When Durea and Heather from Ballet Idaho asked me to write a blog about our experience here in beautiful Boise, I was more than happy to do it! We are from New Jersey and this is our first time here and so far… so very good.
My daughter is dancing with Ballet Idaho in their Summer Intensive for 2 weeks. Many people asked me, “Why Idaho?” Well, for starters, Peter Anastos is highly regarded in our neck of the woods for his choreography. Of which, my daughter’s ballet school, the Academy of Dance Arts (ADA), in Red Bank, NJ, uses for many of their performances, including the Nutcracker, every year. Jennifer James Church, Artistic Director for ADA highly recommended that Madison (my daughter) take the opportunity to study with Peter and the Ballet Idaho Company. Jessica Sulikowski, a former dancer with ADA and present BI company dancer, took the time to answer many questions I had about coming out to Boise. (Thank you, Jessica!) Jessica was definitely a “Prima Ballerina” at ADA and I felt that if this was the caliber of dancer that BI was taking in, then this was a very good place for my daughter to be studying.
Ok, so… As nervous as I was traveling with just me and 2 kids, I have come to find that the city of Boise is incredibly easy and fun and it’s residents have got to be some of the nicest and most generous people I have ever met. It’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the east coast and certainly a beautiful change of scenery. The weather is fabulous. My curly hair (which I hate) is amazingly straight here. So right off the bat, I look better in Boise… LOL.
We are staying at the Hampton Inn/Downtown. What a GREAT hotel! Seriously, the service of the young people at the front desk, housekeeping, etc., is outstanding. Whatever we need, they are there to help us. We never leave the front doors without them wishing us a great day. The hotel itself is immaculate and beautifully decorated. They offer free internet and a free breakfast which isn’t just donuts and coffee. The food is excellent! Eggs, bacon, potatoes, fresh fruit and make-it-yourself waffles that the kids love. They also offer free coffee and fresh fruit all day long.
There is plenty of places to eat in the city… It is so charming… So far, we’ve had ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s (sinfully good), spaghetti at The Spaghetti Factory (excellent), pita’s at The Pita Pit (awesome and cheap!), burgers and cheese fries at Moon’s (fantastic), taco’s at Cafe Ole (delicious and totally authentic) and perhaps our favorite place of all, mac and cheese at Solid (awesome!). What a great place for a nice dinner! Food was excellent and the water with a slice of cucumber is genius! We even met Ryan Nye, a Ballet Idaho company dancer who is a server there. He took time out to chat with us for a little bit. What a really, nice guy.
Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Shakespeare Festival to see Mid Summer Night’s Dream. All I can say is I wish I could go every night! It was brilliant and hysterically funny. The actors top notch. The amphitheatre amazing. I’ve never seen my children enjoy a show as much as this. If you are debating wether to go, waste no more time and get your tickets now. I was lucky enough to meet Lina Chambers this morning while picking up my son Griffin who is attending the Shakespeare Shakedown camp while we are here. Lina played Helena last night and was amazingly funny! What a brilliant, young actress! She told me how she got her start attending the ISF camps at 8 years old. The same camp my son is attending now, which he loves. A special shout out to Eduardo Placer who played Puck. Griffin thinks you ROCK! And, actually, so do I… =)
I am amazed, so far, by the quality and emphasis on the arts here in Boise. It’s only been a week, and it’s been wonderful! Can’t wait to see what the next week has in store…