When Ryan and I got back to the city after the weekend in Tahoe, we realized we had very little time left in San Francisco before it would be time for me to go to Los Angeles, and for Ryan to head home – so we made a game plan to try and fit in as much as we could in the time left.
One thing I really wanted to make sure we did was head over to my old neighborhood in the Richmond district. We took the bus over there one day and walked through the streets of Seacliff, by all the big houses, to the entrance to Baker Beach. From there we had a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge – there was a bit of fog, like always, but we managed to get some decent photos. Then we walked over to Land’s End, and hiked the coastal trail along the cliffs, past the Legion of Honor, ending up at the ruins of the Sutro Baths. It is so pretty over at that end of San Francisco, you hardly know you are in the city.
Our next to last weekend in San Francisco was Pride Weekend. It was pretty crazy in our neighborhood, being so close to Castro Street – we were definitely in the thick of things. We tried to take a cab home on Saturday night after having drinks downtown with Neil, Laura, Chris and Lorin, who had come to see “Spamalot” that night, but the streets were all closed off around the Castro, so we had to walk through crowds and crowds of people (at 1am!) for about five blocks to get home. I had Sunday afternoon off at work. As the parade went directly past the theater, it was literally impossible for patrons to get there, so we had no matinee, but a Sunday evening show instead. To escape the crowds, Ryan and I went over to North Beach for the afternoon to shop at City Lights and get lunch at Mario’s. We sat in Washington Square Park and enjoyed the sunshine.
On Monday, I rented a car and we drove down to Sunnyvale, where (after lunch at In-and-Out Burger!) I bought a sewing machine! I got the Janome 2010, and so far I love it! Everyone at Eddie’s Quilting Bee (where I bought the machine) was very helpful, and I definitely feel like I got the right machine for me.
In the afternoon, Ryan and I went to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. I hadn’t been there for years, since I was a little kid, and Ryan really wanted to go. It’s a fun place to see – such a crazy house with doors and stairways leading to nowhere. The woman who owned the house, Sarah Winchester, believed that she had to keep building on the house in order to ward off evil spirits. Its definitely a fun place to check out if you are ever in the area.
After that, we met up with a couple of old friends of mine for dinner. I’ve known Gina and Dawn almost my whole life – they grew up around the corner from me, and we were inseparable when we were younger. It was really nice to see them and to catch up.
The next day, back in San Francisco, Ryan and I toured Alcatraz. The first time I went to Alcatraz wasn’t until my twenties, and I couldn’t believe I had never gone before. It is a really interesting tour, and the audio recording that accompanies it is really well done. It was fun to take the ferry there with Ryan and to see the place again with him. We made it back to North Beach in time to have dinner at The Stinking Rose before I had to go downtown for work. Such a nice day!
Sadly, on Wednesday, it was time for Ryan to begin his long trek back to Wisconsin. He had planned a longer route back, stopping in Denver for a few days around the fourth of July. It was sad to say goodbye to him again, especially after getting back into a routine together, but he is hoping to come out to Los Angeles for a visit in August, so it won’t be too long before we get to see each other again.
I spent Thursday and Friday tying up loose ends and packing. I had lunch with a couple of friends – Regina on Thursday and Andrea on Friday. We finished up the weekend of shows and then on Monday, I drove down highway 5 to Los Angeles.
We are playing LA for nine weeks, even longer than we were in San Francisco, so I was very, very happy to find that the apartment I had rented was so perfect. It is cute and comfortable, and has a really nice outdoor space, which is enclosed, so Tallulah can spend time outside without me worrying that she will get out. The area is nice, too – I am living in Beachwood Canyon, which is adjacent to the Hollywood Hills and very close to Griffith Park. The commute to work hasn’t been too bad either.
My dear friend Christopher, who I went to college with and who I was roommates with in New York (but who lives here now) met me at the apartment and helped me unpack. We had dinner that night with his boyfriend Sean, and I got to see their cute new house.
Load-in Tuesday was sort of run-of-the-mill at work, overshadowed by the fact that Michael Jackson’s funeral was taking place just down the street at the Staples Center. I wasn’t a huge MJ fan growing up, but there is no denying his cultural impact on my generation. It is a strange thing, his passing. I still haven’t quite grasped it. It’s the end of something big.
Our official “opening” was Wednesday night and we had a big party afterwards on the roof at The Standard Hotel. Christopher and Sean came with me as my dates, and we had a really nice time. There were some celebrities there, which was kind of fun – including our own Richard Chamberlain. It was funny to see the likes of Richard Chamberlain relaxing on a waterbed pod next to the pool! How LA!
So now “Spamalot” is up and running, and I have some time to relax and unwind, which I really needed after the hectic seven weeks in San Francisco. I loved being there and seeing all my family and friends, but I am glad to have some time now to get my head together and to prepare for what happens next, after the tour ends in October. I expect I will be doing some sightseeing here in LA and some catching up with friends, but in more low-key fashion, for sure!
More on LA to come!