So, trip stories. I'll give the highlights, the abridged yet no-less humorous version.
Thursday: Fly to Portland. Am greeted by my BFF with a game of Marco Polo in the baggage claim and a snickers bar. Enjoy a nice pinot at a wine bar--great weather. Snuggle in bed--really missed that.
Friday: Eat sushi on a train (the sushi was on the train, not us) and "Hike" around town to Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens. "Hike" was quite literally a balls-to-the-walls 45 degree angle kind of hike, which I did in a skirt. Watched "Crash" on a projector outside. "Crash" is dumb, and I'm the only person in the world who thinks so.
Saturday: Drive to Seattle. Start Tallis Scholars camp. Meet a bunch of crazies, which includes the Tallis Scholars. SO EXCITED!
Sunday: A little worried that camp will be a bust because most people are not as good as I had hoped. But they are dang nice and I continue to be positive. Discovered that Seattle is a huge early music hub. Tudor choir, cool!
Monday: Start to become suspicious of the crazy lady with her Asian daughter (Les and Lili). Suspicions confirmed upon conversation with Mark and a few colleagues about the awkwardness of their relationship. Singing in a small group with Big Mark and company. Meet some amazing singers, especially Erika. I REALLY like to sing with her.
Tuesday: My lesson with Jan Coxwell. Goes really well. Great advice; I really respect her. Sing in the mass service at St. James, and the choir turns around--they sound pretty good! Catered BBQ afterwards, and Mark and I take full advantage of the open bar. We go out with the scholars to get a drink and I learn to love Patrick Craig. We decide that Mark and I are Will and Grace and he and Jan are Will and Karen. Jan is excited that she's the drunk one.
Wednesday: Free day in Seattle. Mark and I walk to Pike's Market, then to Nordstrom Rack and buy shoes. We huff and puff our way to Pioneer Square, and then literally run up the steepest hike back to the University for a rehearsal. I thought I was going to die. Very reminiscent of our hostel in Nice... But Mark was a good friend about it and waited for me every five feet when I stretched out my calves.
Thursday: Small Group Sharing Concert. Every single person there psyched themselves out. Our amazing small group bombed, and I'm still very sad about it. Mark and I learned we need more mental preparation before we sing Tallis.
Friday: We heal our egos in time for the Gala concert. But my ego suffers another blow when Jan tells me I'm sharping my high notes on her piece. I develop a huge complex, which almost ruins my outlook on life. Later she senses I'm freaking out and calms me down, so I performed pretty well in the concert. At Compline, Sam and I spy on Les and Lili (as imitated below), having another awkwardly inappropriate mother-daughter moment. We all go to the after
party with an open bar and karaoke and Mark and I steal the show with our drunkenness. As we always do.
Saturday: We have an informal photo shoot with the Tallis Scholars and our friends, check-out, then eat lunch on the roof of Andrew's condo. Mark and I go shopping for hats in Seattle, and then we all drive back so Mark can practice for his church audition. An evening full of crappy hymns. SERIOUSLY CRAPPY hymns.
Sunday: Mark's audition at the Unity Church. He does great. I sing for him at communion and lick the bread before I dip, which upsets the hippies. Afterwards a hot Asian lesbian hits on me and wont leave me alone--I somehow get her phone number. What am I going to with it? Mark and I vintage shop and get crepes and eat leftover Chinese food outside while we talk about all kinds of things (namely spirituality and the absurdity that the Life Sciences Building covers up the telescope in the Astronomy department at MU).
Monday: Trip to Wine Country. Mark and I get thoroughly drunk and buy six bottles of wine. We stop in a McDonalds on the way back for chicken sandwiches and Will and Grace. We go out on the town back in Portland and get lost for about an hour, then eat Italian and drink at a gay bar. We meet a crazy gay who helps usher Mark in to the gay club scene, but also lectures Mark about devotion (the most vague and undefined word in existence).
Tuesday: The tearful goodbye. Really tearful. A tear-filled MAX ride to the airport, a tear-filled check-in... Really nice :)
Were there lessons learned? Every trip has to have lessons learned. So here they are:
1) The only thing the Tallis Scholars love more than singing Renaissance music is getting shit-faced and singing Karaoke at shady bars.
2) The best way to get "noticed" in the music world is to be humble and talented. No one needs to talk themselves up as much as they do.
3) Good friends are hard to find, but easy to keep (I'm sure that's on a bookmark somewhere).