Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loving the Avaloch Life

Hello everyone!

We have been at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute for almost a week now, and it has truly been an incredible time.  Amazing food, wonderful company, and great music-making.  Could not ask for more, really.  Especially after a day like yesterday when we were treated to an incredibly intimate and wonderful house concert!

After dinner, all three of the groups currently at Avaloch got together for a very small group of friends (including the 4-legged), and just performed whatever we were working on during our stay here.

It was such a fun mix too, because the Diderot Quartet opened the concert with some Mozart and Haydn on their period instruments which had gut strings tuned to 430, which is about a quarter tone lower than A440 (a more 'standard' tuning pitch for instruments today).  It was a simply delightful experience, especially because I had never heard or seen pieces performed on period instruments before!

Then we performed our Ravel from memory,
and then the CMW quartet played the Beethoven Op. 130, which they learned during their short stay here, and played beautifully.

I really loved playing chamber music in this intimate setting, which was what chamber music was originally intended for, among good friends.

Snoozer, the resident Avaloch pooch, was also there of course  =)  isn't he such a handsome pup?!

It really has been a wonderful week spent here at Avaloch performing, rehearsing, memorizing, and getting so much done.  But it never felt like we were working too hard, if that makes sense.  It's just that kind of a setting where you work extremely hard, and get an incredible amount of work done that you couldn't possibly do out in the 'real world', but it never feels like work.   It's going to be so sad having to leave this place...

If you are a musician, I highly recommend applying to come to Avaloch, because really, there is no place like this, and I guarantee you that you will fall absolutely, head over heels, in love with the place like we did.

I mean, how could you not?

Especially with a pup like Snoozer 

and the incredible director, Deb Sherr, (our Mama) around  ;)

We are so thankful, and feel incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity  =)

I hope you are having a wonderful week, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Avaloch Farm Music Institute

Hello everyone!

The Meadowlark Trio is currently at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire for our residency, and we just cannot believe how amazing this place is...  I mean, we're here, so it must exist, right?  haha  but really, I can't believe somewhere this beautiful and divine can actually exist. But you know what they say, pictures are worth a thousand words, so let me just show you around a lil bit.

This is the view that greets us every morning in front of our rooms as we walk outside a few steps to the dining area.  Our chef Will creates magic in the kitchen, literally. and we are so blessed to have incredible food every single meal.

but let me show you where we live first.  Here is the lounging area, which looks like it's straight out of a magazine, doesn't it?

April and I are sharing the Debussy Suite, and Tim is in the Mendelssohn Suite, but as you may expect, he is at our place majority of the time haha

and this is my bedroom.  I mean.  Can it get any cuter?!

Right under our living quarters is our studio - the Stravinsky Studio!

it's really an incredible place to work all day, every day!  and that rug is simply divine, let me tell you what.. I know, because I'm usually on there sprawled out during every break  haha

Anyway, let's now go to the hall where we eat, perform, and sometimes, rehearse and record.

Right in front/next to the hall is this porch, and because the weather has been so wonderful, we've spent a lot of time chilling here in fantastic company, discussing music and listening to amazing recordings.  It really is a heaven for musicians...

I really appreciate all of the antiques that are everywhere.  It was built on a farm, so there are a lot of farm related antiques, and I love all of them!  haha

once you actually go into the hall, here is our little rehearsal/recording space in the corner with the most beautiful piano!  April is IN LOVE with it.

on the other side of the hall is where we enjoy our chef Will's magic.  I mean, the food here.  Ohh myy goodnesss.  It is so good.  And it's really healthy too, but what gets me in trouble are the cookies and the cakes...  mmm  they really shouldn't have it out all day,, my will power isn't that strong  haha

doesn't it look like it's straight out of Pottery Barn or something?  So beautiful!!

We take frequent walks here because,,, well, we have to burn off some of the calories we are consuming..  haha but also, why wouldn't we?  it'd be silly to not explore this incredible property Avaloch Farm is on.

See what I mean?  this is a few minute's walk from where we are living.  It's a boathouse, because, yup, you guessed it.  We are next to a lake.

An incredibly beautiful one.  Sorry the picture doesn't do it justice..  I'll try to take a better one later haha

We are just starting to see the turning colors on leaves, and it's so beautiful already! I can't wait to see fall in full-swing in New England soon  =)

oh, and have I mentioned that we are on an orchard too?  yup.  so many apple trees!  and grapes too!

and the corn field was only around for a day before it got harvested, but it really reminded us of our time in Nebraska where everything began for us as a trio   =)

We feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity to come here as a trio.  No place like this exists here in the U.S where musicians can come to really focus on one another without having to worry about life's distractions.  we are surrounded by incredible nature, amazing food, and wonderful company (including the 4 legged ones).   How could we not be inspired?!

We have a couple more days here at Avaloch, and we plan on enjoying it to its fullest!  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trident Books and Cafe, Cupcakes, & Newbury Street

Hello everyone!

Last weekend, I had a chance to meet up with an old friend, Chad, and his new wife, Cat, to explore Boston eateries a little more.  We were going to brunch at Trident Books and Cafe, and we were supposed to meet up at 11, but thanks to a malfunctioning T (the subway here in Boston), I was about 40 min late...  Thankfully, Newbury Street, where Trident is located, is a really fun street so they had things to do while they were waiting for me to escape the T.

Trident Books and Cafe  is so so sooo cute!  As the name suggests, it is a bookstore and a restaurant in one, so as you are waiting for your table (which you will most likely have to do if you go for brunch) you can browse the adorable store!

I was never a big fan of macarons until this summer, and now I absolutely love everything to do with them! haha 

and when we were finally seated, the food did not disappoint!  I had the vegetarian and gluten free butternut squash tacos, and oh my goodness.  This was amazing.  I'm not a vegetarian or gluten free, but I'm also not opposed to dishes that are vegetarian or gluten free.  If it tastes good, I'll eat it and will love it, and this definitely fit the bill.  =)  

with the lovely couple!  =)

For dessert, I mean,,, to walk off our brunch/lunch, we wandered around the Newbury Street.  Guys, this street is so charming.  I personally liked the street near the Trident more because as we kept walking, the street became more 'high end' and more commercial feeling.  it's still all pretty cute though  =)

We walked probably a couple of blocks until we arrived at the destination of our walk-off-our-lunch-stroll.  Georgetown Cupcake!!!!

I had heard so much about this place, and I was so excited to finally get to try it out!
This is what greeted us as soon as we walked in, and I..  was speechless.

It was super difficult to pick which one I wanted, but I ended up going with the Mocha Fudge.
Ahh look at this beauty!
it was a bit difficult to bite into it...

actually, no.  it wasn't too difficult once my stomach got a word in.  haha

I will definitely, definitely fo sho, be going back to these two shops, and I hope you do as well if you are ever in the Boston area!  =)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Go Big Red!! UNL/Husker Fans Gathering in Boston!

Hello everyone!

Shawn, one of my roomies, and I were in Chi Omega Fraternity together during our undergrad years, and when we realized that another UNL Chi O lives in Boston as well, we knew we had to meet up  =)  Kirstin and I were in the same pledge class, and it was so much fun to get together again and reminisce about our time together at Chi O  =)

For this occasion, we met up at the Porters Bar and Grill to watch the Huskers kick butt.  

There is no official UNL alum group in Boston, but this one might as well be one!  There were so many husker fans, and it was so fun to be back in that game day environment.  Kirstin, who was a Husker cheerleader, led the way when the school song played  =)

I have to say, the food at the bar was pretty good!  I don't drink, so I can't vouch for their beers, but Kirstin and Shawn really enjoyed their beers as well.  Can't remember what they were, but they had cinnamon and sugar around the rim!  hah

It was such a fun night reconnecting with old friends, watching the Huskers among incredibly energetic and invested fans, and meeting new people!  That's the great thing about being from Nebraska, especially being in other cities now.  Once people realize that they are all from Nebraska, it instantly opens up a very friendly line of conversation, and in no time, everyone is hanging out like they're old friends  =)  

I was never a huge football fan during my time at UNL, but I genuinely enjoyed watching the game at the bar with everyone.  Something about the energy, the collective gasps and the groans and the happy shouting during touchdowns...  It was really quite exciting  =) 

Oh, and btw, we won, so that makes everything that much better of course  ;)  
It was a wonderful night, probably the most 'college-y' night I've had in... many years  haha and I can't wait to see and hang out with more Bostonian-Nebraskans sometime soon!

Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend, and ave a wonderful start of the week tomorrow!
thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Otto Pizza and Garlic n' Lemons

Hello everyone,

If you've been reading for awhile, you already know how much I love eating.  Whether it's my own cooking, other homemade cooking, or eating out, quite a bit of my blog content is about food  haha. So it probably won't surprise you that I've begun exploring the restaurants here in Boston!  

One of the best excuses for going out to eat has to be to catch up with an old friend, so that's exactly what we did!  Zac and I go like..  waaayyy back.  all the way back to elementary school.  We went to the same elementary school, same middle school, and to high school, and now, we also have Boston University as our alma mater together  =)

for our big reunion, we chose Otto Pizza.  Zac is a Boston pro/veteran, and he was nice enough to show me around town for the afternoon.

and this place?!  so. amazing.  I mean..  just look at this pizza.
it really was delicious.  I can't remember what it was called, but it had spicy pork, and we almost finished the whole pie by ourselves  haha

I'm so glad to have gotten a chance to catch up with him, talk about all of our experiences that we went through together, and how we have rather different memories about certain experiences, even though we went through it at the same time.  That's what's so fascinating about our memories though, isn't it? it all depends on who does the remembering, and what we choose to remember.

Another new place Zac recommended that I tried with my roomies was Garlic n' Lemons!
great Mediterranean place that's also great for vegetarians!

the food was great, the service was really quick (it's really more like fast food) and the servers were really friendly!  afterall, they are a Mom and Pop, I mean, Mom and Son Restaurant!  ;)

Everything we tried was really wonderful, but I have to say... the Baklava...  guys... the Baklava...  
I would go back just for the Baklava.

It was so great to go exploring with these lovely peeps, and I can't wait for more exploring and more roomy dinners to come!  =)

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!  =)