Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oh, Canada, that little town of Bethlehem, my least favorite state, and The Big Apple

Centre In The Square, Kitchener, ON

Cash played here in the late 60's, and is immortalized on a mural in the green room

The Martin Guitar Factory, Nazareth, PA

These guitars are $100,000 a piece...yes....100 grand

The Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem, PA

A rear view of the State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ

The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Brookeville, NY

Me and Cash

Bradley, Jake and I in Ontario

A cool building near our hotel in Kitchener

That's a lot of Jameson, Jack.  At the Duty Free shop on the Canadian border 

Gabe and Friends in New Brunswick, NJ

Our view of the Big Apple on our way to Brookeville

A great pic of the boys and m'am at sound check in Brookeville, NY

Hey kids!  I hope everyone is staying warm in these frigid temperatures!  Seems like no matter where we or are friends are, everyone is getting smacked with winter weather.  These week took us across the border into Canada, and to 3 other cities along the way.  As usual, we are busy, busy, busy, but here's what we have been up to!

After our frigid day off in Rochester, we boarded the bus on Tuesday to make our way to Kitchener, ON.  We had very little trouble crossing the border thankfully, and after a quick stop at a welcome center for food, we made the rest of our way to our final destination.  We got in in the late afternoon, and were pleased to find we were staying at a sparkling clean, almost brand new hotel.  I braved the cold weather to walk to a lovely little coffee shop, and laid low for a while before Frace and Justin shuttled us to the theatre for the first of two shows at the Centre In The Square (above).  The show went quite well, and we were impressed from the response of the crowd.  Later, a few of us headed to a place across from our hotel, Crabby Joe's for a bit and a little wind down.  Some friends of friends were there to meet Jake, Brad and I (they took the picture above), so it was a nice night of hanging out and meeting some new people.  

Wednesday brought Thunderstudy rehearsal, so I made my way to the theatre with everyone to do one of the first runs they have been able to do as a group on stage in quite a while.  It all went extremely well, and following the show I got a lovely grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup near our hotel.  I got a little cat nap in, and then it was time to make our way back to the theatre for our evening show.  Another great audience followed, and the majority of us met back at Crabby's for a bite to eat and cocktail before heading to bed.  

Thursday morning came quite early, and we made our way on the bus back into the states.  I have to say, though I enjoy traveling, it's always nice to come back to the states.  We made a quick stop at the duty free shop on the border, where I was dumbfounded by the GIANT bottle of Jameson they had (above).  I later learned that Lou bought one....glad someone didn't let it go to waste.  The drive took most of the day and we didn't get into Bethlehem until the evening.  Our old standby, Ruby Tuesday was a short walk away, so I headed there for a bite once I had settled in, and then hung out with some of the boys that night before getting some rest.  

Years ago I had visited the Martin Guitar Factory (above) in Nazareth, PA, and given that we were so close to it with time off, I wrangled a few people to join me on Friday afternoon.  I did an interview for the Bangor Daily News, one of my home state's papers, and then David, Skye, Jake, Frace and Bradley headed with me to the factory.  They had quite a few people waiting for tours, so we opted to go get lunch while we waited.  We headed back, browsed the gift shop for a bit, and were on our tour in no time.  The love and craftsmanship that goes into making their guitars is pretty amazing.  We even got to see the beginnings of the D-100 (above); each guitar sells for $100,000.  After taking the hour tour, we visited the museum in the lobby and then headed home.  Everyone was glad we had been able to take the trip, and we headed home for a bit of a rest before the show that evening.  Another great audience greeted us in Bethlehem at the Zoellner Arts Center (above), and we had a very pleasant meet and greet after with quite a few of the patrons.  Then, it was time to head home for some rest.  

Saturday brought another busy day with a drive into a double, as we made our way to New Brunswick, NJ.  Once settled, we had a bit of time to find food and head to the State Theatre (above) for the first of two shows amidst a snow storm (what else is new).  The matinee went very well, (despite the fact that NJ isn't exactly my favorite state) and in between shows we were all invited to join one of our producers, Erica for a meal.  The snow continued, and though I wanted to join everyone, I opted to get some Chipotle with Jake and head back to the hotel for a moment of rest and to get some things to put in my trunk.  We headed back to the theatre for the evening show, and after another great one, we had a meet and greet with some familiar faces (above).  After driving through a legitimate blizzard to get back to the hotel, all I had in mind was a bite to eat at YET ANOTHER Ruby Tuesday, and to stay out of the bitter cold.  

The last day of our week started with us awaking to -15 degree temperatures for our drive to Brookeville, NY on Long Island.  We were all a bit teased by the fact that we drove through New York City (above) on our way, and certainly made most of us miss the city.  We landed at our hotel and were greeted with howling winds and equally bitter cold.  I walked close by to get some dinner at a diner, and after a bit of a nap we all piled in three cars and headed to The Tilles Center For The Performing Arts (above) for our one and only show there.  It was a surprisingly good show, despite an arena-like venue that had some technical limitations.  Following the show most of us braved the cold with some cast member's friends in tow for a bite to eat at the diner close by.  Then it was time to hibernate and stay out of the negative temperatures.  

It was another busy week friends, and the next proves to be the same.  I am finishing this blog from the comfort of my hotel room in Bangor, ME after a challenging and long week.  I hope this finds you all well, and that you will tune in to see my next blog!  Thanks for reading! 

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