Wow. Crazy long travel day from Austin to Atlanta. As much as I have loved touring, the one thing I will not miss one little bit when this is all over, is travel day. Especially when it involves the airport. I was up at 3:30am in order to be at the airport by 5am. There was a long-ish line at the Delta counter, and I was shuffled around twice to accommodate people who had shown up at the last minute for international flights (my total pet peeve – why should I have to pay by having to wait in line longer so that the irresponsible people can cut ahead??). The guy working at the Delta counter was a jerk, too, to make matters worse. When I was finally ticketed, the security line was a mile long. I made it just in time for our boarding call, and then they delayed the flight a half an hour. We finally boarded, and then after sitting on the tarmac for another half an hour, pulled back into the gate because we were being delayed another hour and a half. It was all such a nightmare – and all because it was a bit foggy in Atlanta. We finally made it, and after doing some grocery shopping and getting lunch, I was totally exhausted and had a bad headache. And that is what they call a “day off”. Ha!
The crew had an overnight load-in because of the long travel distance to Atlanta – the trucks needed all the time they could get to complete the drive between the two cities. I was up bright and early on Tuesday and headed over to the theater to join the load-in.
For this engagement, the show was playing the Cobb Energy Center. We first played Atlanta two years ago – for that engagement, we played the Fabulous Fox Theater near downtown. The Fox is an old glorious theater, with an amazing history (“Gone with the Wind” premiered there). The Fox is also within walking distance of all kinds of attractions – the High Art Museum, the Aquarium, the Margaret Mitchell House, to name a few. The Cobb, is a brand new facility north of Atlanta. It is very spacious and very pristine. It is also in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by office parks and an old mall. Lots of chain restaurants. If I hadn’t been told we were in Atlanta, I would never have guessed. The area looked like any other American suburban city. Nothing unique about it at all. Fortunately, after the busy week in Austin, I wasn’t all that interested in doing much in Atlanta anyway. I did a lot of sightseeing the first time we were in town, and so this week I just wanted to relax a bit and take it easy.
Load-in was a cinch. Like I said, the space was so big and new that everything fit perfectly with room to spare. The crew was done by noon. I had time to cruise around the mall in the afternoon and pick up some new jeans. I’ve been working on getting in shape and have lost 13 pounds – which definitely warrants new jeans!
The opening night performance was seamless. We had some of the crew that we had last time at the Fox – a lot of the dressers were the same, and my skinny little hippie prop guy, Bill, was with us at the Fox, too. Its always easier when we have locals who have done the show before.
Clay Aiken drove down from North Carolina (where he lives) to see the show that night – he is friends with Merle, who plays the Lady of the Lake – they did “Spamalot” together on Broadway. It was very surreal to see him backstage after the show with Richard Chamberlain – sometimes this business just makes me smile. Who would have ever imagined that combo?
I had completely forgotten, with all the rush of travel and load-in, that Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day. Ryan and I set out after the show to find an Irish pub. We ended up finding a dive bar that had some shamrock streamers up outside – not quite what we had imagined, but Ryan was able to get some corned beef and cabbage, so it did the job.
In the morning, I woke up feeling out of sorts – just run-down and feverish. Ryan went out to run errands in the afternoon, but I decided to spend the day inside, napping and watching movies on the couch. I felt kind of crappy for the next two days – I think it was a combination of just being over-tired, and also allergies. Spring has most definitely sprung in Georgia, and everyone was having trouble with all the pollen in the air.
On Thursday we had an understudy rehearsal and a show. I was still feeling kind of bad, so I didn’t do anything else. On Friday, though, I felt much better, so after a workout and lunch, I decided to go for a hike. I had read online about Sweetwater Creek State Park – there was a fairly easy hike there that went past the ruins of an old textile mill. It sounded like a cool place to take some photos, so I decided to head out there.
It was a beautiful day, perfect weather for a hike. The trail was pretty easy, and I had a lovely afternoon, walking and taking pictures. Unfortunately the ruins were fenced off, so I couldn’t walk amidst them and take photos, but I did get some from the overlook. It felt so nice to just be outside. It was a really great afternoon.
At the show on Friday night, Sarah Lin, who is our “tall girl” swing, was on in Paula’s track. Paula is one of the “short girls” and Sarah doesn’t often get a chance to go on for her, so she asked me to take some photos. I got a few good ones.
On Saturday, Cathy and Carrie, two friends who I met through Flickr, came to the matinee and then we had lunch afterwards at PF Changs. It was the first time we had met in person although we “see” each other everyday through our daily photo posts online. It was so great to finally meet the two sisters – they are just as nice and bubbly and friendly as I had imagined they would be. It has been one of my favorite things about the tour this year to have had the opportunity to meet in person some of the people that I have met online doing the 365 project. And I have been following Carrie’s knitting blog forever, so it was really nice to finally meet her. It’s a shame we couldn’t have hung out for longer – we had such a great time, the three of us!
On Sunday we had two shows, with dinner at a Thai restaurant in between, and then it was back to the hotel to pack. On Monday we flew to Philadelphia and then took a bus to our next stop – Wilmington, Delaware.
Until we meet again, Atlanta!