Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's blog! Not to worry, nothing is wrong. This week's blog title comes from Led Zeppelin's Goin' To California. It's my first time out here since we left Los Angeles in June of 2012; crazy to think that much time has passed. But, the weather certainly welcomed us back with open arms. And though I wasn't feeling all that well for much of the week, I do have SOME things to tell you about the week. Nothing horribly exciting, but still.
We flew into LAX on Monday afternoon, and took the bus for about an hour to the LA suburb, Thousand Oaks. We had rental cars, but there was also a mall very close by. Brad and I headed there to do a little shopping, and to grab a burger at Red Robin. That night, Cody flew in to rejoin tour, as did James' wife Tara and his son Sam. It felt a lot like the "old days", but in the best possible way. Everyone loves Cody, just as they love being "aunts and uncles' of sorts to little Sam. That night I started to not feel all that well. Not sick really....well, sorta. I had felt a sore spot in my throat, and had some nasal congestion, but mostly my head just felt swimmy.
I woke up Tuesday and felt all of that, but a bit worse. And though the weather was beautiful, I laid pretty low so I could start to feel a bit better. We drove to the theatre that night for the first of a full week of shows in Thousand Oaks, and to be honest, we were a little underwhelmed by the audience. It was moderately full, but they didn't seem to respond to us all that much. However, every single night got better, and fuller, and by the end of the week we couldn't believe we had been in the same city as that first show. I laid low again on Wednesday, and the show that night was markedly better than the night before. We started our bi-annual collections for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids that evening, and we were blown away by not only the audience's response, but by their generosity.
I was feeling a bit better on Thursday, but I also had a night off to look forward to. Frace was being swung on for me that night, so though I had to be at the theatre, I could take a night off from being Mr. Cash. I spent most of the day getting a few things for Frace's "opening night" as Cash, and I also stopped by this gorgeous spot directly across from the theatre, Gardens of the World. A seemingly endless amount of acreage housed some of the most beautiful, well cared for, and culturally expansive gardens I've ever seen. I took a ton of pictures, and though I still wasn't feeling great, being out in the fresh air certainly made me feel a lot better. I headed to the theatre with Frace's gifts that night, and with very little fanfare we celebrated our 600th show of tour. It's crazy to think we've been on tour that long; though I had only done a handful of shows in the 553 shows we did in the first 2 years, it is still pretty amazing to be a part of a show that has been running this long. The longest run of a show I've ever done was 80 shows, so this is quite a different experience. It was also really fun to be able to sit out and watch the show. I've seen it hundreds of times, but now that I'm on every night, it is a very different thing to sit back and watch my boys do the show. It makes me glad I am a part of it, and that I am blessed to do the show every night. After the show, a college buddy of Frace's and a mutual friend/colleague, Kevin Hoffman, came to visit. We had a great night talking and reminiscing about old times. It was an awesome end to an even better day.
I was feeling very motivated to do some "work" in my room on Friday, and I also was starting to feel quite a bit better. But I really wanted to take care of some little things like laundry, sorting and scanning receipts for taxes, and doing a little work for my Walkin' The Line show that I will be performing in Arizona for a day on our Christmas layoff. More on that later. The show went extremely well that night, and afterward the boys and I hung out for a bit.
Saturday was a bit of a whirlwind, as we had 2 shows, BC/EFA collections, I packed some things in my trunk in between shows, and tried to track down an undeliverable FedEx package. David went on as Brother Jay that afternoon, and both shows went extremely well yet again. Sunday was a bit of a whirlwind again, but at least we got out early that evening. Rob's 21st birthday was the next day, so at midnight, the majority of the cast and his family met at a local restaurant to help him celebrate at midnight. The crew got out of their load out in almost record time, and almost all of them came by as well. His parents and sister are lovely people, and we could definitely tell that they are awfully proud of him.
We actually had a day off on Monday! So, I decided to take the car and see a few sights as well as visit our first Carl Perkins on tour, Lee Ferris, and his fiancé Hannah. Frace, Rob and Kelly piled in the car with me, and we took the scenic drive through Malibu, stopping at the Santa Monica Pier along the way. A bit touristy and carnival-esque, but I'm really glad we got to see it. After that, we took a short drive to Lee's house. My boys got to meet him, and Kelly and I were able to do some much needed catching up. He and Hannah are doing exceptionally well, and though he made a decision not to come back on tour, we really do miss him. After a home cooked meal and a lot of laughs, we headed back to the hotel, and settled in for the night.
We jumped on the bus on Tuesday, and continued our 5 week trip around California...which brings us to present day. So, I will leave the rest for next time. I hope this blog finds everyone well, and tune in for more Cali news next week!