Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peaceful, easy feeling

The Eagles
Assisted Living Tour
(quote Glenn Frey)

I become more convinced all the time that I was born
in the totally wrong decade.
Not gonna lie...
I would have had an obsession with
 Timothy Schmit (far right)
 had I been a teenager in the 70's.

But seriously,
Mom got tickets to go see
The Eagles
 this past Saturday night
for Dad's Father's Day present.

And it was beyond super.

I wish I could say that our seats were this close...
but I didn't even get to take photo's because
you can't smuggle in a bulky DSLR camera.

Alas, the wonderful quality of a camera phone.

I really owe my love of good music to mostly Dad...and to Mom
(I'll give my operatic Phantom of the Opera moments to you, Mom).

I remember riding around in our super cool Pontiac Bonneville as a kid,
jamming out to The Eagles, Phil Collins, Chicago, James Taylor, etc. with Dad,
singing loudly to Hotel California,
taking a few extra laps around the cul-de-sac 
to make sure we heard the whole drum break-down in
 Phil Collin's In the Air.

I'd say Dad has pretty good taste...so thanks, Dad.

I'm really glad that Dad finally made it to see The Eagles.
And that I got to see real
Because they are
Definitely one of the best shows I've ever seen...
and they played for 3 1/2 hours. ahhhh.

Their coolness was not lost on me.

Just for kicks, here's a new song that they performed.
Check it out.

Waiting in the Weeds
The Eagles

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I love summer...

because I love awkward sunburns (on other people).

Okay, maybe not this awkward.

 I ended up resembling that of a pool float the other day.

Like this one, actually.

Our float like this has indentions in it that are in the shape of waves.
So, 4 hours of sunning and not re-applying sunscreen led to
my legs being covered in this same wavy pattern...
only in a nice shade of cherry red.
That's what I get for laughing at
 awkwardly burned beach-goers
 all the time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Things I Don't Hate About My Verona

June 14


Where we felt it necessary to make a shout-out to our good friends

Cole Porter
Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is set in Padua
which Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate is based off of
and so is 10 Things I Hate About You
Italy loves Heath Ledger

So I had to sing a little "I Hate Men" from Kiss Me Kate

Shanelle did a diddy called "So In Love"

And Vinnie flattered us all with "Too Darn Hot"

We wouldn't be music geeks if we didn't randomly perform/break out in song all around the world,
now would we?

We also made a pit-stop at St. Anthony's Cathedral where his jaw, tongue, and voice box are all located.  Unfortunately, this is all I learned about this particular church. Oh, and that I sincerely hope I never have to see any of those body parts on display again.

More importantly
following the days events, we discovered yet another
 Venchi Gelato shop
where I found

Taylor, the Gelato Boy
he did bring me ice cream
and he brought me joy
and he won "The Most Adorable Italian" award.

I would have taken a picture of him, but that is creepy.
I also considered putting him in my suit case and bringing him back to America but unfortunately, that is illegal.

June 15


The setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

So naturally

we had to travel to a Roman amphitheatre and select the most
appropriate actors in the choir to reenact
Romeo and Juliet in
The Balcony Scene
and yes, it was the perfect amount of cheesy and ridiculous to prep one for the rendition of the West Side Story medley that we also decided to perform...
and quite poorly, might I add.
Good thing we were our own audience.

We then, of course, ran by Juliet's house to say "hey!" and read a few letter's that had been left behind.

We also went to the Roman arena.
This stage, however, was being taken up by some famous opera...(Verdi's Aida)
guess they didn't hear we were in town.

Dr. Hunter LOVED the arena.

And I finally got my cannoli!

We ended the day with the celebratory picture of Mr. Ricard Bordas' fabulous studio
(enter Mr. Bordas in the blank space between me and Steph)

And just for kicks, here's our studio 2 years ago in Salzburg, Austria.

Arrivederci, Italy!!!!

Until next time...happy trails.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bologna University and skeezy gondoliers

June 12

I had the great pleasure to visit Bologna, home of Bologna University!

Too bad there were no Buh-lone-ee University t-shirts.

Just think, you could have sat here in 1088 during an actual anatomy lab...with a body...not this awkward television art work thingy thing.

I quite literally could have eaten everything I saw in the market...
I wish we had these in America!!

Venchi Gelato was also discovered on our tour of Bologna...stay tuned because there is more to come about the most wonderful Gelato place in the world in a future post.

On this particular day at the cathedral in Bologna
 (with an unfinished facade)
I became an abomination
and embarrassment to the church

So I received my Versace model of toilet paper to
wrap my sinful self in.
Fashion statement, to say the least.

What is so special about this statue that we are all staring at and taking pictures of, you ask?

I'm sorry, but this time
I couldn't spare you the close up.

Bologna wins the award for awkward fountains.

June 13


We hopped a lovely little boat to the island of Venice.

We arrived to Piazza San Marco
and after an impromptu concert in the square, we sang
Mass in
 Basilica di San Marco

Concert Singers

After some lovely shopping for Murano glass,
we took a little gondola tour...
(hence, the skeezy gondolier)

Twas a lovely time...except for our gondolier being a creeper, buuuut what can you do?
I guess it's flattering to be hit on and potentially scammed by an Italian gondolier.
He definitely didn't make the cut for my potential Italian husband.

On our gondola tour, we saw the homes of
Marco Polo, Casanova, and Vivaldi!!
(not that I actually know what Sir Marco Polo did besides coin the name of a water game, or who Casanova really was..but Heath Ledger plays a great version of him!)

But, Vivaldi I know! Thank goodness I'm a music kid...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My new pal, Dave

June 10

Meet St. Claire and St. Francis of Assisi
and Dr. Jairy Hunter, of course.

* In case you don't know this, Dr. Hunter is Charleston Southern University's president and I felt that in honor of his holiday he needed to attend our trip as well

Assisi, while a gorgeous place with great Tuscan views, didn't make it to the top of the list for my favorite places that we visited in Italy.

However, I did learn that St. Francis stripped down naked in the middle of town to announce his separation from his father. That, I found entertaining (especially since there is a fresco of his great act.)

We sang mass here, at St. Francis' Basilica.

And it's really too bad we didn't get to see St. Claire The Musical.
 I'm sure it's going to have great ratings.

That's about it for Assisi

June 11

Many a thing made me fall in love with Florence.

Such as:

  • the leather market...(the most beautiful jackets you've ever seen)

  • this guy

Good'ole Dave.
(I've spared you a close-up)

Just so you know, this man won me my paper plate award of
Most Likely to Become Distracted by Marble Body Parts.

  • this nice tradition

People have placed locks representing their bonds to their love on the Ponte Vecchio

  • This guy too

  • Michelangelo's grave

  • And the opportunity to reenact a scene from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi where a troubled girl threatens to throw herself from the Ponte Vecchio into the river if her rather refuses to let her marry

only to walk a mile in the wrong direction back to the obscure Baptist church where we were performing (and might I mention that hours of hot sun and forced marching add up to some quite wonderful singing...only by the grace of God, I'm sure!)

Thank you Firenze for much excitement.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sam Givemeabanana

One 4 hour bus ride that nearly killed me for a long list a reasons
 3 plane rides
27 hours of traveling to return to America

and so now I return to Blog World.

June 9

I shall recap
San Gimignano
(San Jim-een-yawn-o)

or as we like to refer to it
Sam Givemeabanana 
Home of ancient sky scrapers

Awkward tourist photo.
It looked like so much fun, I had to join in.

Only the beginning of my enormous intake of pizza.

We took Dr. Hunter to see the sights.
He especially enjoyed the suits of armor.
So noble.

The Museum of Torture
extra cheesy and delicious for your enjoyment

Suddenly I felt as if I was standing in line for
Disney World's Haunted Mansion ride.
I just knew these busts in the front of this house were going to start talking to me.

Kayla, Stephanie, and I decided to take a detour to this gorgeous view.
It may or may not have been somewhat of a "private tour".
Luckily, we survived a were able to sing in our concert at Sant' Agostino that night.

Since were traveling so close to
home to the ancient Volturi family of vampires,
we were wise enough to bring along
Robert Pattinson (and Tanner)

Upon our return, we spent our last free evening in Sienna
doing as you do in Sienna.

Grab some gelato, meet a couple Americans,
 and be merry in the square.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The commodities of Italy

Bonjourno de Sienna! 

Mi chiamo Martin.

Hello from Sienna. My name is Martin.

These are just a few of the phrases that have been provided to us in our guide book.

After 26 straight hours of traveling with the gang

From left to right: Robert Pattinson, Neil Patrick Harris, Justin Bieber, Richard Simmons, and Zac Efron

Jairy C. Hunter in the London Heathrow airport

we arrived in Sienna to enjoy a plethora of commodities that Italy has to offer.

Coca-Cola light...it's not Diet Coke but it still does the trick for jet lag.

Gelato on a hot Italian day is superb.

San Domenico 
Here you can find a shrine to St. Katherine. 
Not just any shrine either...
Here you can find a leather covered skull from the deceased St. Katherine of Sienna as well as her mummified thumb. This gave a whole new meaning to "thumbs up".

Here, should you choose to spend 8 euro for some slight entertainment, you can climb 427 steps to the top of this tower. 

$2,300 to travel to Italy. 
8 euro to climb 427 steps and laugh at your friends having asthma attacks. 
Surviving the climb and climbing back down only to be hit by a Yaris...Priceless.

Bare shoulders are an embarrassment and an abomination to the church. 
Put on this huge piece of toilet paper, you temptress.

The gorgeous blue night skies.

The she-wolf. Shakira, anyone? I've been howling all day.

Sitting in the square people watching...and being obnoxious Americans. 

Checking out Italian men for potential husbands.

Yes, Italy is all it's cracked up to be.