A Week of Sunshine and Friends in the Southwest

Last week was awesome. It probably would have been pretty awesome even without having some of my pals around, because New Mexico rocks! But having some of my buddies around made it all the more special.

I arrived on Monday morning and after picking up the rental car and dropping Ryan at the theater, I went to get settled at our vacation home for the week. We stayed at a house about ten miles from downtown – a beautiful Santa Fe style home with tons of windows, a hot tub and a grill. We were in heaven! Searching out vacation rentals can be time consuming and kind of a pain in the butt, but in every instance where I’ve gone for it, it has paid off tenfold. Our house this week was no exception. It was an oasis.

After getting settled, I immediately met up with Tanya, one of my best friends in the whole world, who moved to Albuquerque last year. Tanya and I met over ten years ago doing theater in California, and moved to New York around the same time. She is definitely one of my soulmates. She and Michael (her husband) bought some land in the mountains above Albuquerque while Tanya was on tour a couple of years ago, and this year they decided to build a modular house on the land and live there for a bit. They are not ruling out spending some time back in New York, but for now they are taking some time off to enjoy New Mexico. I don’t blame them.

Tanya and I headed over to the movie theater to see “Sex and the City”, which we had both vowed to wait and see together when it came out. It was totally worth the wait. The movie was everything I had hoped it would be, and seeing it with one of my best girlfriends made it all the more special.

After the movie we did a bit of shopping and then ate outdoors at the Flying Star Cafe. Watching the sun go down over the Sandia Mountains was amazing. Unfortunately as we went to leave I discovered a flat tire on my rental car. A really nice man helped us change the tire, though, and we were soon on our way to pick up Ryan from work.

Tuesday was a busy load-in. The theater was on the campus of University of New Mexico, and was a really tight squeeze. That coupled with a lot of inexperienced stagehands (many of them students) made for a longer load-in than usual, but our show crew turned out to be pretty good and opening went fairly smoothly. Ryan and I zoomed home and jumped in our awesome hot tub to wash away the long day. Heaven!

On Wednesday I ran a few errands in the morning, and then Ryan and I ventured over to Old Town in the afternoon. We ate a Mexican place, and then walked around and checked out a bunch of the shops. Ryan bought me a pair of earrings from one of the street vendors. I just love the style of the southwest – the adobe buildings, the blue skies, the silver and turquoise jewelry. It just all feels so beautiful and earthy and organic. Tanya and Michael say they felt instantly at home in New Mexico. It’s so easy to see why. And the weather! Although it was very hot when we were there – the mid nineties – the heat is dry, so it actually feels good, not sticky and gross. It instantly relaxes you.

Church in Old Town

Church in Old Town

Hot Sauces

Hot Sauces

Jewelry Vendors

Jewelry Vendors

Wednesday night we grilled after the show (on the fancy grill at the house). We had been to Trader Joe’s earlier in the day (I LOVE Trader Joe’s!) and picked up some salmon, corn on the cob and rice which we made into a delicious post-show meal.

On Thursday I had rehearsal (boo), but Thursday night Tanya and Michael came to the show, and then I went home with them to their house in the mountains and spent the night. It is such a cool house! I am so proud of them for making it happen! Hopefully one day I will get my shit together too and be able to have a place to call my very own home. It is a great house, and their land is beautiful.

Michael and Tanya is front of their house

Michael and Tanya is front of their house

The backyard

The backyard

On Friday, Tanya and I drove to Santa Fe for the afternoon. We ate another yummy Mexican meal at La Fonda, and then visited some of the old churches in the area. After that, we spent some time looking at all the jewelry being sold by the various Native American vendors, and then did what any self-respecting women would do – spent money!! I bought Tanya a pair of earrings for her birthday, and then bought myself a copper bracelet, a silver bracelet with a turquoise stone, and a necklace. All beautiful. After that, we had just enough time to walk through the Georgia O’Keefe museum, where the current exhibit was of her work of the Southwest and also Ansel Adams’ photos of the southwest, some of which he took while spending time with O’Keefe. A really great exhibit. One of my favorite Ansel Adams prints was on display – it’s called “Moonrise”, and I think it totally captures the magic of New Mexico.

Here’s a couple of the snaps I took in Santa Fe:

Friday night was Tony Pittsley’s going away party. Angelina corralled everyone over to Kelly’s Brewpub for the festivities. It was one of the best turnouts I have seen for a going away party! I’m sort of in denial about Tony leaving. He started the same week I did, and has become one of my best buds on this show – we both love photography, and it has been great to be able to geek out as of late with Tony over lenses and things. I’m going to miss him a ton.

Saturday night, Bret hosted shot night. It has been amazing having Bret around for these past three weeks. I loved working with him ten years ago, and I am happy to say that I still love working with him now. I am so glad that we have stayed in contact. He is a really great guy, who I find to be so easy to be around. This week was really spectacular being among such old friends – at one point on Sunday we looked around and it was me, Bret, Tanya and Christopher Gurr, and we couldn’t believe we were all sitting in the same room together in a theater in New Mexico over a decade after first meeting. Crazy. It was so nice having them around. Like family.

But anyway, back to Bret’s shot night – he soaked some incredibly yummy fresh watermelon in two varieties of vodka! Yum! You just ate a couple of chunks of refreshing watermelon and were buzzed immediately! Bret also had some fun chili beers on hand, that I thought tasted like a combination of beer and Doritos – but were good!

with Bret at Shot Night

with Bret at Shot Night

On Sunday, Tanya came and shadowed me backstage during the matinee, which was a lot of fun – showing her how the show works. We had dinner afterwards at El Patio with Michael, Ryan and Ken. Then I had to bid Ta and Michael goodbye. Sniff sniff. Hopefully I will see them again soon.

The evening show meant more goodbyes – it was Tony’s last show and Bret’s. Somehow I think next week will seem very empty without all of my friends. 

Tony actually let me take a picture of him without making a face!

Tony actually let me take a picture of him without making a face! (Will miss you Tony! See you on Flickr!)

So this morning I said goodbye to lovely New Mexico and jetted off to San Antonio, Texas, where it is just as hot (maybe hotter) and STICKY. Thankfully the hotel has a pool. I loved New Mexico. There is a lot more that I want to see there. I will just have to go back, and visit my buddies there again before too long!



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