After the amazing Festa Italiana Iron Mountain my Dad, sister, and I hit the road and began the long drive to Chicago for a performance the next day (August 17th). Now the weather didn't look good when we left, but then again it didn't look necessarily dangerous, so we kept driving. When we were about three hours away from Chicago, (1.5 hours away from home) we were forced to call Mrs. Archbold as the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the rain was coming down in sheets, and coupled with wind, it didn't make for safe driving conditions. My Dad thought we should turn around so we called Mrs. Archbold who advised that we turn back home as well and leave for Chicago in the morning. We decided it was for the best and turned back to spend the night at home (much to our puppy's pleasure).
We left on Sunday morning, with the rain just beginning to stop, and headed back to Chicago. Unfortunately we also met traffic on the way... lots of traffic. There were two accidents, which completely stopped the flow of cars for a period of time, and it didn't look like we were going to make it in time for the 3:00 PM performance. My Dad took the nearest exit and pulled over at McDonald's so I could change into my dress. Let's just say the customers inside thought I was crazy, I mean... It isn't often you see a girl walking out of McDonald's in a HUGE red ball gown. I simply smiled, waved, and ran out the door.
Mr. Archbold called Sheridan and I back onstage for bows and we exited to meet the attendees. We were finished... or so I thought.
"Nessun dorma" was supposed to have been my final song, I had a couple other songs included on the CD, but I was told I wasn't singing them. Right when I started to relax Mr. Archbold ran up to me backstage and said I would be singing "My Way" and "That's Amore" back to back. I nodded and he ran back to the sound man. I notified my Dad who was under the impression I was finished as well and came back onstage. I dedicated "My Way" to Elvis Presley and received a standing ovation and asked the audience to sing and dance along with me during "That's Amore". Sheridan then closed the show with "Time To Say Goodbye", receiving a standing ovation.
Agne also attended this event with her Mother. I don't think this many Classical Crossover singers appearing in the same place happens very often (Agne G., Tatiana Marie, Sheridan Archbold, & Anastasia Lee) ~ Hopefully in the future we can all work together.
After a celebratory cannoli we headed to the Archbold's house and ate a celebratory pizza dinner and played more "Four In A Row" and Chess. The next morning Fulton (Sheridan's oldest brother) went to work with his Father (Fulton acts as secretary to his Father's medical business) and Mrs. Archbold took my Father, sister, and myself grocery shopping. She explained the differences in many foods, the effects they have on the body, etc. It was definitely an informative morning.
When we arrived back at their house Mrs. Archbold prepared lunch and we went to the park and had a picnic. Naturally afterwards the boys wanted to play tag with us. They didn't catch my sister or I, but they definitely gave it their best shot, and as the boys grow - I have to admit we will probably be 'toast'. It was also suggested we bring our brothers next time. My Dad spent the rest of the picnic giving Edgeorge running tips and Sheridan tried his hardest to steal my ball-cap as well as Tati's (at my height this is not a difficult feat).
Before we left they took us into their garden and we gathered tomatoes and Mrs. Archbold cut onions, beets, eggplant, etc. for us to bring back home.
A Big Thank You to the Archbold Family for a Pleasant stay and Thank You for the Performance Opportunities !
Overall, that week ("The 2,600+ miles, 5 performances, in a total of 7 days" week) was a learning experience for me, and although it was quite stressful, it was a lot of fun. I hope to have many more weeks like it in the near future.