Friday, 30 April 2010

Springtime in Europe

Two things: I must learn French, and Switzerland is quickly becoming one of my favorite countries. Our shows in both Zurich and Geneva were incredible, the crowds were warm, supportive and welcoming. As for the cities While we were in Zurich, Switzerland was celebrating the arrival of spring with a huge parade and holiday. Everywhere you looked there were people dressed in traditional attire, little girls carrying baskets of flowers, and street vendors in tents selling fresh fruit juices and sweet crepes. While waiting for my friends in the lobby of our hotel, one such little girl, about 7 years old, came up to me, handed me a little yellow rose and said "bonjour, this is for you!" in a thick French accent. So cute. She was dressed like Belle from Beauty and the Beast (when she wears the yellow gown when they dance in the ballroom).
I have never toured Europe in the springtime. It is incredible. What to me before were beautiful, but icy and gloomy cities have blossomed into vibrant, bustling, life-sized paintings. Walking around these incredible places is like living in a film. I took pictures that don't do their subject justice, but I will post a few anyway. We just left Paris, and I spent the majority of my two days off walking around taking pictures and window shopping. I did buy my first bottle of French perfume. It smells so lovely! Lavender and Vanilla with a hint of cinnamon and clove. A feast for the nose. Speaking of feasts, did I mention I love soupe a l'oignon au fromage (French onion soup)? Because I do. Right next to the best macaroon shop in Paris, Pierre Herme (try the passionfruit/chocolate and the strawberry/balsamic, they are make-your-knees-weak delicious), is an adorable cafe that sells the best french onion soup I have ever tasted. I can't wait for the opportunity to return.
Opportunity. What a fickle beast. The thing about opportunities is that you must be prepared to take advantage of them when they arise. Hesitation and deliberation can be devastating to a person at times. If you are confident in your own abilities, and in the source of the opportunity, what is the hesitation? Don't be afraid of life. If you act and it turns out to be the wrong decision, you can always fix it. There is always an answer. Or an alternate - but usually your first instincts are correct. "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the Divine Providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events." - One of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson's 'Self Reliance'.
I don't know why I just felt that, but I did, so there you go. Here are some pictures...

Monday, 19 April 2010

Bus Tours are Awesome

(written 4/19/2010)

I love bus tours. Especially in Europe. No airports: which means no lines, no nasty security personnel, no lugging heavy bags long distances. Our bus has several different lounges, all with flat screens and a library of movies to choose from, two floors, a kitchen, a fancy bathroom complete with a screen that displays an array of tranquil scenes (because being in the bathroom on a bus can be rather stressful, apparently) - but my favorite places on the bus are the very front in the passenger seat next to the driver, and in my bunk. I love sitting in the big captain's chair and watching the road and just being quiet, away from everyone else. I love snuggling up in my bunk with a good book and being rocked to sleep by the curves in the road. I love returning with the band to our temporary home at night recalling the mishaps and memorable moments we experienced during the show we just finished. I love being the first downstairs in the morning during a long drive and greeting my weary eyed traveling companions/co-workers/surrogate family members with a warm cup of tea as they stumble down the too-small staircase. A few nights ago, after the show we stayed up until 4am just chilling out, listening to music, talking about our plans and our dreams and our lives. (the fact that we are all still a bit jet-lagged aided in our collective insomnia, no doubt.)

We are officially touring now. We have played two shows in Europe already, in Antwerp (Belgium) and Arnhem (Holland). Tonight, with a few minor changes for the better, we perform in Zurich, Switzerland...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

As much and as vehemently as I cursed Los Angeles this morning while attempting to arrive to several different appointments on time, I can't help this feeling of dread relating to my departure date five days from now. I keep running through lists of things I need to finish/purchase/pay/clean/fix/prepare, and people I have promised to see before I leave; there is simply not enough time. As it is I am not sleeping. I feel torn into pieces. I wish I could put all my energy, love and focus into each fragment, separately, uniquely...and because I can't, I feel I am short-changing those around me, which makes me absolutely crazy. I can't wait to regenerate.
We performed on American idol yesterday, which was pretty neat. If you missed it, you can watch it here..
Regardless of the sense of urgency associated with leaving, I am VERY excited for this tour. The show is really fun to perform, and there isn't much that can top being onstage in front of tens of thousands of screaming people. Nor is there much that can top coming home after a long trip and hugging the person who's absence makes your heart ache. Now that has got to be one of the best feelings in the world. So, I am looking forward to the tour and yearning for the return home. All before I've even left.