Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The most epic weekend ever

 After a terrifying drive home in the dark Thursday night, Cesca and I got up bright and early to catch our flight to NYC to meet up with Lauren and get down to business. After an uneventful flight, we were almost killed in our stupid airport shuttle on the way to the hotel by AWFUL NYC traffic. Seriously, I've never been more sure that I was going to die.

Anywho, we got in around 3 on Friday, planned a bit and then headed out to explore. Lauren has never been to NYC before, so we went to lots of touristy places like the M&M store, FAO Schwartz, Central Park and other Times Square locations.
Our hotel at the Milford Plaza

Typical NYC tourist activity

we stopped for amazing cupcakes

We stopped by Toys-R-Us. Lauren barely
made it out alive!
After a visit to the Discover Center's SPY exhibit (where we learned all about what real spies use in real life, and where Cesca got asked out by one of the workers LOL), we headed over to Ellen's Stardust Diner for dinner, where we were serenaded by the singing waitstaff. Our waiter even sang one of my favorite Italian songs, Con Te PartirĂ². Then we shopped a bit and headed over to the stage door of Phantom, since after Saturday it was sure to be a madhouse.

It was crazy crowded cause Sierra Boggess is somewhat of a musical legend nowadays, having been Andrew Lloyd Webber's star child for the past few years, but we managed to meet her and get an autograph and picture, despite rude, pushy adults being douchebags.

She's quite lovely and has gorgeous hair

Saturday, we did some more touristy things such as visiting the Central Park Zoo and exploring the snow festival they were having (complete with hot apple cider and apple cider donuts, YUM!). We stopped and did a bit of shopping/browsing, then headed back to get ready for the show. 

clearly we are related- any weird statue must be

found this guy hiding in the tropical zone

cesca doesn't like this snake

This snake wants to eat Cesca


Polar bear!

cesca gets creative


Sea Lions being cute

we found Balto!

Gotta keep those tosies warm

Just getting her Dark Knight on 
We stopped by the Majestic to take wonderful pictures


Final lair- Lauren and I make an excellent

Cesca and I fangirling over Hugh Panaro

Despite the fact that we had to wait in an ALLEY to pick up our tickets in 10 degree weather, it was worth it to be a part of this monumental event.

Fancy schmancy at the show
Champagne cause it was a super classy

Curtain call with Hal Princ and Cameron MacIntosh,
the director and producer of the show

Hugh and Kyle, the Phantom and Raoul

The lovely Sierra Boggess, whose portrayal I really liked
this time

The post show celebrations included speeches and a
 4-Phantom  rendition of MOTN
For Cesca and Me, this is also a celebratory performance, as March 23, 2013 will mark our 10 year Phanniversary, and we had originally decided to go to Vegas. Well, Vegas closed early so we made the trip last summer, and so then we decided to go ON our Phanniversary. Then the contest happened, and we decided that if we won, it would be our 10 year celebration. Lo and behold, the universe said GO AND BE HAPPY. And we were.

 The energy and enthusiasm in the crowd was unmatched by any other performance of a show that I have seen. It was AMAZING and I will review it later so that those who don't want to hear my ramblings about minute hand movements and interpretations can skip it (coughAndreacough) but afterwards we decided that meeting Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey would be really awesome so we headed over to the Walter Kerr Theater and waited at the stage door...

...For about 40 min. In the FREEZING cold. Buuuuuuuuuut he's adorable and gorgeous and wonderful so it was totally worth it. I mean, look at that face!

Totally worth it

I even snagged a playbill so I could have his autograph

It was one of, if not THE best trips to NYC I have ever had. It was great to share with my sister, friends from home and other Phantom Phans. I hope to be a part of many more milestones in my lifetime, but for now I am content that the universe wanted me to go to this and made it all possible. What a great start to the new year and my last semester at IC. I can't wait to see what 25 more years of Phantom brings me!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Thank you Universe

So you all probably know by now that my crazy fanaticism for Phantom knows no bounds, and that I've been spamming you all on Facebook or Twitter with the contest, hoping to win.

On January 2nd, the contest was supposed to end and winners were supposed to be notified. But the contest didn't end till 5, and on the 3rd they announced that emails would be going out shortly. I had to work that night, and it wasn't a lovely evening. I had received no email and had given up hope.

Around 9 oclock I was degreasing the booths at Burger King (yeah, it's as fun as it sounds) and was in a bad mood. I knew the contest was a longshot and I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, but it is hard when you want something so badly.

Discouraged, I went to bed that night, resigning myself to the fact that I would not get to see my beloved Phantom for the 25th anniversary celebration.

I woke up the next day feeling slightly less depressed, and went to check my email as I normally do. That's when I saw this:

In shock, I grabbed my computer and ran into my room, shrieking at Cesca to get up (apparently she was having a zombie apocalypse nightmare and I had just broken through the defenses, which made her freak a bit when she woke up). I shoved my computer in her face. She gasped and looked at me with wild, disbelieving eyes. This kind of stuff doesn't happen to us. 

I ran around the house exclaiming my joy to the cats, as nobody else was around, then tried to burn off nervous energy. I called my mom to tell her the good news- she can't believe it either. She enters tons of contests all the time and never wins anything. How had I possibly done it???

Needless to say, Cesca and I are booked and ready to go to the gala performance. I'm taking her (read: dragging her) to the stage door friday night to meet the cast since they have a party after Saturday's performance and probably will not be stopping at the stage door after the show. I just cannot believe my luck. 

Sure, I have to skip classes on Friday, though it is only the first week of classes, and I'll be dead tired from the whirlwind adventure we are going to have, but it's worth it to make this crazy dream come true.

This also counts as our 10th Phanniversary celebration. Happy Phanniversary Cesca!!!

I. Am. So. Pumped.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Well, 2012 has been a fun, amazing year.

In review:

Italy, which included an amazing host mom, trips to cool places like Paris (to see the Opera House!!!), Portugal, the Phantom UK tour, the Amalfi Coast with my mom and sister and Venice for Carnivale. Overall, study abroad round 2 was just as amazing and very different from London.

Vegas, which included a trip to the Chippendales show and Phantom Las Vegas (to see it before it closed) and a trip to the grand canyon, which was beyond amazing. Vegas was totally different from anything I had experienced before, especially since I had not been farther west than Ohio, and it was really crazy awesome.

Ren Fest- yet again, fun times. Going to the Celtic weekend made me think of Scotland, which was really cool, and this year we even got mistaken for staff members. Awesome!!!

Family Time- my father has been retired for a year and Cesca and I have been catching up on him, and this year the Post Office announced a buyout so my mom can retire too!! She'll be done January 31st!

For this year, I don't know what my plans are. I know that I will be graduating, and I think I have my plans figured out, but I'm never 100% sure. All I have decided is that my resolution is to go at least 1 place new this year, whether it's a new state, country, city or whatever. I never want to stop experiencing new things, and I think that I will be able to keep this one this year.