Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Euro Trip: Belgium, Part II

So here are my photos from Bruges and the reception following the week of Belgian Clarinet Academy. More photos of buildings, I know, yay!

Bruges is really an adorable town. Touristy, yes, but beautiful. And it warmed up the day we were there so it was a lovely day!
 ^ mocha, so yum! ^
And then, suddenly, it was Tuesday, the last day of our program. It felt like it happened so fast and before I knew it we were having our clarinet choir/quartets recital.
 ^ Before the recital, Dr. Spring took me around the corner to see this synagogue. Beautiful ^
^ We played "The Barber of Seville" ^
 ^ Our host family is simply the cutest. Their kids don't speak any English but they were still so fun ^
 ^ I mean, really, look at those faces ^
 ^ Dr. Spring and, below, Dr. Heinen. Loooved working with them ^
I met so many kind and talented people that week. It was such a fantastic experience. Exactly what I needed right before I go into grad-school-audition-mode. I'm so thankful for everyone who made it happen.

Lucky you, that wraps up Belgium! I know this post was long, but it seemed like a good idea to make this post longer rather than just having another one? Either way I have approximately a million photos of Paris to share. I'd understand if you didn't want to stick with me, but I promise they'll be pretty!

Until next time!...
xx

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Euro Trip: Belgium, Part I

This is Belgium, from the plane. I got so excited when I could finally see land that I couldn't resist taking out my camera. I was worried about the flight there (in the past long flights have been a problem for me), but it was mostly okay minus the fact that I didn't sleep nearly as much as I needed to.
We landed in Brussels and then took a train to Oostende. Unfortunately, we didn't really get to explore Brussels because we only had one day "off," and we chose to go to Bruges (but that's for another post).
Oostende is kind of magical? I don't know I just feel like if I could have a "spirit city" it would be Oostende. It was chilly and just all around beautiful.
We each were assigned a room in this really old building that had been turned into an elementary school. So this was my practice room. I mean really, if all classrooms looked like this I'd probably enjoy going to school, wouldn't you? Not to mention the upstairs had two (TWO!) couches.
 ^ Hi, host mom! These are the dunes near their house. ^
 ^ The conservatory where we studied and practiced each day ^
 ^ The North Sea ^
If I spoke Flemish, I'd move to Oostende in a heart beat.

Also, I was probably an architect in a past life because oh my gosh do I love taking photos of buildings, even if they all start looking the same. These buildings have so much character compared to those at home or at school (although I'll admit that Florida State's campus is very pretty on a nice day)! I guess I have a problem, so sorry for so many photos of buildings but also not sorry because JUST LOOK AT THEM!

Also, waffles.
xx

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Friday!

Wednesday and Thursday we were at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, for Rebecca's Preview. Everyone else in the academic universe calls in "orientation" so I have no idea why they call it "Preview."

Either way, it's equally as boring as every other orientation but I went with so I could spend some face time with one of my close friends since high school. (I didn't actually sit through any of those lame seminars, I wasn't even allowed, so I just edited some photos and yada yada)

Tams, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out with me and take me to some hip restaurants in Gator Land. I had a really fun time and it was SO good to see you. Even though I was exhausted (oh, jetlag, you sly bitch) it was worth the trip!
In other news I bought my Mom and I matching bracelets in Paris. Cute, no? Cheesy but cute, at least we think so.

Have a great weekend!
xx

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Instagrammed Life: Euro Trip

Well, hi.

I'm back! After two weeks in Europe, I'm home, well kind of, I'm in Gainesville to see a friend while my sister has orientation, but that's for another day.

Guys, I'm so tired. But I had THE best two weeks. Here are some photos from Instagram.
Let's stop and talk about Belgium for a hot second. This way however many posts full of photos that follow won't also burden you with words.

First, Belgium is beautiful. Seriously. The buildings, ohhh the buildings, I want to live in every single one of them. Did I take enough photos of the buildings? Have I told you that I love them? Because I soooo do.

Second, playing clarinet is really fun. Sometimes I lose sight of why I even keep playing and studying this stupid thing that makes me so frustrated, but this week made me remember why. Which was truly amazing, considering how much I was struggling with, like, everything this summer. We were pretty much playing all day for six of the seven days we were there, in lessons and ensemble rehearsals and private practice time. The teachers that were there were am-ya-zing. And I must say, not to toot my own horn, pun intended, but I was totally on it last week. Loved it, loved them, can I go back and do it all over again now please and thank you.
And then, there was Paris. PARIS, I LOVE YOU.

There is so much history in Paris. History and MORE BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS. Remember how I love buildings? Paris is architectural mecca, to me anyway.

I squeezed in so much stuff in the six days I was in Paris. I went to five (maybe more?) museums. I went to four (maybe more?) old churches, including Notre Dame, Saint Chappelle, and Le Sacre Couer. I walked forever. I mastered the Metro (without speaking any French!) and ate a croissant with jam every. single. day. It was hot, there was very little air conditioning or wifi to be found, and yeah, I don't speak any French. But it was such an amazing trip and opportunity.

I owe it all to Monique, who will never see this because I'm not sure she knows how to use a computer because she has no use for it, who is beautiful and kind and a wonderful sight seeing companion. She's family. She took me around her city like it was her job and I'm so grateful.

And to my mom and dad, because obviously without them I wouldn't have been able to go at all because I am poor as dirt. THANK YOU.

Guys, I'm so tired. I have a million photos to pick out and edit for you so get excited for that I guess? If you're not excited then just avoid this page for like a month? I don't know, it could take me forever to get through. But I think most of the photos will turn out nicely so I can't wait. It's like reliving the trip!

I already miss traveling, but it's nice to be home with a working phone ;)
xx
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