Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FINALLY...MY SHAKESPEAREAN POST ARRIVETH!

So, i find myself doing exactly what I told myself not to do...don't let yourself make excuses for not having time to post!  I've probably been more busy at work during this time of my Pro Look career than at any time before...there are several reasons for this which I wont bore you with the details, but needless to say if I'm not here at the office working late I'm at home working or trying to be a good husband/father and couch potato...the couch usually doesn't get me until late which means I'm watching something late which means I'm going to bed late which means I'm tired when I come in and start the process all over again!

SO, I saw that my last post was before our Shakespeare trip and realized I have the pictures here and throwing them up with some witty prose shouldn't take any time at all!  Alas, my witty prose isn't quite witty enough for me, but I must move on!

So, our trip...we had such high expectations of this trip.  Lissette and I have been going to the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City for nigh unto a quarter score of years and have always looked forward to it.  We did take the kids once about 3 years ago and it wasn't bad, but we do like when it is just us two (Bed and Breakfast and all)...

Well, this year we are going to London and France for my 40th birthday in November, and felt that we should take the kids to the festival since we weren't going to Mazatlan this year and haven't had a trip with them other than Colorado.

We bought our tickets last year for this years plays (you get better seats that way :-) and we had 3 plays lined up.  "Fiddler on the Roof", "Othello" and "The School for Wives".  We talked about it and thought it would be fun to have me take Paris to Fiddler (Tristan was too young) and Lissette would stay with the other two that night.

So, it started out that way.  I took Paris to Fiddler and we had the perfect night.  Paris was SO CUTE and was so excited to go.  I had bought her the music for her iPod before the play and told her to "memorize" the songs.  I am a FIRM believer that if you know the music in a play/concert it will be 500 times better.  Well, she took it literally and listened to the songs almost every waking minute before the play.  Her, Tristan and Esher all sang the songs together on the way down to Cedar.

We got to the theater and I walked her to our seats.  She was SO EXCITED that we were front row in the center.  The seats were amazing and when it started I kept sneaking glances at her.  She was so focused on what was going on and then during the songs she was singing along!  At one point during Matchmaker she turned to me and said, "Dad, she sang that part backwards.  It is supposed to be 'no dowry, no money, no family background' and she sang 'no money, no dowry, no family background' which is backwards."  After giggling at her enthusiasm (and trying to shush her for "whispering" so loud), she put her head on my shoulder and said, "Dad, I don't want this to end.  I'm having too much fun."  I felt EXACTLY the same way.

Our Night Out

Here we are before leaving.   I am a very lucky father!

To top it off, the play was INCREDIBLE!  I can't say enough about that production.  Acting: Superb. Direction: Superb. Set: Superb.  It was easily one of the best plays I've ever seen (not just at the festival, but of any stage production.)  It doesn't hurt that song for song it has the BEST music of any musical I can think of.  Every single song is perfect.

It really was the perfect evening.  But, that is where the "perfect" left our trip unfortunately.  When I got back to the room it was quite late and we went to bed shortly after that.  When we woke up Tristan had a fever and was nauseous. So, we decided to trade in the "Othello" tickets the next day and Lissette would take Paris to see "School for Wives" that night, while I stayed with the kids.  Well, Paris ended up being a TOTAL BUGGER that whole day.  She was acting very selfish, whiny and ungrateful after having such a wonderful night with me the night before and a potential wonderful night with her mom ahead of her.  So, I took back the other tickets and traded them in for next year and Lissette stayed "home" with us.

Did I mention "home" was the worst hotel I've stayed at since my honeymoon?  Our honeymoon hotel had a shattered door frame (from what looked like intruders kicking at the deadbolt) and blood stains on the frame and carpet, so it would be hard to be worse than that place.  But, this place took second for sure.  They had a "pool", so the next day when Tristan's fever was under Advil control, we went swimming.  After about 10 minutes all of our eyes were burning and it was very hard to breath.  It was a horrible mixture of water/chlorine.  Then the sun block Lissette brought but had never used caused a skin irritation of rash/itching to us.  Lissette, sadly, got it the worse on her face.

Then, to finish our "perfect" trip Esher caught the Tristan bug and threw up in our new car on the way home.  Poor guy threw up 5 times on the way home and once he didn't hit the bag but spewed on the seat.

We did take pictures of the fun times though just so when we get old and our memory goes we can look back and truly believe it was the perfect trip :-)

 Top Spot

If you have ever lived in Cedar, you will appreciate this picture.  If you haven't, let me assure you those that have will be drooling right about now.  Best sandwich this side of the Sandwich Islands (of course I'm talking about the Crews Creation).  It also has the BEST Vanilla Dr. Pepper this side of Dublin, Texas.  The place is called Top Spot and I ate there 4 times in 3 days.

 

Daddy Game Wizard

Besides good sandwiches and vanilla Dr. Pepper, i was able to teach my kids the fine art of "big" video games (not XBox, Wii type of games, but the actual large console).  I LOVE Tristan face in this picture.  By the look of her face apparently I'm "kicking ass" :-).

Candy Claw

The kids decided that the "Candy Claw" machine was more their speed.  I didn't mind them playing it because it kept grabbing at candy and dropping until you got something (unlike the "other" claw machine that is evil...see previous post.)

 

Tristan Monkey

Tristan was so cute...she is collecting these little tiny "monkeys" and wanted to buy so many of them.  When she was sick i bought her a few so she could try and complete her collection.  She kept getting the same ones over and over again, but was still all smiles.

esher and tristan playing

Here are Tristan and Esher playing Candyland with mommy while Daddy and Paris were at the play.  Esher picked up the best card in the pile his first card and ended up winning after 2 more moves.  I'm taking this kid to Vegas!

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Even though we canceled the other two plays, we still took them to the Green Show which was a fun performance before each play.

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Here is one of the "wenches" before the show.  She was walking around, speaking in this terribly fake English accent and trying to sell candies.  She really was quite outgoing and I appreciated that she wasn't afraid to yell out at people.  We bought suckers for the kids and laughed at her mildly funny jokes :-)

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Our really good friends Brent and Tammy Christensen just happened to be there that weekend as well, so we turned them on to Top Spot and hung with them at the Green Show.

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Another Green Show group pic so Tammy can save them both after reading this.

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After the Green Show we kicked it on the lawn and played Sorry.  Tristan didn't play because she wasn't feeling well and eventually fell asleep on my shoulder.  I love carrying that girl (not just because she is SO LITE but because she knows how to snuggle up against my neck.)

On our way back to the cars the kids climbed up this little entrance way to one of the buildings.  I love that they love to climb.  My mom, on that other hand, would be DYING right about now.

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Speaking of climbing :-)  The last day we took a drive up to Cedar Breaks.  Even though Tristan wasn't quite done being sick, Esher was starting his illness and Paris was still being a MAJOR BUGGER, I didn't want it to ruin the whole trip :-)  So, here is a shot of the girls on the sign.

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Across the road from the sign was this AMAZING field of flowers.  Lissette wanted to get a pic and here you go.

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And another...

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And one of the whole Fam Damnly (as my dad says)

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And one of our little "flower girl" after Lissette adorned her head with some of them.  This picture is SO STINKING CUTE.  That girl is absolutely gorgeous and totally photogenic.  Yes, I am bias - sue me!  I must not be alone because everybody that walked past her with the flowers in her hair kept stopping, telling her how cute she was and giggling with her.

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Here we are at the canyon.   All the way up to the canyon I kept telling the kids how amazing and fun it was.  Cedar Breaks is pretty overwhelming. But, that didn't stop Tristan from asking, "is this it?  is this the fun?"  Esher had to parrot her like he is want to do.

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A shot of the canyon.  Hard to tell how deep it is from here but take my word for it - it is deeeep.

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one more shot of the canyon.  I was going to put a picture of Esher's pile of puke which was 10 feet from where I'm standing, but decided you didn't need that visual and this was much more apropos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

China!

I really have fallen behind with my posting and this one will be VERY brief because I'm trying to get things together here before going to Cedar City for our annual trip to the Shakespearean Festival.


So, i just wanted to QUICKLY (nowhere near my long prose) say how much i've LOVED watching the Olympics. I was up working on a computer last night until 4:00 am and didn't realize what time it was because I was watching the games.


I am especially excited because it is in China and Lissette and I LOVE China (we even named Tristan after a city in China - her middle name is Xian which is where the Terracotta Army was found). We've been there several times and really enjoy the culture, country and food. The people were wonderful and we were planning on going to the games but things didn't work out. After watching the Opening Ceremonies we were pretty bummed we didn't make a bigger effort.


I know there is some controversy because of China's human rights history and i'm not excusing that at all. We aren't perfect here in the "Promise Land" either. No country is perfect (although Brunei comes close :-), but knowing there are 1.3 billion people that are just trying to live and survive and only a very very very small fraction of those are the leaders who've made some horrible decisions (read Wild Swans - one of my favorite books - for an overview of 20th century Chinese History and Mao's government), makes me wish more people would go and visit this amazing land to meet the rest of the 1.3 billion and find that common ground.


Well, a little longer than I'd thought at the beginning, but NO WHERE NEAR what I really want to say about China. I absolutely love that country! And, i'm SO EXCITED that they got the Olympics and hopefully are showing people what a great land and culture they are.

For those of you that missed the opening ceremony i'd try and find someone that has it in High Def (come on over anytime to watch it at my place)...if you can't, then here are some highlights to show you how cool it was...these little videos don't really even come close to doing it justice, but they do show you some of the coolness of it...

These videos will probably stop working in a while. I searched for the Opening Ceremony and found a TON of them that were taken down. I was surprised to even find these...enjoy!




Man, i really wanted to be there...100 degrees and all!




Not sure how different this one is...it is hard for me to watch this small - sorry...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Old friends and losing touch

UPDATE: Thee wrote to me, so i have her information...i love this blog :-)

As against social sites as I've been in the past (HATED MySpace for the longest time - even after having my own page and junk), I've really enjoyed keeping up on everyone's lives and putting my thoughts and pics up for all to see. I'll still have a small part of my heart loathing the whole MySpace experience but that is probably because i'm too old for the kid look of it (although i did get to reunite with some great old friends on it because i have an account), but I've been really grooving on this blogging thing (still not enough pictures for my woman, but what can I do - i like to type and can pretty much type like the wind at around 100 WPM)...

This blog has totally paid off this past week since i got a comment from an old friend that i completely lost touch with. I'm a bit sad she didn't leave me any contact info and this post is partially to let her know that I'd like her to leave a comment with her e-mail address (don't worry, I'll delete it after i save it so it wont be there for all to see for too long :)

Her name is Kathy, but i always called her Thee...we were amazing friends for a VERY short time in Vegas...I had just returned from my mission and met her at a singles dance. I was instantly drawn to her because she reminded me of my friends from High School...you know the type - they look like they have the Cure going through their head on repeat, got the eyeliner on dark and the clothes even darker...her hair was dyed and she was wearing the coolest clothes, boots and i believe a hat - but I could be miss-remembering that one....This was in 1990, so she was pretty much the only person there that looked like that and it still wasn't a common look in those days, no matter how much my small circle of friends tried to show everyone how cool it looked :-) So, i went up to her and started chatting with her and we ended up hanging out a ton after that, up until she went back to Oregon. We went to the very first Lollapalooza in Arizona, road tripped to Provo and just hung out listening to good music and talking about good music...we were really close to Wayne and Ann from Vegas as well and i have great memories of that time. I even went to Oregon a couple of times to visit her after she moved back home.

So, I am glad she got a hold of me again because I've always felt a bit sad at the way we lost touch. I was not a very good friend to her the last few times we talked, and i've always felt bad about that. She was going through some difficult times and I dropped my end of the friendship relay baton. Lissette and I drove up the Oregon Coast and into Portland on a road trip before we had Paris and I called her (the last time we talked), but didn't end up going to see her. I've always felt pretty bad about that and wish I'd gone to see her and kept in touch with her.

So, I'm glad she wrote to me and I'm hoping she reads this and gets me her info...that would be great, but if not just knowing she she read my blog once makes me glad i have it...

Rock on Thee...