I started my “back to work” week with a Monday of errands, not very interesting – a Petco run, groceries and a rental car switch-a-roo at the airport. Ryan and I had lunch at the Snow City Cafe, a quirky diner downtown. They have lots of healthy, veggie options on the menu. I had some veggie tacos that were delicious!
Tuesday it was back to work.
The Performing Arts Center in Anchorage is quite big – lots of room onstage and backstage, although strangely, not a lot of dressing rooms. Everyone is sharing rooms here. Load-in seemed to take a long time for no good reason – except that at least a dozen of the local stagehands didn’t show up for the local call, making things a lot more difficult and time-consuming for our guys. I guess they don’t get many big shows through Anchorage and maybe the stagehands here aren’t used to the standards we expect. Who knows. At any rate, at 3:00pm when we were supposed to do a brush-up rehearsal onstage in preparation for John O’Hurley’s debut, the stage was far from ready. The actors did a run through of lines in the green room instead.
Despite the setbacks, the show was received extremely well that night. The audiences have been so appreciative here. John O’Hurley became our new King Arthur, and we celebrated with a champagne toast after the show.
On Wednesday, Ryan and I decided to change hotels. We just were not happy at the Westmark. Our room was run down and dirty (dried up chow mein in the carpet – ew!). One of our wardrobe supervisors, Angela, had gotten a good deal on another hotel, the Inlet Tower, on Hotwire. We booked a room there as well (for $20 less a night!) and moved over there Wednesday morning. We are so much happier at the Inlet. We have a great view of the water, the room is bright and cute, the bed is super comfortable, and we have a fridge and microwave. It is a bit further away from downtown – about a 15-20 minute walk, but it is so much quieter, which is definitely a plus.
In the afternoon, Ryan finished getting his taxes together and then we headed over to the mall where he went to the post office to mail them out, while I went to the AT&T store. My purse had gotten stepped on during load-in and my iPhone was smashed. The guy at the AT&T store was totally unhelpful and told me it would cost $700 to replace. I went outside and called Apple, and they said if I came into an Apple Store I could get a new one for $324. So, suck it AT&T store, I’ll go and visit Apple when I’m in Seattle. I decided I could deal with a broken phone for two weeks.
After the mall, we headed back over to the Coastal Trail and spent an hour or so walking it before we had to get ready for work. It is such a beautiful trail along the inlet – what a great thing to have right downtown!
The next day I wanted to do some more hiking, so Ryan and I drove north to Eagle River and did a three mile hike in the mountains there. It was really beautiful, but I was more than a tad worried that we would run into a bear while we were there. There was no one else around, and there were “high bear activity” signs everywhere! This is the time of year when all the bears are coming out of hibernation and they are hungry. Luckily, we did not run into any wildlife of that sort – we saw some moose poop, but that was about it!
On Friday, I had my best adventure to date here in Alaska. David, our associate company manager, organized a small group of us to go snowmobiling! We met up in Girdwood and got suited up at the company’s office, and then drove ten miles further south where we went out with a guide for a five hour snowmobiling adventure. It was so much fun – we climbed an iceberg, crawled inside a glacier and raced at 70 mph on our snowmobiles. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and I’m so glad that I went.
Sorry for the overload of photos, but it was just such an amazing experience, I had to share! Of course when we all got back to work raving about the day, two other groups immediately made reservations to go – I think by the time we leave Alaska, half the company will have gone snowmobiling!
On Saturday afternoon, I had wonderful opportunity to meet up with another friend from Flickr, Val. Val lives in Mountain Village, a small town out in the Alaskan Bush on the Yukon River. She is a teacher, and it was so interesting hearing about her life there. There are only 750 people in her town! We had an awesome lunch at Orso, and then went and took some photos together before I had to head back to work. She and a group of her friends came to the evening show and I gave them a backstage tour afterward. It was so great to meet her – I just love all the friends I’ve made through Flickr, and the opportunity to meet some of them this year has been amazing.
On Sunday, after our two-show day, David Havasi, one of our ensemble guys, hosted a party at his brother’s house (his brother lives here in Anchorage). It was a lot of fun to wind down with everyone – Spamalot parties are always good. And David’s brother and his wife were so nice and welcoming. It was a great way to end the week.
And that was my very full first week in Anchorage!