I’m far away from Mockingbird Hill Cottage. I’ve traveled from the Northeast to the Southeast. Yes, I’m back in Gainesville. It is sunny and beautiful, but I miss the brilliant fall colors of the Hudson Valley. Yesterday’s flight (Jet Blue) was on time. I love Jet Blue because they have a direct flight from my little airport to Orlando. And they have leg room; which, for a tall gal, makes the journey much more comfortable. I drove from Orlando to Gainesville (about 2 hours) on I-75, which was more like a game of Roller Derby. People driving like maniacs, truckers driving semis like they were little race cars…insane. At one point, I was so boxed in by crazed truckers that I missed my exit. I was mad. It had already been a long day and I had to drive 10 miles out of my way, turn around, and try again. I finally arrived, checked in, and made my way to the theatre. They were behind on their schedule which is not surprising during a tech week. This is a big, big production. I said hello to everyone and watched a bit of the rehearsal with the orchestra and cast. Happily, I got to come home early and crash.
I have never particularly liked eating on the road. Sometimes I order room service, but rarely, as it is so expensive. Today I was in rehearsal from 10 until 6 and we had a quick lunch break between 2 and 3. I drove to one of the local restaurants, couldn’t find a parking place, drove to another and ended up wolfing down a salad and some clam chowder much too quickly. For the rest of rehearsal I had an upset stomach. At 6:00 I didn’t feel like driving around looking for a place to eat. It is a football game weekend here in Gatorland and traffic is crazy! So I stopped at the Steak and Shake right by the hotel. Since I am a vegetarian, my choices are limited at a restaurant with the name of Steak and Shake. So I got french fries and a chocolate shake. The shake without the steak. That was my dinner. The fries were so-so. The shake was fabulous. And I feel nicely full, so it can’t be all bad, right?
My day started very early; I had a 7:00 am flight to catch. I flew to Minneapolis and then caught a plane to Orlando – the land of Disney. The plane was full of kids and their harried parents. I grabbed my rental car and drove 2 hours to Gainesville. I am tired. But my room is lovely. Very spacious, cool prints on the wall, a comfy chair with an ottoman – big king size bed. I decided to order room service and just crash for the night. Tomorrow I start work on The Wizard of Oz, which should be fun. I’ve spent time in Gainesville before on another production. Its the home of the University of Florida – BIG football town. I was here last year on a football game weekend and the amount of alumni who come to the games is amazing. I saw them everywhere, sometimes in motor homes decorated with the Gator colors! I wonder if this weekend will be the same? You have to hand it to the Gators – they inspire extreme loyalty.