Next we headed to Lawrence, KS. It must not have been too interesting because I can't remember ANYTHING about our time there.
We had a stop-over in Elk City, OK before arriving for the weekend in Albuquerque, NM! We performed on another college campus while in Albuquerque, which is always fun because there are lots of shops, restaurants, etc. around. We had a good time enjoying great Mexican food, good weather, walking around to hipster shops and having great coffee. We also enjoyed Rudy's BBQ again (from Austin) and ate at the famous Frontier Restaurant. Those cinnamon rolls... I can't. We had another stop over on our long travel into California. We stopped in Laughlin, NV, a town that is only there for one reason... gambling. It is the strangest, smallest, dingiest town around. We stayed at a casino where I ate at a gross buffet, smelled a lot of cigarette smoke, and saw Red Tails, the not-so-great movie about the Tuskegee Airmen. Needless to say, I was glad to get out of there in the morning and head to Cali!
We had a quick one-nighter in Bakersfield and then headed to San Luis Obispo. I loved "SLO." It was a very cute town with great shops and restaurants and we had the chance to be outside and enjoy walking in the sun again. We found Firestone Grill and devoured one of the best sandwiches I've ever had, the tri-tip steak sandwich, before the show. After the show we enjoyed a little bonfire on the patio of a nearby bar and embraced being in the warmth of California. We spent the weekend in Palm Desert, CA, a very wealthy community. The McCallum Theatre was so nice and we enjoyed the many amenities for the weekend. There were lots of great shops, fun outdoor restaurants, etc. The highlight of the weekend was getting to see Tina Diaz! Tina is one of my closest friends. We went to Governor's School for the Arts together in 2004 and became fast friends then. Through the rest of high school and all of college and beyond she has been a great friend to me and I was thrilled to see her and her boyfriend Charlie. They drove to see my show and then stayed for a HUGE cookout on the grill and patio at the theatre. With our Emile, Marcello, manning the grill, we had mountains of food to enjoy and send us out for a week off!
For this little break a few of us guys decided to get a trip together to Las Vegas. I had never been to Sin City before, but knew I had to experience it, so I quickly jumped on board for the trip. What a crazy couple of days! That city just EATS your money. I may as well have just thrown my debit card down the toilet for the weekend. But boy did I have a GREAT time! Ha ha! We stayed at the beautiful Cosmopolitan hotel, the newest major resort on the strip. It was right in the heart of it all and from the moment we drove into the parking garage we knew we were in for a treat. This place was jaw-droppingly opulent. From the walls covered in flat-screen panels, constantly changing the environment, to the 3-story chandelier bar in the center of the hotel to our suite over-looking the famous Bellagio dancing fountains, we were set up for success. Our room was over-the-top nice. We had 2 large flat-screen tvs, a bathroom as big as my apartment in NYC... it was crazy.
We only had one night and one full day in town so we knew we had to pack in as much as possible. We started our first night at a tapas restaurant in our hotel. The group was me, Drew, Christian, Shane, Alex, plus Alex and Drew's girlfriends, Morgana and Sara Lynn. From there we headed to 2 shows. First was Jubilee, the famous old-school Las Vegas showgirl show. It was really fun to see that old-school style that is just about gone from the world of live theatre.
Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we went to see Le Reve. I don't even know where to begin. Le Reve is a cirque du soleil-style show at the Wynn Resort. It is a small theatre in the round and the stage is covered in water. The floor comes up and out of the water at times, changes levels, shapes, etc. The show is full of magical moments of people doing synchronized swimming, dance, aerial acts, acrobatics, etc. It is absolutely the most visually stunning thing I've ever seen. I've never sat in a theatre with my mouth wide open and audibly saying "WOW!" so much. It was unreal. If you get a chance GO SEE THIS SHOW!!!
The rest of that night we spent walking around, watching the Bellagio Fountains, exploring the Venetian, eating at the secret pizza restaurant in our hotel, and doing a bit of gambling. I am thankful that I have no interest in gambling at all. I play once to say I did it and then that's it. The next day we woke up late and went and enjoyed brunch at the Bellagio's never-ending buffet. This city is just all about indulgence. There was so much food I almost didn't know what to do! Almost. We continued the day driving out to see the Red Rocks quickly and then came back for dinner and a show at the MGM Grand.
The MGM has a fun lion display to see and we ate before seeing KA, a cirque du soleil show that, again blew my mind. I don't know how the technology of that show works, but it was the craziest beast of a technical marvel I've ever seen. I couldn't believe it. The sheer size of the theatre, built especially for this show, was incredible. After that we had indulged enough and it was time to drive out of town and head home in the morning! We had a great time, but I was so thankful for a break to spend time with my family and gather my thoughts away from work and away from the road.
All the best to all of you!