walks, talking less and listening more...etc. 

While I can't say that I did the best with my 2017 goals, I'm showing myself some grace and deciding to kick ass in 2018. By sharing this list, it not only holds me accountable, but might just help another person out who may be needing some reassurance and direction. My way is obviously not the only way, but perhaps you'll find a way to fit yourself into this template and make it your own if you're still searching for some direction in 2018. Read on to check it out if you'd like. I've offered some explanation after each section. 
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The Big List - 2018 Goals 

Health

1. More focus on my mental and physical health & stop making exceptions.  
2. Get back to my boundaries with fast food and soda. 
3. Make more time for physical health (running, walking, yoga...)
4. Less social media. 
5. Stop skipping meals on busy days. 

When I get busy, my mental and physical health are usually the first things to take a backseat to whatever else I'm doing. This is silly seeing as I can't be good at my job or anything else if I'm not healthy. The best I have ever felt in my life was about two years ago when I was avoiding fast food 90% of the time, eating completely gluten-free, eating vegetarian and mostly vegan, avoiding soda, not skipping meals and making time to run/go for walks/do yoga at least a few times a week. I started dealing with some new health issues in June of 2016. Up until that point I had been treating my body well and made it a point to do that, but 2016 was an incredibly busy year. I went on two cross country tours, recorded and released an album, released a music video, played a boatload of shows and was on the road 9 months out of the 12 month year. It's no surprise that I started having some health problems that year, right after I released my album. I wasn't running/walking/hiking as much as I normally do, I wasn't eating properly, I was drinking more soda/caffeine than normal, I wasn't sleeping much and I was spending more time on social media.

Before you ask, yes, I've been to the doctor several times to try to sort some of this out and we really haven't totally figured out what's wrong with me, but we know that it mostly stems from my diet, my weird digestive system and stress. In 2017, I tried eating differently, adding and subtracting some things from my diet and I would have days where I barely ate anything at all out of frustration. Sometimes not knowing exactly how to fix a problem allows you to make excuses for yourself, sort of the "well it's not going to change no matter what I do so I might as well just drink this can of soda..." and ultimately all you do is make it worse and it's a downward spiral. 

So in 2018 I'm getting back to the diet that works best for me and accepting that this is something I have to deal with and I can make the best of it and be smart about it, or I can suffer. It's my choice. I'm making more time to exercise and focus on my mental health as well. I'm not setting ultimatums because I think ultimatums rarely work well in accomplishing personal health goals, but I'm setting accountability and making lifestyle changes. This also means less social media and going social media free on some days. I'm done looking at my phone just because I'm bored, or having my phone out when I'm with other people or talking to other people. I mean, how rude is it when you're talking to someone and they get their phone out and start looking at it? I know I've been guilty of this. My phone is a tool, it's a wonderful tool and in my line of work it is a very important tool. Social media is an awesome and great way to connect with people and share experiences, but it can be toxic in so many ways and I'm over it having any control over me. 

Personal Happiness

1. No more comparing my life to others. 
2. Take some time off once in awhile and stop feeling bad about it. 
3. Pray more and get to church. 
4. More time for journaling, reflecting, clearing my head. 
5. Read one book a month. 

Every single thing on the list above suffered in 2017 and these are normally things I'm really good at. 

I know comparison kills creativity and lowers self-esteem and I found myself comparing my life to others A LOT in 2017. There is a difference between being inspired by other people and letting someone else's journey make you feel like yours isn't good enough. For someone who has advised their friends about how harmful comparison is and how to trust the timing of your life, I certainly wasn't practicing what I preached. We will never know why some things happen for some people and not for others, why some opportunities seem to fall in the laps of those who least appreciate it while others have to go through hell to work for the same opportunities, but spending ANY amount of time comparing the way your life looks to someone else's and why it looks that way does nothing but harm.

I'm done with this behavior in 2018. I'm done feeling like I'm not good enough or like I'm doing something wrong because I'm doing something different. One of the most successful years of my life was in 2016 and not comparing myself to others was a huge reason for that. For whatever reason I set aside this knowledge in 2017 and I started the process of comparison again and it did nothing but discourage and slow me down.

I've always been transparent on social media because so much of what people share about their life online is fabricated, embellished and/or their highlight reel. I think this behavior is harmful to those doing it and those viewing it and it's something I let get the best of me in 2017. I'm over it. Perfectionism is a myth. Vulnerability is beautiful and my favorite kind of people are the people who've made mistakes and learned from them. People who aren't afraid to admit that they are broken. I want to be the kind of person I would admire. Enough with the noise of trying to always come across a certain way or look great in every photo or video. Ugh, I'm exhausted thinking about it. 

The last time I took a real vacation, where I didn't work at all, was almost 10 years ago. No joke. I've toured since then a TON and for me that feels like vacation and that's usually what I consider my "vacation" since I realistically and economically can't do both. What I CAN do though is take a day off every once in awhile.

You guys, I'm really, really bad at this. 

I truly do not know how to take a full day off and I feel extremely guilty when I'm not working. I always have to be doing something and I'm terrible at sitting still when I know there is work to be done. I love being goal-oriented and working hard, but I know working all of the time is not healthy. In 2018 I'm working to get better at this. I'm going to take a day every once in awhile to do something I like to do, phone off, messages disabled, real, honest to goodness time off. This might be going to the bookstore for a couple hours, going for a hike, exploring a new part of TN I haven't seen yet, taking myself on a date to a show I want to see or going to a movie. Hopefully this will help with one of the other personal health goals I have for this year, reading one book a month. I love reading and I didn't finish one book in 2017. Weird. I feel like part of the reason my health suffered in 2017 was because I never took any time off and I was constantly thinking about work. I know part of being good at your job is knowing when to allow yourself a break to enjoy what you've worked for, so I welcome any tips and ideas on how to be someone who is good at taking a little time off because though I know it will be difficult, I have to do it. 

When I mentioned earlier that the best health I'd been in mentally and physically was about two years ago, a big part of that was my relationship with God. I didn't pray as much in 2017 as I normally do and because of my crazy travel schedule, I didn't go to church as much and I didn't make it a priority. I know this had a huge baring on my health and my ability to see clearly. I know this was a huge reason for my comparison issues, stress, feeling overwhelmed and feeling anxious and hesitant. When I'm not praying as much, it's usually because I'm allowing myself to believe in fears that aren't real and not trust God's timing. I'm telling you, the most clarity and the most confident I ever feel in my life is when I have a clear understanding that the most important thing I can do is trust God and listen when God gives me direction. 

Career

1. Be an Artist, not just a manager and booking agent. 
2. Write what I want to write and make writing a priority I enjoy, not just a task I have to do.
3. Finish songs, don't just start them. 
4. Release new music / music video. 
5. Rebrand KLB, especially creatively. 

I'm an independent artist. This means that I do everything myself, the booking, the publicity, the books, the e-mails and phone calls, the tours & organization, the budget...all of it. There is ALWAYS something that needs attention. And you know, it's crazy sometimes and I can lose myself in the hustle. I've been touring hard the last few years and it's been awesome, but 2017 showed me that I haven't been allowing myself to be an artist as much as I need to. I didn't feel like I had time to focus on being an artist this last year and when I did have time I was exhausted from trying to keep my head above water with everything else.

The problem is that all the shows played, songs written, music recorded and tours booked don't matter if I'm not putting my best self and work forward. To me, there is nothing worse than the feeling of being just good enough to get by. So, if that means I have to play a few less shows a year to make time to write a kick ass album, then that's what I have to do and I have to not be afraid of that. Number 3 on the list above is part of this. Y'all have no idea how many recordings I have in my phone and "almost" finished songs that need a little love and attention. I let myself not finish a lot of new songs and ideas last year because I got "busy" with other aspects of my career and for someone who always finishes what they start, this is a terrible trait that I don't plan on keeping around. 

Additionally, I have to make time to work on other writing too. A lot of people don't know this, but I graduated college with a writing degree. I love writing music more than anything, but I'm also incredibly passionate about writing in general. I've been working on a novel since I was a teenager and I decided that this year is the year I'm going to start making time for that again because I'd like to finish it and some other creative non-fiction short stories I've been working on for a while, sometime in the near future. I honestly think working on some of these things more will make me a better songwriter. 

Number 4 goes without saying. The guys and I are trying REALLY hard to get y'all some new music this year. We're working to record and release a new EP and that is my biggest career goal for 2018. Our fan base is awesome and you guys have always been patient while waiting for new music and believe me, I want to release it just as much as y'all want us to. I'm saving, budgeting and figuring out how to make new music and new music videos happen for you guys this year, promise. <3 

KLB is hard at work too. I love my band. I love the group of guys I get to make music with and I have to say I haven't been this excited about making music with a group of guys in a long time. Get ready for some fun shows, new music and fun changes coming your way this year. The guys and I are stoked to revamp our show for you and put some new songs in your ears. 

Miscellaneous

1. Shop less and shop slow, sustainable, second-hand. 
2. Spend more time writing with my piano.
3. Electric guitar and Mando yeah!
4. No phone right before bed or right when I wake up. 
5. Give more time and energy to experiences and less to things. 

I try to tackle something every year that I believe makes the world a better place. I know I'm just one person, but I'm consistently trying to make small changes in my life the not only better my life, but also the lives of others and/or our world. 

One of the changes I am focusing on this year is to shop sustainable, small and second-hand. I already do this, but I am going hard this year and making a point to stop shopping fast fashion brands. I actually got the idea to make this my 2018 "better the world" goal from, Danielle Nagel, the owner of a RAD female inspired brand called - Dazey LA (check it out!). I own the coolest jean jacket from her brand and I love the clothing she designs and female creators she works with. She is about the slow fashion movement, supporting small business, female empowerment and creating quality, long-lasting fashion and I am about that.

We tend to buy cheap clothing from brands like H&M and Forever 21 because it's cheap and we can get a good bang for our buck, but we don't always think about why that clothing is so cheap and we end up buying way more than we need. Outsourcing production overseas (which means unemployment in the US), sweatshops and factories with unfair working conditions, pollution (fast fashion is the second biggest source of pollution next to big oil) and cheaply made clothing are all byproducts of fast fashion and I don't want to contribute to the cycle anymore. Consumers are the only people who can reverse the wasteful trend of buying fast fashion and I want to be part of that movement. I love fashion and I love putting together fun outfits for shows, but not at the expense of our planet and other people. Plus, I love supporting small businesses! I am a small business after all. So I am saying goodbye to fast fashion brands this year and when I do shop, I'm shopping slow, sustainable and second hand. Whoohoo!

I'm also going to spend more time having fun with music. When your passion is your career it is the best thing in the world, but it also means that your passion is your job and once in awhile I forget to have fun and learn new things. I'm spending some extra time with my piano, my mandolin and electric guitar this year. Who knows if these instruments will make it on stage or not, I'm not worried about that right now. I love writing on the piano, I love the simplicity of the mandolin and I want to get better at electric guitar because it's a fun instrument, so I'm going to focus on that and give those instruments more of my time just because it feels good.

Anyone else go to bed looking at their phone and wake up in the morning and the first thing you think to do is check your phone? Yeah, me too. I'm going to try this in small doses, maybe starting with 10 minutes and working my way up from there, but I want to stop checking my phone first thing in the morning and letting it be the last thing I look at before I go to bed. I don't need to start my day by seeing what someone posted on their insta story the night before and I don't need to end my day on that note either. I'm not saying I'm not going to look at it at all, I just don't need to see it right when I open or before I close my eyes. I'm going to start with not looking at my phone for the first 10 minutes when I wake up and the last 20 minutes before I go to bed and work my way up to a half hour or so. I think this going to give me a much better start and end to my days. I have a feeling I'll spend less time reading and looking at meaningless garbage altogether because of this too.  

We all like certain things. The more I live life and get to experience new places, people and adventure, the less I crave things. I think we all have certain comforts we like to be surrounded by (I like candles, records, incense, plants and cool vintage decor for example), but at the end of the day we probably have more things than we need. I want to spend more of my time, money and energy on people, experiences and things that contribute to my goals this year and less on things I don't really need. I think this goal sort of sums up this entire list. At the end of the day it's the experiences I've had in life and the people that were there for those experiences that make me feel fulfilled. I think it's important to know what people, places, experiences and things make you feel fulfilled in life and focus on cultivating and collecting those things more and all the other stuff (because it's just stuff) less. 

Ok, let's do this. 

I'm not expecting perfection (because perfection isn't real) and I'm not expecting changes to happen overnight, but I refuse to look back on 2018 and see a grey blur. I want to look back at 2018 and have memorable moments and achievements I'm proud of. I want to have reasons to want to look back at this year, even if they are as simple as I read more books, wrote more songs I'm proud of and prayed more. 

Here's to 2017. I'm thankful for it. It taught me that there are a lot of things I need to change, so in that way it was a very important year. May I not dwell or focus too much on what a weird freaking year it was and focus more on how it forced me to change. 

Cheers to 2018. The best is yet to come. 

Thanks for reading y'all.

Nothin' but love. 




xo - Kari 








Monday, May 22, 2017

it takes two to be lonely together tonight...

Hey all!

It's here (finally) part 4 of the blogs covering the Two To Be Lonely Tour.

I always think I can stay caught up on things when I'm on the road...and then I remember that you need internet to do things online. :P

Oh well, enough about how it took me forever to post this...onward!
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The last part of the Two to Be Lonely Tour was so great.

We left California and headed to Colorado. It was Thanksgiving week and it couldn't have worked out better. One of my best friends lives in Boulder, Colorado as well as one of Justin's best friends. So, even though we were on the road through the holiday, we still got to have a taste of family and we played a house show at their beautiful little bungalow.

It was the best.



I've known Sara since I was 6-years-old and she is one of my longest and best friends. It was so wonderful to spend Thanksgiving with her, her roommate, Caitlin and their families. It was truly a  little slice of home. <3 


Was feeling extra THANKFUL. Traveling the globe making music and adventuring with this guy is pretty much the best. Plus...how CA'UTE is this photo, amirite?!


I'd love to tell you all that we only take adorable and super cool and perfect photos together, but mostly they all look like this because he is actually the worst. Just keepin' it real y'all. 


Boulder wasn't ready for the Two To Be Lonely Tour...


Just a little (totally normal) pre-show prep.


We had a lovely show at The Laughing Goat. The crowd showed us so much love and we shared the stage with another awesome and sweet artist named, Britt Margit. She is a Colorado based singer/songwriter and her BF actually took these photos of us playing. Such a great night! 


It's takes two to be lonely...


Sangin!


We had a couple days off in Colorado and we decided to spend them exploring. 


FINALLY got to see Red Rocks in person and basically just spent the whole time dreaming and scheming and praying to God that I'll get to play that stage someday soon. <3


We left Boulder and headed to Aspen, CO. Neither one of us had ever been to Aspen so we were super pumped. It was Beautiful! Also, Justin thinks he is hilarious and does stuff like this (it was pretty funny and I laughed a lot though). p.s - HOLY DIRTY CAR!


Aspen is ridiculously adorable, you guys. 



The first night we were in town we didn't have a show, so we found an open mic at a cool little bar downtown. It was a blast and we ended up jammin' with the host to end the night after we played our set.



The next day we played the Kitchen Concerts radio show in Aspen on KSPN FM. 


It was so much fun and Ryan was such a cool dude! We played "West Texas Ground" and "Sweetheart" and we wrote a new little ditty while we there for them to play as an opening to our segment. Good times!


It's the Ride Home with Ryan on KSPN...



Aspen treated us so well. The people we met there were awesome and we can not wait to go back! 
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From Aspen we headed to Fort Collins, CO to play a show at The Blind Pig. We were joined by our pal, Matt Gabriel again. It was fun all being out on the road at the same time. We got to form a couple cool little bills. Fort Collins is such a neat city. Before our show that night we toured New Belgium Brewery and it was honestly so fun. 

The day after our Fort Collins show, we hit the road to Alamosa, CO. It was a little bit of a treacherous and long drive on the way there, but our show was a blast and the people at the show in Alamosa made that drive totally worth it.  


Plus, this is what we looked at for 2 hours on the way out of town. Made for a pretty OK start to the drive. :)
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We had a day off in-between Colorado and our next stop in Nebraska, so rather than hit the road right away, we decided to explore a little. I'm always, always so happy when we take the time to do this. At the end of the day, what's a late night on the road when you got to spend the day climbing rocks and seeing some of the most beautiful sites on the planet? I'll take the couple extra hours of night driving. 



Garden of the Gods - Colorado Springs, CO




The world is super pretty and it's fun to see it from different angles. 


GO OUTSIDE.

<3 <3 <3



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We left Colorado Springs and made the 8 and a half hour drive to our next stop in Nebraska. It was long and a lot of coffee was had. Our show in Nebraska was at Soaring Wings Vineyard and our pal Matt Gabriel joined us again. Met some wonderful folks and got to drink wine in the afternoon on a Sunday while we played. Can't complain. 


The skyline was gorgeous that evening after our show. Sometimes I forget just how beautiful the midwest is. I'm happy to have been born and raised in the midwest. Now that I live in Nashville and travel so much, it makes me appreciate the beautiful openness and skies in the midwest that much more. 

If you look closely, you can see the moon in this photo. :)
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We ended up picking up a few last minute shows during this tour, so we had about 4 days off between Nebraska and our show in Virginia. We decided to spend them in Arkansas and it was so fun! We got to visit our friends, Sam and Kristie and spend some time in their quaint town, where we had some of the BEST mexican food.  I wish we could've played in AR. Next time for sure!
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From Arkansas we headed to Virginia to play at Ashland Coffee & Tea. We'd spent almost 13 hours on the road that day, so needless to say, we were totally exhausted by the time we arrived in Virginia. 


Sometimes when you've been on the road since 4am and you're getting a little delirious by the time you reach the next venue...you just need to do your soundcheck from the floor. And that's OK.


My face because Justin was too tired to want to play on Snapchat with me. 


But do you want to know the coolest thing ever? 

While we were sound checking, I looked up and saw a few familiar faces walk in and was SO surprised. Our longtime fans/pals Tasha and Chris had made the trip from Michigan to Virginia to see our show. WHAT?! They decided to use their vacation time during our tour and went on a road trip. First stop: to see us play in Virginia AND they brought friends and presents! It completely made our night and all of a sudden we weren't so tired anymore. I'm constantly blown away by the things y'all do for us. Thanks for making the trip and making that show a special one! It truly meant so much to us. It always means so much. xo
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The next day we woke up and hit the road to Kentucky to play our last show of the tour at Talon Winery in Lexington. We had played here before and it's such a pretty little winery that always has the nicest folks drinking wine and hanging out for the evening. We got another surprise that night too. While we were setting up, I looked up and saw Justin's family through the window. They had made the trip from Michigan to Kentucky to surprise us and see our last show of the Two To Be Lonely Tour. :)


Drinking wine and playing songs for a room full of wonderful folks was a pretty OK way to end tour. 
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It was a weird feeling knowing that it was the last show of that tour. When you're out on the road that long, in some ways you're totally ready to sleep in your own bed, but for me there is always this bittersweet feeling. It's always kind of hard for me to leave the road. That probably sounds a little silly, but I've spent so much time living out of a suitcase that being on road is home. It always feels a little like I'm leaving home. 

The Two To Be Lonely Tour was the longest tour I'd completed up until that point. We spent a solid two months on the road, put just under 11,000 miles on the ol' Chevy, hung out in 15+ states and 32+ cities playing 33 shows, saw so much of this beautiful country and made new fans and friends everywhere we went. We were so incredibly blessed to have a safe and fun tour. Writing these blog posts always reminds me how blessed I am to play music for a living. The fact that I can just pick up and hit the road for 2 months is not something I take fir granted. Through the rough days when it seems like I'm stuck running in place, the long work days when I spend hours in front of my computer screen and on the phone reaching out to see who might give us a shot, the months and months of booking and planning these tours just for the chance of sharing my music with new ears, I'm thankful for all the parts of what I do, every day. If all the hard moments and jumping without nets means I get to wake up every day doing and working on something that I love, it's all worth it. 

I hope you've enjoyed all four blog posts on the Two To Be Lonely Tour. I CAN'T WAIT to see you all this summer out on the road. We kick off our first show of Summer Tour THIS Saturday in Charlevoix, MI. 

See. YOU. There. 

Thanks for reading y'all.

Nothin' but love



xo - Kari 




Monday, April 17, 2017

you're lookin' too good and darlin' sometimes, two wrongs make a right...


Hey Hey y'all, 

If you've been following along, here is PART THREE (covering our time in beautiful Oregon and California) of the Two To Be Lonely Tour. Honestly, we barely have any pictures of us performing any of the seven shows we played throughout California and Oregon. Kinda hard to take pictures of yourself while you're on stage performing, but it was SO INSANELY GORGEOUS that we took a ton of photos on the travel days when we got to go out and explore a little.

Some of the most beautiful sites I've ever seen. For reels. 

Enjoy!
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Our first stop after we left Washington was Whirled Pies in Eugene, OR for the Whirled Pies Concert Series. Eugene is such a cool city and we met so many nice folks at that show. After the show that same night we drove straight to Coos Bay, OR where our next show was the next night. We decided we wanted to wake up in Coos Bay so that we'd have a little time before the show started to explore a bit. I am SO GLAD WE DID because it was one of the prettiest places I have ever seen in my life. 

We also both destroyed our cell phones that day. So there's that.
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Hey Hey, Coos Bay.


Take a photo of me sitting on the edge of the worrrrrld. 


Hi. :)


But how pretty can one place be though?!?



We went out early before the tide would come in later that evening and we got to walk super far out into the ocean. It was radical and I took so many photos.


Though I would not recommend climbing rocks and hiking out into the middle of the ocean in Converse...it was TOTALLY worth it once we got out there. 


I mean.


When we got out there, Justin decided to try to give me a heart attack and climb a bunch of cliffs. 


Made for some pretty Epic photos though. 


Then we decided to walk the beach a little farther down. After a while we rounded a corner and this was the first thing I saw. <3


Justin managed to capture my excitement the exact moment a huge wave came over the rocks.


Just leave me here. I'll be fine. I can live here now, thanks.



The waves were huge.



Speaking of huge waves, we decided to venture way out onto the cliffs to get as close as we (safely) could to the waves. It was mostly my idea. I really wanted to get just close enough to feel a little mist off the waves when they crashed. 

Whelp, I definitely got to feel a "mist" off the waves because we got out there and right when we did a MONSTER wave came in...when I say "monster wave," what I mean is that this wave was the size of a house, no joke. We both realized pretty quickly that we were in trouble. Remember that thing I said earlier about destroying our cell phones. Yeah...the ocean attacked and SOAKED us completely. We saw the wave coming in and before we knew it a HUGE amount of water hit the rocks, flew up over our heads and came gushing down on top of us. The water came down so hard that both of our hats were pushed down over our faces. Like, the inside of my pockets were drenched. Head to toe. Completely soaked in salt water. 

I couldn't stop laughing for 5 minutes straight. Seriously. It was the best and funniest way to ruin a cell phone ever. Of course I didn't want that to happen, but honestly, it was one of the coolest things to ever happen to me so I can't even be that mad. Will I go out that close to the ocean again? Probably not, mostly because it truly is not that safe and we're lucky we didn't get washed away into the ocean...so yeah kids, don't try this at home, ok? 


ATW (after the wave). Bye cell phones and dry clothes.
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After the "wave episode" we decided it was probably time to get back into the city to change before our show that night at Seven Devils Brewing. Oh man, we loved playing there. Some of the nicest people ever. We were so well received and everyone was awesome to us. I wish we could have stayed a little longer. I feel like I probably say that a lot.

After a quick couple of days in Oregon, we hit the road to California. We had two travel days off to get to L.A. so we decided to take our time and make a couple stops along the way.
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One of those stops was to see the Redwood Forest which we both had never seen.

It was SO PRETTY, you guys.


There are a lot of places in the world that will remind you just how small you really are, this is one of those places.





Then we decided to be super touristy and do a tour (in little bucket/cart things I can only equate to the carts you sit in on a big ferris wheel) through the tops of the Redwoods.



We were verrrrry high, sitting in a little cart attached to safety by only a few cables. I was only a little terrified though, don't worry.

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We left the Redwoods and kept driving. Eventually we had to stop and get out again because we finally came across some California salt water and sand. 

You know, flying places is great. You get there quicker and sometimes those long hours on the road are rough, but I would chose the road over flying again and again for the simple reason that you get to stop along the way, put your feet on new ground and enjoy how beautiful our world is. 





Pretty, pretty little coastline in California.
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For instance, this lovely little farm market and fruit stand we were able to stop at. I tried to make friends with the Peacocks. I try to make friends with pretty much all the animals we find anywhere we go and Justin always manages to capture my failed attempts. 

The Peacocks were not having it.


I'll share these pears with you though...ok bye.
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Finally we made it to L.A. and played a show at Republic of Pie. It was even more fun because we got to see some of our really good friends and family at that show and we got to spend some time with them afterward. 


We stayed in Los Angeles that night and woke up early the next morning to have some coffee and explore Santa Monica before we had to head out again.


Again, just trying to make some friends, guys.


 A girl, A Seagull and A trash can on the Santa Monica Pier. 


Our next string of California shows were farther north in California. We decided to take the long way. Had to make a stop in San Fransisco, duh.


Also had to take the Pacific Coast Highway and stop in Big Sur, CA. One of the most beautiful spots on the planet y'all. 


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After another long day of traveling, we made it to Santa Rosa, CA where we played a winery called Cellars of Sonoma. Having a few days off here and there was nice because we had four shows in a row, Thursday through Sunday, before we left Cali for our next destination on tour.


After the last show of the California run, we figured it was only proper to celebrate with some Sonoma Cider. We had such a good time playing in California. Sometimes some of the best shows you play are in the small towns where you don't know what to expect. We found this to be true over and over again in California. We played shows were we felt like we actually got to know people and share a special evening with them. 
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This part of the tour felt like a blur while it was happening. We spent so many hours on the road in such a small amount of time and somehow managed to pepper in seven shows, find new cell phones, do some laundry and spend time with friends. I really don't know how it all fits in sometimes looking back at it all, but I'm so happy that we take the time to adventure when we're out on the road because even when we're tired, it's always worth it. 

Stay tuned for PART FOUR, the final blog post covering the last leg of The Two To Be Lonely Tour in Colorado, Nebraska, Arkansas and Virginia, coming attcha this week. Whew! 

Thanks for reading y'all. 

Nothin' but love


xo - Kari