Friday, May 11, 2007



5/6-Little Rock, AR
Today provided us with a much needed day off. We caught up on sleep, laundry, and . . . sleep and laundry. Little Rock is a lovely city full of friendly people who are very proud of Arkansas. I searched most of the day for the actual “Little Rock”—there is one, you know—but no luck. Went for a visit to the President Clinton Library and Museum (he’s from Arkansas!) and that was pretty neat. They even had a real Presidential limousine in there. They wouldn’t let me take it for a drive though. Geez, how’s a kid supposed to have any fun at these things?

5/7-Little Rock, AR
What a busy but fantastic day! We visited the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which is just breathtaking! It is full of art and nature. It even had a big fake tree inside the hospital! Luckily, the tree was hollow, so I could actually go in it. Get it? Robbie Schaefer’s Stuck IN A Real Tall Tree! Check out a picture of it on the website. Anyway, what I liked most about the hospital was that everyone seemed so happy to be able to work there. From the nurses to the doctors to the administrators--everyone seemed very focused on not only healing bodies, but spirits as well. In fact, painted right above the entrance was this: “FEAR NOT ILLNESS. THIS PLACE OF CARE, LOVE, AND HOPE IS FOR YOU”. Wow. We’re so lucky to be visiting these places.

From there we went to the Sam’s Club just outside Little Rock and, among others, met Tim Taylor and his daughters Shelby and Jordan, who donated their entire allowance to Children’s Miracle Network!!! Jinx had just flown in to meet the Balloon Bus and he happily hopped on board for the 6 hour drive to Nashville.

5/8-Nashville, TN
My main goal in Nashville (also, called ‘Music City’ since it is the home of country music) was to get noticed by some big-shot record label guy so I can sell my song, “There’s A Carp In The Tub”, to Rascal Flatts so I can make a gazillion dollars and donate it to Children’s Miracle Network. So, I set up my guitar and played on the sidewalk figuring, “heck--how hard can it be?”. Well, let’s just say I didn’t make a gazillion dollars, but I did get a whole lot of funny looks from people. They just don’t know fine art when they hear it, I guess.

Speaking of Rascal Flatts (they sing ‘Life Is A Highway’ from the movie ‘Cars’, by the way), did you know they do two huge concerts every year and donate all the money to the Children’s Hospital here? That’s a whole lotta balloons people! Jinx and I had a great visit at the hospital. Another beautiful place full of art and nature and light. You know, it looks almost as though kids designed all these hospitals (and it turns out they actually DID help design this one!). There is even a stage right there in the lobby! Jinx and I tried to put on a show, but the only song we both know is “Wheels On The Bus”, so the show was over pretty quickly. Our producer, Rob, was very thankful.

5/9-Nashville, TN
Today was my last day on the Balloon Bus before heading back to my Real Tall Tree. We paid a visit to the Wal-Mart just outside of Nashville and I got to meet Marvelous Micah, who is a guest on my show a few times a week. We also met a bunch of other great XMKiDS fans, some of whom traveled quite a long way to meet us. Let’s see . . . Micah, Aubrey, Michael, Lauren, Sam, Kennady . . . the list goes on. Anyway, at one point, we all got onto the bus (kids, parents—everyone!) and recorded an awesome sing-along version of “There’s A Carp In The Tub”. I’m sure you will all get to hear it on the air at some point. All I know is that if this group had been singing with me the previous night, Rascal Flatts would have a number one hit on their hands!

Well, that’s all from the Balloon Bus for now. Keep buying those balloons and we’ll see you at the big concert in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, May 12. If you can’t be there, be sure to listen to it live on XMKiDS from 10am-3pm EST. Love you all lots! See you on the radio.


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