Yesterday was a day off in Miami. I got started late and never quite caught up. Guy rang the room about noon just as I was tumbling out of bed to say he and some of the band were down on the beach and I had to get out there. I agreed, but what I needed more was a cup of coffee and a hard swing at the gym. That behind me I suddenly remembered I'd set up a phone interview for an article in Vintage Guitar magazine at 2:30. I ended up talking for a couple of hours with the journalist about various points in my forty years of being in the business as well as my new Code Red album that's currently out. That, followed by a call to wish my wife a happy birthday and it was now 5 in the afternoon. Got myself out to the beach at last for the remaining hour of sun before the tall hotels and condos blocked the rays. The water of the Atlantic was clear and warm.
We all gathered in the hotel bar at 7:30 for a quick drink before heading off to what will be our final dinner together. We've so often gone out for a great meal on a night off over the course of the tour but it was unusual that all 10 of us, MK, the band and management, were in full attendance as we were tonight. One of the best dinners of the tour at an Italian restaurant called Casa Tua. I had a delicious crab salad on a bed of shaved cantaloupe garnished with bits of crispy prosciutto for starters followed by goat cheese raviolli with fennel puree and black truffle sauce. My entree was the most magnificent, juicy and delicious roasted pork chop I've ever had...thick and perfectly cooked with a mix of mushrooms, roasted shallots and apricot. The wine was soft and easy, the atmosphere in the outdoor, walled patio was unbeatable with it's planted palms, hanging lanterns and umbrellas. Of course the company was the best bunch of guys I've ever been around. Casa Tua is expensive but if you find yourself in Miami with a few extra bucks in you pocket and want a perfect evening and dinner...go. They're located at 1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida.
We got back to the hotel where Guy and his wife and boys, who have joined us here in Florida, opened their room for some music and drinks. I left reluctantly about 2:30 not wanting to give up the day.
It was a much earlier beginning today and a day off the gym so I was able to get out to the beach sometime round 11. Found my spot and a chaise lounge and immediately got in the Atlantic. The water was incredibly warm and crystal clear, nearly the temperature of a bath water. For the next three hours I was in and out of the sea and got a good bit of sun but it was grand. Got back to the room around 2, fixed myself an espresso (courtesy of the coffee maker in the room and some Illy coffee), got in the shower and off we went to the airport for an hour and a half flight to our gig in Atlanta tonight.
We arrived at Chastain Park where we've played several times before, an outdoor amphitheatre with picnic tables, candles and flowers at each setting. The venue holds 6,700 and I did not see any empty seats or tables. Good show, good audience and was our final outdoor show of the tour. Rain threatened during the gig but held off. I had a few friends in attendance from Nashville and an old friend who lives just outside the city.
A runner back to Miami and a very tired bunch of guys. No drinks or party tonight, everyone knackered and straight to bed.