How Antwerp Gave the World the world “White Christmas”

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“Jullie zijn de derrrrrrrrde passagiers,” our museum guide Inez says enthusiastically rolling her “r’s” for emphasis. Today for our last day of our social orientation class we are taking a field trip to Antwerp’s newest museum The Red Star Line museum.

To say that this two-story museum is about the company that over two million people used to sail from Europe to America isn’t quite accurate. You do learn about what the ships were like and the different travel booking stations owned by the company all around Europe. But what this museum really focuses on are the people who passed through these halls and their experiences with the Red Star Line.   Continue reading

Opera Unchained

This past Saturday I got to enjoy my christmas present from my husband: tickets to see the Vlaamse Opera’s production of Der Rosenkavelier by Richard Strauss. I love going to the opera. In university, you get to hear many great arias in studios, area recitals, convocations, and student recitals, but only have one or two opportunities to see a fully staged operatic productions. So I try to go to as many different productions as I can.

Der Rosenkavealier, Op. 59, is a comic opera by Richard Strauss and libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Harry von Kessler. The story is about the Marschallin, Princess Marie Thérèse von Werdenberg, her young lover Octavian, her cousin Baron Ochs, and Och’s prospective fiancée Sophie. Continue reading

Sitting in the Invisible Corner: A Restaurant Review

Taken after waiting for about 20 minutes for our plates to be cleared

This past saturday my husband and I celebrated the 8th Anniversary of our first in-person meeting, affectionately dubbed our “Milaniversary.” For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I first “met” on an online MUD, based on the Wheel of Time series in 2004. We became good friends and when I got the chance to go to Italy in 2005, he came and met me and my mother in Milan. We spent the whole day together, the three of us, sipping cokes in a piazza, visiting the Duomo, and finally getting in dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

I like celebrating the little things in life; in fact, I’ll take almost any excuse to go out and celebrate, even if it’s just going out for dinner. Continue reading