MADISON, WISCONSIN

[This is Part 7 of our September 2017 BORN TO THE STARS USA TOUR blog]

[This blog was originally posted to MarinaV.com September 2017.
Please forgive any possible re-posting glitches.
Also, very sorry we can’t move your lovely comments!
Original post can be found at: https://www.marinav.com/food-travel ]
We spent the whole day driving from Lincoln, NE, to Madison, WI. 480 miles, 8 hours, plus a couple of stops.

First, in old town Omaha, NE, for brunch at the famed Wheatfields:

and in Dubuque, Iowa, at the fabulous Brazen:
(no photos of us, we were way too tired and exhausted-looking, haha. We were the only ones sitting outside. It was quiet and relaxing)


Around 9pm we made it to our hotel in Madison, the lovely, one of a kind boutique hotel called HotelRED.

I carefully research and choose where we stay, and I am so glad I found this hotel. Our room was really big, had tall ceilings, super modern bathroom, a great kitchenette, and even a balcony! Everything was beautiful. What a difference a nice hotel makes for a weary traveler!


It was our wedding anniversary eve, and Nick & I wanted to have a little celebration – especially since the next night we were going to perform and wouldn’t have time to celebrate. We thought we’d walk over to a nearby grocery store to buy a bottle of wine but learned no alcohol of any kind is sold past 9pm (unless it’s a bar). How strange! We’re too spoiled by our grocery stores in California, I guess. So we went to the hotel bar, which turned out to be beautiful and had great wine selection! They even had one of our favorite Napa cabernets – Paraduxx (which we’d visited a year before and loved).


In the morning I worked out (such a nice gym – here is my dorky selfie, trying to flex and look sort of relaxed all at the same time):
and had lunch at our hotel restaurant with Nick’s college buddy John and his wife, Rose.

Before we knew, it was time to get to the venue, Barrymore Theatre, at 4pm for load in and soundcheck.

Barrymore is a beautiful theatre which was built in 1929, but as with many old theatres, there aren’t many green rooms or bathrooms backstage.
Beth stayed on the bus and gave us her green room – it was so nice! And it gave me a chance to resume my fight with the Midwest humidity – my hair just didn’t want to stay styled 🙂

It was the final night of our mini-tour with Beth Hart. Nick & I were both a bit emotional. We hugged and thanked the whole crew. Here are a few pics from the soundcheck:[Clockwise from top left: Jake, Michael, Pops, Jason, Scott + anniversary selfie with Nick]

The show was electric. It was just magical. After my last song (John Lennon’s Imagine), I got a standing ovation. I have to say, Beth’s fans on this tour embraced me and gave me a lot of love. But Madison was extra special. I had tears in my eyes.Thank you, Wisconsin!!!

Right after my set, as usual, Nick & I rushed to the merch table and signed CDs and posters, sold tshirts, took photos and hugged every person who came to see us at the merch table. It was incredible but by around 11:30pm we were ready to crash. We hung out with Beth on the bus. We talked and talked and hugged and hugged. And we forgot to take a photo together. Doh!!!! (in Homer Simpson’s voice).

In the morning we had to get up very early for our 4 hour drive to Springfield, IL, where we had an afternoon concert at Capital City Music.

Before we left, I enjoyed the beautiful September weather on the balcony of HotelRED:

We had 3 days in Springfield, IL. Played our #BornToTheStars album release concert, spent time with Nick’s family and with friends. On the long drive back to California we stopped by my friends house in Steamboat, Colorado, and spent a day and a half hiking and relaxing. Here is one of the photos below:

One of our last stops before home was Las Vegas, for dinner. Our view from the restaurant was of Mandalay Bay, just a few hours before the infamous shooting. As I am writing this, I realize that our tour started on September 11, and ended on Oct 1, both days marked by tragedy. Thinking about it fills me with deeper appreciation for each and every moment we have. Didn’t mean to end this on a sad note, but this is life, right? The good and the bad, all mixed in together in craziest of ways.

Thank you all for reading this and special thanks to all who made our tour amazing.

We spent 5,500 miles and 21 wonderful and exhausting days on the road, saw many nice people and places, some new and some familiar.

Thank you and see you on our next tour!

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