I woke up this morning at 8:00 a.m. to my piercing alarm with that sensation that I had never actually fallen asleep, and that surely I must have set the alarm incorrectly: it simply COULDN’T be morning already, could it? Through the groggy, foggy mist of denial, I double and triple checked my phone and to my dismay, found that it was, in fact, correct. Then I lethargically cycled through 4 rounds of my snooze button, which of course meant my luggage didn’t get packed tidily at ALL, but I just didn’t care! Sleep was the only thing on my mind.

Dashed out of the hotel, flew to the airport, paid for overweight luggage (what’s a diva to do?), and sprinted to the gate … to wait, promptly, for 2 hours for the delayed aircraft to take its salivating passengers to their destination. But I made it! Amsterdam: it’s great to be back!!

I forgot how much I adore this city. It boasts such a unique flavor and brings back a lot of memories for me – some good, some difficult, but now, in the enlightened light of hindsight, all treasured. It was here that I first met Sesto (Handel’s young lad, not Mozart’s), and officially started my love affair with all-things Handelian. How right it feels for this to be the next stop in my tour.

Due to my late arrival, there really wasn’t time to tackle anything too productive, plus the drippy, grey, chilly air outside doesn’t invite. So it’s catching up with my flu-ridden husband on Skype, reviewing the concert tape from Madrid, and a welcome date with room service: piping hot cheese soup and a perfect little salad. Perfection.

A tiny side note to my Amigos in Spain – if you have a chance to take in the Katya Kabanova at the Teatro Real, DO IT. It’s a truly stunning, special, and devastating production by Robert Carson. A real lesson in the power of simplicity – which to my thinking allowed the immense emotion and torrential music to rise to the top.

Hoping to get my camera out tomorrow…in the meantime, room service has arrived! Dank u well!

(Photo taken in 2003 – before I got my “fancy” camera!)