October 15, 2002

The flight was relatively painless. Southwest let all six cellos on board with minimal fuss: we pre-boarded, and secured our instruments in the proper seats (using seat belt extensions). They did try to get us to take our cellos out of their cases to be passed through the x-ray machine, but after we refused to do so, they allowed us to put our cellos through while in their cases. I've heard that Orange County Airport is using federally supervised security this weekend, so the trip back may not be as smooth.

After checking into the Holiday Inn, we walked two blocks and found a fantastic Japanese restaurant called "Oki Doki Asian Cuisine." It does not say anywhere on the outside of the place that they are a Japanese restaurant. Instead, they advertise themselves as serving "Chinese, Vietnamese, and Asian food," but the food was really incredible. I have a feeling that we will be going there often this week. :) It turns out that they also have a sushi bar in Osaka, so they're pretty serious. :)

The chorus and the rest of the orchestra have taken over the hotel, and everyone has been nice and friendly. The chorus is from Caracas, and they have a special energy about them. All of us are excited about starting rehearsals tomorrow morning!