[Dan: We accidentally skipped a day and no one fancied doing a blog post, but the most important thing that happened is that Waitress is a phenomenal musical and everyone MUST take a trip to NYC to see it NOW. Also, we didn't manage to take any pictures from the day this blog post concerns so I've just put in a few nice unrelated ones.]
07:00 - I am dragged kicking-and-screaming out of my delicious sleep by the sound of Suspensions scurrying around like the productive little pigeons that they are, headed off to breakfast at 7am. SEVEN O'CLOCK. IN THE MORNING. HONESTLY.
I am not a morning person, but like a true hero I march beside the enemy (the keeno Suspensions) as their obedient hostage (a sleep-deprived vegan with no interest in going to a non-vegan diner) to the Subway station, wondering what's so hecking good about this place that a bunch of twenty-something tourists would arise before 8am. Then, as I walk in, I start to panic that tour has finally broken me and that I am hallucinating an angel singing the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack to me.
Whilst this apparition has appeared to me in various hangovers throughout my life, there is in fact a singer in the diner with a Broadway-standard voice, and just as I'm wondering which theatre he's been kidnapped from at this ungodly hour, he picks up a tray of pancakes and starts serving a table. This dude's a waiter!? Man. When I was a waiter, I just chewed on the bar's ice cubes all day and pinched chips off the plates of all the sexist businessman. However, these guys are properly belting, and suddenly the concept of watching everyone tuck into their $17 breakfast burritos as I went hungry seemed a hell of a lot more appealing.
Unrelated pic of us at the Statue of Liberty
10:45 - Houmous cravings activated. I decide to nip next door to grab a tub of my sweet medicine.
11:05 - 'Next door'. Remember when I said that? Well, I have walked 11 blocks in the wrong direction. It has taken me a full 20 minutes of walking through the totally-secure-and-not-remotely-dangerous streets of Harlem (ahem) to realise that this walk should have taken 45 seconds, and it becomes apparent that I am by far the dumbest member of the Suspensions. I am rightfully roasted on the WhatsApp group; not even chickpea-based goods can reduce my shame now.
13:10 - We walk along the Highline of New York, and fantasise about coming home to a proper cup of tea and a slice of marmite toast. Despite this being the best trip of our lives, we are British; like petrol in a car, we must be routinely topped up with tea. And you know when you accidentally fill up your petrol-consuming car with diesel? In this convoluted metaphor, the American diesel is McFlurries, and we are willingly destroying our fuel tanks at every stop.
15:07 - Luckily, the AA has arrived in the form of Five Guys. Whilst confession is still in session, I must admit that I have eaten fast food for at least one meal everyday (my mum is reading this and already plotting a way to disown me. Forgive me mother, for I have sinned), and I've now become the Mary Berry of McDonald's, presenting the Great British Milk Shake-Off. Five Guys is my star baker this week, and whilst I tell myself that this vast fast food consumption is purely a money-saving scheme, I believe that I am now fully addicted. Shaking, in denial, and gagging for my next hit, I stuff a piece of cantaloupe in my mouth and consider starting a new help-group called Additives Anonymous for other victim tourists such as myself. My name is Charlie, and I have been clean for 0.5 days.
Unrelated pic of us in front of a very hazy Manhattan skyline
18:20 - I am sitting in the middle of Central Park playing card games with Kathryn and Jonny, and my mood is sky-high. This is not only because I am winning for once in my rapidly-shortening-with-every-french-fry life, but also because I have just booked tickets to see Miss Saigon tonight. Yes, my bank account may have taken as big a hit as my arteries, but I know absolutely nothing about this show except that it's 'better than Les Mis' according to Kathryn. Well hot damn, I'm a sucker for a big ol' sing songs about sad French people, so I highly doubt this is going to top my main man Jean Valjean.
22:35 - TEARS AND SNOT EVERYWHERE. I'M LEAKING FROM MY FACE. Miss Saigon was so ridiculously good that I am sitting in McDonald's after the show (NO MUM, I DID NOT ORDER ANYTHING AND YES MUM, I AM STILL TAKING MY VITAMIN D TABLETS) and I can't stop blubbering about:
a) the ridiculously cute child actor
b) the devastating but in hindsight very predictable ending and
c) once again how cute the kid was.
We step outside, and it hits me that I'm in New York City with my best friends, staring up at the lights of Times Square. I won't go all soppy as I have very much found my blog-writing niche in talking about salty carbohydrates and how terrible I am at being a tourist, but this really has been the best two weeks of my life, and there's nobody on earth I would rather go on this trip with. But good lord, I am ready for a detox.
THE NEXT DAY (Lazily written by Dan)
We woke up and dragged all our luggage to Central Park and had a rota for keeping watch of it over the course of 6 hours before we got on the wrong train to JFK Airport and eventually got there and got on the plane and watched awful movies and got an hour of sleep and then got a coach back to Bristol where I am now.
WHAT AN INTERESTING LAST DAY!!
In all seriousness this trip is easily the most ambitious project that the Suspensions have ever done, and it has been equally as easily the most enjoyable. Spending over 2 weeks straight with 15 of your absolute best friends doesn't actually get as difficult as you might think, and I find myself actually missing these crazy people already. Good thing we've got 3 performances together on Friday and Saturday before we get back into Auditions and Callbacks next week!! Joke's on them if they thought they would even get 2 days break...
Thank you to all the groups that we met and hosted us over our 2 week journey:
The University of Rochester YellowJackets
The Class Notes
Y'all were the funnest groups to hang out with and we're so glad that we met you all! If any of you are reading please know that you'll always be welcome to stay with any of us if (when) you visit Bristol!
Thank you to all of our members for giving the group so much time over their summer, including the Edinburgh Fringe and the US tour!
Your commitment is incredible and as a group we are so lucky to have such willing victims, er, I mean members, that allow us to go on incredible journeys such as this.
Thank you to Eleanor Leaper, our amazing Tour Manager (or 'External Business Manager' as she likes to call herself) and self-certified social sec for making everything happen!
Eleanor has donated countless hours into making sure the trip would run as smoothly as it has done, and it goes without saying that we couldn't have done it without her! Also shoutout to her little assistant, and next year's Tour Manager Benedict Piers Rowan Harwood for being a good little tour slave.
And on that note, all we have to leave you with is our FINAL(!!!!)
Benedict Piers Rowan Flag Count: 1744