Category Archives: Travel

Vacation time approaches

This weekend was busy with weddings, as usual. Saturday was an incredibly hot day, but luckily we only had to play one hour outside towards the end of the day. It was exhausting being outside for even that hour due to the intense heat and humidity.

This week I only have one day of teaching and then I am off to South Carolina to visit my family and hit up Surfside Beach. I’m looking forward to it! I will particularly enjoy the weekend of NOT playing a wedding 😉 I haven’t driven from St. Louis to SC yet so I look forward to the drive. I used to drive everywhere but as I’ve gotten older I’ve been flying more. I decided to drive for this trip since I was also visiting my parents at home in Clinton in addition to the beach in addition to allowing more flexibility with dates.

I am still reading the Rewards book I mentioned earlier. Additionally I have put aside a couple of nice fiction books to read at the beach. Two more days, two more busy days.

Cruise planning

July is looking to be a super lazy month for me.  Today I spent two hours at the gym, and then the rest of the day at home.  I did SOME housekeeping, but primarily I have spent the past few hours researching for my upcoming (August) cruise to the “exotic western caribbean.”  I was just refreshing my memory on all the activities I originally wanted to do this summer, and so far have fallen painfully short.  Nonetheless it has been a nice summer so far, even though I will end up doing only two more trips.  One is the cruise and the other a family vacation in South Carolina (my home state).

I am making plans with another couple for a Cardinals game and still want to hit the science center and zoo, but the other things on my list might not be happening.  Several of them were June only events and I just ended up being too busy!  July is quickly becoming my lazy month, plus there are a couple of interesting movies (Eclipse and Inception) that I really want to see in the theater.  I have a lot of running and workouts ahead of me, and also want to try some yoga.  I have a coupon for a week of bikram yoga that I should use this month and another coupon (one is a Groupon, one is from Living Social) for five sessions of yoga from another place.  Yoga and violin seem to go really well together, from what people say and what I’ve read.  Perhaps I should consider practicing the violin as well.

My pottery “journey” is finished for now.  I ended up with a couple of nice, almost round bowls!  I don’t know what to do with all my stuff–I have 20 or so containers of various sizes.  I don’t really feel most of them are nice enough to give away, and the ones that are nice enough I want to keep for myself!

It looks like I will be teaching violin classes at two new schools in the fall.  I’m taking over from a colleague who seems to have done an excellent job and is super organized!  They are both private Lutheran schools, one in St. Peters and one in Collinsville.  I look forward to a new challenge, and I know that I will need to do a bit of preparation to be ready.  I am not as experienced in class settings as I am in private lessons, but I am always improving.  I also have been reading quite a bit about classroom management and various learning styles and all that good child education stuff that I didn’t get as a performance major.  It seems that each year of my adult life I take on a new challenge in my career, and this year is no exception.

I’d love to hear from any readers with advice on Violin class teaching or any advice on cruising!  This is my third cruise so I have the basics down, but any port advice or thoughts would be more than welcome.

Things I want to do this summer!

Okay, so it’s pretty much unofficially summer time for me–that is, my school teaching is done, my recitals are near, and I have a lot more free time.  In the past I have made lists of things I want to do–this summer is no different, except I’m going to list some of them here in my blog!

First off, you should know that Chris and I have booked a cruise!  We are going on the Carnival Legend to the Western Caribbean in August, and could not be more excited (at least I can’t be!).  So that’s the big vacay this summer.  My sister wants me to come visit her in Boulder at Colorado Music Festival, and another friend wants me to visit her in Chicago, so we’ll see about those.  I’m also hoping my parents will come to visit (saving me a trip home plus they haven’t been to St. Louis to see me yet) and Chris’s sister is planning to come out for a bit as well.   So I came up with the following ideas of things I want to do IN town this summer, either with visitors or in town friends.

Here are some of my ideas in random order.

MOBOT Dinoquest.  Yes, it looks a little young perhaps, but there are dinosaurs and a geodesic dome involved, plus it’s just down the street from me.  So that might be fun, unless I end up playing too many weddings at mobot and hate it by then (sometimes it’s a looong walk, other times it’s really really hot, other times it’s both.)

Circus Flora.  This is a circus set up in Powell Symphony Hall parking lot.  Apparently they come every year, and it’s great fun.  I want to go!

Opera Theatre of St. Louis is putting on A Little Night Music.  Directed by Isaac Mizrahi!  I already have a ticket, and can’t wait.

Shakespeare Festival–I haven’t seen a Shakespeare play since I was young, but I remember enjoying them at Presbyterian College.  I have never seen Hamlet, and should probably remedy that.

The Zoo, of course.  My friend Browdy keeps wanting me to go with her-it’s her most favorite thing, and I haven’t managed to do so yet.  Maybe this week or next?  Fun fact–the zoo is celebrating its centennial!

SL Science Center.  There are a variety of neat things happening.  Firstly, the Darwin exhibition looks worthwhile.  Then there are a variety of Omnimax movies that look interesting, especially the ocean one.  I love ocean movies on the big screen.  (FYI, we saw the pirates exhibition at the Field Museum last year, so no need.)

Other ideas but without specifics right now:  Art Museum, St. Louis Cardinals game, and Six Flags!  Naturally there will also be a few movies I want to see (specifically a certain Twilight movie and SATC…even though I know it will probably be bad.)  Not to mention running…supposedly I am to be training for a half marathon in October!

This post is really for me to to refer to, but anybody have more ideas for me?  I would rather have too many ideas than sit around complaining of being bored!  My dear readers, please weigh in!

Can’t wait for Ottawa Suzuki Institute

In a few weeks, I will be going to study Suzuki Book Four in Kansas.  After completing the week, I’ll have my teacher training in Books 1 through 10!  (I’m still pondering doing book 1 again in the near future, since it’s been a long time).  I remember this time last year I was excited about going to Columbus for books 2/3.  So much has happened since then–I would not have guessed I would complete a whole year of Suzuki Pedagogy Classes and learn SO much more about teaching children than I could have guessed.  (Thanks to Carol Smith, and then of course, HUGE thanks to Vera McCoy-Sulentic for her generosity of time and spirit!).  Plus, a few weeks ago, I was so tired, and couldn’t believe I had to attend an Institute still…but now I am recharged and ready to go!  I know it will be a fantastic experience, and I look forward to meeting other teachers as well.

Maya Cafe

I had a great time tonight watching some of my friends and colleagues play at Maya Cafe. Lisa Chong has set up a fantastic series there wherein people play on Sunday nights. It was great fun watching her play Steve Reich’s Violin Phase, and seeing Chris, Asako and others play some other great stuff. Congrats to all!

I understand my blog is reaching people I didn’t anticipate. Hope you are all enjoying reading it!  It’s tough moving to a new city after living somewhere else for a long time, and it takes awhile to break into the scene.

I had a fun gig today playing Henry Mancini in Alton, Illinois. I am always struck by the beauty of this: you are driving on a country road and SUDDENLY you cross a gigantic bridge over either the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. I grew up in the country and love those “country” roads, but we didn’t have gigantic rivers that great writers (i.e. Mark Twain) wrote about. It always takes my breath away…it’s totally different than crossing the Mississippi on a numerous lane highway like 55–I barely notice on the interstate, but on little backroads, it’s just huge. And so gorgeous! I have been pondering various weekend trips to take this summer, wondering what there is in the area as far as getaways. I wonder if you, Dear Reader, have any thoughts for me?

Summer: What’s on the docket thus far, besides weddings and teaching. I’m doing a Suzuki Institute, and then probably doing a Chicago/Ohio week with my sister (to see a good friend who plays with Grant Park). But the boyfriend and I are working on plans, and open for suggestions. He’s thinking tropical (but not cruise 🙁 ) but I’m still brainstorming, just in case his idea doesn’t pan out.

Christmas Vacation

Now I am in the relaxing portion of Christmas vacation–I spent a week visiting my boyfriend’s family (and seeing my parents briefly as well!) and now I’m relaxing at home.  Ideally I would be resting up for a hectic spring, but it looks like things are pretty calm so far.  The one crazy week will be a week of Columbus Symphony AND ProMusica Chamber Orchestra at the same time!  Columbus is playing an all Shostakovich concert, including Shostakovich Symphony no. 10, which I have never played.  I know I will be exhausted (my schedule will include two triple service days and one quadruple day) but hopefully in a good way.

What is a service?  For orchestras, our week is divided into “services” which is either a rehearsal or a concert.  Usually these would be either 2 or 2 1/2 hours.  If you are paid by the week, there would be a limit of services per week, with the average being 8 services.  For part time orchestras, generally we are paid by the service, so…the more the merrier!  Except you do get really exhausted, both physically and mentally.

This is such an odd time of year, between Christmas and New Year’s.  On the one hand, there are several days where one should be working and getting things done, because, really, we can’t ALL take two weeks of vacation.  On the other hand, why can’t we all take two weeks of vacation??  I did teach a few students, but I decided generally I needed the time off.  There’s something so decadent about not having work for several days, and really feeling like you can settle into a fun project at home and not worry about what you are wearing!  Of course I’m currently just on the computer sitting next to my cat (who is curled up next to me sleeping), but the point is that I could be doing some fun project.  I do have some projects to work on, both musically, and just for fun.  More about those later, when I get to them!

Happy New Year to you all, dear readers!