Some other highlights of our trip included attending Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Les Miserables isn’t exactly Shakespeare fare but I’m glad they staged it nonetheless. We have the CDs and videos in our house and it’s a particular favorite of Anne’s so practically everyone in the family knows the play and the songs by heart. All the kids seemed to enjoy the play – even Samuel, who would have got my vote for “Most Likely to Get Bored”.
No trip to SUU would be complete without tooling around campus with Grandpa Kent and hearing stories about Old Sorrel, Nellie Unthank, and the days when Grandpa was a student there. I’ve heard the stories and seen the buildings and statues plenty of times before, but it’s still fun to hang out at SUU with Grandpa.
My favorite part of the summer trip was the 4th of July. Cedar City has a “Children’s Parade” on the 4th of July which means lots of Little Leaguers and dance studio kids but not too many marching bands or floats. The best part about the 4th of July in Cedar City are the games and activities in the Lions Club park. Grandpa tells stories of going to the park on the 4th when he was a boy and I can remember going when I was a boy. 20 or 40 years later and it seems like the games in the park hasn’t changed a bit.
Only Sam, Caroline, Diana, and Ainhoa wanted to go to the parade so only they were the ones that had fun at the park afterwards. I gave each of the kids 3 dollars to spend, picked out a tree where we should meet when we were all done, and sent them on their way to have their fun. I got a kick following them around and seeing what they would spend their money on. Sam spent his first two dollars on cotton candy and chocolate bars. He held onto his last dollar for a little while and checked out the various attractions but in the end I saw him with a second cotton candy.
Caroline apparently spent all her money at the “Go Fish” pond because she came back with rubber lips and whistles and candy rings and such. Diana was the most fun to watch. She was absolutely fascinated by the dunk tank. At first she wanted to get in line to be dunked but the line was too long. The line to throw baseballs, the paying line, was much shorter. Diana walked up and handed the lady two dollars right off the bat so she got 6 balls to throw. After each miss they moved her closer to the tank but she went through all six balls without getting a hit. When her turn was over she waited off to the side and watched the bigger boys throw strikes and dunk the people in the hot seat. A few minutes later I saw her get back in line and hand over her last dollar. She got really close to the tank and managed to barely brush the target on her last ball and down into the water went the person on the hot seat. It probably helped a bit that the tank operator was hiding out and secretly pulled the chain on her last ball.
I don’t remember what I spent my money on when I was a boy but I don’t think I could have had nearly as much fun as a boy in the Cedar City Lion’s park as I did as an adult watching my own kids. Later that evening we drove down to St. George and saw Aladdin at the Tuacahn theater. The Tuacahn setting was spectacular and so were the special effects and the post-play fireworks show against the canyon walls. It was a great way to end the 4th of July.