Gustaff and I arrived at the Holiday Inn Resort (room donated by the owner) in Pensacola Beach just before sunset on February 16th. The drive was absolutely mind blowing as we swerved through Navarre Beach and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, with white sand blanketing the road and the ocean on either side as the sun dipped low in the sky ahead of us. Our room had a view to the west across the water to Pensacola and its surroundings.
Our first show was in Pensacola in a warm and cozy home with just enough capacity to fit a handful of excited friends. We filled it to the max with an incredibly diverse crowd of people from all over the world! The music naturally flowed and the audience joined in with clapping and harmonies. We quickly made friends with a young couple that was sitting right in front of us (so close I could reach out and put my hand on their laps). The husband looked identical to Edward Sharpe from the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They were both performers and also yoga teachers, so they invited us for a personal yoga class the next day which we gladly attended!
Our second show was out in Navarre in a wonderfully spacious home. The wife was from Costa Rica, and her mom lived there as well. She didnt know a whole lot of English, but they were all pleasantly surprised when I began talking in Spanish. We had a few familiar faces show up from the night before which meant we must have been okay. The audience was very curious and had many questions for Gustaff and I. One older gentleman showed so much love and kindness towards us, and afterwards he handed me an envelope that he wrote a note on saying “I want to be a part of your journey…” with 40 dollars inside. Before he left he gave us each a long loving hug and wished us the best of luck on our future service. The hosts fed us and made sure we had more than we needed before we left that night.
The next morning we were up before sunrise, packed up, had breakfast, and set off for a long drive to our performance that night in Missouri City, Texas.