Thursday, March 29, 2012

Days 8-10

   We'll see if I have a long enough attention span to finish the tour out...

Day 8:

   We got a little bit of a slow start the next morning, and so our host mom couldn't drive us to the continental divide, but we were able to see this "million dollar view". As just don't do the view justice. But I try.

We went to Estes park for the day. It was BEAUTIFUL. Here's Alex Steddom on a big 'ol rock that we probably weren't supposed to be climbing on.

   The further we get from tour, the less I remember. But I DO remember that today was Senior Van Day! Well, sorta. All of the people in the van were seniors, but we have more seniors than van spots, so some of them were on the bus. But it was an event! On the way to Emily Noble's church from Estes Park, I got really sick and was kind of a party pooper in the front of the van. I was still able to tweet a bunch of funny things I heard from the backseat, though!

Events/quotes of the day:
Estes Park illegal rock climbing, complete with Jesus time at the top.

"Wait, wait. Was that a marmot?? Wait, what are we talking about?" - Wes Mouri
"...I'm gonna punch you in the face." - Amanda Snyder
The story game on the Senior van, complete with cats named Foremost and blind orangutans named Sparkle McFarkle. 
Wonderful concert in Aurora, CO

Day 9:

   These last two days are going to be quite boring posts because we spent most of them on the bus/vans! Today, we drove from Colorado to Kearney, NE. I spent most of it on the bus sleeping or watching the movie choice of the day- Hot Rod. I honestly didn't even take any pictures this day, either. Not much goin' on in Nebraska.

Events/quotes of the day:
Wonderful last homestay ever with a family who ordered us pizza, had chocolates and chips and salsa and cookies and pop and juice for us, watched The Princess Diaries after the concert (!), and had a delicious breakfast the next day. Beautiful home, too!
No one said anything funny today. That I can remember.

Day 10:

   We got up early today to get on the bus to drive from Kearney, NE to Windom, MN! This trip was also kind of boring, but mostly because of Nebraska. THEN we crossed into MY territory! It was nice to be in familiar territory again! Tony Blankers was up at the mic a lot giving guided tours/fun facts. :)  Then we stopped in LeMars, the self proclained Ice Cream Capital of the World! 
This was Blue Bunny's new location, which I had never been to! It certainly was a little better at housing our entire choir than the old one would have been!

I'm sure that Blue Bunny appreciated our orders, even if the rest of the patrons didn't. :)

Events/quotes of the day:
We had another long bus ride today, no homestay. It was kind of surreal the whole time.
One of the most ENJOYABLE evening shows I've heard in a long time! The choir is SO CREATIVE!
"Uncle Benjiiiiiii, Matt kicked me in the buttttt" - Jeff Dahlquist
Emotional last usual.

Well, I got it done! Thanks for taking this tour with me! I'll try to be funnier in the future. :)

No guarantees.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Days 6 - 7

   Well, me not having posted anything the last half of tour must mean that I had so much fun I didn't have any time to write anything. Yeah. That must have been it. This is going to take a while, and I don't expect that I'll remember everything that happened. I was simply just having a great time!

Day 6:
   We spent the night in a seemingly upscale-on-the-outside, sketchy-mc-sketcherpants-on-the-inside Ramada in Northglenn, CO. The day before was filled with lots of fun things, the most eventful of which was Casa Bonita. We all decided that you can easily leave Casa Bonita...but Casa Bonita doesn't easily leave you.

  The next morning was the skiing day! Unfortunately, I didn't go skiing. People kept asking me why not, and I had just decided before tour that I didn't want to spent most of the day learning how to ski (I've never been before) and only be able to go once. So I spent the day in downtown Denver with a bunch of people who also didn't go skiing. We mostly just shopped or sightsaw (sightseed?) (sightseen?) (whatever). I didn't take a whole lot of pictures that day, but here's what I got!

After lunch (at Chick-fil-A!) Wes and Laura just had to pose for a picture. Wes then proceeded to run/dance across the courtyard yelling, "They're my friends, I'm with them!" while the rest of us said, "We don't know him, he's not with us!"
  There's a story that goes with this picture. Melissa and Krishana and I were looking for a place to eat supper after a long day of walking/shopping. So we got out our smartphones and looked up a place that had pizza/Italian and found Mile High Pizza Pie! So we walked the few blocks over there and took a picture in front of the sign before we went in. Then about 3 guys walked out of the restaurant came out and wanted to see the picture we took (I think they had just gotten a new sign and wanted to see if it showed up in pictures). Melissa was preeeeetty hesitant to show her phone to the random stranger, but finally agreed. Then we walked in, ordered, and sat down. It was a pretty small place, very hole-in-the-wall-ish. There were probably 12-15 seats in the whole place. They were very overstaffed- probably 6 or 7 guys working there for very few patrons. The three of us came up with a few words to describe our trip:

Free dessert.
Sketchy bathrooms (if you ask Melissa, that's an understatement).
Harboring a fugitive.

Let me know if you want me to go into any more detail!
Krishana and Melissa split a couple different things, I had lasagna

The owner came over and gave us free dessert from The Cheesecake Factory! So sweet!

This guy was playing in an alleyway on our walk back to the bus station. He was very good! I wish I had taken a video...

Events/quotes of the day:
Melissa almost got run over by a bike taxi (I can't think of what else they are called!) on 16th Street Mall.
"I wish I could take out my left hand!" - Bre Blaschke

After writing this down, I've decided to write these last few days in chunks as well. One just can't write about the last 5 days of tour all at once!

Day 7:

   We spent the night at the same hotel Ramada in Northglenn, CO. We spent most of the morning/afternoon at Emily Noble's house eating brunch, playing with pets, going to the park and goofing off, and generally relaxing before our concert that evening!

This was the biggest game of Ultimate Frisbee I've ever seen. It doesn't look like it here, but it was actually very sunny outside! I got some sweet tan lines.
There was an ongoing game of Mad Gabs in the Noble's living the. Entire. Day.
  After we left the Noble's, we made our way to The EDGE, who was hosting us for the evening. We didn't have our concert there- it was too small- but they had us for supper. The concert that night was at Columbine High School. Needless to say, it was AMAZING and very emotional.

They had a banner! And decorated tables! And wonderful food.

Our host mom (foreground) and her friend were duet ringers and gave us an impromptu concert! The video should be on my Facebook page if you want to see it.
  Amanda and Krishana and I finally got to spend a night together at Shirley's house. She even had a Steinway in her living room that I got to play in the morning! It was very relaxing, but the drive to and from the church was a little long.

Events/quotes of the day:
"Is the polar bear God?" - Paul Hjellming
"If you're a PK, can you raise your hand?" - Daniel Rimmereid
The bus was a bit sketchy at this point, so when I came out of the church at one point, Josh Palmer, Taylor Bothun, Paul Hjellming and Benji (the bus driver) were cleaning out the bus! They de-trashed, swept, and mopped the entire bus! Lexi made them awards the next morning. :)

That's all I have time for right now! Hopefully I can do the next few days tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Days 4 and 5

 These past couple days have been great. I never really realize how wonderful choir tour is until I'm on it. If you haven't seen my post about the first three days, you can check them out here. This post is on days 4 and 5.

Day 4:
   We woke up in our wonderful hotel in Grand Island, NE, had a warm breakfast, and were on the road by 7:30. We drove to Central City, NE and had a small mini-concert in the gym at the Christian school. Kids in grades K-12 were all there in the gym, and they were such a cute audience! My favorite part is when we have soloists do their thing- the kids all give these looks to each other as if to say, "These guys are good." After the concert, we got on the road to Colorado. Needless to say, it was a long bus ride.
She may have slept a lot, but she sure said some hilarious things when she was awake.
'Guys, is this mean to pay with this many pennies?"
Happy Birthday, Lisa and Jay!
Events/quotes of the day:
"I can't wait for the mountains. I just want to lay on one." - Krista Smith
"When I was little, I used to think my mom's tampons were fruit roll-ups."- Krista Smith (Can you tell I sat next to her on the 10 hour bus ride?)
"It's like fried paper, but yummy." - Krishana Dempcy (tortilla chips)
Leah won CMOD the next day for petting the waitress because she thought she was a member of the choir.
"LOVE YOU!!!!...I just yelled that in a restaurant." - Grace Lukens
"Love THAT." - Wes Mouri (soon to become the phrase of the whole tour)

  After getting to the hotel in Colorado Springs, a bunch of the students went swimming. I happened to forget my swimsuit, so I biked for a while. We had a surprise party for Lisa and Jay with lotsa cake. Yum.

 Day 5:
  Today was a wonderful day. Quite possibly the best day of tour.

  We started the day by going to Colorado Springs Christian School and singing at their chapel. This was very fun, but the altitude was getting to us. Almost all of us were having trouble breathing. Corbin even passed out during the concert. Whoops. My Aunt Cora Jean and Uncle Jerry even drove down to the concert!
This is what DJ looks like 95.7% of the time.

  After a wonderful morning, Jerry and CJ took me out to eat at Black-Eyed Pea, which was delicious. After lunch, we were going to meet the bus where they stopped for lunch. A bunch of people texted me and told me we were going to meet at Chipotle at 12:35.

  Turns out there were 3 Chipotles equidistant from Black-Eyed Pea. Guess which one we didn't go to?

 So they drove me to the Air Force Academy, where we met up with the rest of the choir, making it through security way easier than I thought we were going to...

  These next pictures are from our tour of the Air Force Academy chapel. It. Was. Amazing. Definitely was the highlight of my day.

A. Ma. Zing.

Who knew it had a basement?
Jewish Chapel
 These next 9 photos are of paintings depicting either actual Bible stories or fictional ones with messages from the Bible. The Jewish chapel had commissioned these 9 paintings by a guy (don't remember his name). The artist painted all 9 of them in 8 months. Oil paint on golf leaf. Everything that looks gold....IS gold. Each painting is valued at $1 million. Wowza.

"Justice, Justice shalt thou follow"
"Solomon's Judgment"
"Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"
"Ruth and Boaz"
"Jacob and the Angel"

"Deal Thy bread to the hungry"
"The way of an eagle in the air"
"The vision of Ezekial"
"Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven"

Buddhist chapel
Twas a little bright...
Oh yeah. I could live here.

Jeff wanted me to take a picture of him looking tough. I just think he looks creepy.
  After the Academy, we were able to go to the Garden of the Gods for an hour. A few of us ventured out and went climbing. Which apparently you're not supposed to do. Whoops. I got some GREAT pictures, though.
Actual wildlife. I think we stumbled upon their bedding area.
Corbin on the beginning of our illegal climbing expedition.
What. A. View.
Hey look! Bethel people on the ground!
I could definitely get used to this.
  Up next: Casa Bonita! I have no explanation for this. It's just something that everyone has to experience once in their lifetime. Unluckily Lucky for me...I got to experience it twice. Score.
I was very thoroughly confused by this whole process as the last time I was here, I was about 10 and everything was done for me. This seemed strangely like high school all over again.
At least the waterfall was pretty. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Bargmann)
"Guys, you're not ten. Or maybe you are."
  Then we spent a relaxing evening in the pool/hot tub/sauna swimming and playing "never have I ever." Little miss Grace Hanson kept winning. :)

Events/quotes of the day:
I was having too good of a time to write down stuff today, so I only have one quote from DP as we were walking to the AFA chapel:
"These guys fly airplanes. Really fast ones." - DP
Another highlight of the day was moving the tour guide to tears after singing "We Shall Walk Through The Valley in Peace". So amazing.

  Tomorrow is another day!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Days 1 through 3

Man, I've been doing really poopy with keeping up this blog. I'm actually surprised I've lasted this long. I've been really busy the past few days with choir at least I have an excuse. I've been trying to write down funny things as people say them...and they are usually ridiculous. They probably won't make sense to much of you...but here goes.

Day 1:

This picture was taken in New Ulm, MN on our first stop of the trip. This lovely group of people just got their freshman bunny ears. They were good sports about it. :)

BC hazing at its finest.
SICK bus. I think this is its maiden season. Sunroofs, hardwood floors, and big tv screens. Yes, please.
Events/quotes of the day:
Krista peed with the door open at the abandoned creepily empty mall in New Ulm. That was eventful.
"Criminal and vehicular homicide. Put THAT on your resume."- Krista Smith
"God can rake his own yard." - Barak Zierhut
"Let's make some people cry tonight." - Daniel Rimmereid
"Just so you know, I'm going to be thinking about touching you."- Taylor Bothun to Daniel Rimmereid

All the first year men moved the baby grand off the stage. What good helpers!

Our first concert went well, but it wasn't without its bumps. It was a particularly warm day, and none of us were used to wearing our robes for so long. On a scale of 1 to REALLY HOT, it was Mordor in the sanctuary. I'm surprised no one passed out. After our concert, Grace Lukens and I got to spend the night with Scott and Jennifer Anderson on their farm north of Slayton, MN.

Guess what they raised.

Right about now, Grace is freaking out.
Needless to say...people were jealous.
Day 2:

After Slayton, MN, the choir traveled north to Madison, MN- Krishana's hometown. We had some time to kill before the concert, so we wandered around the small town and hopefully didn't make fools of themselves. We had a concert in the Prairie Arts Center, which was about a thousand degrees- but not as bad as the first day. We may be getting used to these robes.

Events/quotes of the day:
"Sorry I played with your chest." - Taylor to me (He had just finished fixing my stole under my robe)
"You know who took up most of the bed last night? It wasn't a white person!" - Ian Frei (Dan Sandberg had just finished talking about how white everything (bread in particular) was better...except white people)
"Why is my hand warm?  There's a potato in my hand!!!" - Daniel Sandberg
CMOD winner: Emily Bell for putting acne cream on her toothbrush. Whoops.
"This turkey dinner is literally the best thing that could have happened to me right now." - Justin Hayes

There was a bat. On a tombstone. In a graveyard.
Poor Grant. At a table all by himself.

Daniel and his cup of turkey juice. Which he dipped his rolls in. And then drank like milk. I'm surprised my supper stayed down.

 Day 3:
 After our supper in Madison, we drove to Yankton, SD! Yay for changing states. We got to the church and quickly broke up into our homestays. Melissa Bargmann and I got to stay with Rose Mather. She was a sweet old lady who went to bed at 9:30...leaving Melissa and I in the basement. We were super cool and did homework. Lame-o. But it was good. Rose also called Melissa Michelle. Multiple times.

Justin in a tent. In the chapel. Playing a Star Wars game.
After we sang during the service and the wonderful lunch we were fed, we had about an hour and a half to kill before riser time. I had a paper to start writing, so I went into the narthex to start it. Almost as soon as I got set up, I heard some guy singing "Hallelujah" from somewhere. So I wandered around and around for a while trying to figure out WHERE the sound was coming from. I finally found them in the sanctuary just chilling around the piano. So I made camp there and was serenaded for a while. SO GOOD.

Can you guys sing me to sleep every night? Pretty please?
During the intermission, I went to the bathroom (and to check my makeup, I started crying during 'O Love That Will Not Let Me Go'...big surprise). I came out to find the majority of the choir lying down on the ground. Standing up is hard work!

It was warm.
Events/quotes of the day:
I must not have been paying attention today. I don't have anything written down!
My parents, my Aunt Audrey, her son Logan, and a friend from high school all came to the concert today! Yankton isn't that far from Rock Valley. My parents really enjoyed the concert...or so they said. I even got to go out to eat with them quick before we had to load the bus and drive to Nebraska! We pulled into the Best Western in Grand Island, NE tonight. Grace Hanson and Lexi Cole and I have a room together- so much fun! Grace and I snooped around and found the exercise room near the pool. And then we found out how out of shape we were.

Hopefully I can take more pictures... These are really ALL the pictures I have of the trip so far.

These first three days were filled with wonderful ministry, music, food, and friends. Here's to seven more!