Thursday, July 30, 2009

On The Road Home

This morning was breakfast and then our last literary seminar before we got in the car heading towards Flagstaff.

We had lunch at Mt. Carmel, Utah and this was our dessert!

The head of the Grand Canyon...

Waupatki National Monument...

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument...

and finally to Flagstaff for the night.

Final Plalys

Another wonderful breakfast this morning and then we went to the literary seminar. We had new plays to talk about and there are always different people there.

The third hour was different today when we had the actor’s seminar. We had the couple from Private Lives who are a married couple in real life. Another interesting aspect for us was that we had seen them in Mamma Mia at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It’s such fun to get to interact with the actors.
Lunch was fruit, nuts and drinks again…we’re not creatures of habit!

The afternoon orientation was held in the outside theater. It started out in the sunshine but ended up in a torrential rain storm.

We learned a little about Foxfire but it is a play that is understandable just by watching. It was a poignant play about living and growing old in the Georgia Appalachian Mountains. It was a collection of stories about the love of family, the love of land, and resistance to change. It was very moving…especially to those of us who live in that area or were raised with those values. I will now find our Foxfire books in the basement and revisit them.

Supper tonight was steak, potatoes and salad.

This is an artisan who was carving walking sticks.

Our last play for this season was As You Like It, a comedy by Shakespeare. It is a play about banishment, love’s found, loves’ lost and love’s found again. It was a great play to end the festival for us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Day with the Bard

This morning we had a full hot breakfast at the hotel before we went to the literary seminars that are held outdoors under a grove of cedar trees. The people who were there discussed the play that we saw yesterday afternoon. The second hour, the evening performances were talked about.

The next hour we went to a costume seminar where we learned how the costumes were made from the drawing to the final product. Bill Black, a consume designer from the University of Tennessee, designed the costumes for two of the plays this year…he has been doing this for 17 years.

We enjoyed a lunch of fruit, nuts, and candy under a huge sycamore tree in the courtyard.

This afternoon’s play was The Secret Garden which was a musical. It is based on a well-known children’s book that is about an orphan who goes to live with her uncle. While in his mansion, she discovers her boy cousin who is confined to his bed due to an unnamed illness. His father is mourning his wife who died in childbirth and makes the son feel unloved. She finds a secret garden and then she and the gardener restore the garden and in turn restores health to the boy. The relationship with the father is also restored. It was a wonderful play.

For supper, we went to the Garden House and we each enjoyed different meals. Mike had pork and I had chicken, while Jo and Duane both had seafood.

The evening’s performance was Henry V by Shakespeare. This is a history play that starts soon after the accession to the throne of young Prince Henry. To increase his popularity, he decides to attack France even though his forces are outnumbered, England wins and Henry returns home as the king of both England and France.
We all nodded off a little in the first half of the play but the fights and love scenes kept us awake in the 2nd half!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Festival Here We Come

This morning we ate breakfast of eggs, bacon, pancakes and toast. After stopping at the Post Office for stamps, we headed toward Cedar City where we will be seeing our 1st play this afternoon. This one will be Private Lives by Noel Coward…a witty comedy.

Along the way we stopped at the Grand Staircase Escalanta National Monument visitor’s center. Mike got a stamp for his passport for the national parks…he hasn’t missed an opportunity for a stamp yet! This particular area is managed by BLM and not the Park Service. The gentleman in the office was very informative about the geological formation that makes up the Grand Staircase. It starts at Bryce Canyon with the pink layer and then terraces down to the grey mountains and then terraces down to the white levels and finally the vermilion levels. So it’s not really a staircase that you can see at one place but seeing it on a map makes it much clearer. The entire monument is 1.9 million acres.

He also filled us on things we had experienced yesterday. The first “adventure” we had was over the Moki Dugway and the second one was on Hogsback…which was a very accurate name for that particular stretch of road.

Our next stop was the Red Canyon visitor’s center, where once again, Mike got a stamp! As we left this area, we drove on the edge of Bryce Canyon, where we have been previously, and were able to see the hoodoos that are so indicative of Bryce Canyon. All of this area is so beautiful and different from where we live.

When we were on the interstate between Salt Lake and Cedar City, we saw lots of hay being grown, watered, mowed and baled. We also passed a milking feedlot that would require much of the hay being grown.

Our first activity at the Utah Shakespearean Festival is an orientation for Private Lives and then we went to see the play which about a couple who divorces and then each of them remarry and go on their honeymoons at the same hotel with adjoining balconies. The plot of the play evolves as the original couple realizes that still want to be together even though they still argue all the time. Right now it is our #6 play for the season!

For supper tonight we went to Milt's Steak House where we had steak, baked potato, salad and rolls. We went to the evening orientation where Fred Adams, the founder of the Festival gave the orientation. We saw The Comedy of Errors which is one of Shakespeare's earliest and smallest works. It is about 2 sets of identical twins and their mistaken identity. There is no social redeeming quality to this is just a comedy of errors.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Canyons and Mesas of Utah

This morning we had a good hot breakfast buffet of eggs, sausage, hash browns, cereal, toast and pastries. It was a nice change from the previous one we had. While at breakfast, we learned that in Farmington, where we stayed, they had just finished hosting the high school national rodeo finals…so many people in starched jeans and cowboy hats that you would have thought were in Texas!

As we drove through the Navajo Nation, we saw many of he things mentioned in Tony Hillerman’s books…chapter houses, hogans, and even Shiprock. We saw such beautiful landscapes and geological formations along the way. We had great conversation and laughter as we drove.
We stopped for gas,$3.02/gallon, since we didn’t know where the next opportunity would be and began an adventure. We turned on the road to take us to Utah and we knew the adventure was about to begin when we saw the sign that read…no RVs, no towing vehicles, nothing over 10,000lbs. The next indication was a sign that said we would be on a gravel, unimproved road with a 10% grade for the next 4 miles. Wow! The views were great and the road was too narrow to pass another car! We climbed about 2000 feet to the top of the mesa. The trip down the other side was much flatter and paved…thank goodness.

The National Bridges National Monument was our next stop. This is the largest concentration of natural bridges in the world. Our driving tour took us by 3 of them.

We had a picnic of cherries, pineapple, strawberries, and nuts before we got in the car for more driving. We crossed the Colorado River and saw more beautiful scenery. One of the named formations that we saw was Jacob's Chair.

We stopped for gas and snacks at a unique convenience was inside a dugout rock!

We stopped by the Capitol Reef National Park visitor's center and enjoyed their movie about the park. This park has a beautiful landscape of multi-hued rock layers. It goes north and south in the heart of the Utah canyon country some 60 miles long. This area was used by early Indians to the days of Mormon pioneers before it was turned into a national park.
The drive to Escalante,Utah, where we will spend the night, was another exciting adventure as we drove through canyons and mesa tops. Included were narrow roads with cliff drop offs on both sides and multiple 14% grade elevation changes. A little scary! While we were driving through the Dixie National Forest we saw many mule deer that were grazing near the even crossed the road right in front of us.
We checked into our motel and then went for dinner at Cowboy Blues...good food.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

To Santa Fe and Beyond

This morning we drove from Santa Rosa about 1 1/2 hours to Santa Fe. One of our first stops was the Loretta Chapel. There we viewed a set of stairs that were built in the 1800s by an unknown carpenter. The way they are built is a one has been able to determine how they are supported. Another odd fact is that the wood used in the construction of the stairs is not available locally and the carpenter disappeared once the stairs were completed.

Historic Route 66 goes through the old part of Santa Fe.

This weekend is the annual Spanish Market...many artisans selling their wares, such as weaving, paintings, tin work, wooden pieces, crosses and other religious artifacts.

We came across this interesting gentleman who had just come to the gathering.
When it was time to eat, we headed for Tomatisa's and ate delicious New Mexico style Mexican food. The 40 minute wait was certainly worth it.

We drove to Farmington, where we are spending the night. The mountains that we drove through gave us many different terrains and geological formations to enjoy.
It was nice to finally have a computer connection that was working!!

Road Trip...3rd Try!

We started our trip in Dallas on Friday by having a delicious breakfast of bacon, creme brule French toast, and fruit.

After loading the car, we were ready to begin our Road Trip.

We stopped at a rest area where we found interesting signs as well as visitors.

We had lunch at the Big Texan restaurant in Amarillo...what good food. This is the place where if you eat a 72 oz. steak, baked potato, salad, 3 shrimp and a roll within an hour, it is free. Otherwise it is $72. About 20% of the people that have tried it over the years, have successfully eaten it within an hour. The record time is under 8 minutes. The oldest successful eater was a 69 year old woman and the youngest was 11. Interestingly, about a half a dozen people have successfully completed it this month.

Another stop was at Cadillac Ranch where an eccentric gentleman has buried 10 1950-1970 models half way in the ground. People have spray-painted them over the years.

We also stopped in Adrian which is the midway point on historic Route 66. The city's motto is " when you are here, you are half way there".

We stopped for the evening in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The view from our room...God paints such a beautiful picture.

Since we only had lunch, we went to DQ for Blizzards...what a way to end a day!

Road Trip...2nd Try

The site is still not working well this morning, so I'm only able to upload one picture in 20 minutes! This is from our room last night...gorgeous. To say the least, we have to move on today. Maybe tonight's top will be better.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Road Trip

We left Dallas on a road trip to Utah this morning. We got to Santa Rosa, NM tonight and the internet is not working in the room, so I'm sitting by the pool and the internet is sooooo s l o w! this is all I'm going to be able to do and words tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Jr. Club Championship started today and the younger kids played 3 holes this afternoon and tomorrow, they will play another 3 holes. Rheagan enjoyed playing today and will finish up in the morning.

We flew to Dallas and rented a car and then drove to Heath to spend the night with our friends.
Jo fixed us a delicious dinner of bar-b-que, slaw, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and lima beans. The dessert was homemade blackberry cobbler with BlueBell ice cream. This is a great beginning of our trip to Utah.