Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventures in The Netherlands with Adina Noel::: "Music, Painting, and Train Ride mini-shoots"

Train Ride

Before the sun was up, I was up. Of course, not literally... but that's how I felt that morning. Way too early to be alive. At least I had a little train ride to help me transition into consciousness.


On Tuesday Lise and I went to the ArtEZ Conservatorium where she goes to school. I hung out in the cafeteria while she went to her dutch lessons. Not actually lessons to learn dutch, but lessons IN dutch. I decided to pass on sitting quietly through an hour of dutchness, and sit a-little-less-quietly in the cafeteria, editing photos, emailing, and having bad

sugar-less coffe from an overpriced machine. I have to say I was insanely jealous that she gets to go to such an awesome school. They don't have modern music schools in Spain, only classical. They had a bunch of really fun sounding classes, and being surrounded by so many amazing musicians who are just STUDENTS, it really humbles me and made me start thinking about I realized just how not-so-talented I am at this music thing.


Songwriting lesson came next. That was a fun one. The teacher was american and we actually discussed some photography before really getting started. Good talk. But what I really liked was to sit and actually hear people discussing music theory, and patterns, and progressions (feeling somewhat at home by not being the only person in the world to think about these things) ... until I got completely lost and just took some pictures


The last thing we went to was this thing called "band lab" where apparently the school picks a bunch of random students and makes them be in a band together. The guys and girls sang each others' songs and seemed to be having a good time. What I like about it is the "team spirit"vibe I got through it. I like to think that they are teaching all these kids to just learn to work with each other, even if they aren't friends outside of the school, just learn to respect each other and be professional about their work. I took pictures, of course, in good stalkerazzi tradition!


Sing To Me

I Love Music

"You're Taking My Picture



Happy Drummer

Framing Music


His version of payback! (Since I don't like getting my pictures taken)


Next to ArtEZ: Spiderman on a building = Awesome!

After we were done with school we went to paint a house of some friends of Lise. Let me tell you something about myself, I love to paint. I don't know why, its not like I am jumping with joy with every brush stroke (or roll) but there is something quite restoring and therapeutic about painting a room. I like it. So I pretty much spent the rest of the day painting a room. Let me tell you, when you get some of these music school kids together in a house, you get the most interesting interactions. My favorite one was Lise singing on the 3rd floor, and one of her friends "mirroring" what she was singing in the 2nd floor... with no music... they eventually went on some kind of "sing off" competition for the highest note. Wow. Just wow. Too much fun!

Guy Multitasking



Proof that I helped.

So after getting up before a time that I knew existed, and hours of free labor for people I dont know (Haha, just kidding guys, I was happy to do it!) I went to bed, (again, probably later than I should have... I have issues!! Haha) and got up early to meet my friend Clarissa and another girl to explore Amsterdam for two days... which you will hear about... (you know how it goes, but I'll say it anyway) ..."in our NEXT Adventure in the Netherlands!!"


My mini-shoot on the train ride home. Photo credit: Lise Low :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Adventures in The Netherlands with Adina Noel::: "The Picture-less Day (For those hardcore enough to read this and not just look at the pictures"

For bigger pictures and better layout please read the blog here:

Monday was my first day alone. Lise and Evan were at school and work, so I had the house all to myself. I have to admit that I enjoyed having some time to myself after a crazy busy week of work, preparing for my trip, and exploring The Netherlands. I pretty much slept in, blogged, and played guitar. That's pretty close to a perfect day already! But wait, it got better! Played and sang with Lise, pizza for dinner, and then we went to the pool.

This is the more interesting bit.

First off, I had to BIKE to this pool.... and you know by now how I feel about biking. It was a bit chilly, but I wasn't worried about hypothermia, since in order for me to die from it I would have to live long enough to die from it... and clearly the biking was gonna finish me off quicker! Okay, Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT cold and maybe it wasn't THAT dangerous... but I WAS a bit nervous about it, and therefore biked rather slowly which made us get there late. Oops! Apparently it is offensive to show up 7 minutes late. Really? Hmmm... this deepened my belief in "Dutch Minutes" which I've also decided to refer to as "dutching it" or if I'm really in a hurry and trying to make a run for it I could say "I'm gonna make a dutch for it!" Haha. Then again, if it were really "dutching it" I probably wouldn't be running, I would be biking! :D All in good-non-offensive humor. I will say, in defense of the dutch, that it is way more practical to be on time everywhere than to be late everywhere... but 'tis the way of the Spanish. Especially THIS Spanish! ;)

Fun Dutch Fact: (Gosh, why didn't I think of that title sooner?!) Dutch people like to swim. I had no idea. The most interesting thing is to see just HOW they swim. My Spanish pool experience is as follows: There are 2 kinds of swimmers, the ones swimming laps (separated by lanes) and the ones just splashing about in the general area. Well, the dutch don't do that... in fact they pretty much do both at the same time. I kid you not, every single person as that pool was swimming "with a friend" and they are swimming laps and TALKING at the same time. This is much more exhausting, trying to keep up with a conversation AND not drown. Let me tell you... it was something else.

But there's more! Right when I thought that I was getting the routine down, the girls decided to go to the outside pool. Did I mention that we were in an indoor pool? Well, I thought it was implied since it was kinda chilly outside. Well... they went into the pool, and the outside temperature read 10º C! (50ºF for you Americans! :P) I'm gonna tell you right now, I think its the coldest I've ever been in my life. Of course, I had to do it... it's crazy!

I will say that might be one of the most extreme things I've done in a long time... and after that the bike ride home seemed like child's play! ;)

It was a good thing I got all tired out with all that swimming/talking (Switalking? Swalking!!) because I had to go to bed at a decent hour so I would be alive in the morning to visit Lise's awesomely-awesome pop music school... which you will hear about in our NEXT Adventures in the Netherlands!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Adventures in The Netherlands with Adina Noel::: "First Dutch Sunday"

Into The Woods (front)

Sunday morning was one of those typical mornings where I wake up and realize how much sooner I should have gone to bed. Especially because I had to be out the door sooner than when I go to my home church. I was being a VERY good sport about it though (I am NOT a morning person) and just went on with it. And It went a little something like this: Up too early, shower, geared up, breakfast on the go, got to the church and that's when we realized that we forgot about daylight savings, and were an hour late. Oops! You know, I don't think I'd ever been THAT person... but now that I have I can say that its more funny than anything else.

B&W Landscape

"After church" we went over to Lise's parents house. Nicest people ever. That's pretty much all I have to say about them. They welcomed me into their lovely home, fed me, and entertained me! Haha. I am going to take this chance to say that I seriously wanted to kidnap Lise's mom and bring her to Spain to cook for me for the rest of my life! Haha.

Mother & Daughter



I ate waaaaay too much.

"American" pie & tea

Dutch apple pie. Who could resist?

Dutch Speaking from adinanoel on Vimeo.

I tried to speak dutch. It didn't go so well.

After that we all went to help unload a moving truck for Lise's sister. Yup, I like to think that's how the dutch go about kicking their digestive system into gear! Haha.

We all went back to the house, watched a really interesting/fun movie called "I-cant-remember-but-it-was-one-of-those-less-used-and-more-serious-girl-names-oh,-and-Cristina-Ricci-was-in-it" and just relaxed for a bit.

Nap Time

Evan relaxed a LOT, but then again... I did too! :)

Then we hit a birthday party. A very dutch birthday party, apparently. We sat around eating and talking in dutch while I occasionally entertained with my "free translations" including things like "That guy misses his baby blanket", morphine hallucinations, and something about someone training to take a firefighting test. Here's another fun dutch thing... they put on a DVD of a fireplace burning... like to create a chill out mood or something. Hmmm... it was kinda cool, I will admit, but also culturally hilarious. I guess it must be a normal thing, if they sell DVD's of it, but I just think that if I was hanging out with my friends in Spain and was like "Lets put on the fireplace DVD!!" they'd give me a wide variety of interesting looks. It was pretty cool though, who knows... maybe one day I will buy one and do it, after all we work with the same DVD region in The Netherlands and Spain.

Dutch Fireplace

I had been given a variety of snacks to choose from. It so happened to be that I picked the prettiest, and most complicated thing to eat. Its not something you can eat with a fork, but I tried... for a while. I was making such a fool of myself that Evan decided to take a picture of me and my silly attempts to eat. I will say though, it was delicious!

Trying To Eat

Stay tuned for our NEXT Adventure in The Netherlands!!!

Motorcycle Sunset

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Adventures in The Netherlands with Adina Noel::: "Amsterdam with Evan and Lise Low"

Amsterdam Street

Saturday was the day we had decided on to go explore Amsterdam. We quite successfully managed to get to an early start, with few delays from "The Spanish." Amsterdam is about an hour drive away from our place.

Amsterdam Exit

I have to say that I was excited and slightly nervous about going to Amsterdam. You can't help but hear stories of all the things that are legal there, I questioned whether it may be the best place for a young christian girl to be.



Drug Display

Darth Vader

See the arms in the air? He's OBVIOUSLY surrendering!

We parked the car just outside the city and took a little ferryboat to actually get to Amsterdam. Let me tell you... so many bikes. I was actually almost hit by a couple times just on the way to the ferryboat. I was smart enough to let them all go out ahead of me when we exited the boat though. I like to think that act alone saved my life.


Fun bit: our first stop in Amsterdam was at a tattoo and piercing shop. No joke. I actually got a tattoo of a dragon going all the way around my neck, down my back, and when it gets down to my left butt cheek, there's a little Elvis in a white jumpsuit holding on to the dragons' tail with one hand, and with the other hand reading a book on his brand new iPad.... "in a typical tattoo green".

"I Hereby Certify That I Am Not Drunk Or High"

Signing a waiver stating that I wasn't currently drunk or high... how fun.

OK, that didn't really happen. I thought I would just spice up the blog though, and see who was really paying attention. I did actually get something done though. I pierced the cartilage in my right ear. My mom is gonna "love" it.

Random Video fun:

"Scaffels!" from adinanoel on Vimeo.

"Mom, Look At What I Did!" from adinanoel on Vimeo.

We walked around for hours and I took a million little pictures. Here's some:

Leaning Houses

Leaning Houses

1883 Building

Bikes On Bridge

I <3 Amsterdam


Different Roofs

Named Bridge

Church Sky


Fun story: After walking around the city for about 4 hours, and right before heading home, we decided that we would stop and have a coffee or tea somewhere. We walked into this little alley, and sat down on the chairs they had outside, conveniently in the sun. The sun in itself is pretty rare in The Netherlands.

Sketchy Bar

Lise got our order and went inside. Apparently she went in and realized that every single person in the bar was a middle aged man, and they were all staring at her. On top of that, they were all drinking beer and it didn't even look like the sort of place where they would even serve coffee. She walked outside, told us, and that's when we all noticed the big rainbow flag by the door. Yup, I went to Amsterdam and tried to have coffee in a gay bar! Haha. We looked for another bar. There were actually some laughs to be heard from the inside... oh, well... it was pretty funny how clueless we can be sometimes.

Cafe Life

Need A Ride?

Channel Cafe

We had our lovely coffee next to this channel, talked for a bit, and pretty much enjoyed sitting down. Also, I want to point out that I loved my sugar packet with a smiley face. I wish all sugar packets had smiley faces like that. The world would be a happier place.

Sugar Makes Me Happy

Pretty much after that we went back home, Evan cooked some delicious dinner for us, and later we watched a movie. Nice relaxing evening. I love nights like that. :)

I may have actually liked it a little too much, because in "typical me" behavior I stayed up until waaaaaay too late. I was going to regret it on Sunday morning when we went to church. Funny story what happened when we went to church, but... you'll just have to hear about that one on the NEXT Adventure in The Netherlands!

Red Curtain