Luck Be (with) a Lady

Sadly I forgot the handy little cord that links my camera to my computer, so no trip photos until I reach my parents’ home in 2 days.  I pray my sisters will have something I can use to bring my images to the public.

There are so many things I could say about our trip so far.  Matt has already written a couple of great posts using images from his iphone camera.  But I don’t want to go into much detail without the photos to illustrate, so I will just touch on one small aspect.

As an avid globetrotter, I have had the chance to see so many amazing places.  Cathedrals, monuments, memorials, my repertoire is chock full of ’em.  But what often gets me most excited are art museums and exhibits.

I prefer to explore art exhibits alone if I’m being honest.  I enjoy taking it at my own leisurely pace and soaking up everything around me.  I wouldn’t say I am any kind of connoisseur, but I certainly know what I like.

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Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective

Matt and I were lucky enough to see Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective the other day in D.C.  I have seen some of his work here and there in various locations, but this was as comprehensive a collection as I have never seen before.  I was so impressed by the work and by the sheer number of pieces they had collected.  I found this poster on a site advertising the exhibit at the Tate in London.  Evidently that will be its next stop.  How wonderful to see such amazing American art for free! National Gallery of Art

The last time I visited the National Gallery, I just happened to see an Henri Rousseau exhibit.  It was completely brilliant, and also included an impressive amount of his work.  To be able to see these sorts of things for free is such a gift. Henri Rousseau: The Complete Works

My best memory of happening upon a wonderful exhibit was on my birthday in 2009.  This was days after I’d first met Matt, and my friend and I were stopping in Milan for one day before returning to France.  We’d been on a two week holiday, and were tired, cold and anxious about our overnight train to Dijon.

I noticed, in the main square, posters announcing a Rene Magritte exhibit nearby.  In the National Gallery I caught one of his paintings out of the corner of my eye and dragged Matt over to see it.  Most museums showing modern or surrealist art have at least one Magritte.  I get to see them here and there all over the world.  To come across an entire exhibit of his (my favorite painter) on my birthday was incredible!

I wandered around at my leisure, Courtney opting not to come along.  It was breathtaking.  I never wanted to leave.  Good art is something to be savored, and though you can find it on the internet, nothing beats seeing it in person.

My recommendation to the unseasoned traveler is to keep your eyes open for cool exhibits.  There are some fantastic FREE museums around the world, and it’s always a shame to miss great art when it’s right at our fingertips (figuratively, of course).  Even pricey exhibits are almost always worth it.  I have paid willingly to see Magritte, Van Gogh, Juan Gris, Picasso, Alphonse Mucha and many others.  See what you’re lucky enough to come across in a foreign city and check it out!

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The Sounds of Summer

It’s been quite a busy spring, and I anticipate a crazy fun summer!  Sadly for me, a few of my friends will be away during their uni holidays.  Luckily plenty of us are staying behind to brave the 40+ degree heat (Celsius).  For my friend Claire and I, this will mean heaps of time to catch up on musical arrangements.

Back in July, I joined forces with some of my best friends to form an all-female a cappella group called “The Treble Clefs.”  Treble Clefs had its first gig a few weekends ago at a wedding.  We sang about 6 different songs, including a Shania Twain ballad while the bride walked down the aisle.  We got an onslaught of positive feedback, which was really wonderful.  It really motivated us to work hard to market ourselves well.  We still have a lot of work to do on the website, but I’ll be sure to link it when it’s ready to go.  I’m not really sure what the future holds for the group, but I’ve got numerous arrangements in the works, and it just feels so good to be singing again.

Aside from doing work for the a cappella group, I’m looking forward to another type of work in store for me this summer.  It’s nearly the end of my 6 months (allowed by my visa) at the hotel where I currently work.  So I’ve been frantically applying for new jobs so as not to be out of work at Christmastime.  I ended up landing a position at The Naked Fig.  It’s a beach-side cafe and restaurant that prides itself on being free trade, free range, organic, etc. 

The Naked Fig is actually part of a chain of Fig restaurants.  Matt and I had an amazing date last night at The Wild Fig.  It’s the latest in the franchise, and the closest one to our house.

I’m excited at the prospect of working at the beach.  I’ll try to take heaps of photos to give readers an idea of how beautiful this area is.  I feel like I hardly take advantage of living so near what are considered the top beaches in Australia.

The best part of my new job (besides the option of running out the door and into the ocean upon the completion of a shift) is the fact that I get to wear pretty much whatever I want as long as it’s black.  I was obnoxiously trying on everything black that I own to determine what is the cutest way to pull off my bright orange apron.

I’ve been feeling a little down lately about my immigration status.  I can’t wait until my visa comes through so I can have a bit of stability and take advantage of residency.  But then I remember all the great people I’ve met and the fun opportunities I’ve had.  And now I get to work at the beach!

This adventure of living abroad since college has brought me places I never knew existed.  I’m an incredibly lucky girl.  Recently I even saw two of the bigger current Australian celebrities!  I got to see the prime minister from about 20 feet away a few weeks ago, and this week I made a soy latte for one of the judges from Australia’s X Factor.  He was the first winner of Australian Idol so I suppose that would make him the Australian Kelly Clarkson. 

He caught me completely by surprise when I was busy making coffees (I’m often the morning barista at work, which can get pretty full on).  He came over to ask where he could get some orange juice.  I’m sure my eyes flickered when I recognized him.  I tried to be normal, but like I said, it totally caught me off guard.  We girls were all giddy the rest of the shift.  He was so nice and really good-looking in person.  It’s pretty surreal seeing someone in person when you’re used to seeing them on television.  Especially when you aren’t expecting it!