Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Athens (not Greece), Columbia (not the country) and a visit from a red dirt Alabama country boy's son

A new shot of me taken by local press!

The old State House in Athens, GA

The only double-barreled Civil War cannon in existence

On the campus of UGA in Athens, GA

The Classic Center in Athens

The Koger Center in Columbia, SC

The Old State House in Columbia, SC

The Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL

My friend Elizabeth Savage and I after she saw the show in Athens

Reunited with my old Christmas Carol tourmate Scott Herr in Columbia

Frace with Sam Phillips' son Jerry in Huntsville

Hey kids! Hope y'all are doing well! Our jet set lifestyle continues as we snake around the country rockin' and rollin' the whole way! Here's what this past week brought:

After 12 long days of travel and shows every night, Sunday brought a rare travel day without a performance. And let me tell you, we all needed it. We still had quite a bit of travel, as we had to bus from Flint to Detroit, fly from there to Atlanta, and drive the rest of the way to Athens, GA. I was just looking forward to sitting back, relaxing and watching the Super Bowl that evening. When we moved into our hotel I was both pleased and surprised to find that I had an adjoining living room (pictured above); perfect for watching the Super Bowl and entertaining. I started affectionately referring to it as the Board Room, because of it's cork board and white board displays. After settling in and making plans to enjoy the confines of my huge room, Frace and I went in search of food, opting to stay at the hotel for a salad in the restaurant while watching the beginning of the game. The endgame was to move to the Board Room and order pizza later on. I had a surprisingly great salad, as did he, and we moved the "party" up to my room. Later in the game, Brad, Patrick and Corey all stopped by. It was a pretty great way to spend the end of a travel day, and we had a full day to look forward to the next day!  

I decided to spend my day off on Monday by wandering around downtown Athens, and by touring the campus of the University of Georgia. I started out be heading for lunch with Frace at Yummy Pho, where we got exactly that; some very tasty Pho. We walked around a few of the shops in the area before heading across the historic campus. We were able to see the UGA football stadium, and I even stopped in the bookstore to buy a Georgia shirt; one of many college shirts I have been buying lately. After walking around and taking a bunch of pictures, I headed back to my room to chill for a bit. I met up with Brad and Frace for a late dinner at a cool little place called Trappeze as we awaited Cody's return to tour. After dinner we adjourned to the bar and talked to a delightful man who told us all he knew about craft beers through his years of traveling the country. Once Cody arrived, we went to a divey little place called The Roadhouse, and then ended up back in my "boardroom". 

Tuesday was a little cold and rainy, so after venturing out to get Pho and Starbucks, I spent the rest of the day in the confines of my room. After quite a bit of time off it was actually really nice to return to work. The Classic Center was quite nice (pictured above), and it was pretty surreal to know that I would be doing the show with Lee AND Cody again; it was like old home week. The audience was quite good, and afterward we had a wonderful reception in their grand lobby. I was also able to see my friend Elizabeth (pictured above) and her father, having not seen them since we met in Atlanta almost a year ago. A few of us ventured to the Roadhouse for a bit again, and again adjourned to my room to enjoy it for the last time before heading out in the morning. 

We had a pretty late call time for the bus on Wednesday, which meant we could sleep in. It was a short drive to Columbia, so we had quite a bit of time at the hotel before we had to head to work. Another big, beautiful theatre, and a fantastic audience to match. I had 4 friends in the house that night; my friends Kira, Sarah and Matt were in from Greenville, and my old friend Scott (above) lives in Columbia now. We had fun reminiscing and grabbing a bite to eat later that night at the Flying Saucer.

Thursday was both pretty laid back and busy. I planned to send out a box of things back home, so I had to assemble everything and take it a few blocks to FedEx. Then I walked around the USC campus and old state house grounds seeing the sights and taking a ton of pictures. Once at work, we welcomed Johnny Kinnaird to the fold. He had been the Cash/Sam cover in both Chicago and for a time Off-Broadway, so he was no stranger to the show. We had met briefly before, but it was nice to see him again and welcome him to our tour family for two weeks. Another great show that night and a trip to the Flying Saucer again, this time with my friends as well as Robby and Frace. We geared up for the early call the next day, and made it an early night. 

The drive to Huntsville, AL on Friday was quite long, and when we got in we realized there were very few food options close by. Thankfully there was a Ruth's Chris steakhouse in the lobby, so I grabbed a tasty salad before making the cold yet short walk to work. The Von Braun Center (above) was packed that night, and the audience was again fantastic. The majority of the cast and crew met in the lobby at the steakhouse after the show for some food and fun. 

Saturday brought 2 shows, but with a very special guest at the matinee. Sam Phillips' son Jerry (above) came to see us with quite a few members of his family. It was really nice to see him, after he had come to see us previously in our second trip to Memphis last year. Both shows went extremely well, and we again chilled in Ruth's Chris that evening.

I don't know why, but I was insanely tired all day on Sunday; perhaps the hectic schedule was just catching up to me. I tried to rest as best I could in between shows after grabbing another salad, and somehow I found the steam to make it through the second show that evening. I stayed at the bar for a bit before heading up to get some long overdue rest that night.  

Though hectic, it was a pretty great week full of friends, great audiences and some nice surroundings. This blog is overdue more than usual due to some problems with my web browsers and internet at my current hotel. So, there will be another one on it's way soon! Thanks for tuning in, and make sure to check back soon!

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