Thursday, August 23, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
August 22 2012
Daily Stuff - Miserable night last night. No sleep. The plane ride just took it out of me. Throbbing head won't decompress. Feeling a little better.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
August 21 2012
Daily Stuff - Flying back to San Diego. Long but good flight from London to LA. Sitting in LA ready to get back to my home and schnauzer. Feels odd using American money again. :)
August 20 2012
Daily Stuff - Last day in England. British Museum. (Saw my Greek statues and Elgin marbles.) Covent Garden. National Gallery. My two Da Vinci's and an exhibition they had called Metamorphosis. It was a collaboration between the Royal Ballet and the National Gallery. Groups of choreographers, poets, and designers creating works of art and ballets based on Titian paintings (Diana and Action, etc). The poetry actually seemed to be the most interesting.
The evening brought my goodbye meal of Indian food. Oh, I did get some chips earlier in the day. :)
Sunday, August 19, 2012
August 19 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
August 18 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
August 17 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
August 16 2012
Daily Stuff - Went to the Parthenon today. Did some other stuff, but it pales in comparison. Went up early in the morning. So I beat the crowds and the sunlight was phenomenal. It's so slear and bright up there. But like all mortals, I had to come back down to Earth. And shade.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
August 15 2012
Daily Stuff - Bautiful morning as I left Rome and flew to Athens. Nice flight. sat next to an older guy who was flying out to Greece for a wedding. The guy could not stop talking :) Gave me a primer on Greek history and the difference between classical and modern Greek language. Metro to my hotel neighborhood, the Plaka. Its a very touristy part of town, but nice. Pedestrian traffic only. My hotel is in the shadow of the Parthenon. Can see the top of it lit up from my room.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
August 14 2012
Daily Stuff - Colosseum tour today. It was very good. Long and informative also did the Palantine Hill and Roman Forum. Did all of my tours with Walks of Italy and they were great! Small groups. Very nice informative guides. Anna. Tyson. Jowita. When I was a kid, my parents would take s to the bullfights in Tijuana. Yes, I know. Anyhow, the Colosseum reminded me of those bullrings. As the guide as talking, I kept harkening back to those experiences. Met a nice mother and daughter from Toronto on the tour. The daughter was a dancer. Later we discovered that there was another dancer (from New York) on the tour with us. I guess there was a theme. :)
Went to see Michelangelo's statue of Moses in a church nearby. It's really to bad. It's displayed poorly. They have it on ground level, when it really should be looked up at. As such, the "effect" is a little flat. The church also had a Christian "relic." Not really much on relics here. These were the chains that St. Peter was supposed to have been bound in.
Had more gelato. Twice. And my basic caprese/spaghetti combo.
Monday, August 13, 2012
August 13 2012
Daily Stuff - Very nice EARLY morning tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We got in and beat the crowds. Went to St. Peter's and revisited the Pantheon. The Occulus in the middle was actually pretty cool. Was supposed to do a Colosseum tour today, but there was a mix-up on my part. Re-scheduled for tomorrow. Which means I'll miss Pompeii, but thats just as well, as I wasn't looking forward to the train ride back and forth. Had dinner at a nice little restaurant where I met a nice couple from New Zealand. They have just been zipping around the world, having spent 2 months in the USA driving around the Western States.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
August 12 2012
Daily Stuff - A little late but... Woke up to the sounds of the church bells of Florence. Got myself to the train station and zipped to Rome.
Walked from the train station to my hotel. Have to admit, I got lost. But the consolation is that the scenery was nice. Lucky for me, my hotel I near the Colosseum. So when I had to ask for directions, everyone seemed to know the way.
Checked in to my small, but ornate room, and was ready to unwind until my 8pm guided walk of Rome. Lucky for me, I checked my schedule and saw that it was at 5pm, not 8. Already 3:30. Just enough time to get out and walk. My path took me through Ancient Rome and Downtown.
Met my guide at the top of the Spanish steps. Did I mention the heat? Anyhow, she was nice and knowledgable. Small tour group. Off we went and I saw the "highlights." Good times.
As I was walking back to my hotel room, I had to walk past Ancient Rome and the Colosseum again. I know its silly to say, but it gave me a very Vegas Strip vibe.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
August 11 2012
Daily Stuff - Still in Florence. Yesterday, did the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. The Palace was nice and big. Lots of art crammed all over the place. Unlike a lot of museums, they also had lots of places to sit.
Had a classic European sandwich at the museum cafe. And by classic, I mean a thin sliver of cheese and a thin sliver of some meat. I love Europe, but they need to come to America to learn how to make a decent sandwich.
Then went for a stroll in the Boboli Gardens. And by stroll, I mean hike.
But it was exactly what I needed. So much time in the past 2 days has been spent on manufactured beauty, I was missing the natural.
Came back to the room. Took a nap. And went to Trattoria Nella for Caprese salad and Spaghetti with tomato sauce. Both were great.
Today, I went to the Palazzo Vecchio. Very impressed with the ceiling decorations. Climbed the Tower. I think I was dead right to take this little trip at this point in my life. My tower climbing days (at least the enjoyment of the climbing) are ebbing.
Tonight, I am deciding whether I should be adventurous or just go back and have my spaghetti. after all, it's not like I can order it from the same place when I get back to California.
Friday, August 10, 2012
August 10 2012
Daily Stuff - Yesterday was my first full day of Florence vacation. Thanks to my handy dandy Firenze Card I skipped all the lines and spent 3 hours at the Uffizi, the went to the Bargello, the Medici Chapel and finally the Accademia, where I spent an hour David (the marble one) and headed back to my hotel.
So many twisting and reclining sculpted bodies, its easy to see where my aesthetic tastes sprang from. Oh, well, always loved Greek myths as a kid. I suppose i could get deep here, but I am not too much into over analyzing my artistic influences. Suffice it to say, my most memorable moments were...
Looking at a ceiling fresco and being struck by the clarity of the use of color. I had never seen black used in a ceiling fresco. Especially that much.
Staring at David's head so long that it seemed to start to come to life. I usually have that experience with any really great marble statue. Its partially the marble, such a soft material. But there is something more.
Being in the Medici Chapel and sitting on the marble floor of the big (cool) empty space and feeling relaxed and peaceful (even though I was surrounded by dead people. Why do these people always bury folks INSIDE churches. its creepy.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
August 9 2012
Daily Stuff - Okay in a nutshell. Yesterday and the night before.
Because my flight was early in the morning (and my Olympic events were done at around 10:30 pm), I decided the best thing would be to just head over to Heathrow after my Olympic experience. I could only take a backpack to the games, so everything I needed for the next 10 days was crammed in there. Games end.
Walk to the tube in the rain. Get on the District Line to Heathrow. 50 minutes later, we arrive. I look for my airline. Not there. Double check my ticket. Flying out of Gatwick. Back on the tube. Rewind 40 minutes to St. Pancras and Gatwick connections. Arrive. No all night trains. Have to take Victoria line to Victoria station. 20 minutes. Get to Victoria. Miss train. Have to wait 30 minutes for next train. Get train make it to Gatwick. Crash on the airport lobby floor.
Don't sleep well. Early flight. Plane is crowded. A bit claustrophobic and hot. Minor panic attack. Make it to Florence. Shuttle to center of town. Walk through twisty streets. Its hot! Find the hotel. Nice receptionist (Monti) upgrades me to a room with pvt bath and little view of the bell tower and Duomo. Long soak and air conditioning. Zonk!
Wake up. Its dark. Go out for a stroll on the Piazza della Signora. Very nice. Vendors were selling blue light up thingies that kids would throw up in the air and come down slowly. Like blue fireflies.
But my bed called.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
August 8 2012
Tech Rehearsal Romeo et Juliet 2012. Photos by Greg Olive.
Daily Stuff - In Florence. Made it to my hotel. the Hotel Alessandra. Very nice welcome for a weary traveler.
Yesterday, the Olympics were brilliant. Had to cram my computer and two changes of clothes in my back pack (along with my guidebooks) as I decided that I would head directly to the airport after my olympic experience.
Got to the Olympics early. I cried a bit when I walked past the final security and was in the Olympic Park. Very nicely done. A canal runs through it. Nice English type gardens. Wasn't too crowded in the morning. There is a big red observation type thingy in the middle that you tae an elevator up and then climb down. No, thanks.
Bought my Olympic swag. A cap and a t-shirt. Wasn't that crazy about the official Olympic design, but its growing on me.
So have lots of time and didn't get much sleep last night. Luckily, there were nice grassy ares where people were crashing. So I took advantage. Didn't sleep much, but at least I wasn't on my feet.
Event time. Saw the Men's high jump final. Men's 1500 meters final. Qualifying heats for Men's 800 meters. Qualifying for Women's long jump. Qualifying for Women's 200 meters. Qualifying and final for women's 100 meter hurdles. Two American women won silver and bronze and were very happy. The gold was won by an Australian, who seemed very deserving. And saw the discus...
As my blog readers may know, I went to the Olympics because of a personal attachment to the sport because I idolized 4 time Olympic gold medalist al Oerter. Well, these guys weren't Al. this is going to sound odd, but Al always looked to me as if he had a kind of spiritual thing going on. And he moved beautifully and classically. These guys were a bit more "brutish" but...
The winner, Robert Harting, kind of made the night for me. After a bit of jockeying, he finally won. Well, he jumped onto the running course and started yelling with the fans. then he ripped his shirt off (a la the Incredible Hulk), after more screaming and playing with reporters cameras, he grabbed a German flag wrapped it around his shoulders and started a victory lap, more screaming, then he proceeded to hurdle over the entire hurdling course that had been set up for the upcoming race and finished by trying to rip one of the Olympic torches out of the ground.
Not the same as classy Al, but so "in the moment" it was just a joy to watch him.
Enough for now, I'll blog some tomorrow about the "trip" to get here.
Oh, by the way, Florence at 9:30 pm is magical.
August 7 2012
Monday, August 06, 2012
August 6 2012
Sunday, August 05, 2012
August 5 2012
Daily Stuff - Into London today. Went to see Julie's son, Miles, in Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre on the West End. A very nice show. Very technically dense. Its based on a Roald Dahl children's book. All of the actors were uniformly good. The set was very inventing and the staging was energetic.
It was also nice because also i the cast was a girl, who I had taught in a summer school here years ago. She has made quite a career for herself in musical theatre.
While we were waiting for the show, Julie and I had a lovely snack at Covent Garden and afterwards, we took Miles to a Mexican restaurant by the theatre. Yes, mexican food has finally come to England! It was pretty good for the most part. Only a couple of interesting flavor choices. But the hostess was a journalism student from Texas, so she steered us towards the more authentic choices. :)
Nice to see so many Londoners taking pride in their city during the Olympics :)
Saturday, August 04, 2012
August 4 2012
Daily Stuff - Loooooooooong day traveling to England. Started in a cute little prop plane from San Diego to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we were stuck on the runway as wasn't allowing any one to come in all planes were grounded for a VIP. But I managed to get in just in time to run onto my flight for London. A nice, if bumpy flight, during which I couldn't sleep got me to jolly old England. Unfortunately, the winding bus from the airport to Watford Junction made me a little woozy. But a brisk walk, and a subsequent crashing on David Curtis' couch revived me. Am now happily deposited on Julie Curtis' living room floor ready to hit the sack in anticipation of the adventure ahead.
Friday, August 03, 2012
August 3 2012
Daily Stuff - Wet in this morning and finished the design of the first postcards. I had gotten a request to separate out the Alice performances from the Mixed Rep, so the back of the postcard features the Alice matinee and the front has a picture of Max and Zoe in a huge, off balance developpe.
Also worked a bit on some projections for internal expectations in 2 years. That was for our strategy plan.
But now I am sitting in San Diego Airport waiting for the plane to come and take me on my grand Adventure. The Olympics in London. Florence. Rome. Athens.
So I will finally keep my date with my giant marble pal at the Accademia.
So updates might be a bit erratic for the next couple of weeks.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
August 2 2012
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
August 1 2012
Daily Stuff - Last night had a lovely meeting with an old student from CVH, Donna Brines. Its always nice when they turn out so well.
Began the day bright and early with a meeting at Florence Elementary. Just getting a calendar down for next year.
Then I zipped over to SDB to finalize our Educational Outreach flyer and do some more office work.
This evening, I was speaking at a Voice of San Diego Meeting of the Minds function. The topic that they decided they wanted me to speak about was "Defying Stereotypes through Drama."
I was brilliant.
On a a sad note, one of the two baby cockatiels I was handfeeding didn't make it. :) He was just a little too weak from the start.