Hello August!

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There is nothing like the start of a new month! Especially when job opportunities are sitting in your inbox waiting to be accepted! So with a short film shoot booked for tomorrow, my August begins. July was definitely a whirlwind of activity, auditions, performances, reviews and friend hangouts. As I adjust to have not having my two best friends a room or subway trip away (Cynthia and Morgan) we have fallen into a groove now thanks to new and old technology (FaceTime and snail mail, respectively).

If you checked out my Month Motivation post yesterday, you saw the Outer Banks photo wedged between two quotes of inspiration. Acting is a hustle. Point, blank, period. You have to be entirely focused on the endgame you have for yourself while also balancing the disappointment and “almosts” that come with it. Reminding myself to dream big and being ready for whatever may come my way are two big ideas I will try to carry with me this month.

About a week ago, I was speaking to my friend Nia at brunch about putting up a production of “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” by Lynn Nottage, one of my favorite playwrights. We’d discussed doing something like this almost two years ago and still nothing has come of it. I think now is the time. While I have never mounted a show on my own before, I know that it can be done, and luckily for me I am surrounded by so many talented and caring artists that could help bring this dream to fruition. Fingers crossed, that by the end of this month I will have developed a plan and hopefully rounded up a team to make this idea a reality!

On the flip side, August is the beginning of the end…of summer. Sure, I don’t have school to go back to in September but this month will always represent back to school  and everything that goes with it: new clothes, school supplies, friends coming home from various vacations and the overwhelming sense of possibility and new adventures! It also means a cherished vacation with my extended family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

If the Outer Banks means nothing to you, I only wish that you will, at some point in your life, understand the magic and beauty of this place. Family is what I immediately think of when I see a window decal or bumper sticker with “OBX” on the back. Dance parties, barbecues, afternoons lazing by the pool, a large group complete with towels, sunscreen, beach games and fun headed to the ocean, and the customary game nights played all week long flood my mind and a really ridiculous smile occupies my face. Guys! You have no idea how excited I am for this vacation!

I’m really looking forward to blogging about my time there and sharing you a small piece of my personal paradise 🙂

August! Let’s get this going…I’m ready for ya.

Ciao 🙂

California Dreaming- Day Three, Carlsbad and Downtown San Diego

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July is basically over, and my trip to San Diego was one month ago, but that is no excuse not to write the final installment in my California Dreaming saga. Actually, since it’s Thursday, this could technically be considered a throwback post if I wanted it to be, and therefore it shall! So without further ado…

My travel diary conclusion

My final full day in San Diego was definitely a special one because I was able to spend the whole day with Michelle!!! While I definitely enjoyed exploring bits and pieces of the San Diego area, being able to wander around with a close friend my final day in town was the perfect champagne topper to a fantabulous birthday treat! It was a beautiful and sunny day that Saturday, as I got into my car headed for the 5 and Carlsbad, CA. The last time I saw Michelle was in March at Alice’s Tea Cup, our favorite catchup spot, before she flew out to San Diego to become a substitute teacher and all around helper for her sister, who was expecting her first child.

It was so good to see her and immediately pick up where we left off three months ago. First up on our itinerary was breakfast at a nearby cafe. The trio of pancakes, drip coffee and complimentary donuts were delicious as we chatted on the outdoor patio.  We headed to the house after brunch, packed up our beach bags and headed for Moonlight Beach. It may have taking me two whole days to make it to the beach, but the wait was worth it. After fighting for a parking space in front of a boathouse that was nestled in between the neighboring houses, we made our way to the ocean!

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Great day, don’t you think!

We laid out, with our magazines, hats and sunglasses and enjoyed the day. There was a group of guys playing some sort of beach game we’d never heard of behind us, an athletic group of girls and guys playing beach ping pong and football in front of us, and two teens attempting to paddle an inflatable kiddie pool in the water (i kid you not). The activity around us, the sun shining on us, and the great conversation between us made it a heavenly afternoon.

  Beach days are exhausting and before we headed home, there was one thing I had to do. Get In-N-Out Burger! Which just so happened to be right by the freeway exit.

Not gonna lie, it was a bit of a let down :/ I know, I know any California readers, In-N-Out is a delicious SoCal institution! How dare you!!! But for me, once you have Shake Shack…it’s hard to find another good fast food style burger that lives up to the Shackburger. *in Forrest Gump voice* And that’s all I have to say about that.

The final event on my San Diego itinerary was a trip to the baseball park! (Whenever I go out of town in the summer, I find that a good day at the ballpark is an inexpensive and fun way to get the flavor of the city I’m visiting.) Not only were the Padres playing at home, but it was Free Fedora Day!!! I got peanuts and beer, sat in the same section as the “Padres” and Padres Gorilla (still don’t get it) and chatted with my seat mate, who was in town from Chicago with her husband and two sons, about the ballparks we’d been to. (for me it’s Wrigley, Orioles, the new Yankee stadium, and now Petco Park). Michelle and I sang the National Anthem, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and sang along with Phil Collins’ “Hold On” (which featured the Padres Gorilla on the drums) during the 7th inning stretch.

Looking back on Day 1, 2 and 3 of my epic California Dreaming trip, I’m proud of how much I was able to squeeze in! A bittersweet return to NYC for sure, but I CANNOT wait to make a return trip in the very near future! Until then adios San Diego!

Motivation for the Month Ahead

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Greetings from a voice not heard from!

I know it seems that once again, a month has gotten away from me and I’ve only been able to post “Wandering Wednesday” entries for July. But I must admit that this was a whirlwind of a month thanks to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (It was a great success and I was able to get my first mention in a review! Exciting times.) So, as I prepare for August it’s time to post a few motivating quotes and pictures to help me get excited for the month ahead. I hope these inspire you the way they have me, and I can’t wait to tell you if they are actualized.

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Ciao 🙂

 

California Dreaming- Day Two, Coronado and Balboa Park

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The travel diary continues…

Since I went to sleep at seven the night before, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30am on the dot. Meh. I just kept telling myself “if you were home, technically, you just slept in.” Whatever works right? Well, the advantage to waking up early is that I was able to open the window and watch the sunrise from my bed, and decide what I would get myself into for the day. Before arriving in San Diego, I bought a ticket to “Dog and Pony” a new musical playing at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park, so I knew that a nice dinner and a show were definitely on my itinerary. But what to do with my day? Considering I was unable to make it out to Coronado the night before and my friend Collin sent me great recommendations for eateries on the island, breakfast in Coronado was the natural place to begin!

I went a little selfie crazy at the start of the day, but I was in a great mood! 🙂

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 As soon as I found parking, I skidaddled over to Clayton’s Coffee Shop for a diner style breakfast. It was a blast from the past with the waitresses wearing large flowers in their hair, tabletop jukeboxes, huge portions and a laid back California style, it was like Happy Days and Camellia Grill in New Orleans rolled into one. I don’t believe I should tell you that I ate well, haha. French toast, if you must know.

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 With a full belly and time on my hands, I began to wander a bit, knowing in the back of my head that I should make my way to the Hotel Del Coronado. Collin had actually suggested I get a delicious cocktail over at the hotel, which was my original plan, but now that I had the chance to see it in the light of day I decided the hotel could fill my morning. Before heading over, I decided to look into some of the shops that had just opened for the day and walked away with this great souvenir for a great price. (And it went with my outfit, added bonus!)

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The Hotel! Gosh it was absolutely breathtaking! When I got out of my car, I knew instantaneously that this was the hotel used for one of my favorite movies Some Like It Hot! The Victorian architecture, the beaches, the flags, the pools, the air of sophistication and a bygone era were breathtaking! I, timidly walked inside and asked the concierge about a tour and just my luck the Historical Society was holding one that morning! I was pretty early for the tour, so I decided to do a little exploring before and toured the grounds and beach.

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Next up was the tour, led by a California transplant, who told our tour group the history of the island, how the Hotel basically was the reason why the island became populated and go-to spot for the nouveau-riche regime at the turn of the 20th century. Oh, to spend the season in California! Arriving by private train car and partaking in the luxe accommodations and planned activities and sports. How utterly fantastic!

 

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Lunchtime!

Off to another Collin tested and approved restaurant to rest my tootsies and eat some fish tacos. Yummers!

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My jam-packed day in Coronado was at an end. Time for a nap. And then off to the theater!

I had been to San Diego, as I stated in my first post at the age of 10, with my group at the Idyllwild Summer Arts Camp. It was a day trip to see Cymbeline at the Old Globe Theater in their outdoor space, (I remember this only because I checked the theater’s archives). I was definitely looking forward to my return and the park it was housed in as well. I arrived at Balboa Park close to dusk. The sunlight and warm air made my surroundings almost magical. It was as if I had been transported to another place without having left the country. The Spanish architecture, the Botanical Building, the gardens, museums, singers who lined the sidewalks, restaurants and ponds, made for a tranquil environment.

A great way to spend my Friday evening sipping on a delicious pear martini with a pre-fixe meal and berry crumble dessert. I had a great conversation with the hostess, who applauded me for taking a solo trip out to the West Coast for fun, and asked me for bar and club suggestions in New York for her 21st birthday trip. Small world.

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That delectable meal settled comfortably in my tummy, I was ready for the fun that awaited me at the Old Globe!

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Day two was at an end, only one day left and boy did I have even more in store! To be continued…

California Dreaming- Day One, La Jolla

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I’ve finally come down from my California high, no pun intended there folks. This was the first vacation, in a while, where I was a little sad to see the New York skyline again. This vacation was extremely satisfying for many reasons. First of all, it was my first solo trip that I planned for (even though I was able to spend an amazing day with my friend, Michelle, the last day I was in town) where the only person I needed to think about was me, and what I wanted to do. It was my first time on the west coast since I was 10, and it was the first trip where I was able to really relax and enjoy my own company without fear of  discomfort or judgement. I truly enjoyed planning my full three days in San Diego and decided to focus on one area each day, so Thursday I decided to stay in La Jolla, where I was staying.

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This was the view from my “bungalow”. (really a small guest house, where my friend Melissa stayed while attending the University of Califorina-San Diego [UCSD])

The time difference caught up with me later in the day, but before my power nap turned into a major snooze fest I was out the door at 9am looking for breakfast. Being a member of the theatre world, I was able to reach out friends from apprenticeships and college asking for great places to eat and things to do while visiting San Diego. Lucky for me, my day one meals were planned by my friend Michael, who had just earned his MFA from UCSD, and who I knew from my Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprenticeship five years ago. He suggested I head over to Caroline’s Diner for an al fresco breakfast with gorgeous La Jolla Beach views, so I did 🙂

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The views were amazing! The food, delicious! The coffee, bottomless (haha). All in all, it was a great kickoff to my trip and couldn’t wait to head over to the Birch Aquarium, a quick drive away.

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Traveling solo, I was able to have conversations more easily with workers and other tourists while exploring the San Diego area, and the aquarium was no exception. I ended up having a great conversation with one of the employees working out by the tide pools and the one thing I remember quite strongly was her order to “breeze through the rest of the aquarium and head on over to the zoo!” The rest of my day was kind of up in the air, and since I hadn’t been to a zoo in a while I decided to take her up on her suggestion. Little did I know, that the San Diego Zoo is a national treasure and a leader in animal and nature conservancy! But before reaching this conclusion it was selfie time at the Aquarium to document that I was, indeed there.

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Off to the zoo!

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Unfortunately, between Google Maps, remote blog and Instagram updates, phone calls and text messages, oh yeah, and the pictures I was taking, my phone didn’t live long enough to see the zoo (sad day for all). But I did take pictures as I journeyed through the zoo itself. Click over to storipass.com to see me before boarding the tour bus and holding a “baby panda” before I got a chance to see the Pandas (soooo cute, and ferociously hungry haha). The Storipass ID# is SZ1TF259479.

After charging my phone at Guest Services, buying a Koalifornia (love) magnet in the gift shop, and talking with an actor for about 20 minutes about the Nature Conservancy initiatives the Zoo funded, promoted and carried out, I was headed back to La Jolla for a power nap before heading to Coronado. You probably saw this picture on my Instagram feed. Alas, the Coronado trip did not come to pass that evening…

Until Day Two!

Ciao 🙂

Stay Classy San Diego

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Well it’s still morning here in California and I’m finishing up my oceanview breakfast at Caroline’s Cafe in La Jolla. The beach is calling my name and I shall return , but must admit I’m pretty excited to head over to the Birch Aquarium and then to Coronado this evening for a drink and dinner. I know
Ron Burgundy’s city is gonna show me a good time.

Ciao 😎

Vacation Starts Now!

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Vacation, all I ever wanted!!!

Vacation, all I ever wanted!!!

Hi Everybody!!!

Super excited to be heading out to San Diego this afternoon for my 25th birthday vacation extravaganza! Look for photo updates on my Instagram feed, a Short and Sweet post or two, and a Wandering Wednesday post to be added later today. Cannot wait to be on the west coast for a few days, because everyone needs to leave the concrete jungle every now and then to stay sane haha.

Ciao 🙂