Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Christchurch, New Zealand

I didn’t wake up until 2pm on Monday! The fatigue is definitely catching up with me. I got up and went for a long walk/run. I use my walks to clear my head and meditate on the beauty of nature. I walked along a beautiful river, and came upon a huge park. I ventured into the park only as far as my tree allergy would allow me. Once the sniffling started, I turned around. I couldn’t resist all that verdant beauty! : >

Once I returned to the hotel, I called Kim and she joined me for dinner at a cute restaurant near the hotel. Even though it was a Tuesday night, the restaurant (oddly named “Sticky Fingers”) was packed. The food was quite tasty and the service friendly.

I’ve got the best morning music list! I’m very much a fan of books, music and concepts that motivate me to be my best, to start out the day on the right foot, so to speak. I’m listening to “Lovely Day” right now, and that song always makes me smile. Today I didn’t get out of bed until nearly 2:30pm. I had the worst time trying to sleep. I think it’s because of the tough workout I had yesterday. I had a ton of lactic acid built up in my neck and shoulders. I should have stretched before going to bed. But despite feeling rickety and sore, I’m feeling happy! “Accentuate the positive”…Ella’s version. Gotta love it! : >

Tonight’s show in Christchurch was great! The audience was beautiful! Only 1 show left. I’m ambivalent. I want to go home, but I don’t. I miss my family, my dogs, my students, my friends, but I really love being on the road, performing for so many of Stevie’s adoring fans every night, meeting new people, seeing new places. I suppose eventually one grows tired of the road, but I am still having the time of my life!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Heading to New Zealand

Today was a long travel day. After the show last night in Brisbane (the last in Australia, the venue had a lovely range of color on the seats - I couldn't help but notice during sound check), we had a fun little end of tour party at a bar in the Valley district of the city. I left the party around 4am, went back to the room and packed before laying down for an hour or so. At 8am, we boarded the bus for the trip to the airport. We had to fly to Auckland, New Zealand, and then transfer to a flight to Christchurch. We didn’t arrive at the hotel until 10:30pm. Granted, there was a change in time, but it was an exhausting day nonetheless.


Plane to New Zealand

Welcome to Christchurch

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sydney to Brisbane

It was lovely to have mom with me the past few days. Yesterday, I was so exhausted from lack of sleep, I couldn’t get up until 11am. We went to the Centrepoint Tower and were met by a staff member, Mira, who’d attended the concert on Wednesday night. Mira set up a personal tour by some staff members. The view of Sydney was gorgeous despite the overcast and rainy skies. I can only imagine how it looks on a clear day! After the concert, mom had the chance to speak briefly to Stevie, which was nice. She’s so proud of me and grateful to him for having hired me! This morning, we woke up late again, and only had time to prepare for leaving. I suppose I’ll just have to keep working hard and one day save up for a vacation in Australia, giving us enough time to look around and do some real sight-seeing!
Mom took off for her flight back to the USA and the rest of us flew to Brisbane. This city is also beautiful! I went for a nice walk and dinner with Ryan, Roman and Munyungo. It was a good day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Found luggage!

After a long day of trying not to worry about my bag, with mixed results (at times I was at peace with the idea of replacing all of my belongings, at other times I was struggling to suppress rage and sadness at having to spend the time and money to replace everything), my luggage was found and delivered to the venue! I was extremely happy to see my suitcase in tact! Yippee!

Tonight’s show went very well! The audience was lovely, and it was a joy to see mom in the audience enjoying herself. Finally I can get a good night’s rest!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mom's in Sydney!

I barely slept at all last night. I fell asleep around 7:30am, but was awakened every 90 minutes by calls from my sister and the hotel staff for various reasons. I finally gave up at 10am and prepared for departing Melbourne. By 10:30am, we still hadn’t heard from Mom, and Nina was starting to become worried. I wasn’t worried yet, as I expected that it would take a while for her to retrieve her luggage, get through customs and drive to the hotel in morning rush hour traffic. It turns out that Mom hadn’t written down the name of the hotel, and had to be resourceful in finding a way to call Nina for the hotel information, as she doesn’t have a functional cell phone here in Australia.

In the end, I arrived at the hotel (once again missing one piece of my luggage…sigh) and Mom opened the door to my hotel room. She’s here! In order to take advantage of the 2 hours of remaining daylight, we immediately hit the street and walked to the Sydney Opera house, passing the Conservatory of Music on the way there. The view from the Opera House is stunning. The weather in Sydney this week is rather chilly, so despite a vibrant Food Festival taking place in Hyde Park, we only had a small snack and kept walking. Sitting and eating in the cool air was not ideal!

We stopped at the grocery store and headed back to the hotel before going to dinner. The concierge recommended a lovely spot, Fix at St. James. He suggestion suited me perfectly! The food was delicious, with adequate portions and reasonable prices, as well as a very friendly, personable waiter.

Once we finished our meal, we walked back to the hotel to get some sleep. Mom is already asleep as I write today’s blog. I’m struggling to stay awake as I write. Hopefully I can rest tonight!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Avoiding illness

It’s actually 5:30am Tuesday morning, but I’ve barely slept all night. I woke up around 4am feeling weird. Several people on the tour have been sick, and I’m determined that I won’t join them, regardless of how I’m feeling!

Over the past couple of days, I’ve met some very cool new people. I took yoga class on Saturday and Sunday, and loved both! It felt so good to move my body and have instruction from two lovely teachers, Sean and Tony, guiding me through Iyengar yoga. I’d never used a chair in my yoga practice before, but I enjoyed it tremendously! A back bend over the chair reached muscles in my chest and shoulders that I’d never felt before. Beautiful! Of course, I’m rather sore today, but that’s ok! There was a masseuse at the venue both yesterday and today, but I didn’t manage my time in a manner that would have allowed me to get a massage. She was reasonably priced, but I’m trying to be careful with money. Mom arrives in Sydney later today! It will be nice to have her with me for a few days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Adorable Adelaide and Marvelous Melbourne

We flew to Melborne from Adelaide today. Last night’s concert was great! On Thursday, I woke up late (1pm), and went for a short walk in town.

A square in Adelaide

During my walk through Adelaide, I came across a music store and went inside to play some pianos. I spoke with a really nice guy in the store, Stephan, and ended up inviting him to the show. He was very excited and more than pleased! Later, during the Meet and Greet, he told me that all the guys in the store knew who I was! They said to him “wasn’t that Victoria?”! Amazing! Lol

Today I took a nice walk through a cute shopping district in Melbourne with Valari and Greg, meeting James and Mick at a Chinese restaurant. The food was extremely greasy, but I was so hungry I didn’t care. I’ve had gas ever since, so I’m sorry I ate it now. The internet at this hotel is ridiculously expensive. They’re charging up to $66 for only 10 hours! Amazing. I’m using the internet as little as possible.

Photos of Melbourne
Flying to Melbourne

Driving into town

Rod Laver Arena

The city

A friendly fish at the Melbourne Aquarium

Bollywood Festival

Fausto trying a Didgeridoo

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To the beach!

Yesterday morning, my friend Berni picked me up and took Greg and me on a trip to Cottesloe Beach and King’s Park. Berni brought along Kerri (I’d met both of them in Los Angeles when they were on vacation) and her daughter Jennifer. We drove to Cottesloe Beach and I had the chance to put my toes in the Indian Ocean!

The water was very cold, and I had no intention of allowing the water to go above my knees, but the weather was warm, the sky clear, and the breeze gentle. It couldn’t have been better! We sat and had drinks at a small cafĂ© overlooking the beach (I had a delicious blend of apple and ginger juices).

We then drove to King’s Park, where I took in the glorious scents of the Botanical Garden.

I’ve been suffering from mild to moderate allergy symptoms (I’m allergic to trees and grass), but decided that the view of the meeting of the Swan and Canning rivers and the beauty of the wildflowers was worth a few (if intense) sneezes and sniffles. I found this tree to be particularly beautiful:

I took a nap when I returned to the hotel (I love the fact that I nap so easily), and left for the venue to do sound check.

The show at the Burswood Dome went well, though many people said the sound in the venue is terrible. I wear in-ear monitors, so it’s difficult for me to get an idea of what people hear in the audience. After the show, my friends took me to dinner in Perth’s China town. It was a lovely day!

Today, we flew to Adelaide. With the flight and the time change, we basically lost the entire day. A few of us ventured down a restaurant district into a local Thai restaurant for dinner, and then we directly to sleep!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I haven’t written in the past few days. At first, I’d adjusted immediately to the difference in time zone (Europe to Australia), but now every other day, I’m waking at 3am, regardless of what time I go to sleep. I went to bed last night at 2am, and at 3am, my eyes sprung open. Most people on the tour are experiencing this kind of erratic and unpredictable sleep patterns. I’m not too stressed out about it, since we’ve had several days off and I’ve been able to make it up by taking naps during the day.

On Saturday, I woke up at 3am, couldn’t go back to sleep until nearly 9am, and slept until 11am. I went into town with some of the guys, did some souvenir shopping at a lovely Aboriginal art gallery, and went back to the hotel to rest, since I didn’t feel good. It turns out that I’m experiencing some mild allergic reactions to the beautiful wildflowers and trees that are in bloom as its springtime here.

I mostly stayed in on Sunday, sleeping over 10 hours (until 2pm), only going outside to go for a walk and to eat dinner. I usually do more of a jog than a walk, but I had no energy, and didn’t want to push myself if I was catching a cold. I stayed up all day, and went to bed at 2am after practicing for 2 hours, waking up again at 3am. By 4am, I gave up trying to sleep and practiced a few more hours. I finally nodded off at 8am, but was awakened at 9am to go on a morning walk. So, I got up and walked into Perth with Kimberly and Greg. We left at 9:30am and didn’t return to the hotel until 2:30pm. We did some serious walking! Lol On our walk back to the hotel, we came across a curious sign: DUCK CROSSING!

I’ve been up all day today, and now it’s 11:30pm. I took a 75-minute nap earlier, before going to rehearsal, and I’m hoping that when I get in the bed, I’ll pass out and not wake until 8:30am. Wish me luck! The first Australian show is tomorrow night! : >

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sight-seeing in the Land down Under!

Today, I was determined to do some sight seeing, so LaTanya and I took the train into Perth where we boarded a tour bus with a group of other tourists.

We were lucky enough to land the front seats and could see the entire landscape before us. It was another glorious, sunny day, perfect for a tour of the Swan Valley! Our first stop was a winery, Sandalford Wines.

The winery also hosts musical events throughout the year and on its walls hang memorabilia from several artists, including Lionel Richie. I don’t actually enjoy wine (or any other alcholic beverages) but I decided that when in Rome… and I tasted a few different bottlings.

I only poured a tiny sip into my glass and found that one white wine was tolerable. It was very fruity, smelling almost as sweet at grape juice. I find that sniffing wine and observing its color holds far more interest for me than the actual tasting. Even the wines that I can’t imagine drinking (Shiraz for example) were very interesting to smell.

The next stop was Margaret River Chocolate Factory. I’m more of a savory fan, so I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I do enjoy an occasional taste of fine chocolate. Usually, I prefer dark chocolate (I can’t eat candy bars, with their super sweet milk chocolate…yucky!) but the milk chocolate at this factory was excellent.

We left the chocolate factory and headed for Caversham Wildlife Park!

I had been waiting all day for this part of the tour! I’m an animal fan, and am fascinated by the beautiful diversity of life on Earth. Our tour guide, Tracey, was great!

She was informative, funny and attentive. We met all manner of animals, from Wallabys and Wombats, to Emus and Koalas, to Cockatoos and Tasmanian Devils.

We toured the Kangaroo petting zoo, and fed some roos.

We even had the luck of seeing a young Joey stick its head out of its mother's pouch!

But my favorite animal was this adorable young Kangaroo. He walked right up to me, stood and waited for me to feed him! I must be missing my dogs…lol

Both LaTanya and I dozed on the bus ride back to the hotel, had dinner and went to sleep. I thought I’d take a short 30 minute nap. Ha ha ha. My short nap turned into a 4 hour sleeping session. I didn’t get out of bed and downstairs to the restaurant until nearly 10pm, just before closing time. I sat and ate with a few of the guys, then went back upstairs, worked on a track for a client and went to bed by midnight.