The week in San Diego went by all too fast. I swear I blinked and it was over. I guess going back to a one-week stop after two two-month stops made it seem like a split second.
We played the Civic Theater in San Diego, which is a big performing arts center downtown. I remember going to see shows there while I was in school, including the band Pearl Jam, who I saw from the seventh row! It was really cool being on the other side of the footlights this time. The theater is big and spacious and we had plenty of room for everything backstage. Opening night went without incident and our audiences all week were raucous and appreciative. We had a little opening night party following the first performance at an Irish bar out behind the theater. Casey Nicolaw, our choreographer, was in town – it was nice to see him one more time before we close.
On Wednesday I took advantage of my close proximity to Mission Bay and got up early and went for a run on the path around the bay. After lunch I spent a couple of hours wandering up Mission Street to Garnet Street and browsed the shops of Pacific Beach. I stopped for a coffee at Zanzibar, which is a cafe that I spent a lot of time studying in during college. My friends’ bands used to play there, too. Its not as grungy as it used to be, and now functions as a full restaurant, but it still has the same charm. After that, I walked over to the beach, and walked along the beach back down to my apartment.
On Thursday I drove over to Balboa Park and went to the Museum of Photographic Art to see the Ansel Adams exhibit on display. I spent some time walking around the park, revisiting all my favorite places – Spreckels Organ Pavilion (where I performed with the UCSD gospel choir while in college), the international houses, and the promenade with all the museums. After that I drove over to Old Town and walked around for a bit (I stopped into a gallery there with lots of famous prints from Life magazine for sale – very cool), then went to Shakespeare’s Pub for dinner before the show.
On Friday I went to UCSD. I love going back to campus and walking around. It just brings back so many great memories. I didn’t have a very good time in high school, but I LOVED college so much. I feel like that’s when I started to really figure out who I am. And I had some great friends there – from the girls who I lived with in the dorms freshman year (some of who I am still close to) to my theater friends. I just loved, loved, loved those years. The campus has grown so much since I went there – I think it now has seven colleges (it had five when I was there), and there are so many new buildings. The theater department has been renovated and there is a beautiful new dance building. Some of my old favorite places are still there, though, from the Grove Cafe, to my freshman year dorm, Cabrillo Hall. I spent some time in the bookstore, buying some sweatshirts and a t-shirt, and then just spent a couple of hours walking around. It made me very happy.
My friend Mark, who I went to high school and college with, came to see the show on Friday night with his wife Molly. Mark and I did a bit of theater together in high school, but we really got to know each other in college, when I stage-managed a production of “Sweeney Todd” that Mark directed. It was so nice to see him again – it had been at least ten years since we last saw each other, and I loved meeting Molly. She and Mark seem like a great couple. One of the best things about this tour has been being able to reconnect with friends in other cities who I haven’t seen in forever. Hopefully it won’t be another ten years before I see Mark again!
On Saturday we had two shows, and the presenters at the theater threw us a BBQ between shows out in the theater courtyard. It was a really fun way to finish out our stay in town.
On Sunday we played our last two shows, and then it was home to pack. I left early Monday morning and drove to Sunnyvale, where I am staying at my parents’ house for the week while we play San Jose.
It was a fantastic week in San Diego, albeit too short. I hope I get to go back really soon. I miss it a lot. In a way, I like it that way though – San Diego remains for me a fairytale place of simple, happy times. That’s how I like to remember it.