Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ireland Day 2

This morning we took off to head towards Clare County. On the way we stopped by a random castle with I swear a leprechaun outside! Ok maybe he was just a local with really red hair but he was creepy looking just the same.

We also stopped at the small town of Rosecrea to see the castle and church there. It was beautiful. The whole town was like a ghosttown. There was hardly anyone around and everything was closed because it was Sunday. I appreciate that they kept the sabbath day by not opening up their stores.

We also found a town along the way whose claim to fame was that Obama's family line came from there. We of course had to pull off the side of the road and see the home. There were American flags flying all over the town. I guess it's also part of my family line too since we are related.

We then passed through Limerick where we walked around King John's Castle, the river banks passing by several beautiful churches. 

We found the Bunratty Castle and toured the castle and grounds there. They turned the castle and grounds into their own little Williamsburg almost. People were dressed up to fit the times. There was a house that some brothers lived in who became known for the HB ice cream that is still found all over the country.  I was very interested in a sign that said Horizontal/Vertical Mill. How can a mill be both? Well it wasn't one but two mills. We also found a really cute school house that was divided by boys and girls. The girls were educated in one room and the boys in another. I don't think thats equality. We explored the area until there was nothing more to see.

After exploring the castle we decided to head north to drive through the Burren National Park. It was so pretty. There were some roads that I'm not sure how we made it in our car but we did. I always thought that people where joking when they talk about how narrow the roads are in Ireland. Nope, They are not joking. I think at one point I could have laid down across the road and touched one side of the road to the other. Crazy and that was a two lane road too!

That evening after heading back closer to our hotel I finally got brave enough to drive the car. Now I know how to drive but driving on the left is very different. I had to really concentrate and I freaked out just a little when I had to pass a car. I stayed in my lane though which was the left side of the road. It was a little nerve racking but I was proud of myself for finally doing it. By the end of the trip I was a pro at it.

So ready for a good nights rest and another adventure tomorrow.

Ireland Day 1

I was so excited to be able to go to Ireland with Diana Smith. We had some great adventures together. After arriving at the Dublin airport, collecting our luggage, exchanging our American money for Euros, and picking up our rental car we were off on our adventure.

The first place we went to was Malahide Castle. It was a beautiful castle in the Talbot family. We took the tour through the dungeon, banquet halls and a few other rooms. The gardens were gorgeous to walk through. It was so nice to stretch our legs after the long plane ride.

After the castle we made our way to the Guinness Factory for our tour of one of Irelands most famous icons, the beer. It was a packed crowd inside all excited for their free pint. I enjoyed my Coke as I looked over the view of the city from the 360 room. I do have to appreciate the process that it takes to make beer.

And what tour would be complete without a trip to jail? We toured the Kilmainham Gaol which really helped to explain Irish history. The jail was quite fascinating actually. I think its so interesting how many times the people tried to start a revolution before they were finally able to succeed in gaining independence from England. it's also interesting how when there was a time of famine the jails were full because just wanted a meal. The jail has been preserved quite nicely and it is even used by many film crews. Les Miserable (an older version) was filmed here.

After jail we headed to our first hotel which was a beautiful golf resort. We were extremely tired and once I made it in the room and saw the beautiful deep tub I knew I was done for the night. I had a lovely bath where I actually fell asleep in the tub. It was the best nap ever. So many more exciting places to visit.

McKaylee and Tyler are Married

I am finally getting some wedding pics up from McKaylee and Tyler's wedding back in March. I was one of the bridesmaids and it was not easy. I helped make the flower girls bouquets, go shopping for party favors, made all the take home party favors, helped to bake, decorate and wrap the cupcakes, got up super early to do her hair (after earlier in the week doing a test run), helped to set up the reception hall and then take everything down and back to their apartment. Craziness. weddings are so much work but I'm so happy I was able to help make McKaylee's day so special for her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Impossible, Things are Happening Every Day.

 A stop in New York is never complete until I see a Broadway show. This trips feature is Rodger and Hammersteins Cinderella. The little princess in me loved it. It was super cute seeing all the little girls in the theater wearing tiaras. I wished I had had one on too. 

I remember watching the musical movie when I was younger all the time. Classic songs for a classic fairy tale story. 

"Do I love you because you're wonderful? Or are you wonderful because I love you?"

"In my own little corner in my own little chair I can be whatever I want to be."

"Impossible, things are happening everyday."

Never underestimate the power of a good pair of shoes. 

The Wizard and I: The Musical Journey of Stephen Schwartz

I went to the Kennedy Center to hear the National Symphony Orchestra perform The Wizard and I: The Musical Journey of Stephen Schwartz.

From left to right: Stephen Schwartz who wrote musicals Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell to name a few, also wrote the music to Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Prince of Egypt. next we have the conductor of the orchestra by Steven Reineke. Center is Jeremy Jordan who is currently on the TV show SMASH but was also nominated for a Tony for his role as the leading actor in Newsies. In pink is Jennifer Laura Thompson who played Glinda in Wicked. In green is Julia Murney who has played Elphaba in Wicked. And the handsome man on the end is Norm Lewis who I saw perform in London the role of Javert in Les Miserable. He also played the role in the 25th Anniversary concert as well. Truly an amazing cast.


The whole reason I bought my ticket to come tonight was to see these two men. What a treat when I got to meet them! Both have great smiles and are so friendly. I'm literally walking on cloud 9 right now.

The set list:

Wicked: A Fable for Orchestra The symphony did an amazing medley. 
"The Spark of Creation" from Children of Eden. Performed by all. 
"Lost in the Wilderness" from Children of Eden. Performed by Jeremy Jordan. 
"Meadowlark" from The Baker's Wife. Performed by Julia Murney
"West End Avenue" from The Magic Show. Performed by Jennifer Laura Thompson
"Magic to Do" from Pippin. Performed by Norm Lewis
"Morning Glory" from Pippin. Performed by all.
Orchestra Suite from Seance on a Wet Afternoon which is a Opera (man of many talents)
Animated Movie Medley where Norm sang Look at Your Life through Heaven's Eyes. Laura sang When You Believe, Julia sang Just Around the Rivebend, Jeremy sang Out There from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Amazing!!!!!!!!
"Testimony" which is a song that was written for Gay and Lesbian Youth. The lyrics actually came from the youth in their own words. Very beautifully performed by the Washington Choir. 
Stephen Schwartz came out and performed the original song he had written for Wicked called Making Good which went through some rewriting before being scratched to become the song we love "The Wizard and I" from Wicked which was performed by Julia Murney
"For Good" (which is my motto for life song) from Wicked. Performed by Jennifer Laura Thompson and Julia Murney who were reprising their roles as Glinda and Elphaba. 
For the Encore they performed a song that was written for a tribute to Hans Christian Anderson. 

All of it was beautiful. I had goosebumps and warm fuzzies all over. Of course it helped that I was sitting 11 rows back from center stage. I could see their expressions and emotions the performers felt in the music they were singing. I was truly touched by these talented people tonight.