Day 17 - Madi A.
Today was our final full day of our 2013 European Tour. We started off by eating breakfast and going shopping in the small center near our hotel. After getting gelato, everyone contributed and bought Kendra a birthday present because her birthday was the next day. Next we got lunch and walked back to the hotel. When we got back, we cleaned the bus and started getting ready for our final show. When Kendra and I were halfway through getting ready, Michael came to our room and told us to go to Joc, Jenna and Ali's room. When we walked into their room the mood was solemn and people were crying. It was confusing at first until Jocelyn read us her journal entry. Once she finished reading we all started crying because none of us wanted it to end. Being a newbie this has been the best introduction year I could have ever asked for. Trying to control our tears and failing miserably, we made our way onto the bus and sat...all nine of us in the five back seats of the Datzinger. When we got to the venue (Millfield Theater) we fixed our make-up we had cried off. The show went great and at the end we had everyone in the audience clapping. After the show Raye Lynn gave a small speech which brought everyone to tears (even her). After the show we got back on the bus and fell asleep. We woke up when we got back to the hotel and had sandwiches in the Orange room. We talked for a couple of hours and went upstairs to pack for our flight home.
Day 16 - Jocelyn
Unfortunately, the trip has come to the "last night" when we hold the final fancy dinner. After an amazing outdoor performance at the Arundel Festival, we spent an hour getting pretty, bringing out the straighteners, blow dryers, makeup and accessories. We perfected our looks for the most magical part of the trip and walked down the flight of stairs looking like a million bucks and entered the dining room with some butterflies. After the best three courses I have ever eaten, it was time for the speeches. Raye Lynn had just reminded us earlier that we would each be presenting a short speech about the trip. These speeches were not allowed to be prepared fully or talked about, so this was why everyone was a little jittery. Following the band and staffs' impeccable speeches, Raye Lynn announced the kids would begin youngest to oldest. I went first and could tell there was an unlimited amount of emotions going through everyone's heads. After our speeches, Hallie talked to us and made us cry with her touching and meaningful words. Nick and Hallie harmonized a song to the tune of "Good Riddance" which brought on more tears. I wasn't quite sure if they were happy tears to be living the best moment of our lives or sad to be thinking this moment would not stay. After dinner, we threw on comfy clothes and shoes, took the jewelry off, put our hair up and went outside. We sat on the grass for a bit to watch the stars and moon and were laughing and fooling around the whole time. The special thing about EY 2013 is that there is no such thing as feeling lonely or sad or dramatic or anything really negative at all. Electric Youth this year was one happy, laughing group. Not little groups within a group, but one group. Everyone in EY was a friend. Everybody was nice, supportive and fun...this is the way EY should be. I wish we could just pause time and savor this moment because it IS the best moment of our lives! So I hope we took enough pictures to remember this moment because it is like living a fairy tale. In conclusion, dear EY 2013, I love you!
Day 15 - Maddy W.
Today we woke up in our hotel in Bournemouth. We ate a late breakfast and left the hotel by 10:00 a.m. We stopped at a grocery store to grab lunch food and then boarded the bus. We had about an hour long ride to Stonehenge while Nick explained the mysteries of the formation and transportation of the huge rocks. When we got to Stonehenge, we walked around the stones in a huge circle and listened to our audio-guides explain the significance of everything. It rained for the first part but the weather cleared up by the time we finished sightseeing. We got back on the bus for about two hours until we pulled up to our final stay, The Spa Hotel in Royal Tunbridge Wells. We unpacked and the girls got dressed up for the traditional "little black dress night". We had a nice dinner and then went back to the hotel to sleep.
Day 14 - Michael
Today we woke up at a great hotel! We had some spare time before lunch so we all went swimming at the hotel pool. After we went swimming we got ready for lunch at "The Slug and Lettuce" down the street. We all had either burgers or falafel, but I ended up eating three cups of french fries! When we got back to the hotel, we grabbed our stuff, loaded the bus and made out way to the Tivoli Theater in Wimbourne. We ended up selling over 100 pre-show tickets! The show went great and after we went to a Mexican restaurant that had sombreros for everyone to wear. Dinner was great and we went to bed to rest for our trip to Stonehenge the next day.
Day 13 - Jenna
Today we woke up in our chateau and had to sadly say goodbye. We left early in the morning and picked up our tour guide, Jacques, and we were ready to tour Normandy. We first stopped at Pointe du Hoc which is where we saw the bombing effects of D-Day. We explored the bunkers of the German soldiers and saw the bunker they were living in. We got back on the bus and drove a few miles to Omaha Beach. We took many pictures and learned the story of D-Day. Then we hopped back on the bus again and made our way to the ferry. Once we arrived, we got on the boat for a 4 hour trip. Our time was spent eating, listening to Nick teach us about the Higgs boson particle and watching the sunset which Kellie really enjoyed when it wasn't in her eyes. Once we finished crossing the English Channel, we took another quick ride on our autobus to our hotel named the Norfolk Royal Hotel. We all jumped into our beds and slept like logs after a successful day!
Day 12 - Shaina
Today we woke up at our amazing chateau! Mr. A and Ben made us breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, toast, cereal and lots of fruit. We went outside and ran around in the field for a while. Then, we left for our show! An hour later we arrived in Barfleur! Barfleur is a little town with lots of nice people. We ate lunch and walked around for a bit. Barfleur is on the coast so we put our feet in the ocean, climbed the rocks and took many pictures. At 8:30 we started the show. At first there were only a few people, but by the end the whole town was out! They all were having a great time singing and clapping along. They especially loved Bohemian, Pinball, Beatles medley, I Feel Good and Love Train. In the middle of the show the people from the town gave us medals. At the end of the show we signed autographs and took many more pictures. We loaded back into the bus and as we left we waved goodbye to the people in cafes along the streets. We ate dinner at our chateau and had some piano sing-along fun!
Day 11 - Kendra
Today was our last day in Disney. We woke up, packed our bags and loaded the bus before making our way back to the stage for two more shows. Afterwards, we thanked the Disney staff and got back on the bus for an 8 hour trip to Barfleur. We stayed in a beautiful Chateau about an hour away from our venue. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was a really cool and different experience, especially after staying in so many hotels over the past week and a half. When we arrived, we made dinner, explored the property and even sang for the caretaker of the chateau. It was a very eventful and fun day!
Day 10 - Ali
Today we woke up at our hotel in Disneyland Paris and departed for the Disneyland Park where our two shows were. When we first got there, we went to check out our stage which was located in a building where guests could get food as well as sit and watch the show. We were told it was where the Lion King show played, but the sets had been cleared out. We had a couple of hours to go around the park before our shows and went on rides like Star Tours and Space Mountain. We got a quick lunch before going backstage to get ready for our first show. We had two half-hour shows that went really well! We had big and enthusiastic audiences (1,500 people!) It was fun to get to perform on a stage like that! After the shows, we went over to Walt Disney World Studios and then back to Disneyland Park for freetime the rest of the night. Many rides, restaurants and stores were like the ones we all know from Florida, but many were very different! It was a really fun day and we get to do two more Disney shows tomorrow!
Day 9 - Graham
Today we woke up in the haunted hotel and got on the bus to go to Paris. Three and a half hours later, we arrived and were welcomed by the marvelous sight of the Eiffel Tower! We got off the bus and got lots of great pictures of the tower. After, we were headed to the Louvre Museum. Unfortunately, due to the short amount of time we had, we were not able to go inside. However, we were able to explore outside and take pictures. Soon after, we took a bus tour of Notre Dame while on our way to dinner. Our guitar player, Andres, who has been to Paris over 20 times, acted as our tour guide. He told us what everything was and shared cool facts about the city. Finally, after dinner, we took a lovely boat ride on the Seine. This was a great opportunity to get more pictures of the Eiffel Tower which by this time was beautifully illuminated by lights. When we got off the boat, we took an hour bus ride to Disneyland and checked in for the night.
Day 8 - Madi A.
Today was the Balloon Fiesta! We all woke up very early and started getting ready because the show was at 2:00. Once we were fed and packed, we clambered onto the bus and headed to the Fiesta. After we unloaded the bus, we watched helicopters land. Later we got lunch and got changed for the show. The show went great with an audience to match! Unfortunately we couldn't see any hot air balloons because they only go up early in the morning and later at night. After the show we got changed for a long bus ride (4+ hours) from Bristol to Dover so we could get on a ferry to go to Calais, France. Once we boarded the ferry we got dinner and walked on the deck to see the English Channel. After we got off the ferry, we got on the bus and drove to the Hotel Meurice and went straight to sleep.
Day 7 - Jocelyn
Once upon a time a group of EY members traveled to Bristol after spending a short day visiting Stratford upon Avon. Following the 3.5 hour bus ride we checked in at a very nice Holiday Inn. The rooms were extremely nice and supplied with a wide variety of mirrors to get ready for the show! This show was special because the audience included some old FSPA friends, the Shaws. Until 3 years ago, Elaine and Laura Shaw worked at the front desk, Georgina performed and Katie worked at the shop. They decided to move all the way to England, so it was nice to see them an perform for them. After an energizing show, we cooled down at the hotel and had some dinner. Shortly after saying our goodbyes to the Shaws, we went up to our sleeping chambers and fell asleep.
Day 6 - Maddy W.
Today we packed up our luggage and had a quick breakfast at our hotel. We checked out and grabbed a quick lunch before our bus ride to Stratford upon Avon. Our new hotel, the Falcon Hotel, was across the street from Shakespeare's primary school and the land where his house used to be. We toured the house and watched an archeologist dig at the site of the New Place, the site of Shakespeare's house. He showed us some animal bone and bits of charcoal that they had found. Next we toured his birthplace and saw where his father's glove shop was. Outside there were actors who were performing any Shakespeare play on command!! We watched them do scenes from Richard III, Midsummer Nights Dream, Macbeth and many more. They gave us some free-time to shop for souvenirs and later we walked back to the hotel and had our first laundry party! Dinner was at a fancy restaurant and we went straight to bed afterwards.
Day 5 - Michael
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL!!
Today was an interesting day. We woke up as we would any other day and went straight to breakfast. All of us were thinking about our first show which was late that night. But before the show, we had plans to visit Windsor Castle - conveniently, the castle was right across the street from our hotel. When we got within the walls of the castle, we were handed audio guides that told us about the walls and rooms in the castle. We noticed that the British flag was up inside the castle, this meant the Queen was staying at the castle. We also saw a group of Beefeaters march by and later took a picture with one. After we left Windsor Castle, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the show. We had to get there pretty early to test and set up all of our equipment. While the band and the tech crew set up, we were given a dance studio as our dressing room. We kept ourselves entertained by listening to music, doing handstands, and impersonating dances that we weren't exactly a part of. Then it was show time. We had a small but enthusiastic audience. Overall, the show went well and afterwards we went to a Japanese restaurant on the other side of the road. There were a lot of jokes and laughs exchanged during the dinner especially when Maddy attempted the cup song with a full glass of water! After we finished dinner, we got on the bus and drove back to the hotel to get ready for the next day.
Day 4 - Jenna
Today was sightseeing in London! We started with the London Tower and Tower Bridge (London Bridge). We also saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Abbey Road Studios. We took a "hip" picture in the crosswalk like the Beatles. We also had a nice Italian dinner for Raye Lynn's birthday. We also said goodbye to Nadine! It was a fun day in London, England.
Day 3 - Shaina
We arrived in London!!!! As we got off the airplane we went through customs and picked up our luggage. Then we met up with our bus driver Franz! He drove all the way from Austria with all of our equipment! We were all very excited so we ran onto the bus. We left the airport and drove to our hotel which is right across from the Windsor Castle!! Our rooms weren't ready so we walked around town. It was very strange to us that the steering wheel was on the right side of the car and that the cars drove on the opposite side of the road. After we walked around for a while we went to brunch at a little restaurant. Sadly, the traditional breakfast was not available at the time so we had to get lunch food. Ali and Michael had fish and chips which was an exciting first meal. Then we went to visit where we are performing on Thursday. We went to the hotel and took naps because we were very tired. Most of us were up for 24 hours! Later that day we went out for dinner and ice cream then went to sleep.
Day 2 - Kendra
Today was the big day! We were all very excited when we arrived at FSPA. After a quick final rehearsal, we celebrated our departure. The EY fan club and some EY alumni came to say goodbye before we left for the airport. We ate at the airport and boarded the plane. Everybody was so excited about going to England and France! Because of the long, overnight flight, we were served dinner and breakfast, which we all thought was really cool. Soon enough we could see land and had finally arrived in England!
Day One - Ali
One day until we leave! We've been rehearsing everyday now for a couple of weeks so yesterday and today have been reserved for packing and rest. Everyone has been busy figuring out how to squeeze all their clothes and belongings for 2 1/2 weeks into one suitcase, staying under the 50 lbs limit. We have one last rehearsal before we leave FSPA tomorrow and then we're off to the airport! We're all excited for our first show in four days. Since our last show in July, we have added three new songs. We're also excited to sight-see on our days off. Can't wait for tomorrow!