2016 Rose Bowl Parade

Nicole Voris

To celebrate the new year this year Oliver and I went to bed early and woke up at 5:30 in the morning.  All in the name of seeing the rose bowl parade in real life!  We took Metro there because we're so cool and urban.  Definitely the way to do it though.

We bought tickets for the grand stands, but walked by a lot of the people that camped out.  I didn't realize that you could bring barbecues and fire pits.  There were groups of friends enjoying coffee and homemade breakfast around the campfire.  If you have the camping equipment I think it could actually be a really fun group event.

The parade was fun.  Beautiful floats and very good marching bands.  My favorite float had to be the Disney float.  Because A. Star Wars, and B. it was massive. 

 No BB-8 :(

No BB-8 :(

All the marching bands were great, but Oliver and I both decided that Albany State University was our favorite.  The band was great and the dancers had the most charisma and unique choreography we saw.

Things I learned:

1.  There are not many food vendors.  Maybe closer to the beginning of the parade, but halfway down there were no food vendors.  We were hoping to get a breakfast burrito and a coffee, but we did not.

2.  If you are not at the beginning of the parade route you have time.  We were told to be in our seats by 7:30 am for a 8:00 am start time. The parade didn't get to where we were sitting until 9:00 am.  We definitely could have waited in the super long line for a nice burrito.

3.  If you go farther down the parade route you do not need grand stand seats.  If you are willing to stand through the 2 hour parade I would suggest just showing up and trying to find a spot.

4.  You can see the floats up close after the parade.  If you want to forgo messing with the parade I would suggest this.  You don't get to see the people on the float, the marching bands, or the horses, but if you have an aversion to crowds or being cold I would for sure suggest this option.

5.  I almost don't want to say this because metro was pretty crowded.  Even so, Oliver and I were able to get seats on all four trains we got on.  Mostly because we are #commutersavvy.  If you are going I would try to take Metro there and avoid the parking/traffic mess before and after the parade.  

6.  Watching the parade on tv is just as fun.  Plus you get more facts about the parade from the hosts which a nerd like me enjoys.

We had a good time and are glad we went!  Happy New Year everyone!  We wish you a wonderful 2016!

Holiday lights

Oliver Endahl

This past Sunday we attended the Zoo Lights show in Phoenix  

#RainbowRoad

I always enjoy going to Zoo botanical gardens that are decked out with holiday lights. On top of it being a good time to hang out with the people I'm with, it's inspiring to see all the different, creative ways the lights are being used. 

#Trees

#ItsLikeWhoeverDecoratedHadJustPlayedMarioKart 

I'm a huge believer that you can be inspired anywhere, & by anything. Sometimes I meet people & they feel they can only be fans of things that are regarded as "very high works of art". Just because something has critical acclaim, doesn't make it the only thing you should enrich your life with. I love a good art house movie, but I also love a good action movie. I think it's very limiting to impose restrictions of what you can & can't enjoy. "Art" isn't just paintings that hang in galleries for wealthy people to admire, art is anything & everything.

People don't often associate it, but all movies, all music, all books & all photographs are art. Even the software on your iPhone is art. (Not to mention, the iPhone itself) 

There were several times I would be walking through the zoo lights show that is decked out with various LED monkeys, tigers & penguins, & have a thought like, "The way those lights are laid out below that dancing penguin looks really nice. I wonder if I could try a lighting set up like that" 

So if in the future you see a photo of an incredibly graceful, ethereal looking ballerina, standing on white lights laid out in a fashion that resembles snow, you'll know it was inspired by a group of happy looking electronic penguins from the Zoo Lights Show in Phoenix.

-Oliver 

 

Island Life

Morgan Quinn

It's almost my birthday people! I'm turning 23 years old on December 22nd! This may be surprising to some of you if you're familiar with my face because I don't look a day over 12! Every week someone asks me what middle school I go to. I mean really? Really?

 

You may have noticed my birthday is very close to Christmas! I'm a Christmas baby! I left the hospital to Jingle Bells so it's pretty much my life anthem. Anyway, I'm getting majorly off track. This post is dedicated to my holiday/birthday travels!

 

I'm going on a cruise to the Caribbean!! I have never experienced a cruise or the Caribbean for that matter but I'm going into it with an open mind and a lot of bathing suits. I'm very excited because I'll be in Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on my actual birthday and Turks and Caicos on Christmas! Island life! I'm ready to eat a lot of food, swim so much I become a fish, and just enjoy every moment.

 

My only fear is a potential Zombie outbreak and being stuck on the ship. Don't lie, I know you are thinking it.

 

I can't wait to share some pictures when I return. 

 Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

Las Vegas Birthday Weekend

Nicole Voris

We recently went to Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday.  I love going to Vegas for one day or two because it is a nice easy getaway from Los Angeles.  It is a short drive and it's fun to bask in the ridiculousness of the city.

We realized when we arrived that it was the Rodeo finals.  There were sooooo many cowboys.  I grew up in the country and know and love many working cowboys, but it's really funny to see them in Vegas outside of their natural element.

 Even he was a cowboy

Even he was a cowboy

 

I did not pack or dress for the rodeo finals.  I stuck to an all black and white palette.

I had a great weekend and a great birthday! I'm lucky to have such wonderful people to take me!

 Birthday outfit

Birthday outfit

Packing for Seattle

Nicole Voris

I recently traveled to Seattle to perform.  I was lucky enough to be a part of one of my best friend's pieces.  Thank you Erin Crall for including me in your vision! I felt lucky to be a part of it!

When I travel, I try to pack as light as possible.  I can't stand it when I pack and take something with me, but it doesn't end up being used.  It's a game for me, a sad adult game, but a game none the less.

Going to Seattle in November with the second side of performing made it a bit more of a challenge for me.  I stuck to my normal strategy of packing mostly in the black and white realm.  I also added a coat and a poncho that I could wear as a scarf.

 Ballet Clothes.  Sochi likes to help pack!

Ballet Clothes.  Sochi likes to help pack!

 Regular clothes including pajamas

Regular clothes including pajamas


 Traveling clothes (including the poncho!)

Traveling clothes (including the poncho!)

I also ended up adding a pair of boots, a cocktail dress for the show reception, and a pair of flats. I also forgot to photograph my toiletries and makeup, but I'm sure you get the idea!  I packed it all in my travel backpack.  I'm proud of how well I did this trip! What are your packing strategies? Any tips?

-Nicole