Today is Christmas Eve, and we officially end the 2016 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer tour today! I am SO sad and heartbroken that this adventure has come to an end - it honestly FLEW by! This has been the most wonderful, crazy, and rewarding/fufilling experience!
This morning we all had to be downstairs in the lobby before the crack of dawn: 4:30 in the morning!!! Sara and I rolled out of bed around 4am, and weren't too happy with our 2 hours of sleep, but we did what we had to do! Everyone loaded onto the tour bus one more time, and we were off to the airport! Once we got there, all 33 of us checked into American Airlines, checked our bags, went through security, and headed to the gate! We had some extra time to sit before our 7am departure, but it was nice to have some time and not have to rush this morning with so many people in our travel party. We all loaded onto the bus, and it was hilarious - the whole back of the plane was filled with Rudolph tour members! It was so fun to continue our adventure onto the plane with everyone. However, most people didn't sleep, and those who did only got 1-2 hours total, so we were all EXHAUSTED. Our month of travel and performances had finally caught up with us, and we were all wiped. Everyone slept for every minute of the 3 hour flight to DFW. I was konked!
We then landed in DFW and got our bags from baggage claim, and said our sleepy, weepy goodbyes in the terminal. Everyone was going their separate ways and home for Christmas! However, I am flying back home to Houston, so I had to take a shuttle to another terminal to get on another flight home!
I just found some sweet tea, and I am now waiting for my flight to Houston - I’m going home for Christmas! WOO HOO! I cannot wait to be back with my family.
I am so thankful for my touring experience, and the opportunity to be a member of the Rudolph National Tour! I hold this group of people SO near and dear to my heart - I have never been closer to a group of people! I especially treasure my friendship with Sara, who I shared a room/bus seat/bunk/ every second of every day with - I cannot express how thankful I am that we got to go through this adventure together. How often do you get to go on a National Tour with your best friend, celebrating the joy of Christmas!?! I AM SO LUCKY! I am so eternally thankful for the directors and producers for this incredible opportunity.
A quick reflection on this National Tour:
149.5 hours on the tour bus
33 touring company members
Coldest: -24* (Fargo, North Dakota)
Hottest: 85* (West Palm Beach, Florida)
Until next time, North Pole! Thank you for tuning in and keeping up with this crazy adventure, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Today was our final performance date on the Rudolph 2016 tour! What a sad time! We are all just so sad and heartbroken that this tour is over, but excited to go spend Christmas with our families and loved ones.
This morning we were up at the CRACK of dawn, at 6:30 am. Everyone was (sleepily) loaded onto the tour bus by 7am, and we were on the road again! Sara and I thankfully snagged a bunk in the back of the bus this morning, and I was konked. I slept for all 4 hours on the road, which was such a blessing because we had gotten barely any sleep last night! When I woke up, we had arrived at our destination - West Palm Beach, Florida! This city is very bittersweet, because it is STUNNING and has such life to it, yet we knew when we reached this city that we would be saying goodbye to this year’s Rudolph tour! How sad!
We arrived at our hotel, the West Palm Beach Marriott, around 11:30 and checked into our rooms. Y’all, this hotel is NICE! I wish we could stay longer! These beds are like clouds and the hotel is just beautiful. We went to grab lunch at the restaurant that was attached to the hotel, and grabbed some yummy flatbread pizzas and salads to go.
We then found our way to the theatre, which was right next door, and had some notes from our Director, Chris. Chris just flew in yesterday, and saw the shows yesterday, and was giving some last minute notes before our two last shows, as they are being filmed as our archival videos. We then had our usual pre-show flight call and mic check, and then our half hour call to get ready for the performance!
The show went great, and we had a rocking audience! They were loving it! Honestly, these Floridians and Iowans are our best audiences! How fun! After our performance, the theatre catered us with dinner, but Sara and I went to dinner at a Taco place downtown with Sara’s childhood best friend, Leah! That was super fun, and so great to meet Leah, who I’ve heard so much about. We loved our tacos, and had a blast seeing a bit of downtown West Palm Beach!
Leah took us back to the theatre around 6pm, and we started getting ready for our final performance, and second show of the day! We were all getting so sad that it was our last show together - but pushed through, the show must go on! The last show was our best one yet, everyone was giving 10000%, and just enjoying each other’s performances and loving what we do best. It was amazing! The audience was on FIRE, and gave us standing ovations. It was magical! We all burst into happy tears at the end of the curtain call once the curtain had fallen - it is so hard to close this tour! Not many people realize how close you get to your touring castmates - you perform together, ride the bus together, have hotels together - they are your family, and the only people you see for a month. We get SO close, much closer than any regional show, where you don't spend 24/7 together.
After the show, Sara and I went out to say hello/goodbye to Leah’s family, who had come to see the show. Then we went back to the hotel to drop off our show bags, and we were off to the last cast get-together of the tour! We went to a Mexican restaurant down the street from the hotel, and we all had a BLAST laughing and eating together one last time. It was such a ball, and I was SO sad to leave!
Sara and I headed home around midnight, and we had to pack up all of our belongings from the last month and make sure that we had our bags under 50 pounds for our flights home tomorrow! Then Miranda, our company manager, just came in our rooms to let us borrow her luggage scale, and thank goodness we made it - we are under 50! WOO! haha! Then Miranda stayed and chatted with us for awhile, and just left. Now I’d better go get some sleep - we have to be up to catch our flights in 2 hours! Goodness!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
West Palm Beach, Florida
Today was a FULL, tiring day, but I treasured every moment and loved every second! There’s something so rewarding about a full day of doing what you love. Today we drove to Clearwater, Florida, and had two shows!
This morning we woke up in our beautiful beach front heaven of a hotel room, and enjoyed watching the sunrise over the beach from our balcony - it was a little slice of heaven this morning! It was honestly so stunning!
After we were all loaded onto the tour bus by 9am, we drove 4 hours across Florida to Clearwater! Boy oh boy, y’all, this drive into Clearwater was BEAUTIFUL! It is so funny to me that out our bus window, only a few days ago, we had feet of snow - and now we see palm trees, clear skies, and the bright blue ocean! It is just wild! SO stunning, we were all so excited to see all of the BEAUTIFUL beach scenery around us as we drove in.
The bus dropped us off at a strip mall / grocery area, and we found some yummy sandwiches, fruit, and chips at the Public (Florida grocery store). It was delicious - and so nice to not have some fast food for a day.
We then ubered to the theatre - Ruth Eckard Hall. There we ate our lunch, and then went and explored the everglades that were around the theatre. It was so cool - there was literally a river//swamp right next to the parking lot, with all kinds of ducks and cranes and Floridian birds. There was also an ALLIGATOR sitting on the little marshy island in the middle of the water! It was SO CRAZY! This alligator wasn’t too big, but the locals told us that he was one of the babies - there was a big one and more babies around the river bend. It was so exciting! Sara was especially excited to see the alligator - she got a big kick out of it.
After exploring, we went back to the dressing room to get ready for our next show. I was so excited - one of my dearest friends, Ms. Shonda Thurman, is on the Christmas Carol National Tour, playing Christmas Past. Ms. Shonda and I met this summer when we both spent 3 months doing Hairspray, and Ms. Shonda was Mama Motormouth. She is such an inspiration to me of a beautiful woman of Christ in the theatre world. The Christmas Carol tour came through Ruth Eckard Hall two days ago, and now we are here, so she taped a note underneath the table in Dressing room 5, so that I could find it when we were there two days later. It was SO SPECIAL, and I loved getting that little piece of joy from one of my favorite people on this planet! How cool that we were able to connect in our two tours as we traveled across the country!?
Show #1 of the day went off without a hitch, we were all pumped and ready! We had another GREAT audience, they are just LOVING Rudolph and the kids are so vociferous, it is just precious! After the show, the theatre catered us with the most DELICIOUS food, and we were all in heaven! It was seriously SO GOOD, and the BEST theatre food we’ve had so far of all of our catered meals. They also had an espresso/latte/hot cocoa kind of Starbucks machine, and we had a BALL with that.
After dinner, a big group of us went and wandered around the everglades for a bit, then explored the lobby and the house of the theatre. That was super exciting to have some time to explore a bit. Then one of our friends from the DFW theatre scene, Tevin, came in to see our show! We had a ball showing him around backstage and all of our tour props/sets/etc. and catching up with him. He is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and the sweetest humans on this planet!
After showing Tevin around, we had to get ready for our show #2 of the day! The second show was great - we had our BEST AUDIENCE YET! They were singing along and clapping and some kids were even reciting the lines with us - such as “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight”? It was beyond special.
After the show, we got to go hug Tevin and say thanks for coming, and we were back on the tour bus! We only drove for 15 minutes to our hotel tonight, and we are staying at a wonderful little Holiday Inn Express again - this seems to be our usual hotel of choice on the Rudolph tour. Then we all gathered in one of the conference rooms where we had our tradition on the Rudolph tour - a white elephant gift exchange. It was SO much fun, and SO funny! We all had to get a gift under $10, and we didn't have wrapping so we were all wrapping it in hotel tissues, pillowcases, or towels - whatever we could find at the hotel! It was hysterical. Everyone came home with GREAT gifts, it was a ball! Sara and I ended up with some Pooperi (how funny), a writing prompt book, and some iPhone camera lenses. It was so fun! And one of our castmates, Matt, was super sweet and made us all these little mini awards, for all of the inside jokes we had on our tour. It was a great last hoorah to spend together, and for everyone to have a last night of fun before our final performances tomorrow. (I CANT BELIEVE WE CLOSE TOMORROW! THIS IS JUST UNREAL! I AM SO SAD!)
Well, Sara and I just came back up to our hotel room, and we have a 7am bus call time tomorrow, so I have to be up at 6! Goodness! More updates to come - final shows tomorrow!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Sunrise in Daytona
Today was the BEST day!!!!
This evening we had a show at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach Florida, and I had 20 family members here to see the show and support me! It was the BEST, getting to do what I love and have the people here that are most near and dear to my heart. My parents and three siblings made the drive from our home in Friendswood, Texas, and my grandparents on my dad’s side live in New Smyrna beach and drove over. My grandma was brought from Cocoa Beach by my great uncle and aunt, who also came from Cocoa Beach! My mom’s best friend from High School, Mrs. Darlene, came with her four kids from Orlando, and my great aunt Martha came in from Missouri! My uncle and cousin also drove up from Cocoa Beach, and I think my little cousin Nathan (he is 7 years old!) loved it the most! He was precious and had been watching the movie / listening to the soundtrack for weeks, he was so prepared! So cute!
After the show - Sara, my cousin, siblings, uncle, Dad and I - went to Baskin Robbins to get some ice cream, which was SUPER fun and I loved getting to see them for a little bit longer than just the 20 minutes after the show. We all had a great time laughing and telling funny tour stories that had been happening over the past month!
After ice cream, they dropped us back off at our AMAZING beach front hotel, and Sara and I were POOPED. I haven't updated you on our awesome hotel yet! Y'all - this is our best hotel YET ON TOUR. OH. MY. GOODNESS. we have a balcony and a room that FACES THE BEACH. AND OUR HOTEL IS ON THE BEACH. We look over the pool and the ocean, and it is STUNNING. We are OBSESSED. Last night when we first got in, we sat on the balcony, just listening to the waves, for half an hour. It was so peaceful, and SUCH a nice treat after all of the usual hotel rooms we've had, and all of the cold weather and snow that we've been in!
We just repacked some of our suitcase and ordered some pizza (pepperoni and pepper, our favorite) because we were STARVING, so that was great! We just finished pizza and now I am about to konk! More updates to come tomorrow!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Today was ROCKING! We have had a productive travel and show day, and tonight’s theatre was BEAUTIFUL!
This morning we had to be up by 7:30 to be loaded onto our tour bus by 8am. We rode for 4 hours until we go to Tallahassee, Florida. We all decided to go to Boston Market for lunch - which was delicious! I had never been before, and it was SO nice to get some home cooked food!! I loved it.
We drove another 3 hours (but the clock said 4 - we changed to EASTERN time zone now!) and arrived in Jacksonville around 4pm. We had 2 hours to kill before our pre-show calls, and wandered around downtown Jacksonville. We found the mall and an awesome chocolate store, as well as a cute coffee shop and sandwich grille and bar for dinner. It was great!
We then performed our 20th show at the Florida Theatre! It was super special - the leads of White Christmas performed and filmed at the Florida Theatre! We are just having White Christmas connections all over the place!! The theatre was STUNNING, had a giant audience, but had the smallest backstage space of any theatres we have visited. The backstage was so small that they had to keep the barn doors open to the street, and store some of our giant set pieces out there during load in and load out - it was wild! This space made for a bit of a challenge during the run of the show with how large our show is, but our cast and crew handled it with professionalism, ease, and grace and the show ran as sooth as ever! This audience was AMAZING and so enthusiastic for Rudolph. It was great! Another fun fact about this theatre was that all of the dressing rooms were floors above the theatre, and we were on the FOURTH FLOOR. We had to climb four flights of stairs to and from our dressing rooms, which was a great work out after sitting on the bus all day!
After the show, we were loaded back on the tour bus within 30 minutes. We are now on the way to Daytona!!! AND we just received the BEST news! One of our castmates, Matt, got us hooked up with FREE tickets to DISNEYWORLD TOMORROW!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!! WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY TOMORROW BEFORE OUR SHOWWWWWW!!!! I SERIOUSLY CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENTTTT!!! I AM SO STINKING PUMPED! And my family is coming to our show tomorrow - it is just going to be the best day ever! I am SO excited!!!
Our entire cast is also super excited because our rooms here in Daytona are ON THE BEACH and face the BEACH!!! AHHH! We are SO excited, this is so much fun! We are living the LIFE, yall! I thought I could never get any happier, and then this day happened - which will probably get even happier tomorrow! At the happiest place on earth! Then getting to see my family! AHHH YAYAYAYAY! I am the luckiest girl in the world!
Well, I’d better get some sleep on this bus - we have an early morning tomorrow going to DISNEY, and I don't want to miss a moment!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Today was AWESOME! We had a well needed restful day, our best show yet, and had one of the best audiences of the entire tour! What a great day here at the North Pole! Or should I say, FLORIDA! (We are all super pumped to be in Florida)
This morning, Sara and I slept in ALL MORNING. It was glorious. I didn't wake up until noon, then didn't get out of that cozy hotel bed until 1pm. It was the best feeling in the world! Sara and I then walked next door to Whataburger, because it had been a full month since Whataburger, and we needed some Texas back in our bellies! We grabbed lunch there with Kyle and Rashaun, and as always, had the best time.
After Whataburger we ubered to Walgreens to get some cold medicine for Sara and some other items, then went back to the hotel to chill some more before our show tonight. Sara and I ended up watching some more Jane the Virgin, and eating some of our favorite snack - kettle corn popcorn. (We bought a pack of kettle corn on this tour and have finally finished the box - we are addicted.)
At 6pm we all loaded onto the tour bus and drove 10 minutes to the theatre, where we had our routine flight call and microphone check, and got ready for the show! We were super excited for tonight’s performance because one of our company members, Monique Abry, had her family in town, AND we had one of our good friends and fellow TCU BFA Musical Theatre majors, Logan Lane, here tonight at the show! It was SO fun to have an audience with some of our friends and family - we could definitely feel the love! Tonight’s audience was one of the best we ever had, we were getting clapping ovations and standing ovations everywhere, and SO many more laughs at different places than we ever have before!
After the show we got to see Logan and meet some of Monique’s family, then we all decided to go out and explore Pensacola! We walked a mile (YEP. A MILE FOLKS) to the local Pensacola Irish Pub, and it was SO much fun! The place had so much character, and had been featured multiple times on the Food Network, it was SO cool! I loved it! It was a BLAST, and we absolutely LOVED this restaurant! Sara and I got some loaded potato skins that were to DIE for. There were six of us in the group that ventured to the pub, and we had some great chats and deep talks, and really loved getting to spend time together tonight and get to know everyone more.
After the fun night we ubered back to our hotel and we were pretty pooped! I just got showered and have crawled into my cozy bed, and I am about to hit the hay! More updates to come tomorrow!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
WHEW today was a LONG ONE! Today was one of our longest days on tour so far - we had a show and a full travel day! WOWZA!
First off, Sara and I are on this terrible tour schedule where we cannot fall asleep until around 2 or 3 am, because we nap and rest all day on the tour bus when we travel, so it is just this vicious cycle that we have gotten ourselves into. So we could not fall asleep last night until late, then woke up for the bus by 7am. We did, however, get to go experience the AMAZING breakfast that this hotel has to offer, and got an awesome box full of fruit, croissants, cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins for the bus. It was AWESOME!
On the bus, Sara and I snagged a bunk - we really lucked out today! When we have an early call time such as today’s 7:30 am call time to the tour bus, those bunks are precious and highly sought after. There were 2 people squeezed into every bunk - everyone wanted them so badly! We slept for a few hours and woke up once we were at the venue in Huntsville, Alabama - talk about a great travel morning! It took us 5 hours to get to the venue. It should have taken 4, but because our bus driver accidentally missed the exit, we had an hour detour. I didn't mind one bit - more napping time for me! We also changed back to the central time zone, which was nice, so we had an extra hour! (All of these changing time zones are CRAZY!)
Once we were at the theatre, we all hopped off the tour bus and were ushered into the theatre - the Von Braun Center. Because of our detour and delay, we had to go pretty much straight into flight call, and no longer had our 1 hour lunch break. Since we didn't have the break anymore, we all called in orders and a runner from the theatre drove around to where we ordered from and picked up our to go orders. This way we didn't have to leave the theatre, and could be present for all of our pre-show calls, and still get lunch!
Today before the show we did our routine flight call, then added a sing-through of the finale, because at our last venue in Kentucky we had some issues with the sound. The sound had been reverberating in the back of the house of the theatre, and was providing an echo effect. This threw off the singers slightly, so we needed to do a run through in this new space to make sure it wouldn't happen again.
We then had our matinee and the show went by without a hitch - we had almost a full house, and this theatre housed SUCH a HUGE audience! It was so cool to see all of the thousands of people that had come out to the show on such a rainy day! The weather was pretty gruesome in Huntsville - cold and rainy, around 30*. We thought we had escaped the cold by coming down south, haha! It was a great audience for a matinee.
After the show, we had 30 minutes to get out of everything and be loaded back on the tour bus. We then drove for another 6 hours to Pensacola, Florida! This second leg of our drive, this six hour segment today, Sara and I facetimed our friends and roomies back at TCU, and other friends from home, which was super fun! We also watched a few more episodes of Jane the Virgin, and y’all, it’s getting so good… Our company stopped once for dinner somewhere around Montgomery, Alabama, and we raced through the rain to McAlisters, where we were all so excited to get some hot soups and yummy salads. I was SO pumped because McAlisters has my favorite food - a baked potato - and my ultimate favorite - sweet tea! I was in hog heaven.
After that six hour drive, we arrived in Pensacola! We are finally in Florida, y’all! YAY How exciting!! We checked into our beautiful hotel, a Spring Hill Suites, and we could tell from the moment we stepped off the bus and into the hotel that we were in FLORIDA! I’ll be honest - I am a little sad that we aren't up north anymore with the cold and the snow - I’ve always wanted a white Christmastime!!! But Florida feels like home, and that makes it seem Christmassy too :) Our cast was BEYOND pumped because we have a Whataburger across the street from this hotel - and we have all been without Whataburger since we left in November, so this was a VERY happy reunion for our cast!!!
We checked into our AWESOME hotel room (y’all, we have a mini living room, how cool!) and Sara and I roamed around a little bit. Then Sara decided to burn some energy and go work out in the work out room, and I had a social hour with some of my castmates in the lobby, which os always so much fun.
Then Sara and I decided to come back up to our hotel room, make some hot chocolate, and watch White Christmas! We had been dying to watch it, and were especially motivated after seeing the exhibit yesterday in Louisville! It was SO awesome to watch it so freshly after seeing the exhibit, and noticing all of the costumes or props or sets or things we read about at the exhibit. White Christmas is also one of my all-time favorites, so I was loving every second!
Well, now we just finished the movie and I am WIPED, more updates to come here in Pensacola tomorrow!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Today was AWESOME! All of my Christmas dreams were lived today!
Sara and I got to sleep in until 11:45 in our hotel room today - that was a first for this tour, and we were BEYOND thrilled to finally get some good rest in. We were up and at ‘em by noon, and walked one block to the theatre for our matinee. It is SO nice having our hotel be SO close to this beautiful theatre! We slept through breakfast at the hotel this morning, so we grabbed sandwiches from Jimmy John’s which was right across from the theatre, and that was super convenient. Louisville seems like a really cool city - I wish we were here longer to explore! (Sara made fun of me all day because I accidentally kept calling it Lexington - HAHA! After so many days on the road and so many different cities each day, I guess you really don't know where you are!)
The matinee went great - we had a GREAT audience, and they were all so excited. Also, during the performance, I noticed the COOLEST thing - at this venue, we had a sign language interpreter standing downstage by the audience on stage right. She had a single soft spotlight on her, and was signing along with us as we sang and spoke, so that our deaf audience members could also enjoy the performance. It was the COOLEST thing. I have never experienced theatre in this way, and it was SO powerful to me. Theatre should be something that ANYONE can enjoy, and thanks to the staff and community at the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, the deaf community can as well. It was just the most incredible thing, and I LOVED getting to experience it.
After the matinee, we had 2 hours to kill before our next call time. Kyle had scored some free tickets to the White Christmas exhibit that was in town, and I was PUMPED. We ubered to the other side of Louisville, and got to go see the original costumes and wagon used in the filming of the movie musical White Christmas. They also had original show posters, bios on the actors and actresses, and unknown facts about behind-the-scenes information during the filming and production of this iconic film and musical. I LOVED IT. White Christmas is one of my all-time favorite movies and musicals, so I was in heaven. The dresses were STUNNING and SO SMALL - these ladies were so tiny! I absolutely loved staring at how ornate and detailed every sequin and thread was placed - it was so beautiful!
The museum was also so cool to see all decorated for Christmas - they had decorated 16 trees to represent different countries all over the world. There was a board placed below each tree, explaining what country it was decorated for, and was designed to feature that country’s flag and other things that the country is known for. It was such a cool idea, and I loved exploring each one and learning about each country’s culture and heritage.
After the museum, we went to dinner at a DELICIOUS pizza and pasta restaurant! If you ever find yourself in Louisville - I would definitely recommend Sicilian’s Pizza and Pasta. We got a great salad and AMAZING Margarita Pizza, the crust (my favorite part) was to die for.
After dinner, we went back to the theatre for our second show of the day, and it was just as great as the first one! Another great performance for the books - Show #16 & #17 - done! This second show was interesting though - we were on a full tornado watch! The weather was terrible outside, and apparently tornados are very common here in Kentucky. Before the show, we had to be prepped on the procedure and what we would have to do in case of a Tornado, such as letting the curtain come down and we would stay in the basement until it passed through. The audience would stay in their seats - that was the safest thing for them. Depending on how long we would have to wait, we would either continue the show, or just have to cancel the rest if time constraints were too tight for the crew to load out, and get to Huntsville by tomorrow. It was pretty crazy stuff!
But the show went off without a hitch, and no tornados came our way. After the second show, we were all pretty exhausted. And this theatre had us in a dressing room on the 4th floor - so we had to walk up three flights of stairs to get to and from our dressing room. For two shows today - we were all pretty pooped.
After the show, Sara and I came back to our hotel room and got some things done. I called my family and some old friends to catch up, blogged, and worked on some other projects. Sara went with a group to an escape room in town, which was a fun activity that some of the company members had ventured out through the pouring rain to do!
Now Sara and I are off to watch some more Jane the Virgin, then we are going to hit the hay! I’d better get some sleep, we have a 6am wake up call tomorrow! Eep!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Brown Theatre & Downtown Louisville
The White Christmas Exhibit
Today was another day filled with chasing dreams and loving each moment of this beautiful, dream-come-true National Tour adventure! Sara and I were up and at ‘em around 10:45 this morning, and made our sleepy way to the tour bus by 11:15! We drove for 5 hours to Richmond, Kentucky. Today’s tour bus activity was watching HDTV - I think that by now I could give you a full listing price for these fixer uppers in Miami and Hawaii, which were today’s episodes, haha. We stopped once at a McDonalds for lunch (this fast food lifestyle is killer, folks. Trying to eat healthy on a national tour is no joke) and I could have cried I was so happy to find some more sweet tea. On our drive, from North Carolina to Kentucky, we drove through the Smoky Mountains!!! It was SO cool to drive through this iconic geography of America, and our prettiest drive so far. The landscape was STUNNING, and I loved seeing all of the beautiful mountains in the horizon. I can now cross “drive through the smoky mountains” off my bucket list!
We arrived at the venue in Richmond, Kentucky - the EKU Center for the Arts - around 4pm. We had two hours to kill, and the venue was catering us with dinner! It was divine - honey glazed pork chops, mac and cheese, veggies, salad, rolls, fruit, and chocolate cake!! We were in hog heaven, and loving that we didn't have to spend any per diem on dinner! This venue was too cool backstage - we had a couch in our dressing room, and the floors were rainbow sparkles - it was too funny! We are seeing the full spectrum across the country in all of these theatres!
After dinner, we played Spoons and other card games in the boys’ dressing room with some other cast mates, which was a fun way to pass some time. Then Sara and I went and watched some Jane the Virgin on the couch in our dressing room, which was so nice to relax before the show.
The show went great - it was a great success and we had a near full house at the show, which was wonderful! We also had a mid-tour check in with a dance call and vocal call before the show, just to make sure we had been polished and nothing had fallen sloppy, so that was great to brush up on everything .
After the show we were back on the bus in 30 minutes, and we had a 2 hour drive to Louisville, Kentucky. Sara and I snagged a bunk in the back, and watched some more Jane the Virgin. We are really getting hooked, y’all. We arrived in Louisville to our AMAZING hotel in the heart of downtown - a Hilton this time! It is SO nice, and we get to stay for TWO NIGHTS in a ROW! YAY! We are all just beyond pumped. It is so exciting!
Tonight Sara and I got some work done for TCU registering for next semester, watched some Hallmark Christmas, and I got this blogging done, and now I am hoping to fall asleep semi-early tonight! So I will post more updates tomorrow - 2 show day here in Louisville tomorrow! LOVING Kentucky so far!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf
Today was such a grand day! We woke up around 9:45am and were on the bus by 10:30. It was great - we loved getting to sleep in a little bit. We drove from our hotel in Tennessee all the way to Asheville, North Carolina. (Isn’t that funny - we want from Nashville to Asheville!) It was SUCH a beautiful drive today - I was LOVING the views we had of the mountains and hillsides, as well as all of the beautiful nature. Most of the trees had lost all of their leaves, but it made for a whole different kind of beauty to accent the gigantic mountains that sat in the horizon. It was honestly such a stunning view, and we loved every minute of the drive.
It was a long drive today, and we finally changed time zones! We are now on Eastern time! It is proving to be difficult now that we are an hour ahead, because it is 3am and Sara and I cannot fall asleep to save our lives, haha.
On the bus, we napped pretty much all morning, then watched “America’s Next Top Model” on the TVs in the afternoon. I also worked on learning some more calligraphy styles. I am really having a ball with that.
We arrived in Asheville at 4pm, to our hotel: Country Inn and Suites. We had 45 minutes to check into our hotel room and grab dinner before we had to be on the bus to Morganton, where our performance was. Sara and I were super pumped to find our hotel room was on the first floor - this was the first hotel we haven't had to lug our luggage up stairs or the elevator! That was super nice. There was a Cracker Barrel right down the road from our hotel, and I was BEYOND PUMPED - that is one of my favorite places and I was missing my southern family cooking SO MUCH. It was the BEST - I got some chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese, and country green beans with a sweet tea. I thought for sure I had died and gone to heaven - it reminded me of my mom and grandma’s cooking and I couldn't have been happier! After spending so long up north and on the road, it was so nice to have what felt like a home cooked meal.
We ran back to the hotel just in time to hop on the bus, then had an hour commute to Morganton. The Morganton Municipal Center for the Performing Arts seemed to be brand new, and the theatre was beautiful! This audience was a tad quieter than most, but they seemed to really enjoy the show. We got to go meet some audience members after the show, and they all couldn't stop talking about how much they loved it. We also got to sign the wall backstage, and leave our mark on another beautiful theatre. That is one of my favorite parts of touring - having the opportunity to see so many theatres across the country, and look at who else has played in these spaces based on who has signed the same walls. It is so cool to me!
After the show, we explored the lobby a bit, loving their Christmas decor, and were back on the bus. We drove the hour back to our hotel, and I got to call and catch up with my mom and Pops along the drive, which was great! Once we got back to the hotel, Sara and I did some online Christmas shopping (when we come home on Christmas Eve, we have to make do!) and watched some Hallmark Christmas movies. We also caught up some more on our favorite new show, Jane the Virgin. It was great, and a much needed relaxing night.
Well, I’d better get some sleep, we have a long drive and show in Kentucky tomorrow! More updates to come!
- Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf