We took the long weekend as an excuse to fall back on our hard partyin' summer ways. Rob and I started early with a private concert by my dad's cousin. He's on the music faculty at BYU and in the American Piano Quartet. But he is also a dutiful nephew, and so when he has a solo program coming up, he calls his Aunt Nelda and gives her a preview in her living room. And Nelda invited us. He played a Beethoven Sonata, the Debussy suite containing Claire de Lune, and finished with three Rachmaninoff preludes. Ahhh. It was lovely.
Next night, Rob and I bribed the kids with TV dinners, and went out with friends for dinner and Brian Stokes Mitchell in concert at the deJong with a crazed, sold-out crowd. He's got an incredible set of pipes, but is no less an actor. He entertained us with jazz and Broadway tunes. Highlights were Soliloquy from Carousel, Face to Face from Les Miserables, How Long Has This Been Going On by Gershwin, and Waters of March by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Three encores later and the three chicks in front of us were ready to start throwing articles of clothing at him.
Saturday we went with Fistful of Daisies to the Payson Grotto. They'd been before and acted as guides. It's a great hike for kids -- not too far, but with lots of interest crossing the stream on logs and a good destination at the end:
Sebi and Eleanor testing the water.
We also brought the department's new visiting professor, Daniela. She has known Rob since before Maddie was born and he is thrilled to get her to BYU to teach this semester. This week we tried to get her up and running with a phone, a bike, a bus pass, a social security number . . . So on Saturday we took her in the minivan with the whole family. She's a well-behaved environmentally conscious single vegetarian European, so a trip to Payson is out of the ordinary. Here I am with Ann & Daniela wiggling our toes in the water and watching kids splash.
Rob began peeling off dollar bills and daring kids to drench themselves. Mark was busy dipping his baby into the ice cold water one body part at a time.
Then Rob and Will had to scale the wall to the top. They descended by a more civilized route and took the others with them. Joss wanted to go too, but I distracted him by heading back down the trail. We managed to see a chipmunk and a wee little snake on our walk.
We finished by taking Daniela to the Daley Freez for lunch because she's a vegetarian and those are just the kind of hosts we are. While waiting for the academics to come back with the food, Ann said "She's probably from some really cute European town." and when I told her that yes, it's green and beautiful and full of half-timbered houses and a river in the middle, she said "And she's living in the pit of Provo and we brought her to Payson?!?!"
We're keeping it real. Next week, I told Daniela that we need to take her to Costco for her cultural adventure.