Last week was sort of a subdued week. Everyone, myself included, was a bit blue from leaving Madison. Grand Rapids is not a horrible town, but it is far from being as happening as Madison – I think we were all just biding our time until we could move on to Minneapolis.
There is one main street downtown in Grand Rapids called Monroe Center, which has a few restaurants and cafes. That’s where I spent most of the week. On Monday I found a little grocery and a bookstore and did some shopping. I ate lunch at an okay sushi place. There were a lot of cafes within walking distance – no shortage of coffee in this town – my favorite was the independent shop, Four Friends. I also spent some time there, knitting and reading.
The highlight of load-in was getting to see Elaine again. Elaine was one of our original hair supervisors, and an all-around awesome chick! She looks great, and it was so nice have another girl around for the week! She covered Mitchell’s track while he was on vacation, and will be back for all of Vancouver to cover while Suzanne takes a break. Unfortunately the week was very busy with a rare mid-week matinee, so we didn’t have much time to socialize, but I am looking forward to some girls’ breakfasts in Vancouver!
On Wednesday I went to a cool little salon on Wealthy Street and got my hair cut and colored. It was a great place, and I really liked my stylist Jodi (if you are ever in Grand Rapids, the salon is Fusion Salon – its an Aveda salon). Wealthy Street seems like an up-and-coming area. It looked like there were a lot of restaurants moving into the area and I ate lunch at a really cute little cafe/magazine shop.
Friday afternoon Ryan and I went and checked out the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which is apparently the only fully “green” art museum in the country. It was a very cool building, and the exhibits were interesting – there was a really good exhibit on of Andy Warhol paintings in series, which I enjoyed.
After that I met up with Bret Torbeck for dinner. Bret had just gotten into town to start training to be our sub for the next three weeks while Ken and Jovon take vacations. Bret is an old friend from way back – we were stage managers together at San Jose Rep ten years ago! It’s so nice to have him around, and he has done a great job picking up the show so quickly!
On Saturday we had two shows, and after shot night, hosted by Jovon, Ryan and I stayed out too late at the hotel bar, catching up with Elaine. It was so much fun, though – I didn’t even mind trying to pack at 1:30 in the morning with a serious buzz on!
We closed with a matinee on Sunday and I began the drive to Madison, where I was planning to spend the night on route to Minneapolis. All was swell – I spent two hours on the phone chatting with Tanya – but after getting through Chicago, I started seeing what looked like bombs going off in the distance. I soon realized it was lightning, coming from at least three different places. As we (Tallulah and I) drove on, the lightning got more and more intense, lighting up the entire sky. About thirty miles from Madison, the crazy heavy rains started. I finally pulled over at a McDonalds and called Ben Davis, an actor in the show, who I knew was doing the same drive that night, to see if he had heard anything about tornados in the area. On the radio it seemed like there were tornado warnings all over the place, but I wasn’t sure exactly which county I was in. Ben reassured me that it looked like only bad thunderstorms, so after the rain let up a bit, we pressed on to Madison. We got there safe and sound around 11pm, but wow, what a storm! And it turns out that Madison actually was under a tornado watch for a while!
We arrived in Minneapolis the next day around noon, and after opening and a party last night, I am off to find the bike trails!
One bit of amazingly awesome news – my best friend Michele and her husband Jean are expecting TWINS! I am so so excited for them, and I can’t wait to start knitting baby things. Congratulations!!!!!!