This is Kelly Kirkpatrick, the captain of the corps color guard for the 2000
season. Im writing from a bus on my way to France from Holland. The Euro
experience for the Blue Devils has been nothing less than amazing. Our first
stop was in Germany where we were treated with much kindness and understanding.
We stayed in the small town of Bad Munder, which had an awesome ice cream/ pizza
parlor. We practiced and performed for a great crowd of people and were able
to spend our free time with the members of the Starriders Drum and Bugle Corps.
A lot of our time was spent wandering around Bad Munder, but we also had time
to wander around Hameln and Hanover. Hameln is the home of the piper that chased
the rats out of their city. The city was rich with history and storybook themes.
Hanover was home to the World Exp. (basically a bunch of clothing and souvenir
stores). I did some shopping and a lot of eating. Touring a castle was one of
the best Germany experiences for me.
Holland was a great experience. Our field show performance was embraced with
loud enthusiasm from the crowds; they loved us. I think it was the first time
I heard an air horn going off before and after one of our shows. We stayed in
the Eindhoven Arena, which was huge, and indoors I might add. Rehearsal was really
productive and our show is coming along beautifully. Last night we had a free
day in Amsterdam which was both exciting and full of culture. I went to the Van
Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, took a canal ride around the whole city, and
of course shopped. Oops, how could I leave out the best part? I ate
I ate, and I ate! The best was the Hard Rock Café Amsterdam; my bacon
cheeseburger made my day.
So as I sit here on my way to Paris I cant help but be anxious and excited
for the next adventure that awaits the Blue Devils. Hopefully Ill be able
to find a phone that I can use to call home to the U.S.; my family must be anxious
to hear about this wonderful adventure. We have only ten days left then its competition
and show no mercy straight into finals. The fire was lit back in California and
it only burns brighter and stronger with each day heading into DCI. An amazing
person once said, " You have to grab on to the roller coaster and ride.
Dont let it get carried away, take control and ride". DCI, here we
Well we are in are 2nd week of are European Tour and we are now traveling to
lovely Paris. We just got back from are off day in Amsterdam where the sights,
canals, and people are the greatest. When we first got there, we were dropped
off in front of the Central Train Station where we all went to exchange our money.
Groups of us went off and I took a couple of trips in some museums and then took
an hour-long canal ride around the city. We then went and visited Anne Franks
house which was very interesting knowing that at one time her and her family
were staying in the same building that I was standing in. We all then got hungry
and went to Hard Rock Café. The food was great as always and I also got
a couple of cool souvenirs. We then had to go to the Red Light District, everyone
there is always talking about it and thats one place that most people know
of Amsterdam. So we went. And for the guys, I found a restaurant better then
Hooters. This trip has been great so far and we know its going to get even better
when we arrive in Paris in a couple of hours. Its raining here of course and
it seems like its been raining almost every day since we arrived in Holland.
Hopefully the skies will clear as we arrive and will have sunny skies from here
on out. Im having a great time and everyone has been so great to us and
I want to say Thank You to all of you who helped us again. Hopefully Ill
have a chance to write more with are days after Paris. Hello to everyone that
reads this and will see you back in the US.
Contra Section Leader "The Line"
Well, I have 32 days left
. EVER!!!! Who would of ever thought that wed
have free-days in Amsterdam last night, Paris tonight and tomorrow, plus weve
already had 3 nights off in Germany. There are many corps in Europe that we have
had the chance to meet. The Starriders hosted us in Germany and Die Tambourijnen
in Holland. I was shocked to see people that I had marched with over 5 years
ago on the other side of the world. Everything here is so old. It is nice to
see parts of the world that I probably would have never seen otherwise.
BD 98 99 2000
In the past few days I have been in 4 different countries, which is really amazing.
During the U.S. tour we cross borders of states, here we cross countries, where
we find a new language and new money to try to figure out how much items cost
in American dollars. In Germany we stayed in a small town that reminded most
of us of the Germany section at Epcot Center. Every night after practice most
people made their way to the pizza place across town. It was the only place to
get a good snack because everything else closed at around 6 p.m. The people were
very nice, and the kids from the corps there helped us out in any way they could.
In Holland we stayed at a sport center which was very large inside, sort of like
a dome football stadium. We practiced on the next door soccer field, which was
home to the Dutch football national champion Eindhoven soccer team. I think we
tore their field up a little, but it will grow back. The food in Holland was
amazing. The people good pastas and other familiar foods to us, which we all
looked forward to eating at the meals. They even had a barbecue for us, with
chicken, hamburger, pork, and sate, which was pork on a stick with peanut sauce.
The barbecue was really a treat for us. Yesterday we went to Amsterdam. It was
a good time going to the museums and jazz clubs and just looking around. The
city was so big 1 day didnt really give us enough time, but it was a good
visit. Right now I am on the bus driving into Paris. I think we just went by
one of the airports because I saw an Air France 747 fly over. Tonight we get
time off in Paris and tomorrow we have all day. I am really looking forward to
Paris. I took a few years of French in high school, so I sort of know a little
bit about the city. So far this trip has been amazing and Im sure it will
continue to be awesome.
BD 99 2000
My favorite and most enjoyable experience while we were in Europe had to be in
Paris. Besides having two free days, Ive always wanted to go. The best
was going to the Eiffel Tower! Going up the elevator that felt like it would
never stop all the way to the very top. The view was so amazing! The people just
kept getting smaller and smaller, along with everything else. The next best thing
would be going to visit famous paintings and sculptures, like Aphrodite and the
Mona Lisa at the Louvre.
One of the reasons I joined the Blue Devils is because they have performance
opportunities other than a field show. I performed my first theatre show in Hamlin,
Germany. I definitely enjoyed the change of pace and the chance to showcase our
talent in a different manner. The performance was well received and we were given
a standing ovation punctuated by shouts for "more" until we granted
them with an impromptu encore performance. Again, the crowd went wild and the
whole thing was an excellent experience. We then had the rest of the day off
to explore Hamlin.
Touring Europe with a drum corps has been a unique experience. It is totally
different from a regular trip to Europe. Not only did we get to visit the beautiful
cities of Paris, Hamlin, Hanover, Bad Munder, Eindhoven and Brugge, but we also
did shows here in Europe and got to experience a European crowd. They were totally
enthusiastic and were a fun crowd to perform to. They are a little bit crazier
than in America. They blow these horns, cheer songs, and always yell for an encore.
Meeting the local drum corps members was also cool. The Starriders were great
hosts in Germany and a fun group of people. Knowing people from a country half
way around the world are doing this activity for the same reason and they are
just as eager for their goal. This has definitely been a fabulous experience
and I am glad I had the chance to be here with The Blue Devils.
These last few weeks have been very interesting and definitely a learning experience.
All the people that have been host to us have been very nice and gracious. There
are also many drum corps fans here in Europe wanting autographs, shirts, drum
sticks, etc. They wanted to drum with the drummers, spin with us and hang out
on our free time. We have all made many new friends and have had a great time
on and off the field. I am a rookie and an age out and I couldnt have asked
for anything more for my first year and my last year with The Blue Devils.
I remember when high school marching band bus trips used to be so fun! Drum corps
has definitely changed my point of viewspecifically the past week. It seems
like we spent three days straight on that bus. OH WAIT
we did spend three
days on a bus! I was pleasantly surprised upon arrival in La Flotte, France.
I three course meal!! It started with a salad, followed by a duck soufflé of
some sort. But what made the meal for me was the large glass and the never ending
supply of Coca-Cola and some random orange beverage. I am sure I speak for the
entire corps when I say that Devils Food (our food truck) will truly be a sight
for sore eyes. I personally have had no problem with the food here in Europe.
It is the small cups that Europe seems to like so much. It seems like we are
all anxious to get back to the states. I heard today that this is the coldest
summer Europe had had in the past 100 years. Its been pretty rugged at times!
As this trip draws to a close, I wonder how this tour effects the drum corps
activity? Then I think about the girl in La Flotte that said she and her friends
dreams have become a reality by having seen the blue uniforms and hearing the
music we play. That makes it all worth while!!!
The most memorable part of my trip was the warm welcome we received from our
German fans at the first show. As we walked on the field the announcer said, "Show
us how its done Blue Devils!" Its such a great feeling to know
that everyone watching you wants to see you do well. It just makes the competitive
edge that much more fun and exciting.