Hello everyone. Settle in, as this is going to be a long email :-) as I must tell you all about my fantastic weekend in Clearwater! I arrived Friday at my hotel which was a lovely historic spa hotel located directly on Tampa Bay. As I was checking in, I noticed some small children who looked vaguely familiar to those in the K&I I saw last week in Fort Myers... hmmm....
I drove over to the theater to make sure I knew where I was going that evening while no one was around. I was kind of stopped in the middle of the road blocking the lane, when all the sudden, I saw a large Cadillac behind me, trying to get around me... obviously irritated with my driving... and yes, low and behold, I look over and it's Stefanie! Great first impression, yes? lol... Evidently she was arriving for the matinee.
Later, I arrived for the Friday evening show & it was, as Jackie said, really great! I was in the 3rd row center & I have never seen Stefanie in person... and I must say she really was stunning in all ways. The play was a wonderful production and highlights for me were Stefanie singing the "Young Lovers" song, the scene with the children/"Getting to Know You" and the hilarious "You're Spoiled" scene. I was also fortunate to see the Saturday matinee show and then finally, the Saturday evening show too. I enjoyed all of them but was starting to wonder if I should apply for an understudy part after so much repetition... lol...
Anyhow, prior to the Saturday evening show, I met up with De, Re & Ze for cocktails & great conversation. After the show, we were
still unsure if we were going to be able to see Stefanie backstage, but after a brief wait by the backstage door, we were told by Stefanie's
personal assistant (he said Stef calls him her Roadie) we were indeed "on the list" and were ushered backstage. Hopefully De can fill in some "blanks" for me about our meeting as I was so nervous I nearly passed out...lol...! Stefanie was so gracious & very friendly. As she shook my hand, she held on to it as asked if we had met before... I said no, I think I'd remember that.. lol... (and then it occurred to me she
could have been thinking of the incident in the parking lot! lol...ugh!) She was wearing a black 3/4 sleeve t-shirt & a pair of snakeskin look pants. We took photos, she signed autographs, she asked us questions about ourselves & spoke about her prior meetings with De & Re, made some mention about an upcoming project in the UK (??), the mini benefit in Baltimore, real estate in Florida (my profession), gave us all hugs & kisses and thanked us all for coming. I know I'm missing a lot about our visit but I was so nervous & lost my notes I made afterwards so I'd remember more... lol...
However, this was not the end of my encounter with Stefanie! We left the theater after our meeting & I drove back to my hotel. As I pulled in, I noticed a Cadillac pull into the valet next to me. I got out of my car, and yes, Stefanie got out of hers right next to me! We looked at each other & I said... "What? Are you following me??" To which she burst into laughter and asked if I was staying at the hotel & I said yes. We spoke about the hotel briefly and I noticed she was staring at my car and started walking around it a bit (It's a new black Mazda RX8) and she started marvelling about how adorable it was & how much she loved it. I told her a bit about it & we chatted for another minute or so. As she turned to go, she turned back to me and said that there was one thing I MUST do before I leave the hotel... I needed to call to the spa desk first thing in the morning & arrange for a massage with Tomas! I said, oh REALLY? and she sighed as she turned to leave and said REALLY.... we laughed & said good night.
But yet again... the following morning, Sunday, I was going out to breakfast around 10, went to get into my car and as I opened the door &
start to get in, Stefanie appears right in front of my car on the sidewalk walking her cute little black Maltese. She said Hi Diana! and waived. FYI, she was wearing a white polo turtleneck (ala Hart to Hart) and black slacks. She looked as beautiful as I've ever seen. I got out of the car and said good morning, she asked if I slept well & she said they were leaving for Detroit in just a few minutes. I pet her dog and he was a real sweetheart too. We spoke a bit about the beautiful area surrounding the hotel & she said how much nicer it was than the concrete developments like a lot of Florida these days. I told her I couldn't agree more. I told her about this massive Oak tree nearby and she was going to take a look before leaving town. We spoke for another minute or two but then said goodbye.
I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Everyone, be sure to see the show & if you ever meet Stefanie, I can now say, it's almost like
meeting an old friend.
p.s. Tomas was off on Sunday, so I guess that massage will have to wait until my next trip to Clearwater!