Last week the TRAVELMONKEYS team headed up to New England to teach some workshops at Colby College in Waterville, Maine; see some family and friends; perform the new monologue; and then drive to Burlington, Vermont, to perform a different piece at the University of Vermont.
A lot of people wonder how we fly with the dog. Here's Baci, demonstrating his in-flight kennel. It slides right under the seat in front of us and for long, cross-country trips, we'll give him a sedative. We've been flying with him since he was a puppy, so he's used to the routine. When we're getting our suitcases out we put out his bag too and he hops inside then stares at me until I give him a treat.
After we flew into Portland, we picked up our rental car and then drove up to Waterville. Baci likes to ride with his front paws on the raised thingamathing between us so he can look out the window.
Mike's mom came over to the campus to have lunch with us. She looks fantastic and we had a great visit as Mike showed her photos from his trip to Tajikistan.
Often we'll leave Baci behind at the hotel while we tech the show. He's not a barker, thank goodness, and seems more than happy to curl up on the bed and sleep until we get back. But our day was back-t0-back with events, so in this case, we brought him with us.
This is also where Michael went to undergrad, so this stage holds a lot of meaning for him as it's really where he cut his performance teeth. And ever since we co-taught a course here a few years ago, it holds a special place in my heart, too.
Part of our itinerant lifestyle means that we have pockets of friends whom we get to check in with every couple of years. It's neat, being able to keep up with folks who might otherwise have slipped through the cracks. Here we are backstage at the theater with Lisa, who also went to Colby with Mike, and Luke, whom Mike actually taught theater to when he was in high school. (And now Luke's teaching high school math! And he has an excellent blog.)
Mike's dad and his wife Nancy came to see the show as well, and we met up the next morning for breakfast. (Note the cookies Nancy's clutching. Bob is always baking up something special, and in this case, he made us cookies for the drive ahead. So sweet!)
But not as sweet as this little guy, our nephew, Nicholas. M and I are more dog-oriented than baby-oriented, but there is something about this kid...
Mike suspects superior genes. I suspect superior parenting by his mother, Mike's sister, Beth.
Whatever it is, he's a super-social delight. (And a budding technophile, too. He's always reaching out for electronics and delights in seeing his picture in the viewfinder.)
After we said goodbye to them, it was a five-and-a-half hour drive to Burlington via route 2. It was the perfect time of year to make the trip--the trees were exploding into fiery red and orange and brilliant yellow--but I was happy when it was over.
Burlington struck me as a beautiful city, with that big lake shimmering in the distance and its surrounding rolling hills...but all we had time for was a half-hour walk across campus with Baci before it was time to do the show, then get back to the hotel so we could catch four hours of sleep before packing up and heading to the airport.
We seemed to make a great connection with the folks who came out to see the show, so hopefully we'll be able to come back at some point. I'd love to have more time to explore.
Tomorrow we head off to Chicago, which will be both M's and my first time in that city. Suggestions on where to go, what to see, where to eat, gratefully accepted!