Guest Blog #2!

It’s time for Guest Blog Post #2!

Since our last blog post, we’ve been through Grand Falls-Windsor, Fogo Island, Grand Bank, and are now writing from our last stop on the tour, Clarenville.

We didn’t have a show in Grand Falls-Windsor, but did have a full day off to explore. Evan sent out a Facebook call for recommended places to eat, and Kumar’s was mentioned multiple times. Once we finally rolled out of bed (being that it was our first chance to really sleep in), we decided to breakfast-lunch-and-dinner at Kumar’s, and we were certainly not disappointed. We were all craving some Indian food by this point so we ordered as much as we could: onion bahjia, vegetable pakora, garlic naan, butter naan, stuffed naan, chicken tikka, chicken masala, beef saagwala, chicken madras curry, and large amounts of rice with pretty pink bits.

guest2 kumar's

#givemecurry #givemesnacks

It was the most delicious Indian food any of us have ever eaten, made fresh for us by the nicest chef, and we had enough to bring home for a large supper. We begged her to open a restaurant in St. John’s, as is her wish. After lunch we headed over to the bowling alley to find that there was a massive bowling league there that afternoon, so we had to take a few hours off to digest and went back later to an empty bowling alley. We donned our Ninja Turtle alter egos and Raphael, after repeatedly dropping the ball, kicked our butts twice. We then accidentally found an arcade room, where Michelangelo won a bunch of gumballs and Donatello rocked the pinball machine. Leonardo was overcome by the $22 leggings sold at the bowling alley.

guest2 bowling

#givemestrikes #givemegumballs #givemeTMNT

Fogo Island was our next endeavour. Wow.

That’s almost all we can say about our time there.

First of all, it’s gorgeous, the people are lovely, the school was great, and we got to stay in a really fantastic house.

AND, we picked up a new tour groupie – Producer Kat! She joined us in Fogo Island with our school touring kit (lights & speakers, since we had been presenting in theatres until this point).

Since we were staying in a house, Mama Huckle Jr. cooked us our first home cooked meal of the tour – spaghetti bolognaise on shell pasta, sans spaghetti. Our show was the next morning (Friday), followed by a lovely lunch in armchairs at Flat Earth Coffee. We booked reservations for supper the next day at the Fogo Island Inn, and enjoyed the rest of the day off. Saturday was an exploring adventure day, and Kat took us around the island to Joe Batt’s Arm and Tilting. We didn’t see any seals (despite calling out to them), but the views almost made up for it.

guest2 fi

#givemeviews #givemeseals

That night, we enjoyed a fancy feast at the Fogo Island Inn. There aren’t really words to describe, but we’ll try.

It was all just amazing. Laura cried three times in sheer delight over every course and drink that appeared at our table. We were in awe as the chef came over to describe our meals, and we’re nearly took Donny, the bartender, home (collectively, as a group), after playing a few rounds of “invent that cocktail” following our meal. We loved every second of it.

guest2 fii

#givemetears #givemegut #givemeDonny #givemesnacks

The next day (Sunday), we got back on the ferry, said goodbye to Fogo Island, and began the long, long trek to Grand Bank.

Our motel was in a state of mid-renovation, and while we enjoyed the comfy beds and new bathrooms, we were mildly surprised and entertained by the lack of molding around the bathroom doors. But, we’ve spent enough time together on this tour that we were all pretty comfortable with each other by this point.

Everyone who has ever been to Grand Bank told us that we had to go to Sharon’s Nook for cheesecake – and so we did. Our first day there was a day off, so we drove over for breakfast, did a bit of exploring, and then returned for some of the best cheesecake we’ve ever had (which, we discovered, could be baked or unbaked), and got our crossword puzzle game on for the afternoon. We’re basically crossword plebes pros.

guest2 crosswords

#givemehints #givemebrains

Monday morning, we arrived at the school bright and early for our next show. We loaded in in record time, which gave us time to go back to Sharon’s Nook for brunch before the show.

John Burke High School was a fantastic audience (as all of our audiences have been!) and we got a standing ovation following the show, which felt really great. Speaking with the students afterwards, it was so rewarding to see the positive impact we had on them. For the millionth time, we were reminded of how important this message has been to each town we’ve visited.

We packed up (in record time again), and before driving to our last town of the tour, we stopped into Cashel’s Cove Crafts, a small store in Spanish Room owned and operated by the lovely Irene Hurley of the Burin Peninsula Arts Council (who brought us to Grand Bank!). We fell in love with all of her wares quite quickly and each of us left with a bag of goodies from her shop.

Now, we’re in Clarenville, enjoying a day off before our last show tomorrow afternoon at the Eastlink Events Centre. Our time off has mostly been spent eating (a lot), sleeping in, playing cards, doing crosswords, watching Matilda, and swimming in the hotel’s pool.

We’ll be sad to see the end of this tour. From traveling from town to town, and performing to over 2000 students and their teachers, it’s clear how important this piece is. While we’re all excited to get back home to our own beds, we’ve left pieces of our hearts in Bay Roberts, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador City, Stephenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Fogo Island, Grand Bank, and Clarenville (and everywhere we stopped along the way). We’ve met some truly amazing people and have had some wonderful times. But, we’re sure that this isn’t the last of Give Me Back, and can’t wait to get our boxes back on the road again soon.

-Crystal, Evan, Laura (and Producer Kat)

#giveusmoreGiveMeBack

Lab West!

Hello, Internet, today is Friday, March 4th, and yesterday, we packed up and flew to Wabush.

If we had been expecting warmer weather, we were sadly disappointed. While we had occasionally remarked to each other in Happy Valley-Goose Bay that it was cold, Labrador City-Wabush is freakishly, painfully cold. I failed to take a screenshot of the weather network while it was -43, but suffice it to say that it warmed up substantially today and it looked like this (with one from HVGB for contrast):

 

There was only one flight, so we only got one bag of chips each, but everyone was just as pleasant as ever. Thanks PAL!

When we landed, a member of the Arts & Culture Centre staff was there to pick us up in his giant truck, which comfortably fit all 4 of us and all our luggage and gear with no issues at all. He dropped us off at the Two Seasons Hotel (we think the two seasons must be winter and summer, because it is obvious that winter is a thing here, and we hear that bakeapples and blackflies are pretty bountiful round these parts). We had time to check in and have some lunch at the (truly excellent) hotel restaurant before heading over to the theatre to load in.

LabWest roll

This roll is made in-house and is 2/3 white and 1/3 whole wheat. A modern marvel. Photo credit goes to Laura Huckle.

This was our first Arts & Culture Centre on the tour, and it did not disappoint. The theatre is a lovely 300-ish seater, with a nice deep stage and excellent acoustics. When we walked in, we felt like this was the perfect space for our little show.

LabWest ACC

Look how lovely!

Craig and Marty had us sorted out in short order. They are both pretty new to their jobs at the Centre, but their common sense can’t be beat and their enthusiasm for the theatre in general, and for this play in particular, was truly wonderful. We couldn’t have asked for better hosts.

LabWest q2q4LabWest q2q6

The big news in Labrador City is Cain’s Quest, an enormous snowmobile race around the entire circumference of the Big Land. People come in from all over the world – I can tell you for sure that the Two Seasons was jammed – to ride a 3,500km course through the wilderness in -40 degree weather.

Meanwhile, we four wusses are enjoying the fact that there is a restaurant in the hotel, so we don’t have to brave the cold to eat.