Friday, August 25, 2017

New Mexico

After I left Duluth, I flew out west for some gigs in New Mexico. I flew into Phoenix because it was so cheap (hello, $79 airline tickets!), rented a car, and then began my drive.

Spartans are everywhere!
My first stop was playing at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero. This is one of my favorite gigs, and it was so fun to perform there with Rick D'Elia (who I first met last year performing in Washington).

Not only did I have a great time exploring the scenery, but we thoroughly got our eat on at the buffet.

Some shots from around the casino:
The view from my room. Not too shabby, eh?

Well this puts a damper on my morning walk plans.
The next night, we drove to Bernalillo (outside of Albuquerque) to perform at the Santa Ana Star Casino. We had a great crowd, and it's always nice to hang with Big Benny, the host there.
Rick and me post-show.
And, of course, I had to shamelessly pose for some green room selfies.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Signing trucks and trash talking at the county fair

When I got dropped off at the airport, I was informed that the first leg of my flight was canceled.

"But, good news," the ticket agent said. "Now I'll just get you on the direct flight."

Score!

So I flew to Chicago, spent the night in Milwaukee, and then made my way to Duluth. I worked with Bill Blank and Andy Mattfield, and we had two great shows at Dubh Linn's pub. I also got to sign a truck for the first time!



On Sunday, I spent the day with my buddy, Tim, his fiance, her daughter, and this little man:



Oh, and Sage, Tim's cutie pa-tooty dog, hung out, too.


We kept with our canning tradition, and this year, we pickled banana peppers and canned them:



Tim made the most amazing food (vegan lemon pancakes, stuffed mushrooms, and Shepherd's pie), and I could kick myself for not taking more pictures of it!

Not only is he an amazing cook, but Tim is a canner extraordinaire! He entered three of his jellies into the Carlton County Fair. We stopped by to see how he had done and to collect any potential prizes he might have one. Turns out, he got two first places and a second place! Talk about cleaning up!



I was a little bummed that none of his competitors were there as I so wanted to trash talk on his behalf. I even started practicing: "you call that strawberry rubarb? Psh!"

Okay, so my trash talking might need a bit of work.

We also got to see a one room schoolhouse.




And I got in trobs.


Thankfully, rules have changed for teachers.


I always have such a blast in Duluth, and I am beyond lucky to have such wonderful friends! Leaving there is always hard...especially when my belly is full of all that homemade goodness. But, I'm pumped to perform in New Mexico!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Outer Banks

My birthday weekend (yes, I celebrate the whole weekend; don't judge) started out with me waking up to a vegan chocolate cake.


It also included brunch from Seva.


On the actual day of my birthday, I met up with Andy Beningo, and we drove to the Outer Banks. The Comedy Club of the Outer Banks has always been one of my favorite rooms! Ed and Leslie, the owners, couldn't be nicer, and who doesn't love a paid vacation?

Andy and I had a lot of fun! And unlike in previous years, we didn't have to evacuate for a hurricane. Score!

During the day, we hung out at the ocean and the pool.



Is that what those are? You don't say.
We also stopped to check out one of the piers.



A sign from inside the pier.
But I brought my loofah...
We discovered a cool restaurant called the Outer Banks Brewing Station, where we thoroughly stuffed ourselves. "Hey, we're on vacation!" was our refrain whenever we debated eating fattening foods.



On our last day in town, we checked out the Wright Brothers memorial, and we also drove down to see the lost colony of Roanoke. Well, we didn't see it at all since it was lost. But, we went to where it was and watched a cheesy as all get out video at the visitor's center. We also hiked around a bit and discovered the amphitheater where they put on plays all about the lost colony.



At the end of our run, Andy dropped me off at the airport, and I was delighted to find this! I love me some Peanut Chews! They're quite hard to find in the Midwest, so whenever I'm in Virginia (where I flew out of), I have to stock up. You know, because heaven forbid, I run out of chocolatey peanut goodness.



Now, onto Duluth!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Toronto



My mom and I took off to Toronto for a couple days for a mini-getaway. Toronto is one of my very favorite cities, and I would love to live there one day (hint, hint, Canadian government)!

We started off by eating vegan sushi above Yonge Street. The weather was perfect, and hearing all of the sounds of the city from four stories up was so exciting. After since going to college in New York City, I have adored big cities.




The next day, we took a bus tour and a boat tour of the city. Despite spending a lot of time in Toronto in the past, I had never actually taken a tour. It was quite informative, and the live tour guides were very entertaining. As seen on the tour:



I also saw the University of Toronto's law school for the first time. Too bad it's so ugly.



After sitting in the hot sun all day (the bus and the boat didn't have covers on top), we worked up quite an appetite. So, we made our way to Fresh, where I had quinoa onion rings, an energy bowl, and a vanilla cupcake (AKA the Blown Diet special). All were delish!



What would a trip be without food pictures?

We also spent some time at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which was hosting a special Georgia O'Keeffee exhibit. I thoroughly enjoyed not just looking at her paintings, but learning more about her life. So unique, she was (P.S. sometimes I turn into Yoda on this blog). She's also the author of one of my favorite quotes:

"To create one's own world takes courage."




The drive back was not fun as we hit tons of traffic. Note to self: don't ever try to leave a city during rush hour. But, it was worth it to explore such a cool city with such a cool lady (i.e., my mom).