Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ashland Day 4 - Sara Onitsuka

Today was a tiring day as well, but for different reasons than the past few days. It was mostly a traveling day - we were supposed to meet in the bus at 8am, but ran late, and didn't leave until around 8:45am. After around 2 and a half hours of driving through a winding road (a long and winding road), we reached Crater Lake.   

Crater Lake had tons of snow surrounding it, but it was certainly still beautiful. We didn't get to sing at Crater Lake, so it was mostly just a quick sight-seeing trip.

Though we intended to arrive home somewhere around 5pm, one of the roads wasn't clear enough (due to snow) for us to use it. So we had to back-track around 70 miles, which added on to the driving time, but at least we were able to stop and get some ice cream! 

This trip was so fun, but felt way too short. I wish we could have just spent a few more days in Ashland, walking around Lithia Park and the downtown area. It was a great bonding experience, and I was able to branch out a little bit by talking to people I haven't much before. This school year, in general, just seemed like it flew by. As the climax of our entire Royal Blues season, the Ashland trip was definitely worth it. As cheesy as it is, the memories I formed and the pictures I took will last a lifetime. Thank you Mr. Eisemann, Wendy and Claire's moms, and the rest of the Blues for making this trip the best ever. 

Ashland Day 3 - Sara Onitsuka

Day three was another exhausting yet fabulous day. We needed to be in the lobby of the hotel and ready to go at 9:15am today, in order to drive to Helman Elementary School. We performed a bunch of pieces for the students, including some of our Shakespeare pieces. Since they all grew up in Ashland, a lot of them recognized the lyrics for "Double Double Toil and Trouble", which was really cute. They were all such outgoing kids, and were hardly hesitant about asking us questions after we performed. Our performance was crazy - we had so much fun, but got a little out of control (especially on the William Tell Overture)!

We had a short meeting/rehearsal after we got back to the hotel, and Mr. Eisemann used this mini piano to give us all of the pitches for our songs:

Then we had 4+ hours to do whatever we wanted! I went to lunch with Robbie, Cameron, Wyatt, Sophia, Claire, April, and Allison, to a place called Greenleaf.

There was another big group of Royal Blues members at the same restaurant, but sitting in a different area, and we saw Mr. Eisemann too. It's funny - even though the Blues split off, we pretty much ended up in the same place.

Everyone was raving about the "watering hole" in Lithia Park, so we all decided to hike over there. At first, we couldn't find it, but we did find another group of Blues chilling at the creek.  Finally, we found the watering hole, but there were tons of people there, so we left to find our own area.

It was sunny and nice out, and overall just perfect. A couple of us were being adventurous and explored up and down the creek. The water was really cold, but refreshing on such a hot day. Paul (who came later with Owen) and I completely submerged ourselves in the water for fun. It was really cold, but so worth it anyway.

Although the majority of us went to the creek/watering hole, some other activities included - chilling in the hotel room, doing homework, and in general, exploring the town a little more.

It already seemed like we had done a lot in a day, but it wasn't over yet! We changed back into our dresses and tuxes for the apex of our entire trip, and went to the park to eat pizza before walking to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

Once there, we had an outdoor concert for the people waiting to enter the Shakespeare Festival. There was actually a pretty sizable crowd, but I don't think our voices carried very much in the open air. Despite that, we made the best of it, and kept the William Tell Overture a little more under control (although still full of dancing).

We headed into the theater to watch The Tempest, which might have made more sense to me had I read the book already. Unfortunately, I didn't know anything about the play going in, so it was a little confusing. But the visual effects and overall aesthetics of the play were top-notch, and many of the actors were amazing.

It's now 1:30am, and I have to be ready by 8am in the lobby tomorrow (or should I say later today?). I'm so sad that this trip is already ending, but I've made so many great memories with people. I wish this trip could be longer, because it's paradise here. But it's been a great trip so far!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ashland Day 2 - Sara Onitsuka

This post is a little late...currently it's already Friday, but I'm bloggin' about Thursday.

Anyway so the second day was a super long day. We needed to be ready by 9:50am, but two of my roommates went to the gym early (shoutout to Maddy and Allison) so I just woke up early with them.
We warmed up in the courtyard of the hotel, and then set off.

Yesterday consisted of a lot of walking - first, we walked to the Plaza to sing for a 3 year old girl named Helen, in order to raise money for her kidney transplant.
She was pretty shy but so cute! It was officially endorsed by Yogurt Hut (a froyo place) so the Yogurt Hut mascot was there too:

Afterwards, the mayor said a few words, we were dubbed the official busking choir of Ashland, and we got the chance to have some frozen yogurt. I filled my cup almost to the rim:

We had some time for lunch, but since we had just eaten frozen yogurt, most of us weren't very hungry. I felt bad, but frozen yogurt ended up being my lunch (plus some rose lemonade from Pangea, which was DELISH)!

We went to Southern Oregon University to listen to their choir perform, as well as perform a couple of songs for them as well. Look at dem cuties:

Finally, we went to the Oregon Cabaret Theater to watch the Marvelous Wonderettes, a play about a group of 4 girls of the graduating class of 1958. Sadly, they prohibited cameras in the theater, but it was an amazing show. All of the girls had such fantastic voices, and we were lucky enough to ask them questions in a Q and A section after the show.

We were all thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day, which is why I didn't end up posting at the right time. But it was so amazing! Ashland is such a nice town, and I wish we had even more time here.

The day three post should be up soon as well!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ashland Day 1 - Sara Onitsuka

Today was the first day of our trip. Although it consisted mostly of traveling, it was still sooooo much fun! We left at about 9:45am, and headed to Oregon State University, where we toured the college, ate some delicious food in their Cafeteria, and went to observe the OSU choir rehearsal. Here's a video of them warming up...they were really good.

On the way to Ashland from OSU (Corvallis), which took around three and a half hours, everyone was getting pretty tired of just traveling. We were all so ready to get off the bus and get goin'!

Finally, after a loooong ride, we made it to Ashland. Ashland is really into their Shakespeare festival - in fact, the whole city promotes it. There were signs everywhere, and a lot of the shops had names relating to Shakespeare (for example: "To CD or not to CD").

Driving a few minutes more, we arrived in front of our hotel/inn. It's the cutest place ever!

All of our rooms have two queen beds (I'm in a room with Maddy, April, and Allison holla at them), and there's a pool in the hotel too! We went swimming tonight, although I didn't bring my camera to the pool unfortunately.

We put all our stuff in our rooms and just chilled for a while, until we regrouped and walked to get some dinner. Everyone was advised to eat a smaller lunch, so we were pretty hungry by that time. On our way to dinner, we found the infamous Lithia water fountains, which are enriched with the supposedly healthy mineral "Lithia".

Basically, it smells like rotten eggs and doesn't taste any better. I tried was nasty.

......Yeah. It was an experience for sure.

We had some time to kill, so the majority of the Blues went to a nearby park.....

....and played on the playground:

We climbed up onto this rock at the park, and I was lifted into the air like Simba from the Lion King. I think someone has a video of this????

It was already like 9pm, but our day wasn't over yet! We went back to the hotel and celebrated Maddy and Claire's birthdays, since they're both turning 18 on this trip. Then, a lot of us went swimming in the pool, because we were so sweaty and hot at that point.

I realized, from all these experiences today, how much I love this group of people. The next few days are going to be an absolute blast :)

Well, it's already 12:30am and we need to be all ready to go by 9:50am tomorrow, so I better go to sleep.

Catch you all tomorrow!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Turkey Bowl

Video/Photo from this year's Turkey Bowl. Great to see all of the Blues past and present reuniting on Thanksgiving Day for the annual game. Send me your photos so I can add them to the blog. Happy Holidays!