Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Off to Albany!! Lit Choir Trip 2014

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!! Supposedly, VT is supposed to be hit with some snow in the next couple of days, so I'm taking advantage of this 30 degree weather (a heat wave this time of year!!) by wearing a dress (with a heavy sweater of course :)

As you, my wonderful readers, know, I joined the SMC liturgical choir this past year and it's honestly been one of the best decisions I've made in my four years here. While I've always been really involved in campus ministry, lit choir was one of the things I always wanted to do, but never really had the courage to. It was this year that my best friend, Merrill, pushed me to sign up since it would be my last chance to do so. While I definitely don't think I'm the best singer, Lit Choir allows me to feel a part of such an amazing group of people, led by our phenomenal choir director, Jerome, and sing my heart out to some pretty cool songs.

This past weekend, we went on our annual Lit Choir tour to Albany, NY!! Even though I'm from New York, I'd never been to the capital before, so I was excited to go. We left SMC at around 3:30 and headed off on the three hour bus ride. What I was super excited about was rooming the weekend with my best friend, Marci, who plays the violin in the lit choir, reuniting with my SMC Twinnie, Adrianna, who graduated this past year!! I was also so excited to have the chance to get to better know the lit choir members, who are just the absolute best group of people. We checked into the Latham Holiday Inn around 9pm after having a delicious dinner at the 76 Latham diner and passed out.

Friday was an extremely early day for us, with a wakeup call at 6am and reporting to the bus by 7:40. I When I woke up, I realized that I learned something that I hadn't known about Marci in our four years of best friendship and was surprised to find out.

Marci does not speak English in the morning. She speaks gibberish.
Ex. (Picture it- 6am)
Me: Good morning Marci!!
Marci: Shbbubbubb mlah bah (Translation: Morning Alex. I'll wake up when you get out of the shower)
Early morning mirror pic!!
Catholic Central brunch in the library- thank you so much!!

Marci and I got ready in the nick of time (and of course took a bathroom selfie to prove it) We boarded the bus and headed off to Catholic Central High School (alma mater of Mike Stefanowicz, Admissions Counselor extraordinaire and overall wonderful person) to sing at our first concert. It was really weird to be back in a Catholic high school, seeing everyone in their polos, khakis, and skirts- it was almost if I was transported back four years ago to my Catholic school days at Good Counsel Academy) It was Catholic Schools week, so many of the Catholic schools in the area, from pre-school to high school, came to hear us and they were too cute. Afterwards, we went to CBA or Christian Brothers Academy, for our second concert of the day. The boys were all so welcoming and really into the music. Marci and I got the chance to help at the Admissions table at both schools with Mike and meet so many students (shout out to Jonathan Woods at CBA, Marci and my new BFF who we had a ten minute conversation with about the difference in Marci and his last name and told us all about the different medal he had received from band) It still makes me feel so amazing helping lead someone on the way to finding their future second home and I'm so happy I got the chance to do so that Friday.


Saturday was our "Super Chill" day, which meant that we didn't have to be anywhere until 11:30. I ended up doing a lot of my homework that day and having breakfast in bed with Marci (aka cereal and coffee from the continental breakfast downstairs) We then headed to Cafe Italia for lunch, where we had a delicious authentic Italian meal of chicken and eggplant parm and penne. We also got to bond with Ernesto, our bus driver, who honestly was the most wonderful part of the trip. He was so unbelievably funny, gracious, and helpful to each and every one of us and I certainly miss him already!! We then headed to Mater Christi parish, which was absolutely beautiful and I loved having the chance to see Marci's family, who have become like a second family to me at SMC!! The mass went great and they served us dinner in the Church cafeteria. Everyone feasted on wings, pizza, salad, and chocolate chip brownies. Afterwards, my twinnie, Adrianna, wanted to go to Walmart to get a card for one of our choir members. Our new friend, Kathy, wanted to come too to find a souvenir from Albany, so we took a 10 minute adventure. We ventured into Five Below (aka the BEST STORE EVER) and I ended up picking up a new pink charger for my phones, a squirrel t-shirt for Marci, and a magnet for my wonderful friend, Sarah all for $13!! We then ended up going to the Dollar Store which I left laughing in stiches- let's just say it involved Kathy and a flying pig, which was just the funniest thing ever. When I came back to the hotel, Marci had delicious cheesecake for us to share from the Cheesecake Factory and for the rest of the night, we watched the Duke/ Syracuse and Knicks/ Heat games until we fell asleep.
Delicious lunch at Cafe Italia
My beautiful friends, Sarah and Anna!!
Marci and my mostly eaten cheesecake

Mater Christi Church
Outfit of the Day!!
My Woof Partner in Crime, Kelly!!
Sunday was our last day in Albany and also our earliest. We had another super early wakeup call, checked out, and had a two minute breakfast. The Lit Choir was set to do two masses at Christ the Light Church and both went fabulously. We then headed back around 2 to VT and got back at 5pm.

Hotel Room!!

My key!!
7:30 selfie on the bus- my typical cheery self hahahaha!!

Brunch at Christ the Light
Sleeper creeper photo of Marci!!

Overall, this weekend couldn't be more amazing. I cannot thank enough all of the members of the SMC Lit Choir for so warmly welcoming me and for just being the absolute best people. I'm so lucky to know you all and to have this weekend to play and sing for Albany. Hugs to you all!!

On the road to an amazing time!!
What I want to express to my wonderful readers in this blog post is that is never too late to take opportunities that are offered to you. SMC provides that and more in so many different ways, whether it be in our liberal arts classes, study abroad, clubs and activities, and so much more. Make the most of every moment and spend it doing something you're passionate about- it will not only make a difference in your life, but the lives of others.

Remember, please never hesitate to get in contact with me if you ever have any questions via Twitter and email!! I'm always happy to help in any way that I can!!

Until next time, I send you my very best wishes,
Alex :)

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