Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27/08: Travel Report

Just now getting a few minutes to post a note. Unfortunately I don't have access to add pictures . . . but we are in Chicago.

A couple of days ago the group went on a wonderful Kayak adventure on the Black River. Only one kayak tipped over and all were happy and safe! What a quiet bus ride it was after getting worn out from boating!

We finally hit humid weather in Michigan. Prior to that the weather has been wonderful for all we have been doing.

In Chicago we went to the Shedd Aquarium. What a great place! We then walked over to the Water Taxis and rode over to the Sears Tower (103 stories up plus the antennas). After that adventure we spent a few hours at Navy Pier where there were shops, restaurants, amusement rides, boats and lots of people to watch. Trudy rode the swing ride to everyone's amazement! We took some pictures and will send them as soon as a chance comes up.

Unfortunately while we were having all this fun, there were some bus troubles so they towed the bus to a fixit place (with all of our luggage) and sent a replacement bus to take us to our hotel. We managed to get a toothbrush for everyone then settled down for the night. When we woke up this morning our bus was fixed and waiting for us to take us on a long ride to Waverly, Nebraska for our next concert.

Take care and we will see you all Sunday!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Finally, a minute to post photos!!

Finding the time to blog and download photos has been more difficult than we hoped, but here are a few. Being on the Wesley Bell Ringer tour means that we are always on the go and rarely sit still, which makes the tour exciting and adventurous, but our down time very limited. Just remember, that for each photo we do not post, it just means that we are having that much more fun!! This group photo was taken at the Malmark Bell Factory, which is where they make the hand bells and chimes. It was awesome to see the process and they are all done by hand!! New York--Wow! The Broadway musical "Wicked" was awesome. The dinner beforehand was very entertaining. We walked our socks off on the streets of Manhattan. And the subway . . . . what an experience for everyone. The Cathedral of the Pines in New Hampshire--what a beautiful place to play a concert! And there is always the bus!! The place where we spend a lot of time . . . together . . . . . . The music is getting better and better with each concert. The kids are wonderful, cooperative and very energetic!!! Stay tuned for more . . . . . The WBR

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pre-empted by Mother Nature!!!

Dear Family & Friends:

We are continuing our journey along the eastern part of the United States and have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and the opportunity to play for each community that we have been in thus far. We are spending today (Thursday) sightseeing in New York and are having a great time.

As is always the possibility with National TV, big news stories have caused the CBS Early Show to move their Friday broadcast to an area where events are occurring . They will be covering the Mississippi River flooding in Illinois and Missouri and therefore we will not be appearing on their show on Friday morning, June 20, 2008. The Early Show's producer and staff have worked very hard to provide alternate times that we can appear, but unfortunately our schedule allows very little flexibility and we hope that their offer will be open for future opportunities. While we are disappointed, the thought of sleeping a few extra hours is welcomed and also allows us to do a little more sightseeing in New York City. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the flood victims in the Midwest and we wish them the best.

We will continue on our music ministry to those on the remainder of our schedule and look forward to each one. Please continue to follow us on our journey through this blog. We appreciate the comments and support that we have received.

In God's name,

The Wesley Bell Ringers of Christ United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, UT

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our First Concerts

What a whirl wind trip we have had so far! Each night has taken us to a new church with fabulous congregations. For the most part we have been in fairly rural areas, playing for small congregations. Our musical ministry has been very well received.

We performed Saturday evening and again Sunday morning in Highland Heights, Kentucky. One gentleman, talking with Terry and I, commented that he was "positive if he could hear the bells ringing in heaven, what he heard from us would be it!"

Duff Street UMC in Clarksburg, West Virginia, is facing huge decisions regarding the condition of the building they worship in. One section of the building is shifting causing cracks in the walls. It is a very old structure on the Historical list in the community, the stained glass windows are exquisite. The decision they will need to make soon is whether or not they can afford to repair the building, or if it will need to be torn down to make room for a new one. Yet with the storm building around their personal needs, they still found time to tie a prayer quilt for us, which they presented at the concert. People are absolutely amazing in their ability to hold other's up while navigating difficult waters themselves.

Today we were able to play tourist a little for the first time. We visited the great city of Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. We were able to visit Independence Hall and see where the Declaration of Independence was signed. During the day we visited Ben Franklin's grave, Christ's Church (where we were impressed with the fellow talking about being a part of living History), Betsy Ross's home, walked through history in the visitor's center, and then stopped off in the Constitution Center museum to hear and see more about what our constitution allows us as citizens of the United States.

Our concert this evening was in Christina's family's area. Her parents and relatives along with almost 300 people cheered us on through our evening performance. It is nice to see familiar faces at this point in our trip. It helps stave off some of the homesickness that is starting to set in.

Tomorrow we will visit the Malmark factory, which is where our bells are manufactured.

Stay tuned,


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Getting Started

One rehearsal to go! All of us are looking forward to loading the bus on Thursday, June 12 and beginning our journey. Prayers for the ringers, the chaperones and our bus driver are always appreciated. Check in with us from time to time for updates on our tour.

Peace and Joy!