NOW.... I finally have three hours, to myself, with wifi, and my computer, and a power outlet, and I'm half awake (which at this point is a bonus).
I'll do what I can to condense, yet not leave out exciting parts of what has been a crazy whirlwind of September.
Kiev first :) My new friend, Melissa, whom I met in Prague when she accompanied a friend of mine from India to come dancing with me, flew to Kiev to visit! I absolutely love it when friends fly to me and I can play tour guide in a new city. Melissa is so much fun and full of life and verve it is a treat to dance and sing our way down the streets together. I invited other Ukrainian friends of mine to join us in Kiev and two of them got to come and experience the dynamic energy of Melissa and Ronda together!! lol
Before anyone joined us thought, Melissa and I visited a sculpture garden and tore the place apart with our laughter, enthusiasm, and creativity! Picking just a couple of pictures was really really hard!
That day was magical and fun beyond compare. We partied the whole night long and didn't even know it until it was daylight when we opened the door outside! Those are the best nights :)
One evening we went to the opera, The Barber of Seville. They sang it in Ukrainian without subtitles in English so even though I know the story, it wasn't really fun. Still, it was an absolute delight to go with all my friends!
|Obligatory Vibram picture :) before I climb down into the tunnel.|
|Literally got to stick my head entirely out of the top of the statue! At the top of KIEV!|
After Melissa left, Anton and I and another friend I hadn't met yet hung out in Kiev. I introduced Anton to bowling and for the first time in my life I can remember I actually won a game of bowling!!
We also went to see the symphony play Beethoven 9 and went zip lining across the Dneiper River!!
Kiev was truly a week of feeling alive, whether through joy, fear, agony, or inspiration. It flew by and I didn't hardly realize it as I boarded the plane to Greece, that it was over.
Athens was waiting for me though. Adding another country to my list :) I've now been to Athens. Plans were to go further abroad a bit but sickness ruled the household for most of the week unfortunately. Despite coughs, colds, and a bunch of kleenex, a good time was had. The food in Athens is incredible. Most of those who spend much time with me know I eat "like a bird". But I gorged myself in Athens. I couldn't believe how much I ate and drank. Wow!! The city fit me well that way. Also, because dinner time starts around 9. If you get to a restaurant at 9p.m. there's a good chance you'll be the first there and it will up as the night continues. Now that is a schedule I can thrive on for sure!
|Trying all the different kinds of Baklava!!!!! None of them were bad lol ;-)|
|Calamari cooked to perfection.|
|Eating authentic gyros in Greece for the first time. YUM|
|Unbelievable meal and this picture doesn't even have all the food that was served. I ate enough in one week in Athens to last me for a month haha!!!|
|Panorama of Athens with the Acropolis on the right.|
|Posing at an entrance.|
|An amphitheater (Roman I'm told), just outside the Acropolis. Looks like there was going to be an all guitar rehearsal or concert but I didn't stay .|
Athens seems like a dream. It flew by so fast I remember it but it almost doesn't seem real. So many wonderful days and nights despite being sick. I'll never ever forget my first trip to Greece (Yes, I'm assuming there will be more) !!! <3<3<3
At the end of the week in Greece I learned I needed to go to Chernivtsi Ukraine faster than planned by a day. Lucky for me I have the most amazing Ukrainian sister :) and she packed a bag for me and brought my violin to me in Kiev. After spending the day trying to book me train tickets, bus tickets, blabla car rides, and every other form of transportation other than flying for me while I spent the day flying from Greece, I ended up being shown wonderful hospitality by another Ukrainian family because nothing was available. I still remember that night/day and I'll never forget it (drinks all night/morning)! Not sure if I should hope it to be once in a life time or not haha!! Since I couldn't get to Chernivtsi the day I needed to I lost one recording day, but when I arrived, the people were kind and flexible and we easily recorded two demos in 8 hours and had a fabulous time doing so. My quick trip to Chernivtsi was so delightful and even though I only packed for 2 days and ended up staying four so I didn't have enough clothes and the weather is getting cold so they're not warm enough, I still had such fun. I didn't go sightseeing except for a couple of hours to the University that is an UNESCO site. The people made the trip! Recording, video editing, and just enjoying laughing over bad English and Russian was a good time to have for all :)
I planned to stay in Chernivtsi even longer so I could see the town a bit, but plans have changed again :) Finally, after a year hiatus, I've been offered a job on a cruise ship. It's only a one week contract (the shortest ever in my career), but I'll take it! A new company and a new agent and a new musical partner to start a new journey! Now I travel fast back to Kiev, Malyn, Kiev, and off to NYC to catch the ship. Afterwards I will try to write another entry of my time onboard :) My plans now are to return to Ukraine after the cruise. Yes, it's almost like I enjoy it here ;-) But who knows what will actually happen so just keep reading and enjoy the adventure along with me!