June 1, 2007

We find ourselves in Minnesota, which is a funny place to find yourself, especially when you kind of wind up there by happenstance. Sam had a gig in St. Paul and took the dog with him, so I flew out when Swiss Family Robinson closed in order to keep Sam company and the dog occupied. New Hampshire will be the next stop, and then Round Top, and Manhattan, and then camp.

We're in St. Paul for a week, staying at the pet friendly Kelly Inn. Our daily schedule is something like this: Obie wakes me up at about nine and waits patiently while I shower and get ready for the day. Then the two of us hop in the car, consult the AAA Guide to Traveling With Your Pet and head off to parts-unknown, our trusty GPS guiding the way. Though there doesn't seem to be a lot of dogs out here in the twin cities (I feel a bit like a novelty act when walking through the downtown area), the dog parks are phenomenal. Yesterday we went to a park about a half hour away, thirty-five fenced acres with hiking trails and a pond and covered picnic tables and green green green, dogs bounding this way and that, elated. Today we went to a park on the Mississippi, twenty fenced acres with tall stately elms and ferns and then the sandy beach and muddy river. Obie is in heaven, as I usually stay at the park with him for about three hours, letting him run and play while I read and write and tie up loose ends from my Portland world.

Then I find lunch somewhere, happily dining solo with my book while Obie naps in the car. We meet Sam back at the hotel, chill for a bit, and then Sam and I go off adventuring to the theatre or a nice dinner or out with the Do Jumpers. Later, it's a late-night walk with the pup, cable television in our giant bed, and sleep. I thought I might be bored this week, but I've been very contentedly turning this trip into The Best Dog Vacation Ever.

This morning, while exploring the capitol building, a legislator gave Obie a pat on the head and cheerfully told him to pee on Republicans' cars. We tried our best, seeking out the majority whip's shiny grey Beemer, but Obie was far more excited about peeing on plants and telephone poles. Alas.

Leaving Portland was harder than I expected. This is the first year that I have not toured with Imago since moving to Portland; though I had good friends before, many of these folks were necessarily part of Imago. Now that I actually live in Portland, I have rooted myself more firmly in the community, with an extended network of friends and plenty of work and extra-curriculars to keep me happy. I have also been able to court theaters more vigilantly, as I know I will be in town to audition and perform for other companies. I closed one (fantastic) show last week and auditioned for three more. So, though I am physically on my way to camp, I have not mentally left my northwest home.

Swiss Family Robinson was a dream experience, and I find myself a little nostalgic and melancholy now that it's over. We did some forty performances in only four weeks so, though I grew slightly tired of the show, the cast (comprised of five adults and about ten kids) kept me thoroughly entertained. I enjoy teaching kids, but working alongside them is a million times better. I have laughed more these past two months than I have in a long time. And the "adults" have become close friends, bar visits after rehearsal, trips to baseball games and late-night stargazing. I'm going to miss them over these next couple of months.

Obie is telling me it's time to go his tongue is hanging halfway to the ground and his eyelids are dropping. Till later, then.

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