Tag: travel

Visiting Bryce, Cedar City and the Classic Famiy Road Trip

05 Take Me Home Country Road

As I have mentioned many times on this blog that the last summer has been crazy for me.  I have gone from having one job, to thinking I had no job, to having 4 jobs!  In the next few weeks things should down as we have 3 of the vacation rentals converted into long term rentals.  I am glowingly proud of my work with these rentals. I think it is amazing I found 3  long-term tenants in under 2 months without a real estate license.  All I did was use Craigslist and KSL classifieds!  It has also been shocking at the level of  interest in a 6 bedroom furnished rental.  We are easily getting 3-4 calls a day on the house.  If I had my license I would go around Suncrest and call all the homes for rent or for sale and offer to manage their property.  I certainly have experience to brag about! I finally had to mark the homes  as sold on the old ads because I felt bad at disappointing people.  In addition, the two families moving into our homes in Draper are very nice.  They are great people- the best.

With all this work, (I have only begun to describe everything- it has been 7 days a week, long hours!) I was eagerly awaiting our family trip down to Southern Utah.  I think I could have been happy going just about anywhere but it was a particular treat to go to Cedar City and attend 3 plays at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.  It is a Tony Award winning festival with a traditional outdoor theater, renaissance food and a green show with entertainment before the plays.  It is one of my favorite things in Utah. In fact, attending the festival is one of the first theater experiecnes I remember.  When you are from a big family there isn’t a ton of alone time with parents.  This made it particularly special when my dad took me at 8 years old to see Taming of the Shrew, Blithe Spirit, Merchant of Venice, and Volpone.  I am not sure why it was just me but it was a great memory.  I still have the old programs.  Since that first trip I have been 5 or 6 times and just love it!

Before arriving at the festival things were a bit bumpy.  The original plan was to take the Greyhound down to Cedar and meet up with my family who would be arriving from California (they had to make the trip anyways because Anna was coming out to BYU).  Tuesday night (the night before their expected departure) Madeline got very sick.  We were even afraid she might have the swine flu but it was a different  infection (still not fun but better than the alternative).  At first we thought the entire trip would be off, but after a restful day  and antibiotics she was able to travel comfortably in the car.

This delay meant I arrived on the Greyhound (which despite all the horror stories was quite pleasant and affordable) and saw the first play by myself.  It worked out great because the hotel had  a shuttle, and I had food ordered to my room.  It was nice to have one day of vacation all to myself.  That night I saw Henry V, which was excellent.  It was probably  just as well that the kids couldn’t make it because it was a pretty serious and war-torn play.  I don’t know if they would have liked it.

On Friday the rest of my family arrived and we saw 2 plays- Comedy of Errors and As You Like It.  The former was our favorite.  It was funny and in an air conditioned auditorium.  (As much as I love the quaintness of the outdoor theater, it was brutally hot and muggy).  I have heard the festival is loosing funding and the shows aren’t able to get the professional actors they used to get.  I saw a little of this in As You Like It.  You think with all this stimulus money programs like the festival could get a little stimulus.  It is after all a tourist attraction to the city and generates income while being an artistic gem.  Oh well, that’s a topic for another post (btw, I have been selected to write  a guest post for the blog http://rightwingchicky.wordpress.com.  Still working on it but if you have any ideas let me know).

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After the festival we set off to see Bryce National Park and Capitol Reef National Park for 2 days.   Even with the car sickness, it was  beautiful-red rock formations bursting of more than just red.  Purple, orange, yellow, black, white and more.  We even saw some petroglyphs and laughed about an ancient pictionary game gone array.  Can’t you just picture someone carving in the stone and their wife saying “that’s supposed to be a warrior?”.

It was a lot of driving and we did grow weary of it after a while, but it was still a nice trip overall.  The one hick-up we had was on Sunday my dad decided to take a dirt road to show us some of his favorite camping sites.  Naturally I asked “why are we taking this road, when we can take the regular road”.  My dad responded “Because it is beautiful and it is a smooth road”.  I still can’t believe that a grown man was debating with me about taking a dirt road vs a regular road.  To me it makes as much sense as selecting a horse and carriage over a car!

So, we are going down this dirt road and all of the sudden I hear a hissing noise- almost like a rattle snake but it keeps going.

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My  dad  stops the car  and yes, you guessed it- we had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.  To make matters worse we had borrowed the car from a friend and didn’t know where the jack was or any other items.   We also had tons of stuff in the car, which we had to remove in order to the get the jack.  It was one of the more complicated spares I have ever been a part of changing, but in fairly quick time my dad had it figured out and changed.  Unfortunately as we were getting back in the car dad checked out the other tires and noticed a bubble in the another one.  Clearly we only have one spare tire.  I can’t over-state that we were in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road.  It was the kind of place where you would expect to see a flying saucer!

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We only had one car pass us on the dirt road as we changed the tire and they didn’t even stop to see if we are ok.  Can you believe that? Rude!  My dad kept saying we could camp out overnight but we had no tents or pillows.  I am sure all of you can just see me camping out in the middle of nowhere waiting to be rescued.  Naturally I prayed extra hard we would get out alive and without having to camp out.  Thankfully we did just that, finally ending up in Price, UT.

There is a canyon going from Price to Spanish Fork and we were so nervous about the bubble in the tire that we decided to stay the night.  It was just too risky going on a narrow highway without a shoulder on a bad tire.  We ended up at the Price Holiday Inn in a double suite.  The room was nice and we even got to swim before the night was over. Big O Tires was open at 8 am Monday morning, so we had  the tires fixed early and got on our way early.  As much as I enjoyed the trip, I was definitely grateful to be back home, safe and not stuck on a dirt road in Southern Utah. I certainly will not need to take the scenic route again for a while!

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My family has been in town the rest of the week helping get Anna checked into college at my Alma matter Brigham Young University.  It was so great getting her settled into her apartment.  Today was the last day before my parents left and it was quite the goodbye.  It brought back so many memories of my first year at BYU.  It was a happy time in my life.  I was so excited and ready to be out on my own. I am almost envious of Anna and all the great experiences she is going to have.

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So, this has been a long, rambling travelogue.  My apologies, but it was an eventful couple of weeks.  Now I am back to work on sales tax, vacation rentals, real estate school, and Grabber events.  Busy, busy, busy, but happy.

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More Poetry

I haven’t done a poetry blog in some time, so here goes.  I was thinking yesterday of memories and how they often leave a sad aftertaste in our mouth.  Isn’t that weird how we often remember the struggles and sorrows more vividly than the joys? I mean how many wonderful birthday parties do we all have but the one that goes wrong is the most memorable? Human nature is so strange on so many levels.  Here’s a poem that catches the paradox of memory:

The Net of Memory by Adela Florence Nicolson

I cast the Net of Memory,
Man’s torment and delight,
Over the level Sands of Youth
That lay serenely bright,
Their tranquil gold at times submerged
In the Spring Tides of Love’s Delight.

The Net brought up, in silver gleams,
Forgotten truth and fancies fair:
Like opal shells, small happy facts
Within the Net entangled were
With the red coral of his lips,
The waving seaweed of his hair.

We were so young; he was so fair.

Here is another that I like extolling the virtues of the simple life. I particularly like the line “Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss, beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.”  Especially in this economy it is good to remember that happiness is not gained by more possessions but by the simple contemplations of a happy heart and mind.

Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content by Robert Greene

Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content;
The quiet mind is richer than a crown;
Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent;
The poor estate scorns fortune’s angry frown:
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.

The homely house that harbors quiet rest;
The cottage that affords no pride nor care;
The mean that ‘grees with country music best;
The sweet consort of mirth and music’s fare;
Obscured life sets down a type of bliss:
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.

This is probably my favorite poem on music by my favorite poet Elizabeth Bishop.  I love music and poetry because they both capture moments so succinctly. Most of the big events of my life were accompanied by some type of music.

I am in Need of Music by Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

One last poem by Elizabeth Bishop.  This is more of a series of questions regarding travel- why do we feel a need to venture to distant lands? As someone who loves to travel but also loves being at home it is an interesting question.

Questions on Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:

“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”

I hope you enjoyed these poems.  Do any of you have favorites? I would love to hear about them.  Post them as comments.  Have a great weekend!