Sunday, September 11, 2016

California Dreamin'

It's only a 6 hour plane ride from Detroit to Los Angeles and surroundings, but California is worlds away from Michigan.  The sun is almost always shining, compared to our Michigan weather, where many a planned outdoor event has been ruined by rain. At my girlfriend's in San Jose the patio cushions can be left out from May through October.  Orange trees produce fruit year round.  Plants florish.  However, the hills and grass are yellow from lack of rain.  My California friends exclaim with delight when I show them photos of my lush green backyard and they look forward to cooler weather so they can bundle up in a jacket.  If it weren't for my family back home, I'd move there in a heartbeat.  The next best thing is vacationing there and I go as often as I am able.

Often, my motivation for travel is attending Eric Kunze's performances, which brought me to La Mirada in July for "The Little Mermaid" and Sacramento in August for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".  I squeezed in a visit to my friend Sherry and her family in San Jose as well.

From La Mirada it is only a couple hour train ride to San Diego, which was a nice day trip diversion from my evenings at the theater.  I daresay you will not get better Mexican food anywhere else in the States than in San Diego.

A short month later, I found myself on the plane again, this time to San Jose, then to Sacramento.
My high school friends Sherry and Bob moved out west when they graduated from college.

Sherry and Bob treated me to a day trip along the coast on the 17 Mile Drive and Monterrey.

I rented a car and drove for two hours to Sacramento, where I had rented a flat for the week only two blocks from the theater.

Out of eight performances, I had tickets to five of them.  The production was an incredible experience and I could have sat through many more.  The character of the hunchback was played to perfection by John McGinty, a deaf actor and Eric played the Captain of the guard of Notre Dame, both in love with the gypsy girl, Esmerelda, portrayed by Lesli Marguerite.

Topping off the week I treated myself to a limo tour of some Napa wineries. I was joined with a few couples from different hotels, all very nice people.  It was a lovely, relaxing day of jovial conversation and wine tasting.

Eric's next performances will be in Manila, Philippines.  Alas, that is one trip I will not be taking due to the fact I will have just returned from a long vacation along the Mediterranean.  Stay tuned for a very extensive trip report in late October/November!  Read more about Eric Kunze at the fansite: