I Think My Water Just Broke

31 Aug

Today is the 125th anniversary of the first Jack the Ripper murder, but that has nothing to do with today’s entry. Today marks my 9-month anniversary of being on the road! I could have had a baby by now!!

It was on New Year’s Eve that I headed out to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to meet up with the cast and crew of Flashdance on a tour that, for all intents and purposes, answered a lot of prayers and met a lot of needs. It’s also restored a great deal of self-confidence.

In these 9 months, I have traveled to 24 cities in 18 states. I’ve visited 20 zoos and aquariums. I’ve worked over 280 performances of 2 national tours and 2 Tony-award winning Broadway shows. I’ve eaten countless pizzas, consumed (and given up) hundreds of liters of diet soda and I finally got to try In ‘n Out Burger. I’ve made so many new friends and have met up with dozens of old ones along the way, and I’ve made some pretty major life decisions, as well. It’s been a great time, and I look forward to seeing what my time with Evita has in store.

Several people have asked me what my favorite city has been so far on the road. That’s a tough choice, but I’m going to try to give you my list of what I consider to be the top 10 most beautiful cities I’ve visited this year…so far. These choices are based solely on my experience in each city, but I will try to back up my choices as best I can. Who knows…maybe this will help you decide where to visit on your next vacation!

So, here goes: My Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities

1. San Diego, California

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La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California

What’s not to love about San Diego? The weather is almost always perfect – typically between 65° and 75° and sunny every day, there are beautiful beaches, wildlife, great food it’s only an hour and half from Disneyland.

2. Denver, Colorado

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Sunset over the Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado

The Mile-High City is maybe one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. The view of the Rocky Mountains from my hotel window is worth the visit alone, but this city is chock full of wonderful restaurants (ChoLon Bistro is a must), theatres and shopping. And apparently it’s great for people who like to do outdoorsy things, too. 

3. Seattle, Washington

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A view of the skyline from the West Seattle Ferry, Seattle, Washington

You can’t beat the view of the Seattle skyline from the ferry to Alki Beach or from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park, and the sunsets over the Olympic Mountains are stunning when viewed from the piers along Puget Sound.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

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Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana

I hated New Orleans the first time I went there. Hated it. That was pre-Katrina, and I’m so glad to have gone back to get a new appreciation for the beauty of this city. From the uniqueness of the French Quarter and its architecture to gorgeous parks and creepy above-ground cemeteries, there is something different about New Orleans that has to be experienced to be understood.

5. Phoenix/Tempe, Arizona

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Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona

I never dreamed I’d find the desert to be beautiful, but it is truly stunning and completely different from anything I’ve ever seen before. I felt as if I were on another planet. That anything so dry and inhospitable can be home to so many plants and animals is astounding. Why anyone in their right mind would choose to live in a climate so brutal is beyond me, but after seeing the Sonoran Desert in all its glory, I can understand why you’d want to live there.

6. Spokane, Washington

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Spokane Falls, Spokane, Washington

The little city of Spokane packs a lot of punch. The roaring Spokane River and Falls create wonderful, rainbow-colored walls of mist rising up from the swirling waters below the multiple bridges throughout Riverfront Park.

7. Portland, Oregon

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The Portland Aerial Tram with Mount Hood in the background, Portland, Oregon

One of the weirdest places I’ve ever visited, Portland is also one of the greenest places I’ve ever been…and I don’t just mean the flora. Portlanders are almost fanatical about going green to save the environment, and after seeing Portland and the surrounding area, I can understand why. The view from Marquam Hill gives you a panoramic look at both the city as well as Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and the infamous Mount St. Helens. And…my friend Colleen lives there. You should buy her albums.

8. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

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The Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis, Minnesota

I don’t know what I expected of Minnesota – it was my first time there – but what I got far exceeded those expectations. The home of Mary Richards and grizzly bears, the Twin Cities are rich with art and theatre, delicious food and beautiful landscapes.

9. San Antonio, Texas

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The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Because of the crazy heat, I wasn’t able to see much of San Antonio, but no trip is complete without a visit to the basementless Alamo and the Riverwalk.

10. Baltimore, Maryland

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The Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has a bad reputation, but it really is a beautiful if quirky city. Full of history, art and interesting architecture, they don’t call it Charm City for nothing.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, housed and fed me and played tour guide for me over the last few months. Thanks, of course, to my Mom and Dad. Thank you to David, Cy, Brendan and Ildi back in New York for the job and the hard work you do. Thank you to Pete & Derek, Colleen, Tom & Anthony, Debbie & Gary for sharing your homes with me. Thank you to Nick, Maria, Julie, Dr. Almquist, Dr. Black, Stephen, Mike, Josh, Nicole, Davina, Sarah & Jay, Kristi & Robby, Rachel, Jill, Matt, Emily, Todd & Ben, Alicia, Laura & Sandra, TJ, Kinnie, Kyle, Kade, Megan, Renee, Rachel, Ariel, Kristin, Kris, Dean Parker, Debbie and Adam & Sue Ann for driving for hours to see me, for showing me around, for all the lunches and dinners and wonderful memories. And, of course, thanks to my friends at Flashdance the Musical. I can’t wait to see y’all again real soon!

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4 Responses to “I Think My Water Just Broke”

  1. Nina Anderson August 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    And, now, for our reading pleasure, the worst city(ies) you visited. Bwahaha.

    • jasonhbratton76 August 31, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      I don’t like to name names, but… Wilmington, Delaware. 😉

  2. Sarah Neal September 1, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    You’ve gotta lose yourself to find yourself…. There’s no better way to do that than to go far, far away for a good deal of time. I love that your journey has brought you back to yourself. One of my favorite quotes recently from “the best exotic marigold hotel” is “it always works out in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end yet.” We just have to keep believing. I’d love to see you next time you’re in town! It’s been too long.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy | Confessions of a Merch Whore - January 16, 2014

    […] weeks in absolute gloom and rain in Seattle and Portland. I know I listed both of them as two of my top 10 cities that I’ve visited, but I may have changed my mind after experiencing real Portland weather. It […]

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