Showing posts with label road trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label road trips. Show all posts

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mt. Rushmore with Sean

Last summer Marilyn and I took Sean on a road trip to the Four Corners Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park.  Apparently, summer road trips are now a tradition so we asked Sean where he wanted to go this year and he picked Mt. Rushmore.  We went last weekend and, aside from a very long drive, we had so much fun!  Sean said that the view was worth the drive!
At the entrance to the monument.
Sean in front of a sculpture of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who created Mt. Rushmore.
The plaza leading up to the monument.
It is quite impressive!
Sean and I walked along the Presidential Trail to get a few different perspectives of the presidents.  We ate lunch at the cafeteria and, of course, we had to get some of the famous ice cream.
As we drove away from the monument there was a turnout to get a really good view of Washington's profile.  It is pretty spectacular.
Sean posing in front of the sign in his new Mt. Rushmore hoodie!
In the late afternoon we decided to visit the Crazy Horse Monument.  So far only the head has been completed and they have started working on the horse.  It doesn't seem like much has been done when you look at what the completed monument is supposed to look like but it is quite different from what I remember seeing as a kid.  Sean really liked the Native American museum.  In the evening we went back to Mt. Rushmore for the evening patriotic program and to see the monument illuminated.  It was a great day.  Marilyn and I had so much fun with Sean and it seemed like we were laughing all of the time at everything he said.  He means so much to both of us and I am so happy that we could take him on this road trip.  He is already thinking of where he wants to go next year!

Note:  It was the beginning of the Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis so we saw lots and lots of motorcycles which was really cool.  The street in front of our hotel was lined with parked motorcycles.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Utah Shakespeare Festival 2017

On Thursday I spontaneously decided to take a road trip to Cedar City (about four hours south of SLC) to see a few Utah Shakespeare Festival productions and I had a great time!  I saw a matinee performance of Guys and Dolls, a musical I have seen countless times, and, for the most part, I really enjoyed it.  The story, which is a bit dated but a lot of fun, revolves around the romantic struggles between Nathan Detroit (Quinn Mattfeld), who runs the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, and Miss Adelaide (Melinda Parrett), his fiancee of fourteen years, as well as Sky Masterson (Brian Vaughn), a gambler, and Sarah Brown (Alexander Zorn), a sergeant with the Save-a-Soul Mission trying to reform him.  All four of the lead actors give wonderful performances and I especially enjoyed Zorn's over-the-top antics in "Havana" and Parrett's hilarious rendition of "Adelaide's Lament." I also laughed out loud at the comedic turns by Leslie Brott as General Cartright and James Newcomb as Big Jule.  The big song and dance numbers "Luck Be a Lady," and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" featured fantastic choreography.  My only complaint with this show was the set, which didn't seem to me to be up to Utah Shakespeare Festival standards.  The set for the Save-a-Soul Mission, specifically, was rotated multiple times so that the seemingly unfinished back faced the audience.  I don't know if this was done intentionally for artistic reasons but it looked rather shabby.  It reminded me of something you would see in an amateur production (Hunter High has better sets and they are performing Guys and Dolls in the fall).  In the evening I saw Romeo and Juliet in the wonderful Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre and I absolutely loved it!  Everyone is familiar with the story of star-crossed lovers and their feuding families but this production was very fresh.  While Shakespeare's language is retained, I felt that the actors delivered their lines with a very modern sensibility making the play more accessible to everyone, including the young people sitting near me who were enthralled.  I was particularly struck by the juxtaposition between the almost light-hearted first half with the weighty and tragic second half.  The contrast worked very well.  Shane Kenyon and Betsy Mugavaro are perfect as Romeo and Juliet with very passionate performances but, in my opinion, Jeb Burris steals the show as Mercutio.  He is incredibly appealing in his early scenes and his death scene was most affecting.  I also really enjoyed Leslie Brott's performance as the nurse, which made me laugh out loud at times and cry at others.  It is an intense production which will surprise audience members who think they know the story.  I was able to have a few of the signature tarts in between shows so my day was a success.  Go here for more information about the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Grand Teton National Park

My friend Rich teaches a class called the American West at Hunter High School.  During the summer, he takes a group of students from the class on a camping trip to Grand Teton National Park.  This year I went along as a chaperone.
I have been to Yellowstone many times but I have never camped at Grand Teton National Park and it was beautiful!
We stayed in the campsite by Coulter Bay in tents that were almost like cabins because they had reinforced walls and a roof.  They were pretty nice but it was very cold at night.  There was a wood-burning stove but we let the fire go out the first night.  I was vigilant about keeping the fire going the second night!  I was with the girls in this cabin.
On the second day we went rafting on the Snake River.  The level of the river was higher than anyone remembers it ever being and the guides were even nervous about the conditions.  They gave us a safety briefing that was comprehensive, to say the least.  After that I didn't know if I wanted to do it any more!  To be honest, I was pretty terrified.  I had gone river rafting once before on the Athabasca River in Canada but that was a bit tamer than the Snake River.  They made us wear wet suits because the water was so cold.
Here we are in our raft before we started down the river.  Notice that I am in the back in the middle.  Our guide wanted the two bravest people in the front as the lead paddlers and the most scared person in the back!  Ha ha!
Rafting the river was amazing!  We hit some really big rapids and we all got drenched but it was a thrill!  It felt like the biggest roller coaster you can imagine but it was completely out of control.  I loved it!  Our guide took this picture of us on a calm portion of the river!
On the third day we went on a hike around Jenny Lake which gave us spectacular views.
This was such a fun trip and the students were so great.  Some of my favorite moments were sitting in the bathroom charging our phones, making s'mores by the fire every night, an epic Monopoly game, and the Hootenanny in Moose.  I hope I am invited to go again next year! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Yellowstone with Sean and Tashena

Over Labor Day weekend in 2010, my family went on a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park.  It is one of my very favorite trips because I got to spend so much time with Sean and Tashena.  Marilyn and I stayed at a cabin at the KOA near the park while Kristine, Trent, and the kids had their camper at a site near us.  The kids spent a lot of time hanging out at the cabin with us and we loved it!
The weather was perfect and it was so much fun seeing all of the different geysers and pools.  We would get up really early to be out and about when the animals were most active.  Here are some of the pictures from around the park.
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