Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shakespeare with my boy

The past six weeks have been crazy, I tell you. We’ve been going, going, going. I could tell you about all of them (cabin, Yellowstone, Durango) but I’ll spare you. For now, let me tell you what I did this week.

B turned 12 this spring and thus was entitled to the Deluxe Vacation Alone With Mom. His older brother benefitted from the fact that I had a sister living in Boston the summer he was 12 and we actually got to fly there. But sister lives in Utah now (hurray!) so we didn’t have anyone cool (free) to visit far away, and besides, B isn’t a big fan of airline travel. So, I had my mind open to ideas from the cosmos of what to do with B this summer, and when I saw how much he loved being involved with his class production of “Macbeth” (which I put in quotes on purpose because it didn’t have much at all to do with the real play and was actually a spoof) and then noticed that the Utah Shakespearean Festival was featuring the Scottish play this year, I knew we had a plan.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but tickets to those plays down there are dang expensive. I splurged and got tickets both to Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing—because we might as well do a thorough job of enjoying Shakespeare and Much Ado is actually one of my favorites (love that sexual tension). And I knew a long evening of Macbeth might not solidify Shakespeare as being worthwhile to an energetic 12-year-old, but a good comedy might.

So on Thursday morning we got the little ones off to school (yes, they’ve been in school a few weeks now; I know: sick and wrong) and filled the car with snacks and were off. It’s about a four hour drive from our house to Cedar City, but we took our time. We stopped off in Cove Fort and did the little tour, which B hadn’t remembered from the last time we did it. It was the PERFECT day for a drive and a picnic, which we had under the giant shade trees at Cove Fort. (I think that would be a fun place to serve a mission, by the way. Those missionaries serve for six months and live in their own RVs.)

We got into Cedar City in time to take a little snooze/TV surf before dinner. B was in heaven to discover that there were cable stations that show sports ALL THE TIME. He also got a little too interested (IMO) in “The Sweet Life of Zach and Cody.” He takes after me and his dad in that the lack of TV around here makes him awfully susceptible to zoning out in front of the tube when he’s on vacation.

Cedar City, I’m pleased to announce, has a Café Rio, which happens to be one of B’s favorite restaurants as well as mine. We were careful to order large so that we could have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Then it was time for the greenshow and our first play, Macbeth. It was, as I had suspected, awfully long. Not my favorite. But at least B learned that it actually is a tragedy. In his school version, many of the best lines (from the witches) had been left out, so I made sure he caught them. Good acting all around but, you know, it was Macbeth. We sweetened the experience a little by splurging on official Shakespeare Festival tarts, which are, I believe, always worth it.

Next morning we lay around a while, then took a little outing to a nearby park to get some sunlight and exercise. After a snooze and our leftovers, we drove to St. George for Baskin Robbins and a swimming outing with cousins. (I keep mentioning the food—that’s because we’re awfully stingy and almost never buy treats at home. I wanted this to be a really special outing in as many ways as possible.) Throughout our drive to St. George and our drive to and from Cedar City, we listened to some great books on cd, which was in itself one of our favorite things. We heard some Greek myths (very popular around our house since Percy Jackson), some Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and some Empire Strikes Back.

We got back in time to order pizza in our room (more TV) and then hit the greenshow and Much Ado. It was a great production; my only complaint was that the same actress played Beatrice who had played Lady Macbeth. She was a good LM, but I did not like her as Beatrice—although she did a fine job. Benedick (David Ivers) was great.

On Saturday we headed home, but, not wanting the fun to end too soon, stopped in Provo to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was a perfect movie for a 12-year-old and a great way to prolong the adventure just a little longer.

The best thing about the whole trip was that I didn’t get sick at all—no migraines (they tend to come on vacation for some reason) or anything. All in all, it couldn’t have been more delightful. B is a pleasant, grateful, easy-to-please boy and always has been. For that reason, he sometimes gets less attention than others, and it was so nice to focus on him for a few days. He goes off to scout camp tomorrow and then starts middle school shortly after that, and I know his life will be a whirlwind from here on out. I’m so grateful for the chance to hold on to him for a few days.


Christopher Bigelow said...

I am taking my 11-year-old son to Shakespeare over Labor Weekend (the last night of the summer festival). Our trip will be different because we're going with my parents and assorted siblings, but Ann is staying home with the rest of the boys (she already got to go to Shakespeare with her mom this week). We are seeing all three Shakespeare plays, which I think will be PLENTY for both of us. Unlike you, we already indulge on eating out and treats way too much at home, but like you, we don't have cable TV, so our kids too tend to glom on during vacation. Anyway, fun to read your upbeat report and look forward to my own outing down south.

Jennifer B. said...

What a great getaway! I love your tradition of a trip with Mom. I'm glad it turned out so well.

ellen said...

You are better than the Kool-aid mom!

Oh, and that Bigelow guy is married to my cousin. :)

Darlene Young said...

Well, welcome, Ellen. Did you find me through Chris, or Segullah? I just checked out your blog and loved what someone said about friendships that you make in Boston. I feel the same way about my experience in Berkeley.

Cheri said...

Darlene, what a wonderful tradition. Sounds like a great weekend.

Hoontah said...

What a great way to spend time with your son! I love it.

Love the writing, BTW. Very sharp and entertaining.

Glad to see you're doing well. Miss you. It's been too long

mary ann said...

Hey Darlene,
That actress you talked about is Steve and Alisha's sister-in-law. We loved her!