Today marks the beginning of PBC’s first extended national tour, and it’s be a long but fun one. After a successful carpool to the Philadelphia airport and fairly uneventful experience checking everyone’s bags, we headed over to a slow and rather inefficient security line, but the boys rolled with it and all things considered did a pretty good job of following directions. Once we got to our gate, we still had 30 minutes to use the bathroom and get lunch to eat later on the plane. This also gave us a chance to practice the buddy system (which is more complicated that you might think – did you know that if you just theoretically know where you buddy was when you last saw them, but aren’t with them now, it doesn’t count?) Luckily, it was a closely supervised buddy system experience while our younger ones are figuring out the finer points
Our flight to Phoenix was great – quite smooth, and the boys had a great time playing games. We even landed about 25 minutes early. That meant a little more waiting after we gathered our luggage before loading the shuttle van to Flagstaff (luckily enough time for another bathroom trip and a visit to Ms. Butler’s snack bag). There was also a Starbucks conveniently located nearby, so everyone was happy. After about 3 hours in the van, during which many of us managed to get at least a bit of rest, we arrived in Flagstaff, mostly unscathed. There was a bit of excitement with a temporarily missing phone, but it turned up and all is well. For the record, Jack gets credit for guessing exactly where it would eventually be found – too bad he didn’t think to tell anyone that was actually looking until after the fact!
Turns out, Flagstaff is at a higher altitude than Denver – 7,000 feet! Who knew? A few members of the group have experienced some minor reactions to the altitude, but nothing extreme. Everyone is doing a great job of staying hydrated, so that’s definitely helping. We’ve also started the reminders about sunscreen – it might not be as hot up in the mountains, but the sun can affect you quickly!
After settling into our dorm rooms, it was time to visit the dining hall for the first time. Who doesn’t love an all you can eat dining opportunity? Luckily, the hall is well-stocked with a variety of options, and the boys were pretty responsible about finding well balanced meals. I was particularly impressed by how many of them started at the salad bar!
Finally, it was time for our first rehearsal where we met the other 4 choirs singing in the International Boys and Men’s Choir Festival with us, and sang through all of our combined pieces. I loved hearing all of the boys singing together for the first time, and it was great to see them starting to get to know other boys from Michigan and Arizona who love to sing.
By that time we were all exhausted! Not surprisingly, most of the boys were settled into bed before curfew, and all the rooms were completely silent before 10:30. We will all sleep well tonight, which is good because we have another exciting day ahead!