5 AM Taxi to Kansas airport
After coming back from our Kansas show (thoughtfully reveiwed here by 'Q' of the Wichita Ukulele Society - thank you!). We all went back to our rooms, for the four or so hours sleep, before we'd have to be up to travel to Santa Fe (2 planes). Somehow, the way the cards fall on these tours, there is always ONE day, where - you know you'll be completely wrecked by the end of it and today was that day.
Doug and Dave look for breakfast in the terminal
Our flight was at 7am and it was a forty minute drive to the airport, which was like a morgue once we arrived there. The weird thing about planes on this tour, is that unlike previous tours, where they haven't been very full, on this tour, all international and domestic flights have been absoluetly rammed.
Despite all the constant pill popping I've been doing (see yesterday) plus the constant changes in climate (Houston - warm, Michigan - cold) on top of this the different altitudes we experience (we are heading to Santa Fe - 7000ft above sea level) and all the air conditioning from the hotel rooms and the planes, means that I have developed a slight sniffle - I shall have to watch it.
Since I was short of sleep, I was naturally a bit grouchy - airport announcements are especially irritating to me - especially the phrase "At this time" - whatever happened to 'Now'?
Example "At this time, we would like to ask passengers to board the plane" - instead of "Please board the plane now" - I must be getting old
Kansas to Denver (still grouchy)
Biplane hanging in Denver Airport
Changing planes - Denver airport is an enormous international hub and we had to walk a good half mile to get to our gate.
Getting on the smaller plane to Santa Fe at Denver airport
Santa Fe is a place we haven't played before so we we're all looking forward to seeing what it was like.
Passing over the Rockies
Here's the control tower at Santa Fe airport - precisely what we'd expected - I bet the air traffic controllers were all wearing cowboy hats. The altitude is noticable straight away (7000 ft above sea level) - that's higher than Denver.They even had a tin sign outside the airport which creaked in the wind - the sort of effect we strive for in "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly". On our way to the hotel - the taxi driver told us a bit about Santa Fe - the famous artist Georgia O'Keeffe, lived and painted here and there is a museum dedicated to her work in the town. There is also snow on the distant mountains and while the sun is out, it is warm, as soon as you move into the shade it gets very cold.
Here's the hotel - it had a London taxi parked outside in the liveried purple colours of the Santa Fe Hotel. The architecture/landscape is noticecable straight away with squat mud coloured buildings. Of course its all curiously familiar from movies and tv shows. Unfortunately, although we'd asked for an early check in (we'd arrived at 11.30 - having gained another hour) there were no rooms ready yet, which means that we had to spread out in the lobby to try and doze - which was fairly impossible as there were some workmen drilling in the foyer - and when they stopped, on went some dreadful pan pipes style musak. Jonty and Dave didn't get into their rooms till 4pm - half an hour before we had to leave for the theatre.
Aztec style art in the lobby
But not an Aztec style hotel pen I notice
I walked from the hotel with Leisa, Ben and Rich - this is the Lensic Theater - a pseudo Moorish masterpiece that has been suitably restored - in its heyday stars such as Yehudi Menuhin, Roy Rogers and Judy Garland all played here. Looking at the previous acts in the photo above, I sensed that despite being close to where Donald Trump wants to build his wall - Santa Fe is quite a liberal town, with plenty of art galleries, hippie style restaurants etc - of course there's plenty of tourist tat around. Spanish is spoken a lot here too.....
Getting set up for the show - the interior has been beautifully restored as well - to its original vaudeville style splendour.
Mural on the outside of the theatre
The show went over well and was sold out (800 seats). I'd had about an hour of incredibly deep sleep when I finally got into my hotel room, and woke up dazed and disoriented and was still a bit groggy when the show started. Towards the end of the second half, I'd felt my voice going (tiredness really kills my voice) so I had to rein it in a bit. After the show we went out to sign and say hello. I met the lovely Sarah, who had come along with her Mum, and had asked me to sign her ATTC T Shirt - God Bless her - she melted my heart!