I don’t really know how to even start writing about last week, because it sucked royally. Nothing against Eugene, but the events that happened while we were there have changed my experience on this tour forever. And that’s a damn shame, because up until now it was one of the best experiences of my life, and although I am so grateful and blessed to have seen all the places I have seen over the last two years and the opportunity I have been given in this job, now I am heartbroken. And I won’t ever forget that, or likely forgive. And I hate that that has clouded over all the good that there has been. Because there has been a lot of good.
The return to the lower 48 from Alaska was great. Ryan and I chose to stay the night in Seattle instead of journeying on to Eugene right away. We had a great afternoon and evening, revisiting some of the places that we had loved when we played Seattle a year and a half ago. We had lunch at Serious Pie, which has some of the best-tasting, most innovative pizzas I have ever eaten. We shared a yummy clam pizza with lemon-thyme sauce. So, so good. That afternoon we walked around the Pike Place Market and bought some pasta to take with us to Oregon. We drove over to the Apple Store so that I could get a new iPhone (my old one was crushed in Alaska). It was nice to have to drive to the Apple Store, because it meant driving past the University of Washington campus, which I had never seen before. What a gorgeous place to go to school! That night we revisited Six Arms, a McMenamins bar that we had spent a lot of time at during our previous three week stay in town. I’m happy to report that there is still a Killer Rabbit sticker in the kitchen at Six Arms!
In the morning we got up and drove to Belltown, our old ‘hood, to meet Bret for brunch at the Boat Street Cafe. We had a delicious meal there and it was so nice to see Bret again before heading out of town.
We began driving south on Sunday afternoon, stopping when we got to Portland. We drove immediately over to Powell’s Books, where we spent well over an hour browsing through the shelves and shelves of books. It is literally impossible to get in and out of Powell’s in under an hour, and also equally as impossible to walk out empty-handed. Ryan and I both made some purchases!
After Powell’s, we realized it was getting a bit late, so instead of doing any more walking around, we drove over to Sushiville on 23rd, our favorite sushi boat restaurant anywhere. We totally pigged out. Sushiville has the best variety of sushi and they have desserts! And the prices are so reasonable, you can really eat a good meal for under 20 bucks. After we were sufficiently stuffed, we got back in the car and continued the drive down to Eugene. I wish we could have stayed in Portland longer – I love that town so much. We arrived in Eugene pretty late, but just in time to run across the street from the hotel to North Bank, another McMenamins bar, to buy some beer and a bottle of wine to take back to our room. Score!
The hotel in Eugene, the Residence Inn, was super, super nice! We often stay at Residence Inns, but this one had just recently been renovated, and so the decor was very modern and colorful and chic. We had splurged on a two-bedroom to have more space, and it was basically a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. Really, really nice. I like to write about the hotels here to have a record, in case I ever tour again. I’ll be able to look back and remember where the nice places were to stay!
On Monday, we had all day before Ryan had to be at work for load-in. We went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on groceries for the week, and drove around downtown to get the lay of the land. Eugene is a college town, housing the University of Oregon, and is full of bars, restaurants and cute shops. College towns are the best. After Ryan went to work, I went for a long walk along the river, which was right across the street from the hotel. There is a trail that runs for miles and miles along the riverbank, and I had a great time taking photos and watching people fish in the river and walk the trail. I *might* even have taken a self-portrait to kick off my 2nd year of 365 days 🙂
Tuesday was when everything went wrong. Load-in was fine. The theater was a bit on the small side, but everything fit. The show that evening was fine. All status quo.
After the show, Ryan was told his contract with the show was being terminated.
Now I can’t talk about what happened, or what went down, or how messed up the whole situation is, because this is a public blog and anyone can read it. All I can say is that I am heartbroken, Ryan is blindsided and devastated, and that my experience out here will never be the same. Ryan is my best friend. We have both been working our asses off on this show for two and a half years. Its terribly disappointing and hurtful to have it end this way for him.
I want to write more, but I can’t. I thought about not writing about it at all, but how could I not? How could Ryan just disappear from this journey without anyone having questions? And this IS the story of my journey, and this happening is a big part of that story. I’m just so sad to be losing him. And I find the prospect of having to start using the pronoun “I” instead of “We” incredibly hard.
So needless to say, not much sleep was had on Tuesday, and Wednesday was all about trying to clean up the mess. We did get out finally for a walk along the river late in the day, and I’m glad we did. It was beautiful out and it was nice to clear out heads.
On Thursday I had rehearsal all day, and then after the show we went out for drinks at the North Bank. It was nice spending time with some of our friends from the show. If nothing else, this experience has really made it crystal clear who our friends are out here, and who really are not friends at all.
On Friday Ryan and I drove over to Hendricks Park, a big green space just east of campus. We spent a couple of hours walking the trails there and wandering around the Rhododendron garden. Eugene is so, so green and lush. This was an amazing time of year to be there.
On Saturday morning we got up early enough to make it downtown for the Saturday Market, which is a farmer’s market/craft fair in downtown Eugene each weekend. It was dreary and rainy outside, which was a bit of a drag, but we still managed to make it through all the craft booths before work, despite having to take cover from the rain here and there. Ryan bought me a bracelet made out of spoon handles, and also a wind chime made out of old pieces of silverware – I love them both!
We had two shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. After the show on Sunday, I drove over to Prince Puckler’s, an ice cream shop that my friend Fin had recommended to me (she went to school at U of O) – I had a scoop of the mandarin chocolate and a scoop of the banana brownie – delicious!!
And with that, load-out began. I was on a bus all day the next day to Spokane, Washington, where Ryan will have his last week with the tour.
I have a feeling I may be a bit sad for a while, peeps. Sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. It’s weird to think about the months ahead without my best friend with me. I’m just thankful that the cities coming up – Denver, San Francisco, LA and San Diego are filled with so many family members and dear friends from my “real life” – – I need to escape the bubble for a while.