• Emma

Washington, D.C. WITH Jimmy! (10/8 - 10/13)

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

On Tuesday, 10/8 -- our opening night in D.C. -- the man himself, Jimmy Buffett, performed with us!

To clarify: we have a second version of our post-show bows music that we can play whenever the boss is in town. This version features an extended "vamp" in the middle that allows Jimmy to talk to the audience for a bit while we essentially provide background music, followed followed by two extra choruses of "Margaritaville," for him to sing. So, if you're coming to the show... You might want to re-think leaving early! His drop-ins are supposed to be a surprise for the fans!

Some of us were just a bit nervous, because this was our first performance after our first jump (and two days off the "island," as we say). Upon meeting Jimmy, however, I know any nerves I may have had evaporated. At soundcheck, he came around to all of us in the band individually, shaking our hands and introducing himself. When he saw my bari sax and all my instruments, he grinned and said, "Whoa, you've got a lot going on over here!" It was endearing--there IS a lot going on in my Stage Left corner. :)

Anyway, when we got to the bows music and Sarah ("Rachel") brought him onstage, the audience LOST IT. Parrothead (Buffett superfan) or not, it was a surreal experience. He also attended our opening night after party at the theatre, where he kindly obliged many requests for selfies. (I personally didn't ask for one... Maybe next time!)

Below: Band with Jimmy -- Fins Up! // Photo from Instagram

Below: Heading to work on the train / outside of the theatre / I've been on a mini-quest to find the best, or very good, chai in every city. Compass Coffee has been the best so far -- it was the right amount of spicy!

... Tourist chronicles begin here.

In D.C., I had my sight-seeing cut out for me! Everyone was given a 7-day Metro pass, which was necessary to get to work at the National Theater. The pass also made it much easier to explore. According to my phone, I walked 9.9 miles in one day of adventuring. It was worth every step, and cleared my conscience over not visiting the gym (ha). :)

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (Tuesday): I remember visiting this place as a kid, the only other time I was in D.C. I love it! SPACE!! and planes, and the like. (I also loved spotting the old-school JPL sticker on one of the rockets. SoCal, represent!)

Smithsonian Natural History Museum (Wednesday): This was... overwhelming. Lots of information about animals and habitats, plus a live butterfly exhibit that my roommate and I anticlimactically decided not to walk through. I particularly enjoyed a current exhibit about diseases/epidemics, despite being a bit of a germophobe (admittedly, it was just a bit unsettling). I also suppressed the urge to buy a very cute, mini stuffed dinosaur. (And I'd be lying if I said I had no regrets.)

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture (Wednesday): I definitely could have spent more time here. The top floors featured really neat interactive cultural exhibits, including a hip-hop dance tutorial of sorts. The basement levels were a sobering walk through the history of slavery and included a segregated train car (pictures).

... I also found one of Charlie Parker's saxophones way up on the top floor, which I thought was so sadly tucked away in a corner, far from the rest of the Jazz collection...! But, I found it. :)

Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, United States Botanic Garden, walking forever (Thursday): I hit the pavement hard on Thursday. Would have visited the Holocaust Museum, too, but it was unexpectedly closed for a maintenance issue.

[On Friday, I did absolutely nothing. I walked to lunch 7 minutes away from my hotel, had a nice chicken sandwich, walked back to the hotel, and did not emerge again until call time. It was glorious. (Note: Touring means traveling to some really cool places, but there is a balance to be found between performing, exploring, and being a human...!)]

VIP/Private tour of the Capitol, hanging out with family/friends!!!!! And my cousin came to the matinee!!! (Saturday):

The roped-off star is the original center of D.C. The bottom picture--the room with the arched ceiling--is where the Supreme Court met back in the day. Other pictures are from the rest of the tour, plus some underground areas that are only accessible with special permission (which we had because of our tour guide/friend of a friend of someone in our group who works there!).

I'm always happy to see some familiar faces. :)

[On Sunday, I went to McDonald's for lunch, and shocked myself by finishing ten Chicken McNuggets. I didn't think I had it in me to eat so much... garbage. Between shows, a group of us went to Chinatown Express for Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings, my favorite food!). Immediately after the Sunday night show, we packed up our equipment and made our way home.]

Russ got TWO fortune cookies in one packet!! We also did some candid sight-seeing on our walk back to the theatre for the Sunday evening show.

The bus ride to Utica, NY early on Monday was beautiful; fall in the east is stunning.

'Til next time, Washington!