Sweet November.

It hurts my eyes to look at the calendar, and see that this is my first post for the month of November.  Wow, I’ve been slacking.  However, I do believe my excuse is a valid one.  I have less than three weeks left in this amazing place called Europe, and I am planning on making every day count.  Therefore, I have been busy.  Realllyyy busy.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Time with the Family

Kids, music, wine, good conversation.. what more can one ask for?  I’ve been so lucky to have such a deep bond with the two girls I look after, and their parents.   Saying goodbye to them on December 2nd, will be very difficult 😦   I really feel as if I’m part of their family, and that has meant worlds to me.  (More on this lovely bunch later!)

Visiting Vienna (and Graz!)

I received (as I like to say) a once in a lifetime chance, to visit Austria with a local.  Being that I am a bit of a history buff, I jumped at the chance to visit this grand old city, and meet some of the people who live/d there.  What I didn’t realize, is how many lovely Austrian people I would meet in Graz, the hometown of my friend Ulrike.

Below are some things you should know about Austria:

1. The people are friendly and fantastic 2. The mountains and cities are equally breathtaking 3. If you like conservatories and princesses, you will love Vienna 3. Music & dance here is top notch (that is, if you enjoy a nice waltz, or folk dance from time to time). 4. I’m definitely returning to Vienna for a number of reasons.. cakes and balls are at the top of my list!

Swan Lake

Het (Nederlands) Nationale Ballet’s Swan Lake is in the running for the best live ballet performance I’ve seen yet.  Until last night, my top picks have been New York City Ballet’s Don Quixote, and the Paris Opera Ballet’s Paquita.  This was only my second time seeing Swan Lake live, and boy was I impressed.  The Swan Queen was absolutely flawless; it’s very rare for a ballerina to have a performance without a minor mistake.  I am an extremely critical observer, and I did not spot one misstep.  As Odile she was absolutely fierce, hitting every leap and turn with a punch.  As Odette, her physical beauty shone through; her arms, sinewy yet graceful, made her a believable swan, and her legs reached to magical heights.  She had both excellent technique (her feet.. no words), and unmatchable artistry.  Then there were the costumes, the synchronized Swan coeur, and the unbelievable sounding live orchestra.  The show was just satisfying in every way.  Following the dramatic ending, the audience stood clapping for 10 minutes, while the cast bowed, and bowed again.

Dinners & Clubs

Lastly, I’ve been trying to see as many friends as I can before I depart.  This provides a lovely excuse to eat (and dance) out– a double date over tapas and sangria, girls night at Canvas op de 7e, and a party night at Club Up have topped the list.

This weekend I’m off to Copenhagen with some friends.  Until next week, I bid you goodbye.  Doei!

photo credity: Conde Nast Traveler



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6 responses to “Sweet November.

  1. Barbara

    *pssst: you went to see Het Nationale Ballet instead of Het Nederlands Dans Theater. And believe me, that makes a difference!*

    Besides that, I’m really happy that you’ve enjoyed the show so much! Do you remember which dancer danced the part of Odette?

  2. Anne Marie & Armand

    WOW! This is fabulous, Helen. We especially love the picture of you and “the girls.” It’s so nice to have a mental image of the girls that you spend so much time with. I imagine it will be very difficult for them to let you go! Love you, gram & gramps

  3. Jen

    I am sorry your time is coming to a close in Europe but I can’t wait for you to get home!!!!!!!! As soon as you have settled and had time to see your family you BETTER call me :). Hooray!

  4. Thanks for the great comments everyone! I’m looking forward to many reunions 🙂

  5. laurel

    HELEN I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are an amazing person.
    good luck with the move 🙂

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