Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cross Country Adventure Part 2: The Rest of the Trip!

Last time we met Ben and I left you at a the Virgin River Casino Restaurant with a huge breakfast too big to finish.  From there we drove through the rest of Nevada, a corner of Arizona, and up into Utah.

I just love driving through Arizona (especially if I don't have to get out of the car and feel the heat).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cross Country Adventure Part 1: Barely getting through California

We have arrived in Bloomington, Indiana!  Yesterday I had orientation, which has helped me feel much more at ease about starting school and jumping into designing a show.  I'm feeling pretty stoked about it all.  Ben is working really hard to move us in and has already found an audition for the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington.

Now for pictures from our trip!

 This is a google map of our route.  We took about 5 days to drive just over 2800 miles.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gondola Ride on Lake Merritt

Good morning!

Yesterday was a rough day.  It was actually a good day, but a bunch of time was wasted waiting for our car radio to get diagnosed, and many of you may not know this, but I don't deal well with wasted time (at least not when I don't have much time to waste!).

All that to say, the first part of the day was rough, but then I got a couple important things done and headed out to Lake Merritt in Oakland for a complimentary Gondola ride!  And oh, how we like complimentary things!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A teacher once told me...

In high school I was really bad at turning in my math homework on time.  It wasn't so much that I didn't do my homework; rather, I would miss one assignment and as a result the following assignments would also be late.  One day my calculus teacher, Mr. Miller, approached me and gave this bit of advice:  instead of doing the oldest assignment first, start with the newest assignment and catch up on the older assignments later.  That way, only a couple assignments would be late rather than all of them.  I don't think I ever actually applied this to my math homework, but every time I open my journal (or log onto this blog) and see how far behind I am, I think of Mr. Miller's words and do my best to focus on what's happening now rather than worrying about all the things I've missed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Indiana University

Last Tuesday, March 1st, Ben and I flew out to Bloomington, Indiana to visit the campus of Indiana University.  Unfortunately, we have absolutely NO pictures because the trip was SO fast.  We left our house Tues. at 4am to catch our 6:35 flight.  We flew out just as the sun was rising.  It was absolutely GORGEOUS and I kick myself for having the camera in the overhead.  We had a connecting flight in Chicago, landed in Indianapolis at 4:55 and drove an hour to Bloomington.  The drive was great - Indiana is so different from California.  I thought it was really pretty, even with completely bare trees.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Walking Albany Hill

The Bay area is fairly hilly and we live at the base of Albany Hill:
Our apartment is located approximately at the arrow.

I really like this hill because - though it's hard to tell here - it is cover with Eucalyptus trees so the hill looks as though it has a head of hair.  I also like it because it's a random peace of relatively unadulterated nature in the middle of the city.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chicago - a big entry for a big trip.

Last Friday, February 4th, Ben and I flew to Chicago to participate in the Unified/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) - in other words: Grad School portfolio reviews, interviews, and auditions.  Despite the huge storm the country experienced a few days before our travels, our flights were not effected by the weather - but only just barely.

This was the first time I spent this much time in this much snow and cold since I was about six - and even that I barely remember, so it was pretty exciting.

Saturday was my big presentation/interview day.  Each design candidate was given a table on which they created a portfolio display.  The set designers most often than not, were the most elaborate in their configuration - they had some creative displays!

Posing with my Portfolio Presentation

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our First Christmas!

We should post about our first Christmas (or really, the  entire Christmas season) before it becomes embarrassingly late to do so!

We must preface with an apology for the lack of pictures and abundance of words... we unfortunately lacked a camera through the majority of these activities.  Future posts will be much more colorful.

Our first Christmas-y activity was going to the San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall to watch the dress rehearsal of the San Francisco choir and orchestra.  We have a friend, Sara, in the choir and she had two free tickets to the rehearsal.  It was so fun riding BART into the city in the morning; everything was chilly and crisp.  In front of city hall we saw this huge statue - a replica of a Buddhist goddess - and I just couldn't resist taking this picture:

The choir was rehearsing Handel's The Messiah - it was amazing!  I hadn't been to a choir performance in a couple years, so it was exciting; although, I do have to admit that I fell asleep during the second half - the music was just so relaxing...

The weekend before Christmas we were invited to attend three different Christmas parties!  The first party was thrown by a family in our ward who purchased Ben's reading of "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" at an auction.  Ben sold this reading last year at the same auction and it was a big hit.  There were about 30 people who attended the party and reading.  Once again, it received great reviews: Jacob Marley's perspective of the Christmas Carol is a great way to see the story in a new light.

The second party was a dinner party/white elephant gift exchange with several couples without children and two couples with babies under 9 mths.  These couples are becoming our core group of friends.  We really made out at the white elephant gift exchange: Ben got a set of ear candles - you know, the tubes you stick in your ears and when you light the wick and they supposedly suck out the wax.  According to wikipedia they are "dangerous and ineffective."  I got a small package of things: a small measuring tape - which is extremely convenient for work, an old USB stick, and a deck of playing cards.

The third party was very different from the second.  This party was a potluck for a few families in our ward - and by "families" I mean those with several kids.  It was much more... noisy.  It was great, though, to get to visit with some people we'd previously only seen in passing.  And a group of pre-teen girls (and one outgoing 5-year-old) just loved having Ben's attention for a good half-hour.

The week before Christmas we got a tree!  We decided on a cute little 3ft tree perfect for our apartment:

A tree tiny enough to carry home with one hand!

It fit right on the dresser next to the tv.

On December 23rd we spent the day in the City.  We had been looking forward to this trip since we realized we'd be spending winter up here.  We had lunch at an Irish pub/restaurant, went window shopping at a few stores way beyond our monetary imaginations (including a really cool steampunk-esque store with floor-to-ceiling windows filled with antique sewing machines).  From there we went ice skating in Union Square... which was... just... perfectly romantic.  I had never gone, and if I do say so myself, I did pretty good for a first-timer.  We collectively only fell twice.  It was a great location for the rink - surrounded by three large department stores that were themselves all decked out for Christmas, and Union Square had a large tree and holiday music playing.

Ben on the rink.

Babs on the rink.

After ice skating we decided to walk to Ghiradelli Square.  We got there just in time to get free samples of their peppermint bark!  They were giving out samples at every door, so we were able to get three... just enough to satisfy our chocolate craving.  

Having had our dessert we figured it was time to get dinner so we walked to Fisherman's Wharf for clam chowder and crab.  From there we walked to Pier 39 which is (as Ben likes to refer to it) "San Francisco's version of Downtown Disney."  Needless to say it was a rather enjoyable place.

We caught a really cool street car (the car originated in Philadelphia) back to the BART and headed home.

Christmas Eve - after a full day of work - we drove down to San Luis Obispo where we spent Christmas with some of Ben's family.  Ben's sister and brother-in-law, MaryRuth and Dominic, were there with their kids, which was great because we've (or at least I've) gotten to visit with them the least.  It was great spending more time with them.  Christmas was wonderful - definitely a great first holiday together.  We only wish we didn't have to leave so soon.

Since we weren't able to go out to visit my mom, we sent her cut-outs of Ben and me that I drew and pasted onto cardboard - that way she could take us with her to the movies:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Year in Review

Happy New Year!

So Ben and I decided that this would be the perfect time to revamp "Ben's Blog" into "Ben and Barbara's Blog." We've made a resolution to update more often (I won't say how often I've resolved to update in case, you know, it turns out to be less than we've set out to write. Though, I must say, I'm pretty good at keeping resolution I make...).

With so much happening and so much to update at this time, we figured we would start with a simple Year-In-Review. So here goes our Top 12 (there were just too many to keep it to just 10) Momories of 2010!

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