Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Season's Ballet

Don surprised me by buying tickets to George Ballanchine's The Nutcracker. I'd never been to see it, but Don had been once before a long time ago. The Pennsylvania Ballet performs at the Academy of Music in downtown Philadelphia.

It usually takes between forty-five minutes to an hour to get to Philly from where we live. Notice I wrote "usually." We were going to stop on the way and eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Don Pablo's. It is located in the Deptford mall, and neither of us took the time of year into consideration. We were half an hour just trying to get off the expressway onto the exit ramp when just two miles out. Then because we had decided to go the GPS way instead of the way we knew, we got turned around in traffic (lots of traffic) until we decided to eat on the way back instead. There sure are a lot of Christmas shoppers in this down economy! Luckily, we finished most of our shopping in October.

We got there in plenty of time to have a snack at a grill across the street from the Academy. Parking cost $18! Somebody besides me is making a lot of money for concrete and painted lines. Thank goodness everything was really close to where we parked though because it was really cold.

A few things were new to me since I'd never been to a ballet. I loved the bells signaling everyone to be seated. The theater was beautiful with red and gold decor. We were seated by the door which made it nice. I don't think there was a bad seat in the house unless it was behind a beam, but I noticed no one bought tickets there. Also I noticed that someone might miss a lot of the performance if not returned to their seat in time. You are not allowed back into the theater if the performance is ongoing. I'm glad that didn't happen to me.

I'm sure most everyone knows the story of The Nutcracker, but here's a short synopsis from the playbill:

"...begins on Christmas Eve, as the Stahlbaum family and their guests gather in the parlor for a jubilant holiday celebration. The eccentric Herr Drosselmeyer arrives and enthralls the children with his antics. He presents Marie with a beautiful wooden Nutcracker doll, which breaks in a scuffle with her brother. After the party winds down and the house is silent, Drosselmeyer mends the doll and the magic begins. The grand tree begins to grow beyond the proscenium, the snow begins to fall, and Marie and her Nutcracker Prince are carried away to the Land of the Sweets where delectable dances are performed for the pair. The Dew Drop Fairy, Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Candy Canes the Marzipan Sheperdesses, Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles, the Waltz of the Flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier entertain Marie and her Prince. After all the dances in the Land of the Sweets have concluded, they sail off into the sunset on a gilded boat as Tschaikovsky's memorable music reaches its rousing finish."

Don kept mentioning how he would love to take the girls (Emily and Bri) to see a performance one day. We both enjoyed ourselves. I had a lovely time. I really want to go back now and see some other performances.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Skipping Christmas

It's been a while since one of us last posted. I'll take the initiative to do it now. There's a really good reason though why we haven't. I don't want to call us boring for the last few weeks, but.......what can I say?

It's December, and we should be actively seeking December things to do. But really, it's not in us this year. Sometimes we skip Christmas. This happens to be one of those years. We are already looking forward to going all out next year at Christmas. Isn't that funny? We've talked about putting up a bunch of outside lights - next year. We've made plans to have a cozy Christmas just the two of us - next year. We're planning to buy a new Christmas tree - next year. We just don't feel like it this year. This sort of thing happens to us about once every four years or so. Don't worry, it's our natural state. We're strange that way.

We haven't really been bored during the last few weeks. There has just been a lot going on like paperwork that needed to be finished, car wrecks and other stuff one doesn't usually discuss. But oh, did I say car wreck? Yep, Don had an accident. He's okay and didn't have to go to the hospital or see a doctor. He even walked home from the accident. (Frodo and I walked to meet him.) Thank God all is well with that. The car can be fixed too.

When all else fails, talk about the weather, right? Well, the weather shouldn't be keeping us from walking Frodo, but apparently, it's been a good excuse. We haven't been for a good walk in a while now. Poor doggy! It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow. You can bet we will have him out on a leash then.