I'm about to start a HUGE entry. It's kinda nuts but I feel it's necessary. I'm going to wrap up all my Phantom Tollbooth entries. And since there is so much to cover I'm gonna try to keep it really simple. Here we go!
We left off at Mt. Rushmore. From there we went to Montana and it was so damn long ago that I can't even remember the name of the town we went to. Missoula? Maybe. Anyway, on the way we passed the lovely town of...Butte Creek Beer!!!!!!!! Or in Tollbooth-speak that's Booteh Crackeh Biereh. Inside joke. Only the cool kids get it.
Finally we arrived in Missoula (maybe?) and proceeded to enjoy what is widely known as a Liberal town in a largely Conservative state. This meant dinner, drinks, maybe a little dancing? We did just that, it was pretty fabulous. Here's Margo shooting away at some Bucks...That night actually ended up being pretty interesting. We went to a bar which was straight out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (I loved it), then we went to a douchey club where I almost got my ass kicked. Some guy got pissed cause I bumped into him so he started yelling in my face. I got pissed right back at him and told him to "Calm the fuck down." Yup...little old me! Anyway, then a few of us ventured to a gay bar (in Montana! For real!) which was...interesting to say the least. The others who went home actually got stopped by a cop for jay-walking. I'm not even kidding. I'm pretty sure Margo started laughing in the cops face. I wish I coulda been there for that.
Next! Washington State! WOO!!! I just love Washington. So incredibly beautiful. Here are a few highlights.
Here I am on the ferry to Seattle...And beautiful Seattle in the distance...Kevin, Lindsay, Carolyn and I ate at the Public Market Center right by the Farmer's Market (the famous fish throwing market)....It was lovely! After doing some shows in Washington we drove down to Oregon to do some shows only to return to Washington soon after to do some more shows. It was nuts! I got some nice pics of Mount St. Helen's, tough...Once we got back to Washington I was delighted to hear that my great friend Shannon from NYC was in Seattle for my friend Dan'yelle's birthday. And Paul was there, too!!!!!! Dan'yelle was in Seattle performing in the National tour of The Lion King (she's Nala). We all got together in downtown Seattle for Dan'yelle's birthday celebration...I also got to see The Lion King for the first time ever. I almost cried when the show started...like, in the first 5 minutes. It was that good. And Dan'yelle was fabulous as always. I felt so incredibly proud of her; she's a star.
We then had some shows in Everett, WA, Paul's hometown! His friend Stephanie was nice enough to throw me a little dinner get together. Here's the delicious spread...Thanks Stephanie!
After the shows in Everett Paul's family and friends took me out for a great lunch. I can't quite remember the name of the restaurant we went to but apparently it had something to do with pigs...?How adorable is this picture? Look at those flying babies!!!Later during my stay in Washington, Paul, Kari (Paul's mom) and I went to visit Autumn (Paul's brother John's girlfriend) at her house in Seattle. One of her roommates had a snake!!! I refused to touch it. Paul was all about it...
After Washington, we headed to Colorado. We may have stopped somewhere before that but I'm following the dates of my pictures and some of the places we went to just didn't really require picture-taking if you get what I mean. Here we are in Utah (or something like that...ugh, I'm so forgetful). I must admit (and I know this may sound kinda cheesy), the American landscape really is quite beautiful and surprising. Going on tour has definitely proven that to me.
One of the most beautiful stops on tour definitely had to be Beaver Creek, CO. It this amazing skiing town nestled in the Colorado mountains. The only problem was that since we were at such a high altitude doing the show was quite difficult. We actually had oxygen tanks offstage just in case. Plenty of us were puffing away at them as soon as we got offstage. I must admit, Subtraction Stew (my big number) was always tough, but this time around it was especially sweaty and out of breath.
Beaver Creek happened to be very near Vail so a bunch of us decided to go have dinner there and sight-see. The mountain top restaurant we went to was only accessible by a small tram car that hoisted you up the mountain side. It was a really beautiful ride...Margo had a really nice friend in Colorado who happened to work in Vail. I think his name was Arin but I'm not quite sure so I'll just call him Hot Australian Guy. He really is from Australia and, yes, his accent was completely irresistible. Here he is...Here's the view from the top of the mountain...Here's Margo and Hot Australian Guy...And here I am with Margo...On the way down in the tram car I started to take pictures cause it was absolutely pitch black in there...Please observe Rudy's face. Amazing.Right when we got off the tram we saw all these flashing lights racing down the mountain. Apparently people like to ski at night...nuts. They almost skied right into us...We then strolled through the town a bit looking for something to do. Unfortunately, though, most places were closed. It was still very pretty though...
After Colorado we headed to Arizona. On our drive to a town right smack dab in the middle of a Native American reservation we drove straight through a HUGE dust storm. Here we are on our way through Arizona...Um...Hole in the rock?Fascinating...?Carolyn, our fearless driver, leads us through the growing dust storm...It begins...Tumbleweed!!!!!!Yikes.Watch out, cows!!!! MOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!!Moo.No joke.Finally, we broke though. To be greeted by this...The reservation we went to was actually pretty fascinating but for some absolutely ridiculous and inexplicable reason I didn't take any pictures. Ugh.
Next up...CALI BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We first stopped in LA. Well, right around LA. I was surprised to discover that I actually really liked it there! Maybe I'll live there someday. We shall see. Here I am visiting the LA sights...Meryl...Harry and his cohorts!!!JUDY!Mommie Dearest herself...Adam Sandler...for Aileen :)Margo and Marilyn...Apparently you can see the Hollywood sign through here. I can't see shit!LA baby...The ever-present Madge. Stretching away...
Next up was San Diego. Well, right out side of San Diego but we'll just say San Diego. This was actually where Kevin performed his last shows! He was off to bigger and better things in DC.
He was most definitely missed :(The original cast right after Kevin's last show! Hence the sweaty nastiness...The Royal Family. Yes...that really was what I wore...That night we all went out to celebrate Kevin's last night with us. Margo (as usual) brought the boys to yard...As did I...Carolyn chats up Scott, our new King Azaz!!!We did a healthy amount of bar-hopping that night, eventually ending up at a bar where an 80's cover band was playing. Um...Yup. Here's Scott getting down...This is what happens when you give Brian a little bit of booze...Carolyn's man, Michael, came to visit us. Pretty good looking couple!This random lady decked out in her pink boa? No idea who the hell she is. But I ended up dancing with her. Kinda explains how ridiculously the night ended up... Anyway! While in San Diego we visited the world famous San Diego Zoo. It really was pretty incredible. Let's start things off right with some flamingos...This guy came right up to the glass in front of a huge group of zoo-goers and fully exposed himself. And you know he is most definitely smart enough to know exactly what he's doing...Mama and her baby cozied up right next to me...I have no idea what this guy is. But he was showing off his fancy feathers so I decided to humor him and take a pic...Again...no idea. Let's call them zebra butts...Lazy hippo hippo-ing...Big old polar bear taking an afternoon snooze...These two zebras were having quite a serious lover's quarrel. Seriously, they were chasing each other around and biting each other's asses. And they were both male.Panda chompin' on some bamboo. Yum...Sloth bear!Brown bears napping...Apparently we visited the zoo during nap time. This koala is OUT...The meerkats, or course, are up and raring to go!!!Elephant chowing down...Llama!Giraffe butt...Rhino!And, of course, rhino butt...
After San Diego we headed back to the LA area. I can't remember the timeline or what towns we were in but the few photos I took kinda clear things up a bit. For example, this delicious plate of Mexican food......was consumed right by the ocean in some cute seaside California town. And this photo of Carolyn and Eric outside of a ridiculous looking Burger King was taken right before we went to Knott's Berry Farm Amusement Park.Right around this time, Margo left us to also go do bigger and better things in DC. Here she is on her last night with us with Jamie (our fabulous Tock replacement) and Carolyn...Jamie and Carolyn strike a pose...The boys...and Lindsay :)The lovely Ms. Margo...
After Margo left, we headed to another California town which was about a two hour drive from San Francisco. Since my best friend Aileen lives in San Francisco I decided it was necessary to take a little a day trip! Here's Aileen with Jamie...Here we are, being ridiculous as usual...That's my Pooli!
After Cali we headed back to Arizona. This time around I can actually remember the name of the town we were in...Flagstaff! I remember because it was in Flagstaff that we were treated to one of the most random and amazing events tour had to offer. Black Barts Old West Dinner Theatre! Black Barts is an old restaurant where the wait-staff will ocasionally get up onstage and sing a little ditty for you...just like in NYC! Obviously, we had to plan a trip and believe me, it was well worth it.Jamie and her beer were definitely feeling Black Barts...The decor didn't really agree with me, though. Like this deer that stared at me all night. Rude...We were actually in Flagstaff for Easter and a bunch of decided to go to the Grand Canyon! Before heading out, though, Rudy planned a little Easter egg hunt for us. It was really really fun. It must have been pretty entertaining for the hotel guests and staff to see a bunch of 20-somethings running around desperately in search of eggs. I was sucking at the hunt but, lo and behold, I found the elusive last egg!!!! Take that bitches. Word.
After the hunt we all headed out for the truly beautiful Grand Canyon. I took about a billion pictures so bear with me. Here she is!!!!!Carolyn, yet again, brings out my motherly instinct. I hate it when she gets all close to the edge like that...Lindsay enjoying the view...Scott ponders the mysteries of life...A perched Rudy...Jamie ruminates...The Colorado River...Birds having the time of their lives...Look how tiny those people are on the left!We then raced along the very edge of the Canyon looking for the perfect spot to watch the sunset...A few photo shoots ensued on our way...Feet in the Canyon!!!!!!Rudy Gremlin approaches tree...Rudy Gremlin makes love to tree...Rudy Gremlin cuddles with tree.Carolyn and I loving the view...The race to the perfect spot continues!!!Found it!Twilight...Here I am on my way back to the van...That concludes our trip to the Grand Canyon!
Next up...Oklahoma! While in Oklahoma we performed what were supposed to be our last 4 shows BUT due to that ice storm back when we were in Memphis our last shows were now rescheduled in Paducah, KY. Oklahoma was a blast, though. Some lovely people actually threw us quite a party! We treated the whole thing kinda like prom so we all got dressed up. Here's Jill sassing it up before we headed out...At the party...the imbibing begins. Please observe Dave...Here's Jamie with our fabulous host, Heather...
The ladies...After a healthy amount of wine had been consumed the real debauchery began. Dave was on the phone with his wife, Mary, when Scott decided he wanted to talk to her. So, he stole Dave's phone. Dave was real happy about it...Carolyn then got in on the fun...Next thing I know, Lindsay is dancing up a storm next to me. This is all I caught as she blew past me...Jeffery and Caroline show some love :)Please take a look at that gorgeous baby. I almost stole him away he was so damn cute...Someone though it would be a good idea to jump in the pool...decked out in dresses and all. Not quite sure whose idea that was...Scott thought it was a great idea. He was all in for lending a helping hand...But then, thankfully, they came to their senses :)THEN...oh my goodness...the licking began. Scott went on a rampage!!!!!!Lindsay wasn't having any of it...Carolyn got in on the action...Scott went for Dave...David pummeling Carolyn and me...After the fabulous party, Jamie, Scott and I decided to go to a bar near the hotel to play some pool. This was a bad decision on my part...I should have just gone straight up to my room and put myself to bed but I'm a good sport so I tagged along. I didn't last very long, though! I think I played about one game and then called it a night. Here are Jamie and Scott...possibly laughing at me for being such a lightweight...peace out!
After Oklahoma we headed to Paducah, KY to do our last two shows!!!!!!!! As much as we all loved being on the road and had such a great time with each other, I'm sure we were all quite relieved to be wrapping things up so we could get back home. Here we are at our last sound check...Jeffery went a lil overboard with the tape...And for some reason Carolyn and I were given different mikes on our last day...Here I am all ready to go for the last time!!!!!!The boys prep...Carolyn was in no mood for pics. She was ready to get this done!!!!!Some of us were kinda going nuts though...last show and all...Um...yeah...
We finished our shows (WOO!) and then headed to Lexington, KY for our last night on the road. This, of course, was most definitely cause for celebration so we all decided to head out to Todd's Karaoke Bar for some last night revelry. It was bonkers!!!! Jamie and Scott got the night started right with pitchers...Jamie then gave us some good old country music...I'm pretty sure it was Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson but I could be wrong...Rudy then bopped it out for us...And, as you can see, we loved it...Jamie knocks one down and is ready for the next...Brian then gave us some Counting Crows...And Carolyn and Jamie got closer than ever!Carolyn and I then decided to toast to our friendship...with Jaeger bombs...Rudy got hungry...Then Carolyn apparently got hungry for Jamie's hair...and Scott's licking began again...oh boy...We can look sweet and put together if you like...But this is more like it...I don't even know whats going on anymore. Carolyn???? What are you doing????She has no idea.Then we all just kinda burst out into song...Hmmm...no idea.Rudy then gave us some Harry Belafonte...the Banana Boat Song to be exact. You know, the "Day-O!" song...it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Carolyn expresses my sentiments exactly...The boys then showed her some love...Jamie and Scott bop it out...And then Jamie and I have a moment...haha!I sang that night, too. But, thankfully, I don't have any pictures of it. I'm pretty sure I sang These Boots are Made for Walkin', then Open Your Heart with Carolyn, then some Backstreet Boys song or something like that. I'll let you guys use your imaginations...I'm sure whatever you come up with is exactly what happened!
Scott sums up the entire evening!!!
The next day we drove all the way to DC and back into our real lives! It was quite strange (at least for me) to get back into things but I must say...it was very nice to be home.
Love you guys :)