2009 was a huge year to say the very least. For the first half of it, Sasha was living over in Beijing and Rachel was living at home. In June, we embarked on what would come to be known as the Summer of Bruce – an epic trip around the USA going to music festivals and Phish shows. That fall, we moved down to mid-Tennessee where we attempted to get some of those things called “jobs.” The year ended with four nights of Phish in Miami – the last time we’d spend New Year’s in America until we returned to south Florida again in 2014 to get engaged at, you guessed it, a Phish show.
Half of 2009 was spent in China, where I was teaching English, learning Chinese, and exploring the country every chance I got. From taking in the skyline of Shanghai, to visiting the famous Terracotta Warriors, to freezing at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, I had a blast traveling and living in the Middle Kingdom.
The first half of my 2009 wasn’t exactly as exciting as Sasha’s, as I was just living at home and working in a restaurant. Still hooked on live music, I spent all of my free time going to shows in places like Nashville and Atlanta. It was fun, but I couldn’t wait for Sasha to get back and us to go on Phish tour together.
The summer of 2009 was one for the ages – 10 states, 5 music festivals, and 13 Phish shows. From returning to the magical Sherwood Forest at Rothbury, to seeing our favorite band at Red Rocks and the Gorge – two of the most beautiful venues in the country – it was the experience of a lifetime. We fell in love traveling the country, living in our “portable mansion” and raging with friends alongside the music we love.
After such an amazing summer, we were confronted with the harsh reality of being both jobless and homeless in America. As Rachel searched high and low for work in the music biz in Nashville, we were working lousy part-time jobs and barely scraping by. Of course, we still got out and saw tons of live music, ending the year with Phish in Miami.