Our little adventure: 3 days, 4 kids, 1 play, and a new…
Fuel pump? At least it didn’t rain. I almost always get wacky weather on my vacations. Now apparently we get car trouble instead. (Remember our brakes going out in San Francisco?)
At least we are grateful that the check engine light came on as we pulled into Cedar City and not when we were out in the middle of nowhere and out of cell phone range which was where we were headed. I was really miffed though. This was supposed to be our quick, cheap getaway. Now I’m having nightmares about all the things that could go wrong on the *BIG* adventure we’re planning for the fall. But more about that later.
So…We went to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, in what is turning into an annual event for us. This was the third year in a row we’ve taken the boys down and the first time D has been old enough to go to a play. He has been looking forward to it for years. We decided A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be a good choice and we got a super deal on tickets for selected weekday matinees. It pays to read your email! We put E in their childcare and though he had a moment of panic when he realized he was being left with total strangers and clung to my leg as I filled out paperwork, he discovered their train table and barely looked back as I headed out the door.
The play was fabulous! Shakespeare was truly meant to be seen. We have read quite a few simplified tales from Shakespeare and we even watched the BBC animated version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last week which, while it covered the basic plot, left out most of the humor. We got so much more out of seeing it performed live. I never knew how hilarious that play is! We laughed and laughed. It was so enjoyable. I was a little worried when about 20 minutes in, D leaned over and said, “I’m getting bored.” Luckily the physical comedy kicked in shortly thereafter, and he never mentioned boredom again even though he later admitted that he didn’t really follow much of the dialogue. The people in front of us had to comment on what a delightful laugh he had.
Other highlights (and a few lows) from the trip:
- Meeting Grandma and Poppa for dinner as they had also just driven down to Cedar City. That actually kind of confused E. We had said goodbye to them after sleeping at their house the night before, and then here they show up again on our vacation.
- Having the check engine light still on even after an oil and filter change and having to spend the night in Cedar City instead of camping in Red Canyon, which was our original plan.
- Seeing the Shakespeare exhibit at the library–A 1623 first folio edition of Shakespeare’s complete works on loan from the Folger Shakespeare Library in D.C. There were several other display cases of Shakespeare memorabilia as well. Sadly none of his original manuscripts survived a fire in the Globe theater.
- Enjoying tarts and the greenshow while DH worked on the car, at least until E woke up from his nap and had a total meltdown. (I was close to meltdown stage myself over the car and having to change our plans and spend more money on a hotel room, not to mention the car repair, and dealing with an inconsolable toddler for about 30 minutes until DH picked us up. But we survived the night and Big O Tires rushed our fuel pump job the next morning and we were on the road before too long. And after a good night’s sleep, I cheered up too.)
- Lunch in Red Canyon (instead of camping) and telling the boys to find a small rock to hold their paper plates down. This was D’s:
- E was just happy to get out of the car. This trip had the happy effect of convincing us to get plane tickets for our next adventure rather than attempting a cross country drive with a one-year-old. (Not that we were seriously considering it at this point, but someday I do want to drive coast to coast, and we had mentioned it a few times.)
- Enjoying the scenery along Highway 12, past Bryce and Escalante, and up to Capitol Reef National Park. Looking toward Capitol Reef from about 9000 ft. The air was kind of cloudy due to a controlled burn in the forest, but the air here on the Colorado Plateau is generally some of the cleanest in the nation and you can see almost 100 miles in places.
- Trying out our new 8-person tent that had room for both my queen-size air mattress and E’s pack-n-play. (I’m slowly turning into a camper. We never camped when I was young. Four brothers and sisters in wheelchairs maybe had something to do with it?!) E thought it was great fun to play in the tent. Sleeping was another matter.
- This kid was so funny! We had to chase him down constantly because he kept walking off to follow every motor home he saw. He’s so fascinated by RVs!
- D is hilarious as well. He decided to walk around inside the tent box.
- Breakfast next to the red rocks (after waking up to the sound of, “I think I need to throw up.”)
- Finally (in A’s view) getting to hike and finding out how just how badly out of shape I am. I’ve been so exhausted since we got home. (Going on a hike again with A’s scout troop on Saturday morning didn’t help.) We hiked to Hickman Bridge with everybody, then I went on some shorter trails with just the boys while DH, whose knee was sore, sat with E (or ran D back to the visitor’s center because now he has to use the bathroom.)
- The view from our lunch spot:
- E conked out on the grass while we picnicked. I guess the hike to the bridge wore him out even though he was carried the entire way.
- Picking apricots. Remmants of the appropriately named Mormon pioneer settlement Fruita are found at Capitol Reef and visitors are free to eat any fruit in the remaining orchards or you can pay to take fruit home. We brought five pounds of apricots home with us. Yummy!
- Seeing the old one-room Fruita schoolhouse. It was in use until 1941.
- Enjoying the beautiful red rock of southern Utah, whose motto should be “Scenery too big for your camera.”