Back to where it all began…

On Wednesday, Eric, Lila and I went to visit our friends at the Broadway company of “Rock of Ages”. It was great to see everyone and we were able to take a family photo in front of the Bourbon Room bar, bringing us full circle. Eric and I met and fell in love on the “Rock of Ages” tour, I toured with the show until I was 23 weeks pregnant and then worked on the Broadway production until I was 33 weeks pregnant. Lila is a rock baby through and through!

We had a great day in the city. Lila was so good – she slept most of the day! She had a lot of firsts: first time in Penn Station, first time on the subway, first time in Times Square, first time on a Broadway stage, first crazy person experience on the subway, first time witnessing an arrest on the subway…a perfect New York day!

Finishing the Tour

Its been a whirlwind few weeks and I am so behind on posting here, so this is likely to be a long entry. I am home in New York now, finally getting settled after closing “Rock of Ages” a week ago.

After the last lay-off, we played one week in Atlanta at the Fox Theater. It was really hot and humid in Atlanta, so there wasn’t a whole lot of venturing outside. Eric and I mostly stayed put in our hotel. We did go out one day, though, to the aquarium. Atlanta has a great aquarium, and Eric had never been – so we braved the heat and spent an afternoon there.

At the Georgia Aquarium

On Friday of that week, I was completely surprised and blown away by a baby shower thrown for us at a bar across the street from the hotel. Eric was in on the whole thing, so he lured me over there, telling me we were having lunch with a friend of his from college. Even when the bartender totally blew the cover by asking us if we were there for the baby shower, I still didn’t catch on. It was such a nice afternoon and I am so grateful to all my coworkers for celebrating with us and being so generous with presents – my gosh! A number of the big items on our baby registry were purchased for us – the carseat, stroller, high chair. I couldn’t believe it! We also got some very cute clothes – our little rocker baby is going to be decked out in style!

Me and Eric at our baby shower

Putting on my "new mom" tiara

Rockin' baby duds

New mom tiara

On Saturday morning before the matinee, I met up with Carrie, one of my crafty friends who I “met” online through Flickr and Ravelry a couple of years ago. When I came to Atlanta with “Spamalot” in 2009, I met up with Carrie and her twin sister Cathy in person for the first time – they came to the show and we went out to lunch. In the past two years a lot has happened – Carrie and Cathy have both had babies, and now I am expecting my own!  I was so excited to meet Carrie’s little boy, Charlie, when we met for breakfast at The Flying Biscuit. It was so nice spending time with them both and getting to bend Carrie’s ear about babies and being a mom. Charlie is such a cutie, and he was enamored of all the neighborhood dogs walking by the restaurant 🙂

Carrie and Charlie

I finished the weekend off in Atlanta taking some photos of our two gorgeous Sherrie understudies, Holly and Angela. Elicia, who normally plays Sherrie, was out sick with strep throat, so I took the opportunity to take some photos of the girls getting ready for their respective shows, as it would likely be their last time going on in that role.

Holly getting ready to go on as "Sherrie"

Angela getting ready to go on as "Sherrie"

For being such a huge house (it seats almost 5000), we actually had a great week at the Fox…but it was time to move on to our final stop of the tour – Washington, DC!

I had hoped for some respite from the heat in DC, but no such luck. I think it was actually even hotter and more humid there, than in Atlanta, if you can believe it. The crew came back from load-in at the National on Monday night with horror stories of the air conditioning being out all day. We came in on Tuesday morning to a terribly hot theater. It turns out that the a/c hadn’t yet been set to “summer mode”. It took all day for the building to cool down – in the meantime, our props department thankfully went out and bought fans for all the rooms, including our office. Being hot and pregnant is no fun.

The weather stayed hot the whole two weeks we were in town. It was very hard to be outside. Luckily DC has a lot of indoor things to do, with all their amazing museums. Eric and I went to the Air and Space Museum one day, and another day we went to the Newseum, which I loved. The Newseum is dedicated to the history of the press in this country, and there were so many amazing exhibits, from Photo of the Year, to the Pulitzer Prize Photography Gallery, to exhibits about Katrina and 9-11. It actually took Eric and I two days to get through the whole museum (luckily tickets are good for two consecutive days). I definitely recommend going if you are ever in DC.

We picked the mildest day we could to walk around the National Mall and take photos of all the monuments (and by mild, it was maybe 92 instead of 102 degrees!).

At the Vietnam Memorial

The National Mall (with under construction reflecting pool)

At the base of the Washington monument

Our last week in DC was all about gearing up for “the end”. I spent hours working on a slideshow for everyone of all the photos I have taken over this past year on the road. I set it to music, and then Eric helped me convert it to DVD format, and then we spent a few days making copies for everyone in the company as a goodbye present.

Judi, our company manager, asked me to take photos of everyone in the company “waving goodbye”. She got prints made of all of them and then pinned them all to the callboard midway through our last week. It was nice seeing everyone’s faces up there, and a little sad, too. Eric also worked on a project for Judi – he made a collage of photos of everyone in the cast, which she had printed and framed for each of us.

The Rock of Ages crew, taken the last week of the tour

On the Thursday night before closing, we had our closing party. It was a fun night of drinks and italian food, and we put my slideshow on the flat screen over the bar. Some of our crazy “Rock of Ages” fans were there, too. We couldn’t finish out the run without Goldi-roxx, our crazy blonde-wig, hot-pants wearing fan, who came to almost every performance in San Francisco, Denver, and now DC.

Joey and Holly at the closing party

Keith and Patrick at the closing party

Jamie and Amy at the closing party

Goldi-roxx and Patrick at the closing party

The closing night performance was pretty awesome. We had small houses the last two weeks in DC, so to have the final night filled with screaming fans was great. There were a few minor shenanigans onstage, but mostly everyone behaved and just really enjoyed the last show. The whole cast and crew came out onstage at the end – it was a lovely ending to the run. After the show we all congregated at a bar near our hotel in Georgetown for one last round (or rounds) of drinks before saying goodbye and heading our separate ways.

It has definitely been a challenging ten months with this show – there were lots of ups and also lots of downs. But for the most part, the people that I traveled with, were a fun-loving, generous, hilarious, awesome bunch, and I will miss them.

Some pics from closing night:

Joey, Lauralyn, Holly and Patrick at "places"

Rashad blowing me a kiss

Jon and Erika hugging at "places"

Getting ready to melt some faces for the last time

Watching the show from backstage

The end of Act One

Constantine taking in the roar of the audience (this was a standing ovation DURING Act 1)

Curtain Call

Teresa and Chris during the curtain call

 

Constantine thanking the fans at the end of the show

Skibic rocking out

So now I am back in New York and starting to try and get things ready for the baby. We are still in a bit of a holding pattern when it comes to moving, but at least we can start buying things and making things now 🙂 I have a couple of knitting projects underway and am planning a quilt, and Eric is designing a dresser that he is going to build for the nursery. Slowly but surely, we are getting it together.

It’s hard to believe only a week has passed since closing the show. Its been such a busy week of unpacking and checking things off the “to do” list. I even went and worked two shows at “Rock of Ages” Broadway, where I’m going to be subbing for a little bit (until I am too large to fit backstage!).

My parents and brother come tomorrow for a five-day visit, then next week Eric and I are going to his family’s house upstate for a few days. The week after that I am at “Rock of Ages” Broadway for a week covering someone’s vacation. The time is going to speed by until the baby’s born, I just know it.

I leave you with a few baby-related photos.

Baby's first sweater - knit by me

Cradle made by Eric's dad

Crib used by Eric as a baby, now to be used for our baby!

Me, at 23 weeks pregnant, getting ready for the closing party.

Denver

My dear friend Tanya met me in Houston on Saturday the 11th and we took off for Denver the next day. It’s a long ride to Denver from Houston – something like 20-22 hours, so I was happy to have Tanya with me. We also hadn’t seen each other in about a year and a half – funnily enough the last time we were together was also in Houston, and we were both staying at the same Hyatt as this time (when I stopped to see her on my road trip after “Spamalot” – she was in Houston with “Mary Poppins”). So we had plenty to catch up on, making a long car ride kind of perfect.

We stopped for the first night in Amarillo, TX. and had our very own Tony Awards party at a La Quinta motel complete with takeout from Denny’s. We are classy ladies 🙂 The next day we hit the road early only to run into a giant forest fire on the border of New Mexico and Colorado – and the freeway we needed to get on was closed. I was really happy Tanya was with me because I probably would have had a melt-down if I had been alone when I realized we had to do a 135 mile detour to get around the fire! It added a couple of hours onto the trip, but we did manage to get to Denver safely around dinner-time. We made dinner with Eric at the Residence Inn and I tried (but failed) to stay awake with him until he had to go to work at 2:30am (for a 3am load-in – oy!).

Fire on the border of New Mexico and Colorado

Load-in was kind of a tedious one, unfortunately. Because of the long distance between Houston and Denver, the crew worked from 3am (when the trucks arrived) straight through to the show on Tuesday night. All hopes of getting an afternoon nap in were dashed when a big support piece on the set broke while being unloaded from the truck. It had to be mended, which delayed the set going in, which therefore delayed everything else. It took right up until the dinner break to get everything in and ready for the show. My friend Tiffany, who is an old friend from college, stopped by the theater in the afternoon with her kids Ava and Seamus, so I took a little break and showed them around. It was fun seeing Ava get so excited about being in the theater – Tiffany is convinced she is going to be an actress.

The next day was our regular “day after load-in day of rest”, but on Thursday I got up and went and had the most awesome prenatal massage from Regina at Harmony’s Family. I highly recommend her if you are looking for a good place for prenatal massage in Denver. My back is all jacked up from having those two herniated discs last year, and Regina also told me that my hips are exceptionally tight – probably from all the driving I do – which is not helping my lower back issues. She did such an amazing job loosening me up! I’m searching and searching for a place like Harmony’s Family in NYC – not only do they offer specifically prenatal massage, but also acupuncture for pregnant women (which I was told could help with my blood pressure), doula services and childbirth classes. Anybody know of a place like this in NYC? I haven’t had any luck with googling. There just aren’t enough hippies in NYC for cool businesses like this. I realized that when I first moved there and went in search of a spa like the ones I used to go to in Santa Cruz, that are new agey, hippie places with hot tubs and are all about relaxation. In NYC the spas are all about beauty treatments and are way more clinical than new agey. And I have yet to find a spa in NYC where you can  get a private hot tub in addition to your other treatments. Anyway! I really do want to find somewhere at home where I can continue with the prenatal massage and also try out acupuncture (specifically for mamas) – so if anyone has any recommendations, please message me!

After my massage I went and had lunch with Tiffany, Ava and Seamus at their house. They had gotten a little birthday cake for me. It was fun hanging out for the afternoon in their yard. Both of the kids have gotten so big since the last time I saw them!

Birthday cake from Ava and Seamus

Ava

 

Seamus

Friday was my birthday and I really wanted to do something outdoors. The weather was a bit sketchy, but Eric, Travis and I decided to brave it and head up to Red Rocks for a hike. The clouds cleared up after we got there and it ended up being beautiful. We ran into some other co-workers up there, but mostly had a really nice, quiet afternoon. We even ran into a group of very tame deer who let us get really close to take their pictures!

Red Rocks

Eric taking photos

Eric on the trail

Three bucks!

A doe

 

Hiking on the trail

Travis on the trail

Friends from work, stopped for lunch

After getting back from Red Rocks, we got cleaned up and Eric took me out for a birthday dinner at Tamayo, a Mexican/South American restaurant near the theater. It was delicious!

It was the normal four-show weekend, and then Monday was rainy and gloomy. We had been thinking about taking the train up to Pike’s Peak, but I read online that pregnant women should really avoid going above 12,000 feet. I was going to call my doctor and ask about it (Eric said the doctors probably think I’m crazy since I am always calling with some random question like “can I climb a mountain today?” – ha ha) but since the weather ended up being crappy we decided to scrap the idea. Good thing, too – we had some friends from work who went up there and they said it was 17 degrees, snowing and zero visibility at the top. Seeing as I sent my winter coat home already, that wouldn’t have been too fun. We stayed in Denver instead. I went to the mall and bought some maternity jeans – my regular pants have finally stopped fitting! Then Eric and I went to REI to look around (didn’t buy anything though). Eric then went to the butcher with our friend Brad and they bought some giant steaks. We ended up grilling out at the hotel that night which was fun and super yummy.

The next day was gorgeous, so Eric and I got up early and headed down to Colorado Springs to Garden of the Gods. The last time I was there it was overcast, so it was nice to see it in a different light. We took a bunch of photos of all the rock formations and drove around the whole park a number of times. Afterwards we had lunch in cute Manitou Springs before heading back to Denver for the show that night.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Pike's Peak in the distance

On Thursday I met up with Janann and April, two friends from ACT days, for lunch at a great vegetarian restaurant called Watercourse. It was so awesome to see them both. Two really great girls. I wish I were able to see them more often then every couple of years!

Now we are headed into the weekend and I am trying to wrap my head around packing. We have a lay-off week next week, so Eric and I are spending three days driving my car back to New York. We are trying to load it up with as much stuff as possible to take home now. Trying to really lighten the load and get by with the bare minimum for our last three weeks on tour. I’ll be flying to the last two stops – Atlanta and Washington DC, so I have to make sure my suitcases are both underweight. I’ve filled my footlocker (which travels on the truck) with cat supplies that previously lived in the car. I can’t believe we are almost done with this tour! In some ways it seems like it has flown by, and in other ways it seems like it has gone on forever.

I have two doctors appointments next week – one is another ultrasound, so hopefully we can confirm the sex of the baby. Things are still going great – I think I have felt the baby move a couple of times now, but still not regularly. My blood pressure, according to my monitor anyway, seems to be normal. I had an anxiety dream the other night that I went into labor and we still had not bought one single thing for the baby. I think I am really anxious about getting home and starting to get things ready! I have bought exactly two onesies, but that’s it! We are getting a registry organized on Amazon, though, so I am at least “window shopping”. Excited to actually start getting some baby stuff into the apartment , though!

That’s all for now – will keep you posted with news from New York next week!

Dallas

At the Dallas Farmer's Market

At the Dallas Farmer's Market

With Suzanne at the Good Cafe

One of Suzanne's horses

Another of Suzanne's horses

Down the road from Suzanne's

Winsboro, TX.

Suzanne's ranch

The horses

Winsboro, TX.

Winsboro, TX.

A neighboring house

Walking around Winsboro

Morning on Suzanne's porch

Church in downtown Dallas

Most Handsome Men gig

Most Handsome Men gig at Club Dada

Most Handsome Men gig at Club Dada

Maddox, one of our guitar players

Winspear Opera House

Winspear Opera House