What I’ve done for fun, Part IV!!! – July 14, 2009

Sooo… yeah. I’ve been slacking, to say the LEAST! Right now I’m in Canada, but I’m JUST NOW posting blogs about Tempe, which was 7 months ago! Yikes. Well, please forgive my late entries, but I WILL catch up! Until then, please enjoy these back-dated blogs.

~ ~ ~

After yet another week of rehearsals, my friend Kelly, who I met on my cruise ship three years ago when I was a dancer and she was a spa girl, came to Phoenix. She happens to be from the area and was in town to visit her family anyway, so the next Monday she took me out to see the town. I didn’t have a car most of the time, beyond my rentals during my days off, and I don’t know the area at all, so I hadn’t seen most of Phoenix or the surrounding cities of Scottsdale and Mesa. We borrowed her mom’s gorgeous Audi convertible and got to see most of the cities most interesting areas. My favorite was the area around Camelback Mountain. The view even from the side of the mountain was breath taking, the houses on the mountain itself were ridiculously gorgeous. (I think I know where I want that mansion built, when Levi can buy me one! Hehe!)

 Dinner with Kelly and Family 010

Crusin’ with the top down!

That night we had dinner at Kelly’s mom’s house with her family, who were so much fun and lovely to be around. Remember that all I had at my disposal in my hotel room was a coffee maker, and making my ramen was a daily routine for me. So when Kelly’s mom whipped up a HOME-COOKED meal, I was ecstatic! It was delicious, of course, and after we all dozed full of good food watching Little Britain.

Dinner with Kelly and Family 017A yummy, food-coma-inducing dinner!

 It was my last week of rehearsals before I went into the show, and since my best friend Yadhira was coming for my opening day, Levi came the weekend before to see Sedona and some ghost towns. I was SO excited for him to come meet everyone and see what ‘life on the road’ was like.

 Weekend with Levi 018YIPPIE! A visit from LEVI!

 We had a day in Tempe to kill before we could head to Sedona, because I still had a rehearsal to get to, so we hiked Camelback mountain, which was really fun and beautiful, to watch the sunset. 

 
Weekend with Levi 006

Weekend with Levi 047

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hiking Duo!

 

Weekend with Levi 039A beautiful sunset made all that hard work worthwhile!

 The next day we set out for Sedona and saw all the sites there. (most of which I had seen the first time I visited, but I wanted to share with him!)

Weekend with Levi 078Levi taking in Sedona’s beauty

 Sedona is really famous for it’s “vortexes,” which are basically mountains that have a certain concentration of energy around it, or something in hippy-talk like that. (hehe) So after we saw all the beautiful rock formations around Sedona. we hiked up one of these vortexes to watch the sun set. It was really beautiful, and there was a young girl sitting on a blanket with tarot cards spread out before her. Curious, I asked what she was doing, and she replied that she was reading cards for donations. I don’t usually hike with a purse, so I felt bad that I didn’t have any money to donate, but she was bored and offered to read my cards anyway. I really don’t subscribe to psychics or mediums, but I thought it was the perfect things to do on a self-described “vortex” mountain! What she told me, though, was quite interesting! I just sat down across from her and didn’t tell her anything, and she proceeded to tell me things that I found very pertinent to my life! For example, one of the major themes of the reading was how I’ve just made a huge change in my life (Could she have been referring to my moving from my hometown to live life on the road?) and that I’ve made the right decision. (Could she have been alluding to my worries that I had left behind Disney and all my friends forever?) She said that I would emerge from this new endeavor a changed person, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. (Did she somehow know I would be playing animals on stage for the next year or so?? Hehe) At any rate, the reading was very fun and interesting! 

Weekend with Levi 088My future is bright, apparently!

Weekend with Levi 074Levi performing his rock-balancing act from Maine in Sedona

 The next day we went to a self-professed “ghost town,” called Jerome. It is also known as the “Most Vertical Town in America,” meaning basically that it was built on the side of a mountain. It wasn’t the ghost town that we expected (I guessed that there HAD to be at least 500 people living there!) but right outside the small bustling town was a ticky-tacky tourist “ghost town” that I, being a true-blue roadside attractions fan, HAD to go see. And it truly did not disappoint.

 Weekend with Levi 115(You gotta read the sign to yourself in a gravely “Old West” voice,

like Levi did to me!)

Basically, it was a huge lot filled to the brim with old derelict cars, trucks, wagons, ambulances, squad cars, fire engines, and even a working steam saw mill! It was very random, but was imbued with character, which to me, is all that matters.

Weekend with Levi 119The front of the park, in classic Old West style…

There was a donkey who pawed at the ground and rang a bell for treats who was instantly my favorite part of the park. The owner, an eclectic man by the name of Don, sported a long white moustache that would have won many prizes in any  moustache contest he entered. He was operating the steam saw mill the first time we saw him, and got to talk to him a bit on the way out in the gift store, where we bought a Christmas ornament of Pedro Pedro Gonzales, which was the name of the sweet donkey inside.

 Weekend with Levi 154Levi and Don

We had to high-tail it back to Tempe that night to watch the show, according to my Dance Captain, Kendra. I wasn’t sure why I had to do this, but I complied, figuring it was all part of the rehearsal. We got a little bit lost on the way back, taking a winding road through the mountains out of Jerome instead of the road we rode in on, but we considered it all part of our ‘adventure.’

 

When I got back to Tempe, we watched the show as usual, but everyone was worried when I walked in the door at the half hour call, as I usually did. “Have you seen Kendra?” they asked, “Make sure you see her.” Worried I was in trouble, I checked in with her and watched the show as usual. Levi wanted to see a movie after the show, but Kendra insisted that we have one drink with her at the hotel before the movie. Thinking she just really wanted to spend time with Levi before he left the next day, I complied. We met at my hotel bar and I walked in searching for Kendra when I saw a beautiful woman at a table who reminded me of my mom.

 

Wait a minute.

 

It WAS my mom! Kendra had been a co-conspirator in my mom’s plan to surprise me for my opening night! THAT’s why everyone was worried I wouldn’t make it back that night for the show, AND why she insisted on having a drink with me- so I could see that my mom had landed just a few hours earlier! Hilarious!

It was such a great surprise because I really didn’t think anyone in my family was going to make it to my opening day, so now not only would Yadhira, my best friend from Rollins, be there, but so would my Mommy! It was an awesome surprise!

~ ~ ~

Coming up next- my **OPENING NIGHT!!!**

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