Maeve Fearon, Dancer, Irish Dance Troupe, Shannon Company
Thankfully, this week has been a lot less hectic, with just three cities on our schedule. As many of you will know sleeping on a bus is not the most comfortable so after our long journey to Wilkes-Barre on our day off on Monday, it was straight to the swimming pool and jacuzzi that evening. In an effort to save my money, I try to do a weekly shop and stock up on cereal, fruit, yogurts and snacks for after the show. Let it be known however that if you want to save you should never visit Walmart!Having returned with much more than I needed, I made a lovely smoked salmon salad finished off with some nice Barry’s Tea and chocolate and settled in for the night to watch “WarHorse”.
The following day I didn’t wake until around 1pm!(I think this was my body’s way of telling me I need to rest.) With not much to do around the hotel I clocked up a few miles at the hotel gym and spent the remainder of the day chatting to friends and family at home. After Wilkes-Barre, it was off to Greensburg for another two-night stay and with little other than an impressive “Chocolate Store” in town near our theatre and a shopping mall across the highway from our hotel, most of us passed our time at the gym next door or just resting. On our last night however, we had a brilliant evening celebrating Maeve Croke’s birthday with a rather unique wine-tasting party organised by Caterina and Aisling. Everyone brought a particular bottle of wine and we had to rate each discussing it’s taste, smell and where we thought it originated from etc. I have to say, as with many blind taste tests we were all surprised with the wine we enjoyed most/least with many preferring wines they had previously disliked!I was also delighted when the Shiraz I had brought (The Australian “Chain of Fire” Shiraz – 2008) was the favourite of the evening.
On Friday morning, we made our way to the wonderful city of Philadelphia. Luckily we were staying in a pretty central area and since it was once again scorching hot, I quickly changed and headed out. Our first port of call was the historic “Reading Terminal Market”; a farmers market filled with the hustle and bustle of a multitude of diverse people and food for all. With its huge selection of baked goods, meats and poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables etc, it was hard to stay away but we decided to keep moving. Next was the “Liberty Bell” – a world-renowned symbol of freedom and independence. With a few quick snaps, we settled for dinner at the nearby “Jones” restaurant. Having another hour to spare, I wandered up Bruce Street, in the “Old City” area and what I would consider as my ideal place to live. Carrie-Bradshaw-esque townhouses (one famously owned by the 4th president of the United States – James Madison) on small and very peaceful cobbled streets. Walls covered in artwork and pretty trees lining each and every avenue. Not to mention the swarms of young hipsters sipping coffee and mingling in the sun. But alas, my time ran out and I made my way to the “Merriam Theatre” for the start of our five show weekend.
Marita (Flamenco dancer) and I met for breakfast early on Saturday morning to visit the famous “Rocky” steps at the local Art Museum. We were engrossed by the many fitness fanatics running up and down the steps and were both in agreement that we would definetly prefer the two-show day that lay ahead. Having not had much time the day before, I returned to the “Old City” area with Stephan Brennan in between shows. Lunch was a little different as we were witness to a wedding which was happening right next to us at a public outdoor area. Later that night after the show, I met with my cousins Brian and Rory at the local “Fado” pub and after a quick catch-up it was off to bed early in preparation for our final two shows.
Overall, our weekend in Philadelphia was highly enjoyable. Our shows were sold out and an impressive number of fans gathered after every performance for autographs and photos with the cast. I still find this totally surreal and it makes me realise how big the show really is!So once again, it was back to the packing (of course my case had exploded over the course of the weekend…oops!), to get ready for our journey to Youngstown on Monday morning.