Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Hello, everyone! I wanted to swing by and post a quick update to say hello... I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Kwanzaa!!!!
Things have been a bit busy, of course, with shopping, and parties, and get togethers... so of course I haven't had much time to come around... but this is a pretty exciting time, so I thought I would, for at least a little bit...

So Mr. R and I celebrated our 1st Christmas as Husband and Wife, and I have to say we really enjoyed ourselves. It started a bit early, on the 23rd, when we welcomed a new member to our family, 8-week old Miniature Pinscher, Coco Chanel Ruiz.

Big Sister, Madison, wasn't too happy about the new addition at first... but little by little she is warming up to her :) I am sure it is hard since she's been our one and only for so long, but they are beginning to play a little more every day, which is a good sign :)

The 24th was spent surrounded by family partying it up at my Mom's house. My Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law swung by our house to see our Home and our Tree, decorated very festively, and then we all made it over to my Mom's house. My Great-Uncle roasted a pig in "La Caja China", we had white rice, black beans, yuka, avocados, and plenty of liquor! We all had a GREAT time! I was so happy to see our 2 families hanging out, and chatting, and just enjoying the time we spent there. We ended the night gathering in the living room and playing some Beatle's Rockband... definitely a fun night :)

The following day, we started off opening our gifts :) Mr. R got a new 5th Generation iPod Nano, some shirts from Express and a bunch of socks. I got a new Coach purse :) I LOVE IT! I have the best Hubby ever! I was definitely a happy Mrs. that day.

When we were done, we got ready, packed up the dogs and the gifts, and headed over to his Mom's house. His Mom planned a brunch beginning at Noon, making it easy for family members to swing by whenever they could. We exchanged gifts, and spent some time with them there, before heading off to our next stop, which was to go see Mr. R's Business Partner at his In-Law's house.

They gave us a really cool gift, a Popcorn Machine, a bottle of wine a T-Shirt from the movie, "The Hangover" for the hubby. Mr. R played dominos, while I chatted with the girls... I gave he doggies some time to run around in the large backyard, and play with the kids :) It was really nice spending time over there as well...

By the time we left, it was time to run home and feed the puppy, since she's still so tiny, and is on a specific feeding schedule... so we went home, fed the dogs, packed up the rest of the gifts, and swung by my Dad's house. We couldn't stay there long, because we still had one more stop for the day, which was my Mom's house... we ate leftovers, played Rockband, and exchanged gifts... it was a nice end to a pretty nice day. :) I definitely can't complain... Mr. R and I are lucky to have such wonderful parents :)

This was definitely an awesome Christmas... this time last year, we were finishing up with the planning of our Wedding, and we didn't really put too much effort into the Holidays... so this time, things were different... And honestly, after reaching our 11 month mark on Christmas Eve, we can hardly believe that in less than a month, we'll be celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary :)

Happy Blogging! ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My first time in NOLA

This past Friday, December 11th, was my Mom's Birthday :) She wanted to do something fun this weekend, and decided that a road-trip to New Orleans, LA would be the best fit... and yes, you heard right... ROAD TRIP! My Grandparents, Hubby and I agreed to go along on the adventure with her... and boy, was it an Adventure!

On Thursday afternoon, we hopped in the Van my Mother had rented, and started on the 13 hour drive. Many stops later, we finally made it to Madison County around Midnight, and decided to stop and rest for the night, after a little over 6 hours of driving. We stopped at a Days Inn, and checked in for the night...

The next morning, we went to the Denny's next door for our free breakfast (included with our stay), and then headed off to NOLA... around 3:30-ish, we FINALLY arrived... this, of course, after many stops, etc...

Unfortunately, when we arrived on Friday, we found crappy weather, to say the least. It was cool, in the 50s or so, and rainy, which is not a good combination. After our LONG commute, we were kind of tired, so we decided to rest up a bit, and have some Dinner. My voice teacher recommended this place in the French Quarter called "Gumbo Shop", so we thought we'd check it out... it was DELICIOUS!!! The food was absolutely fantastic, to say the least... Everything that each of us had was wonderful. Of course, after sharing a cup of Gumbo with the Hubs, I had some Crawfish with pasta. Mr. R had some Crawfish Etouffee, my Mom had some Jambalaya, my Grandfather had Red Beans and Rice (a creole FAVORITE) and my Grandmother had Catfish Florentine. It was definitely a great place to visit!

The following day, Saturday, it was raining a lot, and we were stuck in the hotel. We decided to book a tour that would pick us up in the Hotel, which was better for my Grandmother since she cannot walk far enough to catch the Gray Line, and less in the rain. After booking the tour, we decided to kill a little time before we got picked up by heading over to Canal Place - It's kind of like a mini version of Bal Harbor or Merrick Park, with nice stores, and it is connected to a really nice hotel with a glass elevator, and a nice view of the river, and French Quarter.

We returned to the Hotel, and got ready for our Tour. It was in a smaller bus, so it took us all over the place! We really got to see New Orleans, despite the circumstances, with the rain and all. We even got a chance to stop for a snack mid-way. Mr. R wanted to try "alligator sausage". It was delicious!

We drove through the Garden District, which is gorgeous, and through the areas devasted by Hurricane Katrina. It's a shame to hear about how the walls that were meant to keep back the storm surge where not properly reinforced, but it's good to know that they are continuing to work towards strengthening the city's defenses against this type of natural disaster for the future.

After the Tour, we had some Wings, Crawfish Pies and Pizza at the Hotel, and called it a night. It was raining so bad that parts of New Orleans were flooded! There was a flash flood advisory in place until 1 in the morning, so that was it for that day...

Sunday came, and it was time to start making our way back home... but not until we swung by Cafe du Monde and picked up some Beignets and Coffee/Hot Chocolate. Those things were DELICIOUS!!! The rumors are true... and boy, was that place packed!!!!! I bought a few Voodoo Dolls at the New Orleans Doll Company, and we headed home, through lots of fog which seemed to follow us all the way through Northern and even Central Florida... I had never seen so much fog before... it was very eerie.

We spent the night in Kissimmee, ate breakfast on Monday morning at Cracker Barrel, and started on our final stretch home...

It was a long trip, but in the end, we had a good time... and finally, I had a small taste of New Orleans... I will SURELY be back soon :)

Happy Blogging! :)

::Bad Blogger!::

Ok, so after another period of me being MIA... here I am, once again :)

It's been a crazy month, to say the least, what with the Holidays coming around, finishing up the Opera, and my other NYC audition... But, I am back to tell you about all of it, and update you a bit :)

So, I did not get into the Santa Fe Young Artist Summer Program (the one I went to NYC with the hubby to Audition for). I kinda had a feeling too... they weren't too into what I was doing, overall, and I definitely sensed it... so as they say, I'm "moving right along..."

We ended our running of Pagliacci/Suor Angelica swimingly... it went fantastically, and I was so proud to be part of such a stellar production! Everyone did such a wonderful job. Tonight, we begin work on our next production, which opens January 23rd - the day before our 1 year Anniversary - Lucia di Lammermoor. I am partial to this Opera, especiallly since I am studying the role of Lucia. In my opinion, it has some beautiful tunes, and is the epitame of Bel Canto style... but I digress. :) I am happy to get back to work after a few days off... since we closed Pagliacci on the 5th, I've had a little break... but it's time to get back to work :)

My 2nd trip to NYC on the 6th was nothing short of a whirlwind! Since I had the final performance of Pag/Suor, I didn't have the luxury of flying up the day before (my audition was on the 6th - the next day), so I flew up that morning, with a 7 AM flight, landed in JFK at about 10 in the morning, and had an audition at 2:40. Did I mention that my flight back was scheduled for the same day at 5:15 PM? Yea. Now you understand what I meant by whirlwind. Fly up, sing, fly back. Fun. Being that I was going to be so flustered, I decided to schedule some time in a practice room a bit before my audition... I called up Shetler studios and booked a room from 1 - 2PM, right next door to my audition. I took my time, sang through my rep, warmed-up, changed into my audition attire, did my makeup, and headed over to the audition. I actually believe that I sang very well. Contrary to my Santa Fe audition, the people I sang for (Crested Butte Music Festival) seemed to really enjoy my Audition, so here's hoping! If I am chosen, it means I'll be spending a Month (July 1st - August 5th) in Crested Butte, Colorado. Here's a little more information about the program:

So, now we wait, and prepare for my next audition... January 3rd at 1:15pm with Florida Grand Opera for their Young Artist Program. I already sing for their Chorus, but am hoping that I get a shot to fill a Young Artist slot for next year as their Lyric Soprano :) They haven't had many local singers make it in, in the past, so we shall see how that goes. One thing is for sure, I'm really hopeful :) Here is some info on that program, as well:

After that, I have an Audition for Opera North taking place on February 15th in Sarasota. The Haitian Diva ( ) and I were both granted Auditions with them, and will be heading up there the day before, on the 14th. I am looking forward to it! This is another wonderful company to sing for, and I can't wait :) Here is a link to their website:

So, other than my news on current happenings in my Opera World, things have been going well... it's the Holiday Season, once again, and I couldn't be happier. I love this time of year more and more as the years go by... and more so because I have truly begun learning about treasuring all these special moments :) Instead of wanting to rush these days by, wanting it to be Christmas Day, I am taking my time each day, enjoying the season and the spirit of the Holidays. I am DVRing all the Christmas Movies I can, sipping Egg Nog as I watch them sitting on the couch with Mr. R and our Pooch (Madison), admiring our Christmas Tree and Decorations. I love this time of year! And every chance I get to spend time with Family... I take it! After all, that's what this time is about... sure, the presents and all that other stuff are great... but the biggest present ever is the present, as in the present moment!

This Holiday Season is extra special for me, because it's the first one in which my Husband and I spend it together as a Married Couple. I am so blessed to have someone like him by my side. He is a wonderful person, with a wonderful family. I am so lucky! :) And exactly one month from Christmas Eve we will be Celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary! I honestly can't believe it's been almost a year, already... no one can! The time really has flown this year...

Well, time to go catch up on my Blog Reads!

Happy Blogging :)