We had a great long break from Thanksgiving-January 11. During that time I probably should have kept up the blog because I was so busy! Here's a quick update from my winter break: I had a fantastic Thanksgiving and then headed down to Florida where Laura and I took advantage of our "Give a day, get a Disney day" tickets and explored Epcot and the Magic Kingdom at the holidays. Then we rented a car and drove down to Miami to catch up with great friends, Betsy and Lance Thomas, who hosted us and took us to amazing meals, their school, and even airboat riding! What a treat! Back in Kentucky, I spent time in NKY setting pieces on the dance and musical theatre troupes at NKU while rehearsing and performing Awaited at Crossroads. This has become a great Christmas tradition to look forward to each year! Christmas was spent at my grandmother's and the annual New Year's Eve EVE party was a blast! Then I headed down to Greenwood, SC to meet my new nephew, beautiful baby Jonah Phillips! He is such an angel and I couldn't be a more proud uncle!
Tour started back up on January 11th and, of course, there were snow storms all over the country to dodge, leaving us sitting in Chicago for 8 hours that day trying to fly to Boise, ID! Ha! It all worked out, though, and we got to Nampa, ID with a new bus and bus driver, but the same great cast and crew ready to go for another leg of tour. Nampa was a nice little place to launch the tour with a great crew that really took care of us, provided quite a few meals, a nice hotel, etc. We did end up eating a lot of Subway and McD's (they were the only things by our hotel), but besides that the cast is really making an effort to eat healthily and make sure we are hitting the gym a lot. Being on the road and moving from one hotel to another to a bus... it's so vital to keep our bodies ready for anything! It was great to just all come together, knowing we had a lot of work to get the show ready. We started on such a positive, all-in kind of note that really made the process that much better. Rehearsals went so well we even had time to have a full swing put-in to get Tavis and Jess prepared for going in at any moment! They have been such troopers, going above and beyond the call of duty on tour to make everything run so well. Over the next 2 days we worked our tails off to have a really wonderful, smooth opening to the 2011 leg of the tour!
Following our opening we got all loaded up onto the bus to travel to Idaho Falls through some of the beautiful mountains of Idaho. It is such a unique landscape here and we all found ourselves shouting, "Look over there!" throughout the ride. We also began our viewing of season 1 of "Friday Night Lights" (one of the best shows ever in my opinion), before arriving at our extended stay Candlewood Suites! Not having spent any time out in this part of the country, I didn't know what to expect, but the people have been so gracious and kind, always going so far to make us feel welcome and comfortable. At the Candlewood Suites, for instance, we were invited to check out DVD's and use the kitchens in the room. Since that opportunity doesn't arrive often, the cast took full advantage by deciding to have a family dinner. The front desk worker even took the girls to the grocery to by all the food we needed while a few of us stayed back and went to the gym! That night was so fun as Tavis, Kevin, and I all prepared a full Mexican spread with homemade guacamole and fajitas and the cast played a long game of Celebrity (a favorite) and watched a late movie. It was so nice to feel like we were right back in this strange thing called tour, especially with some of our best friends all around us. What a joy.
The day of the show turned out to be a really fun time in Idaho Falls. Tavis and I kind of stuck together for the majority of the day. We began by walking over a bridge crossing the frozen Snake River to a local coffee shop called Bella Vita to catch up on some things. Then we found out there was a rock climbing gym right by where we were staying so we decided to venture out and try out climbing. It was such an interesting little hole-in-the-wall place and we were so lucky to find it! We had a blast climbing every wall, but the toughest one in the place. It's always good to make a workout be something challenging, fun, and active. From there we ended up meeting Kevin at the Idaho Brewing Co., a local, small brewery where we shared a tasting tray of beers. We love having "guy time" and just getting out to explore and do our own thing every once in a while. Before the show I also caught up on my Disney movies by watching "Princess and the Frog" (I totally recommend it ). We performed that night at the Colonial Theatre, a vaudeville theatre that had a really unique proscenium and Jess got to go on for the first time, performing for a sick Kim that night. We had a quick put-in rehearsal to get everyone on the same page and feeling good about everything before starting the show and watching her really do some excellent work! We are lucky to have such hard working swings with us! The west is really treating us well!
Hope the sun is shining brightly in your world,