September 9, 2008

We had the most marvelous time in Utah. We went to BROADWAY IN THE DESERT in St George to see my all time favorite play, LES MIZ. This trip had been planned since April, so as it drew closer I got more excited. We have had a truly marvelous summer. We are grabbing each brass ring. It's finally sinking in through in my husband's head that we have to do this. We always dreamed of going away one weekend a month. Truthfully, even though it's just the two of us, in this economy we still cannot do that. However, the few side trips and large trips we have made in the last few years has made up for the years in the 70's and 80's when we were lucky we could afford the car and go food shopping with it.

Steve has a horrible memory. He can read and remember everything. However, he cannot remember if he is told something. Unlike myself who can remember way too much of what someone has told me but cannot read and remember most anything on the written page. It can be extremely frustrating for both of us. So in the last few years when it finally dawned on us that was the problem, we decided to embrace our differences and use them accordingly. I am the memory. He is the reader. It seems to work 90% of the time.

Steve forgot he saw Les Miz in Las Vegas 5 years ago. He loved it then and he loved it more when we saw it last week. The drive to St George is about 2 hours or so from our home. We always get lost and now that we have a portable GPS system, it has helped us not only to get to our destination, but there is hardly an argument in the car getting there. The scenery with the mountains on the way to St George is stunning. We have glorious mountains where we live, but for some reason theirs are stunning. We got to our motel and to our surprise, the room was ready. We got in and immediately put on our bathing suits and got into the pool. It was 102 degrees in St George. The pool was quite refreshing.  We took a little nap and then got dressed for the show. 

The drive to the show was about 15 minutes. It is in an outdoor Amphitheater and up in the mountains.

Breathtaking, to say the least. Last week, when I gave Steve the option of eating at the outdoor buffet in the theater area, he agreed. I purchased the tickets online and we were ready to roll. The dinner was fine. The food was good. The people were great. However, the bees were in full gear. There is a reason I do not like eating outdoors. So perhaps that wasn't my best choice to do so. After dinner, we listened to a small concert of two of the people who performed in Les Miz doing songs from their individual CDs. They each performed Barry Manilow, Garth Brooks, etc songs. The best part was that we all sang along and no one told us to SHHHHSH.

On to the show. The gates opened to this lovely theater and we found our reserved seats. Are you ready? Row D CENTER. Not chopped liver. Absolutely perfect seats!!. I asked the gentleman in front of us to take our photo. Steve was probably embarrassed, but when it's only the two of you, one is out of the photo all the time. Why not ask someone to take a photo of the two of you as a memory? Well that's my theory. And frankly once the photo was taken, Steve was happy about it. I love being in photos. And so does Steve.


The show was the best we had ever seen. This was my fourth go round of seeing this show. I saw it on the Broadway stage in NY as well as two times in Las Vegas. This was the absolute best cast and the best lead Jean Val Jean I have ever heard. We were so impressed that we vowed to come back next year for whatever shows are available.

We came home the next day and rewashed and repacked and in less than 24 hours were on a plane to Houston. Luckily, I can sleep standing up so sleeping on an airplane is not a challenge. We arrived on time and went directly to meet, Ali, Anna and Seth. When Seth saw us all he could do was jump and down and run to kiss Grandma Max and Grandpa Steve. There is no money or gift better than that. We then went to get our luggage with our grandson holding both Steve and my hand and off we went to have lunch. Seth's new favorite place is Chic fil A. We do not have one here in Vegas so it was fun trying a new fast food place. Ali decided it would make more sense to go through the drive thru and bring the food home. So we did that and enjoyed our first meal at their home. Anna was in her high chair grabbing her Cheerios and she was cooing and laughing and babbling. Then Ali needed to take the dog out for his shot. She left the children with us (oh boy now that was soo difficult) and we had a great time with the kids.

We played and had fun with the kids. We ate with both the bigger kids and our grand ones. We went to a hatchery to view the fish.

That was really fun. Out to lunch at Chili's. Just a wonderful time. We even had a family portrait taken at JCPenneys.  Again very gratifying. There were many highlights. My daughter-in-law continues to amaze me with her wonderful way she brings love to her family, which includes us. I do not feel like a guest in their home. I feel truly like family and that's the way it should be. My little granddaughter is just the sweetest thing. Her temperament is perfect. Rarely complains.

She is a self soother and self starter. However, my grandson, her brother, can look at his little sister and her world revolves around him. He takes her hand or says her name and all is right with the world. Our son surprised us with something. He told us something in great confidence, and I will not repeat what he told us. However, it took 4 yrs for him to even mention something that he and his wife are doing to make a difference in this world. I always talk about paying it forward and now I've found out, my children are doing the same. Steve and I couldn't be more proud. My little grandson has his ritual in the evening like most 3 1/2 year olds. Dinner, bath, story (he reads to his sister) and then he picks an adult to cuddle with. Now since we were there, Steve got one night I got two nights to cuddle. During cuddling time in his room, he picks a subject and the adult (me) comes up with 3 words and I spell them. He tells me the words and then we make up a story. After a quick story he looks at the clock in his room and when it reaches 7:28 pm (don't ask me why) he gets into bed. Then I kiss him goodnight. (His parents came in later as did Steve). So the final night, I was there cuddling with my darling Seth, I said, "Seth, this is my last night cuddling because Grandpa and I are going home tomorrow."  He looked at me, stood up and walked over to me in his bed and said, "Grandma let me give you an extra hug so you won't miss me as much." Now tell me? What else is there? There is no  amount of money or any material subject or matter that will give me this type of joy. My children and my little children and my husband too give me the greatest gift of all, and that is happiness. Can you tell I am ready for my next trip to Houston? I am one lucky lady and the beauty of all is I know it. All I can say is the NOW is not tomorrow or yesterday. Make and take it now and enjoy the memories now NOT the what ifs or should have beens.

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