Into A City Called Bellevue

Early Tuesday, Somewhere Over New Mexico…

A major perk of my current profession is a fair amount of travel I get to do during show season. Probably the most exciting of said travel are the trips to Seattle that happen twice a year. Last time I had a whole adventure lined up – reconnecting with high school friends and seeing my father for the first time in a couple of years. This time it’s only been about half a year, there are no plans post-work other than a rendezvous with my father and eating entirely too many of those wings he makes. Some things have to change and though we can’t really go back to the homes we remember again, sometimes the small consistent things that endure through time can make all the difference.

The brief stop in New Mexico.

The brief stop in New Mexico.

So what to do? I’ve got a bit more free time with the team this round as well as some different and arguably more fun folks along on said team. I’m also better integrated with the crew having worked with them a more over the last few months, which makes it easier to spend some off-time with them. As an added bonus, instead of the heart of Seattle like last time, this show is across the lake in Bellevue, WA (it honestly could more or less be considered a very large “suburb” of Seattle.)

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but what’s special about Bellevue is that I was born and (mostly) grew up there. Though we did spend a fair amount of time moving around when I was younger, I was adamant about staying with my class from sixth grade onward, so even during the years of homelessness and living in towns that were an hour away, we did what we had to in order to get me to school in Bellevue every day.   In this manner I was able to hold on to some form of stability when there was otherwise very little.

So to be directly in my old stomping grounds will be fun, we’re very close to the city center mall named Bellevue Square (I visited with my high school friends last round) which is surrounded by an abundance of things to do. The shows / work wrap up on Saturday Morning, and then I’m effectively off after we finish striking the production, get everything packed and make sure everyone else has made their flights. I’ll likely pick up a rental car and spend that evening through Monday night doing my thing before I catch a red-eye at 11:59 PM, putting me back in Orlando shortly after 10:00 AM on Tuesday.

I have a minor itch to drive into the mountains and hike some. Florida weather is great and the beaches and oceans have a charm of their own (especially in terms of sunsets!) but the land is flat. No mountains, very few hills, just… flat. You’ve probably gathered by now I like elevation, and views. In Washington State I can combine that with nature for some pretty amazing scenery even it the weather is the typical grey sky. I spent quite a bit of time hiking, camping and climbing in the mountains of Washington as a young man. Perhaps I’ll find a companion to head up there with, or maybe I’ll make it a meditative solo journey. Granted this is all very stupid of me with my ankle still a bit out of whack (runner problems) but nothing I can’t handle despite the fact it would probably increase recovery time.

It will be mine!

It will be mine!

Another goal this round is to make it back to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Though it is a nationwide chain, the closest one to Florida is still nearly a thousand miles away. When I lived on the west side of Washington State (especially in the early years of my ex and my relationship) I would frequent there a lot and partake in their amazing spaghetti smothered in browned butter and Mizithra cheese. As a rabid cheese lover, this is a fantastic treat for a really reasonable price.   Though I have visited and been back since, it’s a special, nostalgic event especially because I haven’t been back to this specific location in over a decade (I went with my father a couple years back, but at a different location.)

But first I’ll have to make it through this show. The hallmarks of shows like this are early call times and long hours. I’m still tired from the past few days. Sunday I went in to work in order to prepare an important presentation (worth roughly $150k this year) for my CEO to present on Monday. With all the changes and updates it became a monster seventy-four slide multimedia PowerPoint presentation that kept me working straight through from Sunday afternoon into the early morning hours of Monday.   With our presentation happening Monday morning, I had time for a ninety-minute nap before I met my boss at headquarters to print all the materials a travel to meet our clients.

The presentation went great, and we’re optimistic about the outcome, but it was back to work from there with meetings and preparation for today’s travel. I left the office around six in the evening and had time to shop for various items (new shoes, cologne, cat supplies, etc.) before heading home to do laundry, pack, shower and take another nap for about three hours before getting up at 3:00 AM to catch our early morning flight. I was able to catch about two hours of sleep on the first leg of our flight putting me at a grand total of around six and a half hours of sleep since Sunday.

So, needless to say I’m still very tired. Tonight is a relatively laid-back schedule with a dinner and pre-production meeting before an early call time to set up our production tomorrow. If I can manage a decent amount of sleep tonight, I should be able to bounce back relatively well (praise coffee!) and keep myself in good condition for the rest of the show. If not, I’ll manage as I always have in these situations, I just might need a bit more time to sleep in on Sunday.

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