After Christmas break tour commenced in Salt Lake City, UT! Adding another state to my list of states I hadn't been to was very exciting and the company was all very happy to see each other. It was really cold and dry, but it was fun to see snow. Our time in Salt Lake was so interesting. Growing up with many friends who were members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, I was fascinated to learn more about their culture in the hub of it all! We toured the tabernacle and were marveled by its acoustical genius. We also went into the convention center and the MASSIVE auditorium there. Along the way we learned so much about the history of the church and encountered so many welcoming, hospitable members of the community. Our Mormon experience was fully realized on Sunday morning when we got to attend service and hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing! It was so cool to hear that iconic, pure, clean sound live.
The other big event of the week was that I went skiing! I have only been snow-skiing once, but it was indoors in Dubai! Haha! Finally getting to ski outdoors was so much fun. It was just a BEAUTIFUL day and we couldn't have asked for a better time. I went with Royce, Drew, and Chase up to Alta. They were awesome friends throughout the day, being patient as I jumped in full force. I felt pretty good about it all, skiing consistent blues by the middle of the day. We had such fun. The rest of the week was highlighted by exploring Salt Lake's AWESOME library, a great sushi joint, and great pizza at Pie Hole.
A couple funny things did happen during this week back. At one point the dry air got to me and during intermission my nose started bleeding. I ended up having to sit out most of the second act because it wouldn't stop! What is it with me having bloody noses during shows?! Also- we became major patrons of a restaurant called Bayleaf. There was an eating contest that happened where our great Stewpot, Erik Cheski, took on plates piled high with fried chicken, eggs, bacon, waffles... it was intense. He didn't quite finish it off, but we were super proud of him!
Our next stop on tour was Tempe, AZ! We were welcomed to the beautiful ASU-Gammage, the only theatre designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, by great crowds and a wonderful board of directors who threw us a fun opening night party. Tempe is a really great college town and we were so glad to have some great food and fun places to walk while we were there. One morning we hiked up A Mountain, a small climb that gave us great views over the campus and main strip in town. I was glad to be in warmer weather and spending time outdoors. I quickly realized that my friend Kyle Riggs lived in Pheonix so we ended up meeting up and having a fun lunch from food trucks. I also got to see my elementary school music teacher, Pat Foley! She was so nice to come to my show and we went out for lunch as well. It's always the biggest treat to see old friends along the way during tour. It brings a little feeling of home and familiarity that is invaluable.
The highlight of the week for me was going with Chase, our violinist, and his family out to Sedona! I had been wanting to get out to see that part of the country for years. I've heard so much about how beautiful it is so I had to see for myself. We drove out and spent the morning hiking to the very top of Bell Rock, a gorgeous rock formation. Hiking and that sense of accomplishment makes me feel so alive. It's a connection to God's creation you can't duplicate. Anyway- we had a wonderful day with beautiful weather, good food, and INCREDIBLE company. I haven't laughed like that in a long time. Thank you to Chase, Michael, Chris, and Jenni! The week in Tempe ended with a wonderful party at one of the board members' homes. David Horowitz hosted the company at his home with much food and drink. We had a great time and I was able to get behind the piano and play for a while as the company had a mini jam-session. Thank you, Tempe!
Good luck keeping up, everyone! Love you all!