Uncategorized

Last weeks in Atlanta…

 

So this is the last blog about last summer! After this one, there’s only going to be present and future blogs instead of past blogs… 🙂

 

After touring for a couple of weeks, and spending our last 2 weeks in Dallas, Texas, it was time to go back home to Atlanta. It has been such a great experience travelling through the South East states, we’ve seen so many great things, visited some cool places and met some amazing people.

But sometimes, it’s also nice just to be home again and relax. Of course, that relaxing part would have to wait, cause we still had a lot of things to do, eventhough the official touring part was over.

There were still enough things to do: record some more (of course), visit some new found friends, visit Stacy’s family in South Carolina again for the weekend, rebuild the music room, celebrate our anniversary, go to a worship evening, hang out with some other musicians and have an awesome yard sale!!! 🙂

So here’s a little view on those last couple of weeks we spent in the States!

Like I said, there still had to be some more recording done while we were there, but that could not be done before we redid the music room! 🙂

Here’s what we started with:

 

 

 

Stacy wanted to take her own motto and simplify! 🙂 So everything got moved around, big shelves were thrown out and a more practical desk was put in. Only problem, the desk would not put itself in, so we needed a man to handle that! Cornel to the rescue! 😉 He built, rebuilt, hammered and planned!

Almost there… 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, if that wouldn’t have worked out, we could always count on Stacy to save the day! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when the music room was done, they could start on the recording! They needed to record some more vocal tracks and so with Cornel in the music room and Stacy in the recording booth, they did some of their finest work! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, if Cornel and Stacy were working hard recording, I couldn’t sit around and do nothing! So I practised my piano some more! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now eventhough the real touring was over, we still had 2 ‘concert stops’ to make in those last weeks. The first one was at Hearts on Fire Ministries, a very nice and on fire church near Atlanta. We were asked to come play some of our songs, but to also worship with them. It turned out to be an amazing evening. We met some wonderful people, the pastors are amazing, the sound technicians and worship leader, the people there, it was just so nice to meet everybody! We played some of Stacy’s songs, Cornel and Stacy got to share some and then we went into worship. It was so special, everybody worshipping together!

Here are some pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second stop was back in South Carolina with Stacy’s family and the church there. Remember the church with the grey headed men where we had one of the best church services ever? 🙂 So much to learn from them, it’s amazing! Well, we were asked to come back one more time and play some more songs and just worship. So see, our ‘concert stops’ were really all ‘worship stops’, best kinds of stops! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, they asked Cornel to give his testimony, so he did. It’s a great story, how the Lord brought him back to Him (like he likes to say it)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the story would not be the whole story without our story, the story of how Cornel and I ended up together! The Lord did such an amazing thing, made it so clear to us that we were meant to be together, so of course that story had to be told as well! My turn to tell my part of the story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so amazing to tell our story to those people in church, they’ve all been married for so many years, some of them even for 50 years! So it was very special to be able to tell them our story and then to watch them and think about how our lives will look in 50 years. 🙂

 

After the meeting all that was left for us to do is hug Stacy’s family goodbye (especially Mommo! ;)), take a group picture and drive back to Atlanta… Goodbye South Carolina, goodbye wonderful people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also still got to spend some more time with Alice, Stacy’s mom, her husband Andres and Stacy’s brother, Cliff. One afternoon we went over to Alice & Andres’ house, had a nice meal together and just spend some time together. Really nice! Their house is so nice and Alice sure knows how to decorate a table! And cook too, of course! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, there was some great relaxing time outside and afterwards even … sleeping time inside! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also nice for Stacy (and us! :)) to hang out with Cliff some more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, we also got to spend time with some new found friends. Especially Cornel is this case. Stacy introduced him to the Russ & Hollie Johnson and their family. They’re a wonderfully musical family! Russ and his boys have a band together, they write their own songs, play together in the transformed basement and have a great time together as a family! They asked if Cornel could come spend some time with them, maybe record them, show them some more music stuff and just hang out. So he went over to their house for a couple of days and had a great time!

 

He arrived there fully equiped… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of the whole family:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also got to hear some of their songs! They sound amazing and it was really great hearing what they had written!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course they wanted to hear some of the songs we had been playing on the road as well! It became a very musical evening! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great thing that happened in our last weeks was: YAAAAAAAAAARD SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALE!!! 🙂

I now LOVE yard sales, not only going to them, but having them too!!! It’s so much fun! You get to stay outside all day, meet some interesting people, have friends over and well, make money with stuff you’re not using anymore anyway! Great great concept!!! 😉 Stacy and Edgar had already done a bunch of yard sales to support the music ministry and the Romania ministry, but now they had one when we were there and when I could actually be a part of it! People asking me how much this costs, me telling them it’s 7 dollars but if they take 2 then they can get them both for 10 dollars… Aaaah it’s like I was made for this… 😉

 

So here’s how our yard sale looked:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had Christmas decorations, vintage clothes, books, dvd’s and cd’s, toys, jewlery, furniture, pretty much anything you could think of, we had it! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even had a 1 dollar table!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had lots of friends come over to help or just to see what we had in store.

 

Cynthia  and Abby came to help us a couple of days:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let me tell you, having a yard sale has all sorts of advantages… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allison came to buy a vintage dress (doesn’t she look adorable?! :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Cornel’s friend Richard came to support our cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the neighbour’s cat also came to help… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the occasion, I also made some cookies. Cookies 4 a cause! 🙂 I made oatmeal raisin cookies and decorated sugar cookies. The money went straight to the kids from Romania and their school sponsor program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At one moment, it started raining cats and dogs, I mean, really pouring down like CRAZY! We had to rush to put everything under blankets or under the roof. Unfortunately, not everyone made it… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok almost there… 🙂

 

 

For our last night in the States, Edgar and Stacy took us to an arcade! First we had a really nice dinner. Our friend Cynthia also joined us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we played some pool…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some glow in the dark bowling!!! How awesome is that?! I had never even heard of something like that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So those were our last adventures in the States!

We had such an amazing time! It was such a great experience, we met so many interesting people, did some really fun stuff, learned a lot, it was just amazing!!! We had such a blessed time!

 

 

Thanks again to Edgar and Stacy, who let us stay with them for 3 months, giving us a place in their home, a piece of their time and a whole lot of their love. Thanks you guys!!! We love you!!! Can’t wait to see you again!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued… 😉

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Touring the tour – Part 4: Texas

Hey you guys! I know what you’re thinking: a little late for another post about last year’s tour… But I really wanted you to hear the last parts of our adventure! And well, better late than never, right? 🙂

See, by the time we got back from all the touring and I had made the blogs about the first parts of the tour, it was already time to go back home to Romania. And once we got back home, we were thrown right back into work and well, lots of craziness  going on!

So now, 9 months later, we find ourselves 2 weeks away from the next USA summer tour!!! Yes, in about 2 weeks we’ll be flying back to the States for another 3 months of music, touring, concerts and touristing (yes that’s a word! :p). So I wanted you guys to see the last parts of last year’s summer before we start the new adventure of this summer! I have 2 more blogs to make about last summer: this one is about the last part of our tour: Texas. And then the next blog will be about our last weeks back in Atlanta. So I hope you don’t mind reading about last year… I’ll try to do better this summer and post my blogs in time! 😉

So here we go!!!

After visiting Nashville and Memphis (Graceland remember? :)), we drove on to Texas, where we were going to stay with our beloved friends Daniel and Kirsten Hodson for 2 weeks. And let me tell you, we had a wonderful 2 weeks!!! Daniel & Kirsten (and their whole family) were so welcoming and nice to us and we had such a blessed time with them! Daniel & Kirsten have 3 children: Leah, Carey and Haley. They have such a lovely home, it was amazing staying there for 2 weeks!

Here’s a picture of us with (almost) the whole family: Kirsten, Stacy, me, Cornel, Haley, Leah and Daniel.

Here’s a picture of Leah and Casey:

And Carey and Molly:

So now you’ve met the whole family! 🙂 This last picture was taken on one of the concerts we did in Daniel and Kirsten’s house. We had 2 concerts organised in their house and they were just wonderful! An intimate kind of setting, just a couple of friends and family, it was really nice! We were so blessed! And apparently the people were too, cause some of them even came back for the second concert too! 🙂

This was our setup in Daniel & Kirsten’s livingroom:

And here are some concert pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had 2 special guests :p! Haley plays the harp beautifully and so she let us hear some in one of the concerts. And Leah has a beautiful voice and sang a couple of songs with us! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the concerts at Daniel & Kirsten’s house were also combined with a meal. Everybody brought food and desserts and it was really nice! Since I like cookies and desserts so much, I made muffins, oatmeal cookies and decorated cookies! 🙂 Daniel also wanted to help write the messages on the heart cookies! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, the cookies had no chance, they were sentenced to death from the start, like Stacy is demonstrating here… :p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had a concert in the home of John & Betty Brembeck, Daniel & Kirsten’s friends. They also opened their livingroom (and music room) for us to play in. It was such a great time and we met such wonderful people!

Here’s a picture of us with the Brembecks!

They have this really beautiful old piano that Stacy got to play on and so because the piano could not be moved, we played from the music room the piano was standing in. Some chairs in the next room and we were ready to start! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So those were the ‘home’ concerts. 🙂 One Sunday we went to church with Daniel & Kirsten. They go to a very big church next to Dallas. The service was very nice and afterwards we went to have a little chat with the pastor. Daniel mentioned we are here to do some concerts and so the pastor says: “That’s great! Why don’t you have one here too?” Now I don’t know about you, but that usually doesn’t really happen like that! 😉 You normally have to ask weeks or months in advance to play in a church like this! So that was awesome!!! We had the chance to share our songs and some of the things we do in Romania as well and it was really great!

 

Here are some of the concert pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the concert, Kirsten, Stacy and me went to a standup comedy evening in the same church. Tim Hawkins was coming for a concert and since he’s a christian standup comedy artist we wanted to go see! So it was a little girl’s night out! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

So like I said, Daniel & Kirsten live next to Dallas. One day they took us through town and showed us some cool places. Like this one: the Trinity Overlook, it’s a very nice view on the city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also showed us lots of other stuff! Kirsten introduced me to thrift stores (second hand stores that are AMAZING!!!) and so I was addicted from the start! 😉 They also showed us a real ‘Texan’ place (being in Texas and all… ;)): the Southern Junction! It’s a restaurant/bar/dancing place (whatever it’s called) that all country!!! It was soooooo much fun!!! There was live music, dancing (everybody dances and apparently, they all know the steps too…):

 

Here’s how it looked:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you have to grill your own meat! Good thing us Gourmands know how to do that! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s all of us sitting at the table together! It was such a great evening, getting to know everyone a little better, having some great food and just hanging out! And having some love in the air too of course… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if all that fun wasn’t enough fun, there always was… THE BULL!!! :p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stacy was the bravest of us all, she went, she conquered, she rode!!! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that was our time in Dallas, Texas! It was such a wonderful time. Of course we did many more things than you can see in these pictures, but that would just be way too much to put in a blog! It was great! 🙂 Thank you so much Daniel & Kirsten (and the rest of the family!) for taking us in and letting us stay with you guys! It was such a blessing and it was just AWESOME!!! 🙂 We hope to see you again soon and be back soon too!

 

 

 

Oh I almost forgot, I wanted to show you the newest member in the Hodson family! 🙂 When we were there, Kirsten got herself the cutest little dog: Honey!!! Isn’t she adorable? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

So go with the cute puppy and these words: If ever in Texas in July, take your sunscreen, water and a pool, cause it’s freakin’ HOT!!! :p

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Touring the Tour – Part 3: Graceland

Ok so this is the 3rd part of the tour report! And this post is a real musical one!!!

On our way from Nashville to Texas we stopped in Memphis to visit Graceland, home of Elvis!!! King of Rock ‘n’ Roll! Thank you, thank you very much! 🙂 And I mean, come on, if we were already driving through Memphis to get to Texas, why shouldn’t we stop? Really now??!! 🙂

 

We had the chance to take a tour through his house, see his car museum and walk through his planes. It was awesome!!! Just like us to do a little tourist detour on our way to some more concerts… 😉

 

So today you get to go on a little tour with me through Graceland… Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

When we got there, we first saw all these signs, telling the tale of Elvis and his life along the way…

 

 

 

We bought our tickets, got us some headphones (the whole tour they would explain the history of each room and place and extra if you wanted to hear more) and got into the buss that would take us up to his property. Ready, set, go!

 

 

 

When we first got on the property and saw his house, this was our gorgeous view:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His house, by the way, is now a national historic landmark! How cool is that? Elvis brought so much to the USA that they made his domain a national historic landmark!!! Makes you think about what we’re leaving behind after we pass… Hopefully something even more than a historic landmark… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s go inside and see all the rooms! The second floor (first for Europeans lol) that has the bedrooms was not open to the public so that they would still have something private for the family… So we just got to see the whole first floor (ground floor for Europeans :))  but let me tell you, there was enough to see to last you a long time! Elvis designed the whole house himself and brought in the finest products to decorate with…

 

 

First up: the livingroom and music room behind it. Complete with peacocks and everything…

 

 

 

 

His parents’ bedroom (Elvis took care of them and had a special place in his house for them). Isn’t that gorgeous?!

 

 

 

 

Dining room:

 

 

 

 

 

The kitchen, where there was always something going on and where somebody was always cooking, at any times of the day…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basement, complete with a bar and 3 tv’s, so that Elvis could look at 3 programs at once. He had heard that the president watched 3 news programs at once and so why not? 😉 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pool room with crazy decorations, like the carpet on the ceiling and walls!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exotic room, which he used a lot for recording when friends came over to jam, since it has good acoustics. And a waterfall on the wall… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has a space to practise his shooting…

 

 

 

 

 

A place for all of his history and valuable pieces:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like this custom made guitar!

 

 

 

 

 

A place for all his golden and platinum records… And let me tell you, there are A LOT of them! 🙂 It’s humbling but yet amazing to stand there and see all of that! Especially for Stacy who is a recording artist too, but well, it’s a great room to stand in for anybody with dreams…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some more records… 😉 He acutally got a statue in that room that was given to him for being the best recording artist ever…

 

 

 

 

 

A place for all of his crazy shiny outfits! Love them!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s got a gym and piano/lounge room right next to it. (In case he’s tired and has to lounge out after working out?! ;))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there’s a place where you can forever put yourself on camera with him… 🙂

 

 

 

 

Over to the outside! This is the back of the house and behind it, a space for his horses…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pool of course… 🙂

 

 

 

And also outside are the graves of Elvis, his parents, his grandmother and his twin (who knew he had one??? There was no date on the tomb stone though, so I think his mom either had a miscarriage or the child died at birth… Imagine what he could’ve become if he would’ve been born…).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the tour through his house, we went over to the car museum to see all of his cars.

 

Here’s me and Stacy with the car at the entrance:

 

 

 

 

All the cars inside of the museum were amazing, very cool! But then again, who needs that many cars? 😉 Here are just some of them. The pink one was a gift from Elvis to his wife Priscilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the car museum, the last stop were his 2 planes. He has one big plane called the Lisa Marie, after his daughter. Then he has another smaller one, for shorter flights I guess…

 

Here’s Stacy and me with the Lisa Marie! This plane was huge, it actually had all these different compartments, like rooms: livingroom, bedroom, … Amazing!

 

 

 

 

And here’s the inside and the cockpit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elvis had his planes designed with special products too! A lot of things are made out of gold, like a part of the seatbelts and the sinks! Imagine that! He also has a closet in the plane to take his outfits with him when he travels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s us in his other smaller plane:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, there you have it! Your own private tour through Graceland… 🙂

Hope you enjoyed it!

 

Next time we’ll have concerts in the post, I promise! 😉

Categories: Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Touring the Tour – Part 2: Nashville

 

Hey guys, this is part 2 of the 3 week tour we were on! This part is more a report on how good of a tourist we can be! 😉

After spending the weekend in South Carolina we got in the car for a 6 hour drive to Nashville! City of music… 🙂 We would be spending a couple of days with Stacy’s BFF: Judy! Judy is the manager of a huge apartment complex in downtown Nashville and so we got the chance to stay in the same appartment complex in the guest suite! Yes I said suite! 😉 It was wonderful! We had a great time with Judy and we got explore Nashville for a couple of days! Being on tour and Nashville being such a musical city (home of country music), we were in the right place!!! 🙂

 

Here’s a picture of Stacy and Judy so you know who we were hanging out with! 🙂

 

 

 

So like I said before, we had the chance to act as tourists in Nashville! (then again, we ARE tourists lol… :)) So as soon as we got the chance, we got our camera and went out to explore the city! Here’s what I discovered and learned about Nashville:

 

The founding of Nashville happened in 1775 in the comany of James Robertson and John Donelson (who shook on it at one point or another ;)) and at one of the early settlements called Fort Nashborough, which you can see on the pictures below here. It was actually pretty funny seeing the inside of the little wooden houses of Fort Nashborough, they looked like a lot of houses in Romania and the tools they worked with, we still use in the village! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right beside Fort Nashborough, there’s the Cumberland river where steamboats float around…

 

 

 

There’s a huge square in the middle of the “justice corner”: The Court House, different justice buildings and then from there you have a straight view on the Capitol. Lord knows we need justice…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowboys (and cowboy stores) are very common here… We got into it a little too much actually… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville also has a broadway, so of course we had to go there! If not the original one, at least we can say we were on some Broadway… 😉 Broadway is filled with cute touristic shops filled with tshirts with funny country one liners, restaurants and bars where every evening you have live music in about each bar! Very cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You also meet interesting people there: Chessman and Elvis! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course they also have a bunch of music shops (and restaurants!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last guitar shop was very interesting to Cornel… Of course! 🙂 Like guitar paradise! He was trying out a bunch of guitars…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When suddenly… all these cameras came out of nowhere! 🙂 2-3 guys filming us at the same time, another guy checking the monitor to see if the image and colors were right, people taling to us saying: don’t worry just act normal that’s perfect! What??? Yes we were movie stars for a brief moment in time… 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well what actually happened was that these camera guys all came in and they were getting everything ready to start filming a famous singer/DJ in the guitar shop and they were going to film him in the same place Cornel was trying out the guitars. When we asked them if we had to move they said: well actually, if you’ll just sit there for a moment, we can check if the image and lighting is right in that spot, we’ll just pretend you’re him! And so, there we were, being filmed by professionals in guitar heaven… All these people in the shop staring at us probably thinking: Which famous person is that? 😉

 

 

 

I also heard there’s an “evil” building downtown Nashville… 🙂

 

 

 

And I saw sometimes the city is a little confused… Is it Third or Fifth Bank and then the street names…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited the Ryman! That’s an old concert hall (now renewed) which has a lot of history in the city. It was originally made by a christian to have church services there! Great artists and speakers(from Elvis to Eleanor Roosevelt to all the famous country singers to present artists like Sting, Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson) have performed in this auditorium and so it was awesome being there, getting our picture taken on the stage and seeing all the history there… We could even make a record there if we wanted to… Too bad we already have a studio at home, that would’ve been cool! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the days we were there, Stacy and Cornel were going to go look at some music shops. I figured I would rather do something cultural and so I visited the Cheekwood Plantation! 🙂 It’s a marvelous  old mansion which has now been transformed into an art museum and it has all these different kinds of gardens! It used to be owned by Mr. Cheek, who then married Ms. Wood and that’s how it became the Cheekwood Plantation! Isn’t that cute??!! 🙂 They were in the coffee business in the early 1900’s. Now the mansion is a museum of art (with a lot of pieces that were owned by the Cheekwood’s) and they had a landscape architect design all the different gardens so that from whatever view, it would all look wonderful! Oh, I feel like I’m in an old movie, like Gone with the Wind or something… 😉

 

Here’s the entrance to the plantation and the mansion:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now unfortunately, they don’t allow people to take pictures inside the art museum, so I can only show you pictures of the gardens… But they were gorgeous just as well! They had a different name and themes for each garden: Color Garden, Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, Wildflower Garden, Terrace Garden, Water Garden, etc… Gorgeous, filled with all sorts of flowers, statues, herbs and plants… Here are some pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some more pics… 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the herb garden I found some interesting plants, this was the first time I’d ever seen them: A cinnamon plant and a ginger plant! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And especially for my mom: A tiramisu plant! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the other places we visited was the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Let me tell you: AMAZING!!! My first thought when I got inside was: This is a hotel???!!! First of all, it was huge! And second, in every hall there was another theme of jungle or flowers or water or something like that! You actually had a view that could’ve been in the jungle or somewhere like that! I mean, jungle, waterfalls, flowers, a river through the hotel, fountains, a huge glass roof, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it!

Check this out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a fountain in the middle of the hotel where they had a whole show with lights and water on music, it was so beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, there runs a river through the hotel and you can take a boat ride, so in the boat we went! While we were in the boat, the guide also told us the history of the hotel and how this river came to exist: When they were making the hotel, they sent out little bottles all over America and the rest of the world and asked if they would fill these bottles with water from their rivers. Then with all the bottles people had sent back, they poured it all into their river and that was a whole ceremony of the mixing of the waters, which stands for standing together and there being no difference between all nations. Very cool! 🙂

Here’s us in the boat and our view from there:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, in all that beauty, there had to be a little moment of romance too… 😉

 

 

 

 

So those were our adventures in Nashville! We had such an amazing time! Thanks again, Judy, for letting us stay with you and showing us the city!!! 🙂 You ROCK!!! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Touring the tour – Part 1: South Carolina

We have just been on a 3 week concert tour and it has been AWESOME!!! 🙂 It’s been such a blessed time, amazing amazing! So many doors were opened, people got touched by the concerts and we had even more blessings returned to us, it was blessed! 🙂

 

A lot of things that had to be done: concerts, travelling, sightseeing, rehearsing, sleeping, swimming, eating, shopping, … lol… So because of this, I have not had the time to make new posts on our adventures, but now that we’re back in Atlanta, I can start letting you know again what’s been happening!!! There’s been happening A LOT! 🙂

After going through a billion pictures, I’ve narrowed it down to the best ones and so here’s the first part of our tour report! 🙂 I have to break it down into a couple of parts, cause there are just too many pictures to put in one post! Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

3 weeks ago, we packed our bags and all the equipment, got it all in the car (thank God Cornel is so good at organizing everything while putting it in the car! :)) and left for our first stop for the weekend: South Carolina! We stayed with Papa and Mommo again, Stacy’s mom and her husband Andres were there too and so it was already a familiar feeling just being there… Of course Mommo and Alice cooked some wonderful food again, here they are in the kitchen:

 

 

We were playing somewhere on Sunday morning, but we already got there earlier in the weekend just to spend some time with the family and visit some of Stacy’s friends.

One of those friends, Mark, owns horses and well, I LOVE horses, so we had to go see them! On Saturday there was a horse show and since Mark’s horses were in it, it was the perfect opportunity to go see them! And enjoy some southern cowboy races too! 🙂 After the show was over, Mark actually let me and Stacy ride the horses too!!! It was AWESOME!!! 🙂

 

 

Here’s us with Mark and the girls who took us for a ride through the woods!

 

 

Here’s us riding through the woods. Stacy’s horse was called Zeb and my horse was called Milkshake! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked through the woods to the stream so the horses could cool down a little. They did exactly that! After drinking some, they just layed down in the river with us on them! And yes, we had to stay on… Which was not always the case… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had such an amazing time! Thanks again Mark, for letting us ride the horses! And thanks girls for taking us out for a ride!!! 🙂

 

 

 

Sunday morning came and it was time for some seriousness again (I know Stacy, that’s not a word ;)). We played 3 songs in the morning church service at Evangel Cathedral in Spartanburg. It’s a huge church, a lot of Stacy’s family goes there. When we went to set up the day before, we looked out from on the stage and were amazed by how many people could fit in there… Cornel asked the worship leader whether it was going to be full on Sunday morning. He said: No tomorrow there’ll probably only be about 400 people… 😉 ONLY??? Oh good, I was about to get nervous… 😉

But there was really no need. From the moment the service started, it was clear that this was a wonderful church to be in, worship was very real and honest, there was no: look at us with the big church and worship team, it was more like: let’s all look together towards the God of this church, that’s the way it’s supposed to be! 🙂

 

Here’s a glimpse at worship:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s us playing our songs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our songs, there was a preaching by the youth pastor, very good, I absolutely loved it! Here’s the link to it if you guys would like to here it: http://www.evangelcathedral.org/media.php?pageID=49 It’s called “Why God”. Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

Here’s us with the youth pastor and with the worship leader:

 

 

 

 

 

After the service, Stacy had a little pleasant surprise. Edgar was supposed to come see us perform, but somehow his car broke down and so he let us know he wouldn’t be coming right before we had to play. It was kind of sad for Stacy, because of course it would’ve been nice for her to have Edgar there… We were all hanging out in the hallway when suddenly: in walks Edgar!!! 🙂 He got his car running after all… Stacy jumped into his arms and well, you can imagine, it was just like a movie scene… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After church, we all went out for lunch. The family wanted to take us to a real southern restaurant: Wade’s. All fine, but apperently, on Sunday afternoon, people stand in long lines just to get in there… Oh well… With some good company time flies by, right? 

 

Here’s us at Wade’s and standing in line…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some more standing in line… 😉 Here on the left are Stacy’s cousins Gina and Garan and their friend Krista and on the right is Uncle George smiling at us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally in, we had a really nice lunch together and yes, I admit, the food was good, real southern and well, worth standing in line for… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dinner it was swimming time at Uncle George’s house! 🙂 The next day would also be Stacy’s birthday, so it was also a kind of pool party for her! We had cake and she had to play the donkey tale game (whatever you call that) and everything! 😉

 

 

And yes, there was squirting… (is that a word???) Guys vs Gals… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening we went out for a movie at the dollar theater, it’s like 2.50 for a movie! We saw Thor, really nice! And I got to spend some time with the girls, it was just really fun! Hope to see you again soon, girls!!! 🙂

 

Well that was our South Carolina weekend. Stay tuned part 2: Nashville!!! 🙂

Coming soon… to blogspots all over the web… lol! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Our first South Carolina weekend…

Hey guys,

 

I wanna tell you about last weekend, which was the first start of our music tour outside of the Atlanta, Georgia area! 🙂 Our first South Carolina weekend!!!

This weekend was a whole new adventure and a bunch of things in one! We had 2 concerts, one on Firday evening and one on Sunday morning, but we also got to spend time with Stacy’s grandparents and family, who live in Pacolet, South Carolina. It was also my birthday on Sunday, as well as Stacy’s grandfather’s, Papa’s birthday! So a lot of things to do in one whole weekend!!! 🙂

 

We left for South Carolina on Friday and went straight to our first concert location: a meeting with the Full Gospel Business Men at the New Life Worship Center Church. (I know, it’s a mouthful! ;)) This group of men comes together every month to encourage eachother, pray together and just have a nice time together. Most of them are retired. They brought their wives to the meeting too so they could enjoy the music as well. A lot of Stacy’s family members also came to hear her perform. When the concert was about to start, I looked around and saw that everybody except for a couple of people had grey hair! 🙂 I was about to think well this will be interesting, when I heard God say to pay attention and keep my eyes open! I knew He was up to something… 😉

When the meeting began and everybody started talking and sharing, I understood why I had to pay attention. This group of people was REAL! They might have been seniors, but they were more alive in God than most people I’ve seen… ever! It was AMAZING!!! Their faith encouraged me, their love for eachother was inspiring and many of the couples in there were married 50, 60 and even 65 years and you could still see the sparkle in their eyes when they looked at their partners!!! If that’s not inspiring then I don’t know what is! 😉 They were praying for eachother for healing, prophesying over eachother and us, another amazing proof that you are never too old to do anything! It was wonderful. Me and Cornel just looked at eachother in awe and we both agreed that this is exactly what we want to become when we grow older… It was such a blessing being there, so special, such a great example and message in just being there and watching them!

Here’s the church:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s us performing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, a lot of Stacy’s family was there to support her: Her grandparents, Joe & Louise (who everybody calls Papa & Mommo ;)), her mom, her aunt and her twin uncles: Uncle Reid and Uncle Wib (Joe’s brothers)! Who love her very much apperently… 😉

 

 

After the concert, Papa took us and the family out to dinner at Papa’s Breakfast Nook! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where we were served by this lovely waitress and where I had pancakes… Of course… 😉 These ones were real American style though: BIG!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dinner we went over to Mommo and Papa’s house, where we would be staying the whole weekend! Their house is out into the country side, with lots of land and forrest around it! They grow their own organic fruit and vegetables and even have a pond in the back of the land they own! A very beautiful part of the country! 🙂

 

Here’s Mommo and Papa:

 

 

 

 

The next day, Saturday, Papa showed us around the property… on the gator!!! It’s like a little tractor/cart, but with places in the back to sit in. Take us around, Gator! 😉 He showed us the wooden house they used to live in when they were kids (the property is already in their family’s posession for many generation), showed us the pond and the nature around the house and told us about the history of it all! 🙂

Here are some of the nature sights:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening the whole family came over to already celebrate Papa’s birthday, cause some of them couldn’t come on Sunday. So we had a very nice southern dinner together, prepared by Mommo and Stacy’s mom, Alice! Very nice!

 

Here’s Stacy with her mom:

 

 

 

When dinner was over, Uncle George had a surprise for Papa: Fireworks!!! 🙂 So we all went outside and waited in the dark for Uncle George to light them! And when he did… BOOM! It was beautiful!!! 🙂 They have such a nice family, they all take care of eachother… 🙂

 

 

On Sunday morning we left to go to the next concert, Sunday morning church at Grace United Methodist Church! A very nice church with very kind people! 🙂

 

Here’s the church and us getting ready for performing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had such a blessed time there too! We met a lot of nice people and got many good reactions on the performance! Don’t forget to come back… 😉 Very sweet!

 

Here’s us with the pastor, her daughter and the musical director!

 

 

After church, the pastor and her family took us out for lunch! And cause it was my birthday, we went to Pizza Hut (which I love yay!) :). It was so nice just talking together and meeting all of them! 🙂

 

 

Oh and by the way, the Pizza Hut here has something we don’t have: DESSERT PIZZA! ??? 😉 Like pie, but not really… lol!

 

 

 

After that we went back to Mommo and Papa’s house where we celebrated Papa’s and my birthday together with the whole family! And yes, there was a big cake! It said: Happy birthday Papa and Shari… Cute! I got some presents, so nice! Alice gave me 2 necklaces, one with a butterfly, soooooo beautiful, and another one that belonged to her grandmother, that was so special, I was so touched! So thank you, Alice! I LOVE them!!! 🙂 We had such a wonderful time with the whole family and it was so nice meeting everybody! That’s why we’re going back this weekend! 😉 Well, we’re also going cause we have another concert… 😉

 

 

On Monday, Stacy said: Since yesterday we were on the road, today is YOUR day, Shari, we’re going to celebrate it!!! 🙂 Well okay then, if your guys insist… 😉 We went to the mall, I got some more presents (woohoo!) and then we went to have dinner at a Japanese restaurant where the chef makes the food at your table on a hot plate! It was AWESOME!!! 🙂 That chef was so good, he did all sorts of tricks with the food and fire and stuff like that! Very cool! And the food was delicious!!!

 

Here’s our chef:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday without a nice Margharita!!! 🙂 Thinking of you, Miriam… xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When dinner was over, Stacy told the waitor that it was my birthday and they came out with a huge umbrella that I had to hold and they sang me a Japanese birthday song! 🙂 And I got an extra ice cream treat too! Yum! 😉 Oh and another funny thing: one of the Japanese sauces was called Yummy yummy sauce… 😉

 

 

After dinner, we went to a karaoke place! We had our own room and Stacy and me took turns singing songs… It was HILARIOUS!!! 😉 And dramatic for Cornel’s ears… 😉

 

 

 

So that was our weekend! It was a good one! Now we are getting ready to leave for our 3 week tour: back to South Carolina, from there we go to Nashville for a couple of days to visit Stacy’s BFF :), and from there we go to Texas for 2 weeks. There we will be staying with Daniel Hodson and his family, Daniel is the man that handles Talmid Ministries in the USA. He’s visited us many times in Romania already, so we’re really looking forward to staying with him for 2 weeks!!! 🙂

 

So here it begins again… We’ll be travelling a lot the next week, we have some long drives ahead of usBut don’t worry, the car is fully equiped and the gear is fully secured… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, please pray for us while we are on tour, that is so important to us!!! We’ve been experiencing some “technical difficulties” the last couple of weeks with harddisks breaking down and just many things that would keep us from recording more. So please pray for that, that everything will be resolved and that the recording and concerts will go well! Thank you!!! 🙂

 

 

Ok, gotta go pack! Cause we’re going on tour!!! 🙂

 

 

 

As always, here are some funny things in America:

  1. They have giant boxes of cheeseballs… (which our guys LOVE… ;))
  2. People eat nachos or chips with their lunch, like a substitute for bread…
  3. There is a huge christian market here, books, cd’s, dvd’s, radio stations, billboards, you name it, they have it in christian! Pretty cool…
  4. Pretty much every car is an automatic… And you get used to them really fast… 😉
  5. If there are 2 lanes on the road, almost everybody drives in the left lane… Even when you want to pass them, they still stay there, you just have to pass them on the right side…
Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fellowship and malls…

Hey everyone! Second post of what’s going on with us here in America…

 

After a couple of days of relaxing and getting used to the way of life here and the time schedule (still no jet lag thank God! :)), we started jumping into action. Chilled relaxed action, but still…

Yesterday evening Cornel and Stacy went to record the children’s voices for a song called ‘Helpless’ about abortion. They went to a special studio and had 3 little girls over to sing: Savannah, Aziza and Gracie. The kids being able to sing on the song was very special, they were the voices for the unborn, very touching. They were so cute, one of them, Gracie, is only 5 years old and kept forgetting the words, so they had to record her part one word at a time. That’s going to be a lot of editing, but they said it was totally worth it so yay! 🙂 Cornel won the girls over real fast with his charm and his guitar playing… 😉

This morning, after waking up at 7.30 (joy ;)), Cornel and Stacy went to Guitar Center to tweak his acoustic guitar and get some more gear for the tour (they got some really good deals, thank You Lord! :)), and as for me, I went to the mall… 🙂

So, introducing: the Mall of Georgia! 🙂

Ah yes, the Mall… my new found sanctuary… 😉 I walked in there planning on just looking around: “Don’t worry, Stacy, I’m not going to buy anything, I’ll just look around for now, compare things and then after going there a couple of times, I’ll be able to buy stuff much more wisely!” Blablabla, that doesn’t even sound like me… 😉 So I came out with about 5 bags… I can’t help it, everything’s new and pretty… And everybody is sooooooo friendly, how can you not buy stuff from them?! 😉 For now I only did the 1st floor (which would be our ground floor, it’s just plain confusing…), 2nd floor is reserved for next week, too much of something is just not healthy…

Favorite stores so far:

    • Yankee Candle Co, best smelling candles!
    • Victoria’s Secret, no longer a secret… 😉
    • Pottery Barn
    • Teavana, yummy tea and pretty teacups
    • Mac and Clinique counters in the department stores
    • Fiore, cutest little stuff for in the house, I was so amazed by all the christian stuff they had there, it was soooooo cute and the sales ladies were sooooooo nice, shared life stories of course… 😉
    • Macy’s
    • Chick-Fil A (I’ve understood that if you really wanna live in the South, you NEED to love chick Fil A so ok then! 🙂)

Again, I’ve met some real interesting people! At Fiore, I’ve talked to the 2 nice sales ladies for about half an hour, they told me nice places to go see in Atlanta, we shared our life’s stories and they were just really nice! I’m sooo going back there! Darlings!

And at the Mac counter in the department store, I found Chandra, who was so helpful and just super cheerful!

So the mall was awesome! And I had so much fun, cause whenever I would ask the sales people something that seemed kind of funny, my response would be: “I’m European, so…” 🙂

So great stores, although they sometimes also miss the truth here and there:

World’s greatest fries? We all know where the real greatest fries come from… 😉

 

In the evening we had a suprise welcoming party at Stacy’s house with all of her students who came to perform some songs. Stacy is a piano and voice teacher, she teaches by the Suzuki method, and seeing her students perform today, I wanna take some lessons! 🙂 They were so awesome! The younger ones were so cute and adorable, but at the same time they were already so skilled! The teens have amazing voices and gave us a performance that we will not forget soon! Cornel and me also sang a song and then Stacy played a classical piece on the piano. Everybody brought some food (one mom bakes the most amazing artistic cookies and has agreed to share her secrets with me yum yum!). The food was all so good and we had such good talks, it was just lovely to meet all of them and have fellowship with them! One family even brought us some welcoming gifts, that was so touching that they even thought about brining us something, cause they had never even met us before! It was so sweet. Such a blessed and special evening…

Here’s Allison giving her performance, 2 Disney songs, she has an amazing voice and she’s totally made for musicals!

Amelia was totally adorable!

This is Amelia’s older sister Elise, also super cute!

This is Aziza, she performed both separately and together with Savannah. They sang the song Helpless again, since they had just sung that in the studio that day before… 🙂

And then Savannah, little ball of fire:

Last but certainly not least: Meredith. Her voice was amazing and you could see she has such a heart for worship, really sweet!

Me and Cornel singing a song together:

Group pic with all the students! Aren’t they adorable?! I told their moms I’m gonna take them home, they agreed as long as they could fit in my suitcase… 🙂

We leave you with a smile from the 3 of us: Cornel, Stacy and me and some yummy yummy cookie! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some funny things that I’ve found in America today of course!

  1. The public toilets aren’t totally closed on the side, more like see through… (Come to think of it, that’s not funny, more like horrifying…)
  2. The security in the mall drives around on little upright stands with 2 wheels, it’s like whaaaaaaat??!
  3. All prices that are displayed are without taxes, so they’re like: ‘yes these are only 19,99 and then the final check comes and they go: ‘that’ll be 21,50 please’ and I’m like what?? Deceiving people like that…
  4. Check out this commercial for chick fil A:
Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.