Freshly arrived! Near Venice

As soon as we arrived at the hotel in Monastier di Treviso (about 25km northeast of Venice), some of us just had to go out onto the balcony right away.

I love my camera’s zoom so very, very much.

Jen G on the balcony

“Jen! Look this way!”

Katie on the balcony

“It’s your turn, Katie! C’mon!” Katie: “What?”

We Three Women

Diane, Jan, and Sue R. hanging out together

Grey on the balcony

For Grey, I just waved, and this was his response.

Alana on the balcony

Allan’s mom is so cute.

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Ljubljana Concert

Tonight’s concert was awesome (and I don’t often use that word, due to a Terry Pratchett quote — ask me about it sometime). It was wonderful, stupendous, fantastic. We had a really good audience, the place was packed, and we got a (minor) standing ovation and flowers for Allan before we even got to the encore. I’m still psyched about it! Eeee! (In other words, Darcy is having another headless chicken moment.)

On the ride back, some of us were… shall I say “disinclined” or “unable”? to keep from singing. There was an incomplete rendition of Igraj Kolce and another of Ain’t No Grave, before (brought up by conversation) Susan sang, “Heaven,” and Selena, Diane, and I ended up singing pretty much all of Cheek to Cheek. And we’re not even singing that on this tour!

As I sit here writing, waiting on dinner, the ladies I’m sitting with have decided that we should practice Jubilate Deo on the bus tomorrow. It’ll be a great experience! Since we’re all mixed up randomly on the bus, and we should practice it a bit more anyway. Even if it were perfectly memorized, it could still be worked on some more. Jubilate is just that kind of piece.

(Deborah just asked me, “Do you want people to contribute to your blog?” Doris: “Do you want people to contribute to your Blagri?” Needless to say, we’re all in excellent spirits.)

Which reminds me: working with Damijan Močnik was also awesome. He corrected our pronunciation and emphasis and told us we were being too dramatic, but. Wait, why am I saying “but”? He corrected us all over the place and that, too, was a really cool experience. I like the song better now, aside from the pleasure of fine-tuning it to fit the composer’s vision.

(Susan: “I like ‘taters.” Which sent Jackie into a fit of the giggles and made Joan sing something about “my little potato.”)

On the city tour, I thought that the word of the day seemed to be ‘baroque-ize’. That is, to convert a piece of architecture from an earlier style to baroque. The work we did on Blagri (—an interruption: Joan says I’m Blagriling—) kind of felt to me like a de-baroque-ization, and a conversion to a more waltz-like feel.

Okay, moving on.

I have been informed that we need to talk about Allan next, so let’s do that. He was extremely animated this concert. “He went from almost weeping to maniacal,” says Doris. Joan adds, “to effervescent.” He certainly was not afraid to get down and boogie, and I am so glad that I memorize easily, because it means I get to watch him more. Deborah: “He’s the man. The man of the hour.” And I agree.

I could quote more, but I think Allan might not forgive me. In summary, he’s a lot of fun, his dedication to the chorus is impressive, and we love him to pieces.

Our thanks go out to the WVC Gentlemen’s Auxiliary (Diane: “Blessed are the Gentlemen’s Auxiliary.” Susan: “For they shall be fed.” Deborah: “For they shall have front-row seats for ever and ever.” Amen) and to Allan’s parents, who have been the parents of this trip (even if they’re not as old as some of the members). They are wicked awesome.

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En route to Ljubljana

Slovenian countryside seems to fit the typical idyllic European picturesque. These were all taken from within the bus, after we’d crossed the border.

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Post-Concert, Pre-City Tour: Dohány Street Synagogue

Instead of having lunch, a few of us elected to visit the Dohány Street Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue in Europe, and the second largest in the world.

The group on the steps

Front row: Amie, Sarah, Judy
Back row: Richard (Sarah’s husband), Jen G., Diane, Marguerite, Allan

I’m not included because I took the photo. You can imagine me standing next to Judy if you like.

Synagogue Steps

And then they went up the steps.


ceiling & dome

The interior, like the exterior, is colorful and very beautiful, but it felt more like a cathedral than I expected it to. This is because, apparently, it was designed by a man who was not himself Jewish and had never been in a synagogue in his life. Mind you, neither am I nor had I before today, so I don’t really have room to point fingers.


Connected to the synagogue is the memorial garden, very green and full of pigeons. And beautiful as well, of course.

On a completely unrelated note:

One of the trollies that run through Budapest

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Arrival in Budapest, part 2

More pictures! These come from Diane.

silver-roofed building

Cool but unidentified building with silver domes, near Heroes’ Square

stone circles

A sculpture on the terrace outside the shopping mall near our hotel

window view

View from our hotel window

The hotel we’re staying at is in the Buda half of the city, which is also the hilly half. The Pest half (says our guide) is the flat half.

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Arrival in Budapest

I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally I feel kind of like falling over and kind of like running around like a headless chicken. I shall compensate with pictures.

It doesn’t look terribly impressive, but this is Heroes’ Square, where those of us who felt like braving the heat got out and admired the statues and nearby buildings. I have no idea what those are yet, so they’ll have to wait.

A few of us standing around and talking. The guy with his back to the picture is our tour guide.

Rachel apparently decided to take a picture of a group of us — it probably turned out similar to the one above, only more densely populated — and I decided to take a picture of her doing so.

… We’re all a little punch-drunk right now. As I write this, it’s been nearly a full 24 hours since we first arrived at RDU, and in that time I don’t think any of us have had more than a couple hours of sleep.

Anyway, after Heroes’ Square, we piled back into the bus and headed towards Gellért Hill. We caught a glimpse of St Stephen’s Basilica, where we’ll be singing tomorrow, on the way:

It looks more impressive from Gellért Hill.

The Parliament Building (Országház) was also visible.

And so was what our map calls the Budavári Palota, or the Buda Castle Palace.

Lisa Oskardmay got some photos of us in transit; her photos can be found here.

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