Sunday, December 9, 2007

Moving on up....

So,…if you have not already heard…big things are happening in the Gutman family.

As of today we have been traveling nomads for just over a year. We have been part time residents of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tempe, San Diego, Orange County and currently Seattle. We have been living out of suitcases and racked up tons of miles on the ol’ Grand Cherokee.

As of this month that crazy lifestyle will be coming to a close.

This month Eric was transferred to the Broadway cast of Jersey Boys. It was all very sudden for us. One day we were looking for housing in Houston and trying to plan a nice vacation. Then the next day we were suddenly looking for long term housing in New York.

It was obviously a very stressful month for us.

You see…we never wanted to go to New York. It was never in “the plan”. The plan was always to stay on the road for 1 – 2 years. After that maybe move back to Michigan…or maybe Chicago. Eric had lived in New York before and did not really want to go back…me? I have never wanted to go to New York.

I don’t look at myself as a sheltered person. I love to travel and visit new places. I like visiting New York…but never imagined I would live there. I admit it. I enjoy suburbia, I like having a car and being able to drive to the store. I like camping and looking at the mountains. I like a slower way of life I guess. I just look at New York as the complete opposite of what I am comfortable in. The subways? They scare me. I am totally going to get lost. Not having a car?? I am going to go insane. Living out of a shoebox and paying up the nose for it? I like having a house. Laundromats…no dishwashers or garbage disposals….oy.

So I guess I will have a lot to get use to. I am sure everyone thinks I am insane…and yes, I guess I am being negative. But…I am nervous about this whole move.

Don’t get me wrong…there are many thing I am excited about.

Lets first talk about how excited I am for Eric. This is every actors dream. To have a credit on Broadway…to be in the “big show”. Eric has so much talent and I am extremely proud that he is getting the recognition that he deserves. So, not only does he get to be on Broadway….but he is on Broadway in the hottest ticket in town. It will be sad to leave the tour family that we have had for the past year…but I know we will see all of them again soon.

It will also be nice to have a “home” for at least a year. Living in new cities is fun. I got to live in places that I had never visited and actually have time to explore like a resident vs, just being a tourist. However, it is kind of crazy living out of a suitcase. Just as you are starting to feel comfortable in a certain place you have to pack up and leave. So, now we will have a place where we can just put the suitcases in storage and actually unpack…for at least a year.

I am also pumped that I will not have to sell merchandise anymore. It was nice to have the same work hours as Eric. I really felt apart of the tour working at the theatre every day. HOWEVER….as you know….I am so over all the dumb questions.

What are the differences between the CDs…. (um…read the titles people they are clearly written on the dang CDs!!!!)

Do they sell these anywhere else for cheaper…. (do you ask this at every store you shop in?!?!)

Where are the Jersey Girls t-shirts…this is a sexist show! (hello?? The name of the show is Jersey BOYS!)

Etc etc etc etc etc etc etc…..

So once I am in New York I can finally quit the merch thing and do something a little more up my alley.

What else….

Ah yes…I am going to be able to do my S-factor classes again. That will definitely keep me sane. I am so excited to actually start back with my classes. Actually, when we found out about New York I immediately called the studio and signed up for the next session. Now I just have to figure out how to fit a pole in a shoebox apartment once we get to the city. Somehow I do not think Eric will object…

When we decided that we were going to go to New York I told Eric I was writing up a New York contact. In that contact there were a few things that had to happen in order for us to go there…

1. I get to do S Factor….Check…already signed up.

2. I get to have Pinkberry at least 3 times a week. Yup! That’s right…there is a plethora of Pinkberrys in New York. So, even though there is not one right next to our house (that could be dangerous to the wallet!) they are randomly placed around the city. I am really looking forward to working the yogurt back into my weekly routine.

3. I get a driver instead of taking the subway…so obviously I did not this approved in my contract negotiations. Oh well…I guess I will have to learn to ride the subway like everyone else.

So that’s the big news. I am going to become a New Yorker. Apparently the place that we are going to be renting over the next year has plenty of room for at least 2 air mattresses at a time. Therefore, I am already taking reservations. Please book your flights now to come and visit. I will take you on a tour of the city and we will stop at various pinkberrys along the way.

Seriously though…everyone likes to visit New York and usually flights are pretty cheap into the city…so I expect to see many friends over the next year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mother Nature Doesn’t Like Me….

We were very sad to leave Orange County. We truly felt like we were on vacation there. But….as we must do at the end of every city…we reluctantly bid goodbye to our beach house and golf carts and packed up the car.

We decided to caravan with our friends in the show Chris & Jenna. Eric was extremely excited when I told him we should buy walkie talkies just in case we were in bad cell phone areas. So we all met early in the morning and headed out….walkie talkies in hand.

The intention was to drive for 10 – 12 hours the first day and get a good deal of the 18 hour drive out of the way. The beginning of our drive started off fine. It was a Sunday so we hit absolutely no traffic. It really was smooth sailing up the I-5. We even got to play some driving games with our fellow caravan-ers through the walkie talkies. Early in the drive we saw a beautiful rainbow…I thought for sure this was a great sign that our drive would be easy as pie…boy was I wrong.

About 100 miles south of Oregon the weather started to get not so good. It started with some rain…then soon after that turned to snow…then soon after that turned into somewhat of a blizzard. I felt like I was back in Michigan. You could hardly see what was in front of you and only one lane on the freeway was really available for driving since the other one was completely snow covered. Who knew it snowed in California? Isnt’ just supposed to be blue skies and ocean?


At this point I would like to interrupt this story of our drive with another story. I used to be a great snow driver…I mean I am from Michigan…we get a good deal of snow there. I drove a crappy ass Dodge Shadow with no power steering in high school and college and I had no problem navigating that thing through Michigan Winters. Spin outs? Fishtailing? No problem…its fun! Well my master snow driving all came to an end when I started working at Chrysler. During my first week as a District Manager in my first field car I had a little bit of an accident. You see…they gave me a Dodge Durango R/T. This was basically a big sports car SUV with street tires. Street tires = no traction. No traction in Michigan =’s problems.

I was driving home from my district on the freeway and all the sudden the car hit a patch of black ice and flipped over into a ditch. We were not hurt…but the car was totaled. Even though we were not injured I was permanently scared. Now…whenever we are driving in snow I kind of freak out. Its no good. I get super tense and maybe even shed a tear or two. I feel ashamed that I am a Michigan girl at heart and cannot even sanely drive when a snow flurry falls from the sky.


Ok…Back to the story….

So here we are in the middle of no where driving in a blizzard in California. We are lucky…we have an SUV….but our friends Chris and Jenna were driving a 92 Honda stick shift. Even the SUV is having some problems driving down the road…I can hardly imagine what it was like to be in the Honda. Finally … we breathe a sigh of relief when we get to a town where we can shack up for the night.

We arrive in lovely Weed, Califonia. It is your basic small town America with NOTHING to do. There are some gross fast food joints and a random Mexican food place. We sit down with our crappy Mexican food carryout and turn on the news to see what we have in store for the next day. All the weather has to “brag” about is the “hurricane force winds” that will be hitting Oregon and Seattle. Woo Hoo…something to look forward to.

So we got to sleep….we wake up to crazy wind sounds outside. Good thing is…most of the snow is already melted…bad thing…its crazy ass windy. In fact…it is so windy that as we are fueling up for our drive the McDonalds sign next to the gas station actually gets blown out…little pieces of McDonalds sign go flying…we know its time to get the heck out of Weed!

Surprisingly, once we leave weed the winds calm down and the drive is not that bad. It rains on and off but nothing major. We see 2 more rainbows and I think again this must be a sign for a good day.

Um…not so much….

So we drive…and it starts to rain a little more…

Jenna’s mom calls and says she heard about this crazy bad flooding and mud slides in Oregon and Washington.

We think….maybe that’s just on the coast…this rain is not that bad.

About 90 miles from our destination we pull up on I-5 to a detour…that’s weird? This freeway is closed? We get off and try to find a way around the blockage…not really knowing how bad it was. We drive for about 30 minutes…in and around this very small town. Everywhere we turn roads are closed due to flooding. Finally we stop and ask a fireman what the deal was.

He explained to us that I-5 was basically flooded out for 20 miles and there was NO WAY around it. Everything is the county was flooded out. He said…I can tell you about 11 ways to get to Seattle from here not taking the I-5…but all of them are under water.


He advises us to turn back around and go back 30 miles to a random town and get a room there for the night. Coincidentally…there were about 5 other cars of people in the cast also making the drive. So there we are…1/4 of the Jersey Boys cast all holed up in Longview, Washington. We were so close to our destination…but yet so far.

We read online that I-5 will be closed for at least 36 hours if not longer….they advise online that the only detour will take 8 hours in good weather. Here is the problem….all theses people have to be in Seattle for the show…we had to get there…we could not wait 36 (or more) hours to wait for I-5 to dry up. Were we going to have to make this 8 hour detour drive????

So…,maybe rainbows are not good signs for driving…but maybe they are a good sign for strange coincidences. One of the guys with us…his family is actually from Longview, Washington…and his uncle actually works for the road commission. He advises him of an alternate route that is only 2-3 hours (compared to the 8 hr one). Yes! We did not have to make that horrible 8 extra hour drive.

In the morning we all pack up our stuff and cross our fingers that this alternate route is not under water as well. So there we are ….. 4 cars of Jersey Boys driving through Washington hoping that the worst rain in history does not catch up with us.

The detour drive was beautiful. We drove through crazy winding roads and mountains. We hit a bit of rain but nothing too crazy. Its good to know someone that has the inside info on roads!!! Maybe rainbows are good for something….

FINALLY….after way too many days of driving and way too many detours we pull into our destination.

So here we are. We are staying at an amazing house that overlooks Pugent Sound You thought we had some good views in San Diego and Laguna Beach?? The views we have here are out of control. The owner of the house says sometimes you can see bald eagles and whales from the huge picture windows in the living room.

It’s a nice place to FINALLY be in….however long that may be…..