Saturday, March 31, 2012

VeniceX2






We went back to Venice for one night and I just wandered around with some girls and I bought a really cool bracelet and my only real souvenir besides tons of stickers for my cello case and netbook. There was a cool juggler/unicyclest street performer.
I have heard of people getting pooped on by birds, but I always thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever like why don't you just move out of the way!? I found out today as I was walking through a passageway and out of NOWHERE a shower of bird poop fell and it was in prime position to get ALL over me! It was sooo disgusting and got all over my pants and shoes!! I thankfully had a tide pen, but a whole bottle of it would not be able to help me, especially since I was wearing red pants, so yeah, I spent my last day in Italy with bird poop all over my pants.
We also saw a lady fall in the water and I think the best way to describe that water as a girl said here, it's the color of the water that you use to paint with watercolors, so yeah she was not so happy.
I had another lobster tail and it had really good filling in it, so it is possible! I got my last Italian pizza for lunch and then for dinner I got a pasta with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce on it. It was really good and after that I decided to end my Italian gelato consumption with a bang, so I got a giant waffle cone with three scoops of gelato in it. It was delicious with carmel, nutella and cookies gelato. I'm going to miss Italy and it's delicous food and especially Venice and it's completely picturesque scenery, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it!

Florence











I went to McyD's to get some egg mcmuffin this morning, so I can say I got an eggmcmuffin in every country I've been in, but there was a bit of a dilemma considering they don't have a breakfast menu and just serve the same thing throughout the day minus eggmcmuffins... :'( So I just got some pastrys that were not that bad and a yogurt and a cheeseburger since I was there anyways. Oddest breakfast ever.
I then took a train to Florence and we went into the Uffizi and saw a ton of famous paintings that I studied in Music 201 including The Birth of Venus. I also got some delicious spaghetti alla carbonara and of course gelato, which is pricier here, but they also give you more.
The next day we had a surprisingly good breakfast with hot chocolate, juice and breads and jam. The hotel has been pretty good and we have an awesome view of the river.
We went to the Duomo and it was a bit less exciting and empty, but it was so crowded to get in. It's very touristy here and with a ton of Americans compared to everywhere else I've been, especially in Vienna. If your in Vienna and someone is speaking english you have to take the chance to speak english with them and ask them where exactly there from, so it's way different.
We also went and saw Michelangelo's David which was HUGE and it was way awesome and worth it to come here just for that. It was cool being up right next to it and looking way up and seeing it and it's just really incredible. There was also a flea market that was fun going through and I got a little pendant to make a necklace with. I also went to this garden place called the Boboi gardens and we saw this cool view.
I had (from what I remember of a Cake Boss episode) a lobster tail and it was crunchy and the creme was different and not as good as I think it could potentially be, but I also had a canoli and that was pretty good. I got some biscotti too and was eating it on my bed and it was SO hard that the girl next to me slowly looked over and asked if I was eating a tree trunk. I had some delicious ravoli in this cute restaurant and that was fun, because it was like a legit olive garden. The bathroom was the best though, because the sink was these fish that water squirted out of their mouths.
That night we went to this free concert in this church and it was SO crowded, but it was really good and I think it was a Mozart mass.
I sometimes feel bad, because I love this trip so much and I feel a little spoiled, because even though I'm really busy it sometimes just feels like a really long vacation and Vienna really is my ultimate utopia, but especially this week I've remembered how incredibly terrible my semester was in the Fall and this was a definite needed break from reality.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mama Mia!

The title is what actually this lady said to us on the Metro as she was really hot and sweaty, so apparently they actually do say that. So in Milan I went and saw this Verdi retirement home place that Verdi built, because he was fabulously rich and it is for musicians that have no where else to go and it holds 55 residents and 16 are younger students. I also saw his grave there. I also decided that when I get old enough I am going to somehow have no where else to go and live there, because I really don't want to live in an old people place and this place is always filled with music and they have people come and perform for them and the only time there isn't music is before a funeral of one of the residents.
I also went to the place where the last supper is and you have to reserve tickets and there were six that were sold back and so we were going to get them, but we took too long figuring out how we were going to do it with a group of ten and so they were sold in that time. It was a little sad, but someone told us tickets were like 80 Euro, so I wasn't expecting to see it anyways and I doubt it was life changing.
We went to this really cool castle that has a musical instrument museum in it and it had a Michaelangelo statue that was his last one and it wasn't done before he died.
We went to this, I think Cathedral, called the Duomo and it was really big and we also climbed the stairs to the top and it was really cool, because you were right there next to the architecture and also seeing all of the city. We went and got some calzones afterwards and then this delicous gelato place that poared chocolate in the cone before the gelato and it was amazing and I went back to get another one later. The chocolate was like half melty half hard when you get to it.
After that we walked around trying to figure out what museum to go to and it was all a bust and finally I went and got some dinner of a salad at Mcdonalds and it was called a minisalad, but it was pretty big and they give you olive oil and a vial of vinegar dressing and some breadsticks and it was pretty good. We then went to this mall place where you spun around for luck on this bull and we were there for about five minutes and so many people came in that time to do it including some olds ladies and guys in suites and everything.
I am SOOOO tired! I feel like we really rushed through Milan, but I wouldn't want to spend more time here, because I don't think I missed that much. I really loved Venice the most, because this doesn't have as much old architecture as Venice or Vienna. It makes it a different atmosphere.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Padua

We took a train to Padua and I took zero pictures there. If everyone wasn't talking in Italian, I would've totally thought we were somewhere in America, because all the cool old european architecture was not present. There was some cool public displays, because apparently when you graduate from college your friends dress you up in weird outfits and you stand in the square in front of your school and get flour thrown at you and you drink as you read your life story that your friends made. It was odd, but cool and I got some gelato and also saw this chapel that we got to see after we decompressed for fifteen minutes. One of the frescos I totally studied in music 201 and so that was pretty awesome, but that was it for padua and we made our way over to Milan which I also was not that much impressed with and didn't have a lot of cool architecture. We also are staying in a hostel that is on the grounds of a mental institution and there are 3 ambulances in the parking lot and the building looked very ghetto. There also was a guy that stuck his head out the top window and was slightly creepy and was talking to us and there was another creepy guy walking along and let's just say I was inwardly freaking out a little, but once we got in and some girl mentioned how our room looks like madeleine I felt a ton better and it really does. We left and there is a cool square with a cathedral called duomo, I think, and it was big and cool and we sat down in this restaurant and I was there for a couple minutes before I realized that it was covered in porsche memorobilia and I seriously was just talking with this guy an hour before about how my ultimate goal in life is owning a Porsche. I also shared two meals with this girl so I got some very delicious pasta and pizza and I felt like it couldn't get any better, but then my favorite song came on and it was just a good moment. We got some milkshakes at Mcy D's and now I am fully caught up on my blog.

Venice






So we left at 8:40 on a night train to Venice and it was surprisingly not too bad, atleast for me, a lot of people were complaining about the beds being uncomfortable. It felt like a morgue, because we were all stacked up, but it was nice b/c the beds folded into a couch so we could just sit and it was a lot of fun. When we got to Italy we checked into our hotel and we had a free day. So I went with some girls and got a boat pass and we rode it around it just the city is SO cool! We went inside this church and then we wandered and then we went up into this other church's bell tower and it was so cool seeing the view from above and all the canals. Then we went to Murano (another island) and we went to this glass museum which I think was an utter waste of 5 Euro and I think after Vienna I am just especially tired of museums. I then had some delicious gelato, which I was not really impressed with gelato until I had that one and it was called cookies and tasted really good.. I also had some banana gelato in the morning and it looked a little grey and gross, but it was also pretty good. I thought it was a bit ridiculous that I had two scoops of gelato in one day, but apparently some girls in my group went 7 times for gelato and had 12 scoops in all....I don't feel so bad anymore...I also had spaghetti for dinner and the noodles were not as cooked as I am used to and it was pretty good. I'm glad we ended up coming here and it is all just really cool and picturesque. In the morning the next day I decided to wander to Mcdonalds and when I finally got there it came up by surprise and I had to cross the street...which btw is all pedestrians, because all they have here is boats and feet for transportation and the time I went everyone was out going to work and school. So I awkwardly crossed the street and then I had to awkwardly walk away as it doesn't open until 10:00!! So I was forced to being cool and going to a bakery and then forced to get a warm apricot filled croissant and then forced to love it's delicious goodness.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Ground!

To start celebrating my birthday we went to Hunger Games at 6:00 on the 22nd which was awesome. They have assigned seating in theaters which is uber nice and we had really nice seats, because we got our tickets awhile ago and it started off with some german commercials and people were still coming in and like America I was of course expecting a good 20 minutes of previews, but instead the movie just flat out started....totally caught us off guard, but was awesome. The movie was well worth the wait, it was so good at making you love the characters and have you really moved by the whole plot line. Afterwards we got some gelato.
For my actual birthday I had to go deregister from the city....saddest moment of my life! I also went to the Haus der Musik and to tell the truth I was not very impressed and would rather have spent the 9 Euro on watching Hunger Games again, but I did get to virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic so I can scratch that one off the bucket list. It was sad though, because they just stopped partway and one of the violinists got up and yelled how bad I was and I was just dancing up there and he could do a better job than me. I guess I shouldn't plan on that being my future job. It was funny though, because my cello teacher here was totally in the orchestra that I was conducting. They also had a big screen that was playing two concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic so I just sat through both of them. They played the song from Sleeping Beauty which is my favorite Disney movie and song that I like to break out and sing and apparently it's some Tchaikovsky piece, so that was cool.
I then spent the rest of the day practicing and we had a house concert at 8:00. Six girls from our study abroad came and two of them also performed. It was fantastic. I played the Prokofiev Sonata and Nearer My God to Thee with Aly and also the Bach cello suite 3 Prelude. It was a ton of fun and reminded me how much I love to perform. We had a delicious dinner of raw salmon which I never have had and this beef that was wrapped with bread and some apple pie and chocolate cake that was all delicious and I had way to much of the chocolate cake...if that's possible. I feel like I have grown so much in every aspect on this trip and I think it totally fits that I am going back home a new age too.
Today I went to see the Vienna Philharmonic for the last time and my favorite piece they played was the New World Symphony. Right afterwards I walked over to the Ballet (Anna Karenina) which was a very worthy last performance I'll attend at the Staats Oper. It started off with a very familiar piece by Tchaikovsky and I had to look it up, but it's called serenade for strings and all I remember about it is that I totally played it for months a long time ago. On Sunday at 20:40 we leave on a night train to Venice and then Milan and Florence and back to Venice and then Salzburg and then I come back for one night and then onward to PARIS! So the next three weeks will be one busy adventure, but my now nineteen year old self is very excited to see everything!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Decomposing Composers



I went to Central Friedhof with ma roommate and we saw Beethoven's grave along with Shuperts of which I have been dying to see after hearing the story about Shupert's great admiration of Beethoven and how he followed him everywhere, but never got up the nerve to talk with him and he ended up asking to be buried next to him. I remember seeing a picture of Beethoven's grave a long time ago, so it was just really awesome seeing it in person. I also saw a lot of Strauss's and Shonberg's and a memorial for Mozart between Beethoven and Shuperts, but of course he's buried in a mass grave somewhere else in Vienna, so we think it's just so tourist's think they've seen it all when they go there.

I also managed to get a picture of my new ride...yeah it's stepped up a bit from the U-bahn.

Yesterday I went to this concert in a church and it had amazing accoustics and musicians and it was Vivaldi's four seasons and they also played Bach's Air. It was AMAZING! I got a second row seat and it was one of those concerts where you feel like five minutes just went by and then suddenly everyone is clapping and leaving. I also went to a Ballet the night before and it was 5 smaller ballets by Balanchine and Robbins and they were pretty cool. Sadly my favorite was the first one, so I kept expecting something as good or better, but the first one was the best so I was slightly disappointed by the rest.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oldest Zoo in the World

I went on the 7th walking tour and on it I saw the art school that denied Hitler when that was what his great aspirations were. I went inside and their was a gallery and I declared that I was 18 and I got in free...I'm gonna miss that! It was a boring gallery though.

I also went to the belvedere, again, on it and there was these steps and I almost died as I was stepping down and there was this epic slide thing in the middle...wish I was there when it was snowing and with a sled.

The last building is the Russian embassy. I thought it was pretty cool.



The last pictures are of the Tiergarten zoo which is on the same property as Schonbrunn and it is the oldest zoo in the world and it was totally awesome! There was tons of different animals and I was too lazy to put ALL the pictures I got, but it was a lot of fun going. You could see the animals real close and I got a couple videos of the penguins. One was when there was an announcement and the penguin is very confused/freaked out and the other is when they took the food out and all the penguins are running to go get it.








video
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Last Rehearsal

Today was my last rehearsal with the Folks Orchestra and it was fun/sad. I have found that I hate saying goodbyes and I was thinking that I would just not mention that I would not be back again, but it got out and now I miss it already.

I got a picture with Karl who is 100 years old in a few weeks and he trades off from the accordion to the cello and he has taught me quite a bit for never having said a single word to me in English, but plenty of German that I just smile and nod my head to. He must think I'm either a blithering idiot or the coolest chick he's ever played cello with...I'm guessing it's the later. Anyways, I hope there is an orchestra like that when I get to be 100 which I now have all intentions to get to. I have learned that it doesn't take much, just to be able to make good friends and play lots of good music and to add a couple good glissandos or improvisations whenever the situation calls for it, which for Karl it must call ALL the time. I didn't want to mention this and hopefully no future judges of things that I audition for read this, but yeah, Karl also was quite a bit better at playing than I was, but hey he has like 80 years on me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Living in a Bathroom



Thursday night I went to the opera and saw Simon Boccanegra and I sadly wasn't that impressed, but that most likely is because I just saw Carmen, which was amazing. Sadly the next day I got a terrible stomach flu and was taking a nap, but I guess I should be glad, because I did not have much planned for that day anyways. Then the next day I saw the Spanish Riding School perform and I got a pic of their arena place. They were pretty cool and doing all these tricks like going sideways or trotting/dancing with the music and this one horse could get up on it's hind legs with a rider on it's back and hop on it's back legs...it was pretty cool and I'm sure very scary for the rider that had no stirrups.

On Sunday after taking a shower and leaving I realized that the lock had different intentions for me...I kept trying to turn it and it would not go and finally my roommate came along and found out my dilemma and she ran for help and after Gerda tried screwing it and whatever, she went and got Michael who happened to still be in bed. He was still in a bathrobe when he started trying to do all this random stuff including pry it open with a wrench and finally he pulled out the big guns and got a saw thing and as Aly described it, it was like the fourth of july and sparks were flying everywhere. I almost died, but thankfully after an hour and a half I was freed! It's especially good that it happened today and not Wednesday, because I'll be the only one home Tuesday night and Wednesday and it's metal and not a door you can just kick out and I would be stuck there for a VERY long time, but as our hosts put it, "atleast you'd have water."


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Apostle, a Dead Composer and a Modern Art Museum




So D. Todd Christofferson came here to Vienna and he did a fireside for the Young Single Adults and I got there 4 hours early and got second row, so that was pretty sweet. He gave a good talk and there was a lot of German speakers before him and I really liked this other ladies talk, but I forgot her name.

After hours of playing it on the subway and 75 games...I finally conquered solitaire and it was amazing!



I also went to see Mahler's grave and there was some pretty sweet graves there. All of them had big headstones and either a little grass garden on top or a couple stones to cover it. I was thinking I could just search around a little and find it, but I soon came to find out exactly how many graves there were! Thankfully there was a map that had his grave on it and I found it along with his wife's that died 50 years after him. Her's is the darker one and she was Alma Mahler and then I got his grave and then proof that I was there to witness his plot.




































































I went to a Modern Art Museum afterwards called the MUMOK. It was pretty cool and had a "wall of sleep." It also had some of Jasper Johns work which I learned about him in art last year. His is the grey one that slightly resembles the American flag.


There was also a lot of work with this one guy that made giant everyday objects, such as vacuums, but you can't really tell how giant they are from my pictures...sadly. He also had a giant cigarette tray which pretty much sums up all of Europe. Anyways it was all pretty awesome and I also got my Hunger Games tickets, which I don't think it was very necessary to get them this early, because the lady said they weren't really expecting them to sell out soon, but I'm very excited! I also got some yummy cheap pizza.

On Sunday I taught a primary class of 7 year olds and there were just three, but they were pretty cute. All I had was pictures on my computer for visual aid, but that got there attention enough. One of them had a British accent and for some reason it just cracks me up hearing him talk, so I had to try hard not to. At the beginning I asked if they knew any German and they all said they did, but I really didn't need to ask, because they would talk to each other in German as much as in English.