Thursday, June 25, 2009

She's Back!

Full of stories and souveniers!
(A cashmere pashmina for me!)

Flank steak, med. rare, stuffed with spinach and goat cheese,
served with roasted asparugus

Her favorite dinner was enjoyed immensely but then the jet lag kicked in. I almost hate to wake her up this morning but promised her I would take her to Mass. Once things settle down, I'll be sure to have her guest blog about her adventures.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Homeward Bound

If all goes well we should be reunited with our wandering wayfarer around 3:30 pm (EST). I'm truly excited to see Sweet Cheeks and to hear all of her stories. I most especially want to hear about how she got separated from her group at St. Peter's Basilica. I also want to know why she hasn't called since Saturday! I guess maybe just too much fun was going on. Regardless, when she gets home I have her very favorite dinner at the ready (flank steak stuffed with spinach and goat cheese served with roasted asparagus).


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Venice - The Final Stop

This morning the Charlotte Children's Choir will board a vaporetto for a cruise on the Canal Grande to San Marco Plaza. They will meet their guide at the plaza and go on a walking tour of Venice. This tour will include visits to the Basilica San Marco and to Doge's Palace. There will be plenty of free time included in their day so that the kids may do some independent sight seeing and souvenier shopping with their small groups. The day will culminate in the choir's final performance: singing in a Mass at the Chiesa di San Pieto di Castello.

A vaporetto (ferry bus) and the Canal Grande

Architecturally interesting corner of the San Marco Plaza

Basilica San Marco

Doge's Palace

Inside the Chiesa di San Pietro di Castello

Monday, June 22, 2009

3 Days and Counting

I am missing Sweet Cheeks. I have not spoken to her since Thursday as I had to work the past several days. She has been in contact with Mr. Sister, however, and continues to be having a great time. She did need to withdraw more Euros the other day. We sent her with a credit card but many places are not accepting plastic.

Today the choir leaves the rustic village of Montecatini Terme and will travel through Ferrara and Mestre. They will visit the 12th century Duomo and see San Romano, one of Ferrara's medieval streets. Next, they will check into a hotel at Marocco di Magliano. After check in they will be participating in Mass at the Chiesa San Guiseppe in Mestre.

I was searching google images for Chiesa San Guiseppe and found a wonderful slide show of the installation of these huge, beautiful bells into their bell tower. If you are so inclined, please follow this link.

Ferrara, Italy

An intriguing point of interest in Mestre, Italy

Vineyard near Marocco di Magliano

S. Lorenza, facciata della Chiesa di San Guiseppe Mestre

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Lighter Schedule for Today

After a morning concert at the Spa La Salute (I'm thinking ancient thermal baths google images to be found) the choir will visit the Accademia Gallery in Florence, home of Michaelangelo's David!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Busy Day!

There is so much packed into this day. I'm off to work so I will leave you with photos and a link to the blog at the Charlotte Children's Choir website to read up on the kids' activities.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Giotto's Campanile

Gate of Paradise

Perseus (showing the head of Medusa)

Ponte Vecchio
Uffizi Gallery
Basilica Santa Maria Assunta (participation in 6pm Mass)
For a 1st hand view of the Tour of Italy, please visit the Charlotte Children's Choir website and click on the Italy blog link.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today's Itinerary

It's a travel day for the Charlotte Children's Choir. They will leave Perugia and travel through the Tuscany countryside to Montecatini Terme, with a stop in Siena. At Siena, their sight seeing will include the Piazza Del Compo with it's Palazzo Pubblico and the Fonte Gaia, along with a visit to the 15th century Duomo (famous for its 56 marble panels by various artists). Then it's on to Montecatini Terme, the choir's home for the next 3 nights.

Piazza Del Compo

Palazzo Pubblico

Fonte Gaia
Duomo Siena

Duomo Interior

Montecatini Terme

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Italy Update

Just received this email photo of the kids performing during Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. Sweet Cheeks is the 1st in the next to last row. Their guide told them that it was very rare for choirs to receive the opportunity to perform there!

Sweet Cheeks Called!

Her camera's memory card is already full.
The extra memory card sent with her won't work in her camera.
The earphones to her Ipod broke.
She got separated from her tour group at St. Peter's Basilica (in other words, lost).

Other than that, she's having a blast!

Today the choir leaves Rome and will head to Assisi and Perugia. They will learn about one of the greatest saints, St. Francis and his protege, St. Clare. They will tour the impressive St. Francis' Basilica and St. Clare's Church. Then it's on to Perugia where they will walk to the grand Piazza 4 Novembre and to the Palazzo dei Priori, where they will perform, this evening, in concert.

St. Francis and St. Clare

Basilica of St. Francis

St. Clare's Church

Piazza 4 Novembre

Palazzo die Priori

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Adventure Continues

Today, the choir will be touring ancient Rome
with visits to the Coliseum,

a walk past the Arch of Constantine

and on to the Roman Forum.

copyright Betty Jones
Next will be a jaunt to the Capitoline
(the smallest of the the Seven Hills),
the plans for which were drawn up by Michaelangelo himself.

After lunch the choir will then head to Vatican City
where they will go on a guided tour that will include
the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.
After which they will participate in the 5 pm Mass
at this most famous cathedral.

Wouldn't it be grand if Papa Ben showed up?!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

They've Made it to Rome!

I just received word that the choir has landed safely in Rome and that everyone is doing great. Today's agenda includes touring the ancient city center of Rome with their 1st stop being the Piazza Navona. They will also visit the Pantheon with its rich history dating back to 27 BC. Their 1st "gig" will be tomorrow, during Mass, at St. Peter's Basilica.

Piazza Navona

The Pantheon

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bon Voyage

Bon voyage Sweet Cheeks!
I know you'll have a wonderful time touring Italy with your choir.
I'm going to miss you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Do Not Do This!

Let this be a warning to you. Do not...I repeat...DO NOT ever, ever, ever set your gas grill near the siding of your house or this could happen to you:

And this was from 2 feet away!
*Heavy Sigh*

Friday, June 12, 2009


I took "Jet" to the nearby veterinary clinic. They scanned her looking for an imbedded microchip. The result? We have good news: Jet is actually Roxy and, believe it or not, a patient of this particular clinic! They put in calls to her owners and will keep her until the owners are able to pick her up.

Munchie-Boy, however, was quite distraught as he and Roxy had developed a deep bond. Funny, Roxy didn't want us to leave as she kept leaning into my son's body as if saying "please, don't go!" My son broke down into a flood of tears. Seeing that broke my heart.

We've got to get this boy a dog to call his own!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guess Who Showed Up For Breakfast

And lunch, and dinner? Why this sweet creature:

Unfortunately her collar has no registration or ID. I put in calls to the local animal shelter and to Animal Control so they would be aware that I have a beautiful black lab if anyone reports one missing. I even posted signs at every entrance/exit of my neighborhood. The signs have since been torn down. Can you believe that? Sometimes I really hate my neighborhood: apparantly the signs were "unbecoming" to the aesthetics of the community. Oh give me a break. I'm trying to reunite this adorable dog with her rightful owners.

I do have one problem, though...the kids have already named her "Jet".

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

How does your garden grow?

Well, I don't know about Mary but our 1st foray into vegetable gardening has gone surprisingly well. As you can see, my plants appear mostly healthy and robust.
Now let's take a closer look, shall we?
Here is my beautiful zucchini plant. It has spread quite nicely. I am looking forward to sauteed zucchini and onions, zucchini bread, fried zucchini chips, stuffed zucchini, etc... I have a feeling I may tire of zucchini. I will have to come up with a way of storing what we don't use. You think maybe that I can slice and freeze? I have no idea if that would work or not.
I am truly surprised by the corn. I planted seeds at the same time as the other plants and the corn is already thigh high! Digestively, I don't do so well with corn and corn byproducts, however, when this corn comes in I may have to just make that sacrifice and try the fruits of our labor!

Now I don't know what to think about the cucumber plants. I do know this...I planted them too close to the pepper plants. I didn't realize how much space they were going to need. I have one tendril that has snuck it's way around the peppers and into the carrots! Now this particular plant has also escaped the confines of our "rabbit screen"! I guess the rabbits will have a tasty snack, after all!

Here is my pride and joy! A perfectly round tomato without blemish or bug invasion. Tell me, oh pretty please, when will be the perfect time to pluck you and slice you and serve you with a slice of fresh mozzarella and basil (from my herb garden). Mmmmm. I can hardly wait.


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