D’oh! Back to Homer, AK!

So we finally have a few days to travel after ‘Barefoot in the Park’ Closed last week. Austin and I decided to head back to Homer because we had such a short time there during our first trip to Seldovia. 2014-02-15 12.41.00-2

Remember these amazing people? They were our guest Seldovians.

Anyway, I remembered that there were suites above the bakery that we ate at TWO SISTERS, last time we were here and they are pretty affordable for how damn cute they are. 2014-02-25 12.23.03

Austin got right to work for a while. He wanted to finish up with some customers so I took pictures around the cute little suite. 2014-02-25 12.22.30

They had some issues with the heat so we had to keep our windows open all night! Oh, darn! It’s not like we love looking out to this or anything. 2014-02-25 12.23.21

Homer is one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen. It’s like Lord of the Rings, with a beach and good coffee. That’s the best way I think I can describe it.

2014-02-25 12.25.29Here’s some proof of Austin working hard while I play with mirrors.

After I got a bit more of my work done we decided to go on a hike. There were a few trails at the Homestead trailhead that were open to snowshoers but it was really confusing! We hiked along a few paths and just generally had fun in the snow on a really warm day, I think it was about 38, PERFECT for hiking. 2014-02-25 13.00.36 2014-02-25 13.42.07 2014-02-25 14.29.41 2014-02-25 14.40.31

I wish I had taken more pictures after this but we were SO tired! We both decided to go back to the suite and snack on what we call ‘APRES CHEESE’ Which is just cheese you eat after you hike, or something like that.

Then we trekked over to a restaurant called Fat Olives that was recommended to us, turns out it was closed so we went instead to a place called CUPS that was seriously fecking amazing. We had all sorts of seafood and it rocked my sweat drenched socks off.

By the time we got back to the hotel after picking up Epsom Salts for our legs (like a boss) and advil for the swelling (also like a boss) we very nearly fell asleep watching a movie shot up here in Alaska ‘The Frozen Ground’ about a real life serial killer that hunted women. It’s like ‘Surviving the Game’ with Ice T, only real.

Now, just for posterity, I’ll inform you all that I am writing this from a comfy bed, in Homer, AK. Watching the clouds move over the pre-dawn mountains and I can’t help but love this moment, where this life has taken me.

Oh, and there are Loons. Did I mention you wake up to the sound of Loons? 🙂

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We’ve got some Wicked Digs

So now that we’re into rehearsals and moving around a lot less I’ve had a chance to take some more pictures of where we really live here in AK. The town of Soldotna is what I keep hearing is a “small fishing village”. I’m sure during the summer it is just that, but during the winter it’s a normal, little town.

Our house belonged to an older couple here in Soldotna and their children are the caretakers now, they were kind enough to let us use their parent’s old house for the month. It’s really amazing.

Panorama of the house

Panorama of the house

Inside of the house

Inside of the house

Game time

Game time

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I don’t know how well you all can see the Panorama of the first floor but it’s a pretty big house. There is a nice large fireplace and a TV but it doesn’t get any channels. This is pretty great because we watched a movie last night and it felt like a total waste of time after playing some of Royce’s fun games every other day of the week. I think we’ll stick to Zombie Dice before we decide to watch another movie again soon.

I’ve been trying to keep up with my workout routine up here but unfortunately Mario isn’t faring so well.

No Mariooooo!

No Mariooooo!

Time to retire?

Time to retire?

After we were up and working we had to go over to do a short radio interview and, of course, three actors would totally ham it up.

Merill and the radio

Merill and the radio

Our big interview

Our big interview

Austin is really taking to selfies

Austin is really taking to selfies

And while we’re living the cheap life of actors we’ve been given a few gift certificates to some local Restaurants so we can actually eat! Yay! This most recent location was an amazing museum of dead animals. They love their animal skins up here, and this place was no different.

Ghost Royce

Ghost Royce

Whole lot of em'

Whole lot of em’

Lot's O animals

Lot’s O animals

Hanging out at the hall of death

Hanging out at the hall of death

Places like this always make me think of Ace Ventura 2, “What a lovely hall of death you have”!

Anyway, I’ve got to get on my lines right now. Have a good night!

 

 

Talkeetna and finally Soldotna! THE CAT’S A MAYOR!

It’s really easy for some reason to wake up really early here. I love waking up in the dark around 5:30 or 6 and knowing that it’s not going to get light until 9! I have no idea why but I get SO MUCH done during the dark hours at the house.

We woke up in Talkeetna and visited a famous spot for breakfast that some of the guests at the show told us about the night before. Since our lodge wasn’t a B&B we needed a spot for breakfast! Here was a small sampling.

Just a little pancake.

Just a little pancake.

Oh...there's the plate!

Oh…there’s the plate!

Normally I eat a really clean diet but sometimes, like this time, I make an exception. This was a sourdough pancake made with 100-year-old starter and birch syrup, reindeer sausage on the side. This was Austin’s meal but we shared this and split mine. It was all soo good. and the tables were communal so we sat with an audience member from the night before who had been in Talkeetna for 30 years. This is the ROADHOUSE and it may never be topped.

We wanted to walk a bit after the breakfast so we decided to get political and meet the mayor.

This is the MAYER of Talkeetna!

This is the MAYOR of Talkeetna!

A CAT is the mayor of Talkeetna! A cat! His name is Smudge and he’s 17 years old, he looks much younger and is the nicest politician I’ve met yet.

We stumbled onto one of my favorite things in any location…

Face hole picture things!!!2014-02-07 21.48.46 2014-02-07 21.49.07

See?

See?

Yes

Yes

More

More

There are only three of us, but I still manage to go overboard.

There are only three of us, but I still manage to go overboard.

Every possible combo

Every possible combo

I am a total sucker for these

I am a total sucker for these

Along the way back to our lodge we saw the radio station that looked just like the one from Northern Exposure, so I had to get a picture.

Not KBER but close to Northern Exposure

Not KBER but close to Northern Exposure

Before we were picked up there was one special trip that I wanted to take. I walked by myself to the Climber’s Memorial in Talkeetna that pays tribute to those who attempted to summit the peaks in Alaska and have lost their lives. It was very pretty and very solemn.

Climbers Memorial

Climbers Memorial

Climber's Memorial

Climber’s Memorial

Climbers Memorial

Climbers Memorial

A clear view of Denali

A clear view of Denali

We had to head out to one gig on Saturday before we got to head to Soldotna so we took one more picture in front of a picture perfect Denali.

In front of Denali

In front of Denali

Fun Fact: Only 30% of visitors see Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, without cloud cover. We were pretty lucky.

The Second performance space

The Second performance space

The nice view from our second show. A beautiful lakeside cabin!

We finally made it into Soldotna around 9pm and crashed after eating a super-fancy Safeway dinner. Glam.

Packing up (mostly psychological baggage)

This week is our last week in Texas before Austin and I pack up our car with Whiskeydog and make the trek up to Colorado. A few days after that we’re off to Alaska.

Austin and I are lucky enough to know a few amazing people who are making this trip possible. While we’re up there we’ll be performing improv comedy and a short three-show run of Barefoot in the Park.

I’ll start with the most uncomfortable part. The lines. I’m fine packing-up things, freaking out about what to bring, the anxiety about what I’ve forgotten, the feeling of missing out on friends/family/fun functions, I’m fine with all of that. Memorizing lines? That might just end me.

I spent over an hour the other day just getting 10 pages of Neil Simon dialogue, and it made me dizzy. I knew there was a reason I stuck to singing and improv. I can “make-em up” with the best of them and I can memorize a song after hearing it only a few times. I could do improv and singing all day long. Put me in front of a script and I start to lose my mind.

The biggest problem I’ve been having is getting the lines word for word. I’ve had this problem since I started acting. I will give the “gist” of the line to my fellow scene partners and from there I expect them to pick up their cues. Wrong. I can’t do that. Every actor needs their Cue Line so they know when to speak. Now, this show is 90+ pages long and I’m on all but two of them. It is frightening, daunting and I’m only 21 pages in but I’ll get it, and damnit I’ll be proud when I do.

I’ll be out of my element. I like to say that I’m very German about things. I like to wake up at a certain time and I like to go to bed whenever I want to. I don’t like others touching my stuff because I have it places where I want it, and it’s clean and it’s nice and JUSTDON’TTOUCHIT.  Ok, it’s not that bad, but sometimes it feels like it.

I think once we get up there it will be just fine. I just know that in the past I haven’t been one of those free-spirit, drop everything, take-nothing travelers. I like to have things planned out, I like to know where I’ll be sleeping the next night and I really like the option of taking a hot shower. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I won’t be living on HOTH but it’s still a far cry from Austin,TX. See! We have snow is TEXAS! 2014-01-25 08.47.20 2014-01-25 08.47.17

I think I just need to get my travel bug back. I traveled through New Zealand on my own for two weeks and I’ve lived in other countries just fine. This will be just fine. I need to keep reminding myself about this. Just take a breath and keep packing. Or start packing. Whatever.

But Hey! I bought Boots!

2014-01-25 13.38.55

Trail of Lights! and Giant Jackalopes

Last night one of our friends suggested we go to the Trail of Lights which is a great, FREE event here in Austin during the holiday season. We decided to take a Car2go there so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking. It turned out great even though the police didn’t quite know how to handle the large amount of people this first night.

2013-12-10 17.54.36We got all bundled up and went out into the frigid (read 50 degree) weather of Austin the in early Winter. It’s a great light set-up they have all through Zilker Park and it was the perfect thing to get us into the Christmas Spirit!

2013-12-10 18.38.13

You were supposed to stand under this giant tree and spin so it gave you a cool (yet dizzy) feeling. It made us feel like kids…or drunks.

2013-12-10 18.38.53 2013-12-10 18.39.11 2013-12-10 18.42.07

This is the weird log-fire-thing. Whatever, Christmas!
2013-12-10 18.59.19 2013-12-10 19.00.46 2013-12-10 19.07.47 2013-12-10 19.08.02

Photobombing Triceratops. Boom. Got-ya. 2013-12-10 19.09.14 2013-12-10 19.10.16 2013-12-10 19.14.51

Very Creepy Elf or VCE2013-12-10 19.19.28At the end we took a nice little group picture and made our way home WITHOUT traffic. It seems like you can only drive freely in Austin when it’s 8:00pm or 3:00am. The traffic here is just terrible. But hey, we put up with it for good friends, good lights and Christmas. photo 4

And GIANT JACKALOPES!!

photo 3I love things that are tiny and things that are huge, this is the counterpoint to my tiny spoon collection.

So the Koala is a Texas Native?

Finally Friday! Yes, Friday! Yessssssbut I’m still working, so it’s not the weekend yet. However my Flaming Lips Spotify station is keeping me really pleased on this fine, rainy day.

This has been a week of sitting on my butt, and I’ve hated it. I’m finally back in my own home office, with my stand up desk so I’m feeling much better. I’m a person who really likes to be in my own zone so when I’m away from this, I’m on the defensive. Not cool.

However, I did get to cox a boat this week which is one two-hour span that I didn’t mind sitting on my butt, mostly because I got to boss a whole boat around!

Night Rowing

Night Rowing

Night Coaching

Night Coaching

These were my views for the evening and those are my bare feet in the boat. It was such a nice night for a row, good and cold. And it has great views of Austin at night.

Nice night for a row

Nice night for a row

Beautiful, right? And this is in NOVEMBER that they’re all out here sweating and rowing in shorts and a t-shirt.

I was lucky enough, however, to get the chance to row early the next morning. Here are the first pics I took as we were getting off the water.

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

Foggy Day

Foggy Day

Then I realized that my phone was in my bra during the row (have to keep it safe!!) and then I cleaned the lens.

Not that foggy after all, whoops.

Not that foggy after all, whoops.

HAHAHA! Yeah, maybe I should clean it off before I start taking pictures. Anyway, it was a good row and I even had enough time to get to my breakfast meeting where I saw this **STUNNING** piece of art.

Longhorn

Longhorn

But I was a bit perplexed by this piece of AMAZING.

Why so sad Koala?

Why so sad Koala?

Austin looked at this and thought it looked like the saddest Koala he’d ever seen. The cracked me up as it was in your average greasy spoon diner here in Austin. It made my morning.

That evening Austin and I went to a dinner put together by Michelle Norris, founder of

Paleo f(x)™ !

We were so excited to be there for the Russian Paleo dinner she prepared that we both wore red to the dinner.

photo 1 (1)

The dinner was a great chance to hang out with friends and eat some great food. It’s always nice to see our paleo friends in a nice setting, and it’s always good to eat good food.

The dinner was great and we a had a choice of Russian or Spanish inspired cuisine. Here’s the menu from the Russian (paleo) selections:

Russian Menu

Russian Menu

I loved the lamb, it was one of my favorite dishes but you’ll have to imagine it because I still don’t like taking pictures of my food unless it’s amazing…or still alive.

 Photo curtesy of www.erikschimek.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.erikschimek.com

Here’s a great picture of the lovely couple. Keith and Michelle Norris. So happy to be a part of her special evening.

Then work, work, work took over and I found myself at Friday already. Austin had an early showing so I took Whiskey along with me during my sprints. Kill two birds with one stone, wear out the dog and get my workout in!

What's that?

What’s that?

What’s that though? There’s something on the trail!

Zombie Dog

Zombie Dog

Zombie Whiskey sees trouble at the crossing. The water here is actually moving really fast and it’s much deeper than it looks. So we kept running on a different trail and after I was done with my sprints we just walked for the rest of the journey, it was a great (cold) morning in Austin!

Good Morning Sprints

Good Morning Sprints

My big, beautiful face agrees. Note: My earbuds were essential in helping me with my sprints. I have a great app. that beeps different tones to tell me when to start, when to stop and when I’ve completed all of my sprints. It’s called Interval Timer and I really like it!

So that’s my day! I’ve been working all day and I’m just about to hit the store with Austin and hopefully take our wussy dog on a walk (she hates the rain). But today wasn’t totally devoid of all activity (save the sprints), while I took a short break from work today I did a little workout from Tina at Carrots&Cake!

Dead_Man_Walking_WOD_from_CrossFit_781

Because I don’t have a rowing machine I just did a minute of jumping jacks. This was a great way to beat the afternoon blahs. Although when it’s cold and rainy I LOVE working at home. It’s been a great day for me. I hope the weekend proves to be just as good 🙂

Whirlwind Week and Restaurant Food

Heart coffee

Heart coffee

Whew, this week has been crazy so far and it just about to get crazier. It’s not all great stuff, some long meetings and some fun things but I’m wiped out already! And this coffee has been the way I’ve started every day so far. Waking up early, which I love, is hard but necessary when you need to get the day moving fast.

We have a new co-worker in town so I’ve been doing a lot of eating out. So far one dinner, one lunch and one breakfast. The dinner was last night at Estancia. Basically it’s one of the Spanish meat-on-a-stick places. If you’ve never been it’s fun but as much as I love meat I stuck with their super (and half priced) salad bar. My boss bought a bottle of Cuvee (similar to Champagne) so I had about a glass and half.

Salad Bar

Salad Bar

Meat on a stick

Meat on a stick

Source

I’m usually all up in that meat, but I wasn’t really feeling it and I knew we’d be eating out a lot this week so I chose to go the salad route.

This morning I was glad I did. When I eat too much salted meat I can’t get my rings on in the morning and while I love the salty taste I really like my wedding ring, so there’s the trade-off.

Then today we were in an all day meeting. We broke for lunch around noon and headed (on foot, yay!) to the Cheesecake Factory. restnutch_58_The-Cheesecake-Factory_290x165

Source

One thing I really like about the Cheesecake Factory is that they have nutritional info posted on their website, and while it’s not complete, it’s a good place to start. Because I lead the paleo life I’m usually safe with a Cobb Salad without the blue cheese and dressing. I just use oil and vinegar and it turns out just fine for my taste. I cut down on not so great oils and I up the protein with all of the meat and eggs in the salad.

When I got home from the meeting I had time for a VERY quick nap so Whiskey decided to  join me. Austin snapped this quick pic of us snoozing.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Then I headed out to the boathouse for a session on the water. BY THE WAY…OMG that lil pup is cute. She has a bed but she likes to sleep close to where we are.

Anyway, off to the boathouse to cox a boat for the evening and then off to row early in the morning on Thursday. Then another breakfast with the working bunch at a Denny’s-like restaurant here called JIM’S. Because it’s similar to Denny’s I usually stick with an egg centered breakfast and then pair it with steamed veggies and add butter, if they have REAL butter. If not, I go with some other greenish option.

So that’s how I work things out when I HAVE to eat out. What are your best options when you are eating out all the time?