European Tour: Germany

European Tour: Germany

Dachau Concentration Camp and Rothenburg


Welcome to the finale of the series!


When we finally arrived in Germany, we were all so tired; which could've easily been because we slept the entire way. At this point in the trip, we didn't necessarily care about performing anymore (because that's the whole reason we were there in the first place, remember?). We just wanted to do the rest of the site-seeing and fly home because a decent number of us were finally getting homesick. A little late in the trip, but whatever. Enough people were cheating on their significant others that were back in the States anyway, so it was about time that reality caught up to them and set them straight.

Anyway, we got to the first destination in our last country, Dachau. Before we went to the "main event", we grabbed lunch at this cute local restaurant that had the best hospitality (great change from Venice, that's for sure). We had some laughs and some great food and moved on to our location of choice: The Dachau Concentration Camp. Suddenly get silent? Yeah. That was us when we walked through the gates.

Not a single one of us uttered a word the entire time we were there. I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't talking because I literally couldn't find the words. I felt rage, shock, and remorse the entire time. Seeing where these people were forced to sleep, their bathrooms, their places of worship compared to what the Nazis had.. it brought tears to my eyes. The fact that the gas chambers appeared to be showers disgusted me. The Nazis were able to get these helpless people so hopeful to finally be able to shower, and they had no idea that they were about to parish. The fact that the crematories were so close made it even more unsettling.

We were able to walk around the areas of execution, where they just blatantly shot people, and see and mass graves that were around the camp. Yes. That's plural. Very. Plural.

Not that this made it any better, but when the camp was (slightly) renovated for tours, the workers made beautiful gardens on top of the graves. It was to represent that although they passed in such a horrific way, they were able to rest "peacefully" and know that they, and what happened to them, would never be forgotten.

One of the many gardens

We ended up watching a documentary about what had happened at this camp specifically. The tears that shed from all of us earlier didn't compared to these. We were all heartbroken and disgusted at the fact that it went on for so long; most of it we weren't even aware of until it was too late. When the US became aware, our soldiers liberated all the camps.

A memorial was put up in the concentration camp. Not only for Dachau, but for all. This happened, despite what ignorant people say, and shouldn't be forgotten. I'll admit, the memorial is beautiful...but troubling.

Holocaust Memorial at the Dachau Concentration CampJordyn Leach

After this speechless and shocking destination, we moved on to a new place that turned everything around. I guess they planned it that way so we wouldn't go home depressed? Yeah, I'll accept that. We moved on to Rothenburg, which still had a medieval vibe to it and it was the best thing ever. Some friends and I took the Night-watchman tour, walked along the wall of the town, shopped in the plaza, and just had an amazing time. PSA: their chocolate ice cream puts ours to shame, don't @ me.

Our last performance was in the middle of the plaza and it was the best. I think it was because we were celebrating the fact that it was the end and we could give our mouths and hands a break. Peep at the (sideways) clarinet/bass clarinet section:

Best section by the way ;)Jordyn Leach

During the last night of the trip, we all separated into our bus groups and created skits. Most of them were just the buses roasting each other about things that happened during the trip, so there was non-stop laughter. I may be a little biased, but ours was the best one because we made a parody reading of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'. It was brilliant and clever and everyone loved it :) Peep at the best bus around:

Orange Bus AmbassadorsJordyn Leach

Just so happens that our bus was the orange bus. So in other words, go pokes ;)

Thanks for reading! We'll be back to normal articles next time!

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything


Waking up bright and early we first took the tour bus to the country side of Florence where we visited a medieval town full of shops that lined a beautiful countryside.

CountrysideBrooke Burney

We spent about three hours here just looking around, buying things, and taking pictures. Once the three hours were up, we went to a winery where they explained how they made wine with the grapes in their vineyard.

In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.

Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.

Brooke Burney

After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.

Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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