Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Zion National Park

Since we drove to St. George after visiting the Grand Canyon, we decided to drive through Zion National Park on the way home.  It is one of my very favorite places on earth and Sean had never been there.
Even though it was the Fourth of July, it was not as crowded as I feared (after our fun in the Grand Canyon).  We went pretty early and found lots of parking.  Sean really liked the tunnel (we always honk the horn when we go through a tunnel) and he loved climbing the rock formations.
I have so many memories of taking road trips when I was Sean's age, especially to Zion, and I hope that he has fond memories of this road trip with his crazy aunts!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Grand Canyon National Park

On Sunday we drove from Farmington, New Mexico (where we spent the night) to see the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.  It was about a five hour drive to the South Rim.  We had originally wanted to walk along the Skywalk but we learned that it is a five hour drive from the park entrance and that it cost $80.00 each!  We decided to stay at the South Rim instead.  It was unbelievably crowded (I may or may not have had a small meltdown trying to find a parking spot) but we were able to have lunch and see a viewpoint near the Grand Canyon Village.
It is very impressive (almost worth all of the trouble we had getting a parking spot).  We ended up going on the Desert View Drive on our way out of the park and we were able to stop at every viewpoint.  We should have done this to start with!
It was a little bit stressful at first to visit the Grand Canyon but it ended up being a good day.  Go here for more information.

Note: While we were driving through Arizona I noticed a sign for the city of Winslow.  Marilyn and I got really excited and asked Sean to pose on a corner.
He thought we were crazy until we played him "Take It Easy" by the Eagles.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Four Corners Monument

A couple of weeks ago Sean mentioned, completely out of the blue, that he wanted to visit the Four Corners Monument where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado meet.  He had learned about it this year while studying U.S. geography and knew all kinds of interesting facts.  He mentioned it several times and, being someone who is always up for an adventure, I said that we should go there on a weekend road trip and Marilyn agreed.  I'm not entirely sure that I meant it when I said it but Sean definitely thought I meant it and told his parents that Marilyn and I were taking him on a road trip!  How could we disappoint him?  Marilyn and I decided that if we were going to go down south we might as well hit up a few other noteworthy attractions and go over the Fourth of July weekend (when Marilyn had some time off).  We left early Saturday morning (because Sean thinks it is more fun to start on a road trip in the dark) and made it to the monument in about six hours.  It is in the middle of nowhere.  In fact, we made several wrong turns!  It costs $5.00 per person (when we read up on the monument we learned that they only take cash so we were prepared).  You are allowed to take pictures but you have to wait in a line.  We got there at just the right time because after we had taken our pictures, the line stretched out to the parking lot!  Sean wanted a picture of him touching all four states so he did a push-up (his leg is barely in New Mexico).  There are all kinds of stands around the monument selling Native American crafts and they only take cash!  Sean was a little bit disappointed that they had sold out of these beautiful bows and arrows (he's really into archery right now) but he did find a key chain.  There is really not a lot to do here except take your pictures and browse the stalls (we were there less than an hour) but Sean was fascinated.  This was his very favorite part of the trip.  Go here for more information.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Patriotic Celebration at Sundance

I began and ended the week with Utah Symphony performances!  Not too shabby!  Last night I saw them perform at the Sundance Mountain Resort and it was absolutely wonderful.  It has been so hot in the valley this past week so it felt really good to be up in the mountains with a cool breeze and the smell of the pine trees.  I just love listening to music under the stars!  The orchestra performed several well known patriotic pieces by John Philip Sousa (which was a great way to start the Independence Day celebrations), including "The Liberty Bell Waltz" and "The Stars and Stripes Forever."  They also played the "Armed Forces Salute" and had members of each branch of the armed forces, past and present, stand when their theme was played.  This year the cutest little old lady stood for the Coast Guard.  I would love to know her story!  The orchestra also played a lovely rendition of "The Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss II which caused the cute couple sitting next to me to sigh!  Just for fun they played several songs from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including "March of the Resistance" and "Scherzo for X-Wings."  I love the music from that movie.  My favorite piece of the evening was the first movement from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (which they played at the Gallivan Plaza last Monday).  I certainly enjoyed listening to it again.  Have you been to a Utah Symphony performance lately?  It is the perfect way to spend a summer evening!  Go here for more information about upcoming performances.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beethoven, Mozart, & More at the Gallivan Plaza

I think it is a well established fact that I absolutely love attending performances outside in the summer.  There is just something about listening to music under the stars that I love and, when the Utah Symphony is involved, it is even better.  When that concert is free, it is an evening that is not to be missed!  Last night the Utah Symphony began a series of free community concerts (go here for more information) with a performance of classical favorites at the Gallivan Plaza downtown.  I loved every minute of this concert!  I brought a blanket and a picnic and, after a while, there was a lovely breeze so it was the perfect summer evening.  The orchestra played selections from Rossini, Faure, Handel, Tchaikovsky, and Gershwin which were wonderful.  After the intermission they played  the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (those first four instantly recognizable notes got the crowd going) and Mozart's Symphony No. 35, which was brilliant (I love Mozart).  There was a little girl in the audience near where I was sitting who dramatically conducted the entire concert (Associate Conductor Rei Hotada may have some competition) and it was awesome!  It was a lovely evening!

Note:  There are lots of free concerts scheduled at the Gallivan Plaza throughout the summer.  Go here for more information.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Peter Pan

Do you need something fun to do with the kiddos?  Take the second star to the right and straight on 'till the Murray Park Amphitheater and you will find a delightful production of the musical Peter Pan.  I absolutely love seeing live performances outside during the summer and I find community theatre to be really fun and quirky so I took a little picnic to the park before the show and spent a lovely evening under the stars last night.  The musical tells the well-known story of a boy who refuses to grow up and his adventures in Neverland with the three Darling children.  Fred Lee is absolutely wonderful as Peter Pan!  He has a great voice with charisma to spare and his dancing (and flying) is so much fun to watch.  The children are absolutely adorable (the Lost Boys seem to have multiplied), the Indians are incredible dancers (the Indians have multiplied, too), especially Kellie Lawson as Tiger Lily, and the pirates are suitably boisterous (and so have the pirates).  I also really enjoyed Ned Searle as Smee and Jim Dale as Captain Hook.  They have really great chemistry and I particularly enjoyed it when Hook would use his hook to bop Smee on the head (with accompanying sound effects).  The costumes are quite elaborate, especially Captain Hook's ensemble.  I loved his lace jabot!  The crocodile (Andrew Walker) also has a really great costume.  This is a really technical show and I thought all of the flying effects and the Tinkerbell ("I believe! I believe!") effects were very well done, especially for an opening night!  I did think the scenes on Captain Hook's ship were a bit chaotic with all of the extra cast members (How did the maid get to Neverland?) but, as I said, community theatre is quirky.  It is a really fun show that children are sure to enjoy.  It runs at the Murray Park Amphitheater until June 25 at 8:00 every night (except Sunday).  Adult tickets are $10.00 and child tickets are $5.00.  See you in Neverland!

Note:  Go here for a complete schedule of entertainment at the Murray Park Amphitheater this summer.  I am quite excited for Camelot!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Let's Go Bees!

Saturday night I took Sean and Tashena to see the Bees play the Fresno Grizzlies.  It was extremely crowded, probably the biggest crowd I've ever seen at a Bees game (I do not like crowds).  It was a good game, however, with both teams scoring lots of runs.  The Bees scored five runs in the fifth inning and then there was a dramatic home run in the sixth.  At the bottom of the ninth the score was tied at 7 but the Bees scored a fantastic out-of-the-ballpark home run to win the game 8-7.
Sean just comes for the ice cream but this time he opted for a cone instead of the baseball helmet!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Drive-In Movie

Another summer tradition that I have with Sean is to see a drive-in movie.  We always go to the store and stock up on movie theatre candy and then pick a movie to see at the Redwood Drive-In.  This year I convinced Sean that we should see Jurassic World (with his parents' permission) and he was really excited about it but, as the movie progressed, he got a bit scared of the dinosaurs.  He even climbed to the back seat and hid his head during some of the battle scenes.  He spent the night at my house and it was a bit fun getting him to go to sleep!
Despite the scary dinosaurs and a major M&M spill in the back seat (I'm a little bit OCD), we had a lot of fun.  Drive-in movies always remind me of my childhood and I'm glad that the Redwood (one of the few remaining drive-ins still in operation) is available so Sean and Tashena can enjoy this summer ritual.
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