During my time in Kentucky I did the music at my cousin, Emily's wedding, spent time in Bardstown with my family, enjoyed meals all over Louisville, got to eat some incredible meals by Berry Hampton, etc. There were two pretty exciting things that happened as well. My sister, Taylor, came up to Kentucky and we were all there under one roof for 2 weeks!!! I can't remember the last time that happened, but I am so sad it isn't more often. I was so glad to see her and spend some great time with someone who knows me so well. We have always been close, but there are just so few people that I would rather run errands with, learn from, watch TV with, sing with... She was my partner in crime for so many years and the one person in this world who really knows what a blessing it was to grow up in our home. She is an incredible person and these days is proving to be a pretty incredible wife and mom as well.
The biggest perk of her coming home was that I got to spend so much time with her first son, Jonah!!! I have had the pleasure of being able to see Jonah twice before even with touring and everything, which has been so amazing, but this time was the most exciting. Within 30 minutes I was so shocked by how in his 6 months of life he has developed a little personality. It was so amazing to see him discovering things and hearing his own laugh and seeing smiles and being mesmerized or confused or excited. I can't wait to have children one day, but for now... having nieces and nephews to watch is just the most precious thing. That human experienced happening for the first time is a crazy thing to think about and wrap your mind around.
While I was home my dear friend, Katie Reid also made a trip to Kentucky, which was SO FUN! She flew in and spent the night at the Hampton House before we made a little road trip out to Prestonsburg, KY, where we saw our great friend, Katie Mitchell performing at Jenny Wiley Theatre. It was a wonderful visit with good food, a hug bonfire, the show, a nice hike through the state park, and lots of talks. Those girls are almost like sisters to me and treat me as such. They are so excellent.
I finally had to head out to get to my latest job in Maine and I couldn't help but be sad to leave. My time at home was way to short, but it was spent well. The 20 hour drive to Maine was pretty epic in the un-airconditioned Jeep Cherokee. I made my first leg to White Sulphur Springs, WV, where I met up with my great friend, Mark Scherer. I haven't seen Mark in WAY too long and it was a visit that was long overdue. He is working at the Greenbrier resort, which reminded me SO MUCH of my cruise ship.
Next I drove North and stopped in Winchester, VA, where I had lunch with friends from Shenandoah, Mikey Nagy and Erika Conaway. It was so fun to stop in and see friends from SSMT and watch their gypsy run of the current show. They always do such excellent work and I am thrilled to be an alum of that theatre. They are so sweet. Winchester was just a stop, though, on my way to Hershey, PA where I stayed for the night. My best friend on my cruise ship was Lindsay Karchawer and she has found a real second home at Hershey. It's always fun to visit her and it's like not a day has gone by. Lindsay can make me laugh like no one else and is disgustingly talented. Man, can that girl sing!!!
The last leg of my trip took me to Maine, but first I ended up having to drive through New Jersey and New York City, which was MISERABLE!!! The traffic was a nightmare, the toll roads were never-ending... I was annoyed. I made a stop along the way, though, in Natick, MA at Tavis Doucette's house for a July 4th party. It was quick, but always good to see such a good buddy and share some laughs. Afterward I pushed through and finally made it to Ogunquit, ME, where I am performing in "Music Man." This show is dear to my heart and certainly one of my favorite pieces of musical theatre. We've been rehearsing for 4 days and already I am being challenged with the barbershop music, but being in rehearsal with this cast is thrilling. Everyday there are moments of brilliance when we all realize what a special project this is. I am personally just trying to soak up every moment, enjoying a private room and bathroom (can't remember the last time that happened!), and the great little house where we live. I try my best to spend as much time as possible on our great wrap-around porch, and riding my bike or being near the water. It's so beautiful here. I'm glad to explore a new part of the country!
Man that was a lot! Thanks for keeping up, all! Love,