Monday, November 8, 2021

Dancing in Wine Country: A Grape Time ; )

Maybe I'm crazy, but when I was presented with the opportunity to travel and perform 4 days after a friend's wedding up north, and the weekend before my own, I jumped at the chance. In 2006, I went to my first Rockette Summer Intensive. Eileen Grace ran the program in those days. Fast forward to now and she happened to be the choreographer for my first performance gig since 2020. Pzazz Productions flew us out to Napa to perform at the most unique winery in an actual cave! I had never been to that part of California and I actually preferred it to Southern Cali. We drove in 2 groups from San Fran to Napa, stopping for the first of many sandwiches (lol) in a little town along the way. I can't put into words how special it felt to be back in rehearsal again. We rehearsed for a few hours the day we flew in. It was a privilege to kick and dance alongside some gorgeous new friends, including several Rockettes. 

The following day, we had rehearsal in the space with time to explore and take beautiful pictures. There is a waterfall in the middle of the cave that was always there and they just built around it! So neat. We did a run through in the most glam costumes created by Suzette Picazo. For two nights, we performed dances and kicklines at the event.  Having an audience after a year plus of not knowing when or if the industry would make a comeback, was A DREAM. They were so into it and appreciative. Our industry is coming back, don't give up! We even got to try some of the winery's amazing wine at the end of the night. 

It was interesting to see Napa right now. The fire meter is extreme and everything is very dry. There is also no cell service in many parts. I could tell what a beautiful place it is regardless and I can't wait to return someday. I definitely want to go on the Napa Wine Train next time. We had time one morning to explore downtown Napa and I used my concierge skills to find a cute brunch spot (Napa General Store). 

The morning of our flights, we drove from Napa to San Fran to check out Fisherman's Wharf. We drove across the Golden Gate and experienced the hilly streets made famous to me in Princess Diaries. I grew up playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater so everything looked familiar to me from the adorable sea lions to Alcatraz in the distance. I bought some souvenirs and we grabbed amazing crepes before heading to the airport. 

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