I am not sure when it all began. I think early June just happened to be a good time for a vacation and so by coincidence we often left town for my birthday. But now it has become such a long established tradition that the thought of actually being in town on the day I was born makes my heart palpitate, my hands shake and my body break out in a cold sweat.
What it scares me, I really don't know. Do I think no one will remember? That no one will care? Or am I afraid they will remember and I will be uncomfortable being the center of attention? None of the fears seem justified, as I have very good friends who always remember, very kindly accommodate my vacation schedule and celebrate with me on different days--and I really don't mind occasionally being the center of attention. :-)
But no matter what the cause of my anxiety, when a good friend (knowing how I like to be out of town) offered me an excuse to travel this past week, I took it! And I am glad I did as we had a wonderful time.
We began our journey by heading north to Las Vegas. Here we attended a temple session, followed by lunch in the cafeteria and pictures in the atrium.
From there we continued north to St. George, Utah. What fun that was!! We headed straight to Tai Pan Trading--an amazing store I could be happy to live in for weeks!! But eventually our husbands dragged us out and we headed over to meet my older brother for dinner at The Painted Pony. His wife had meetings that night so we talked him into spending the evening with us. During dinner, Randy observed that this was the first time we spent my birthday together since I was ten!
The food was delicious and beautifully presented. (See the onion soup below!) Also a bit over priced. But we had a wonderful meal and enjoyed visiting together.
My brother is an architect and has done some work on the St. George temple. Several years ago he restored the veil room to its original form and designed the visitor's center annex, along with the connecting breezeway (below).
Randy also filled us in on some fun stories about the building of the St. George temple--like how President Brigham Young didn't like the original steeple and wanted it changed. He even said that if it weren't changed he would get it changed after he died. Five years after he passed away, the steeple was destroyed by a lightening strike, and replaced the way President Young had requested.
The St. George temple is the oldest operating LDS temple in the world. It was so much fun to see it, and admire the details, including the beehives found at the bottom of the staircases. I thought they were pretty cool.
The next morning we got up early to attend a session at the temple and then headed quickly over to the tabernacle. Wes heard that his great-grandfather built the staircase there and had always wanted to see it. What a treat that was! (And we learned the same man built the staircase in the Salt Lake and Manti temples, so I am guessing we will be going there someday as well! )
Of course when Wes learned that every prophet from Brigham Young to Howard W. Hunter had preached at the pulpit of the tabernacle, he couldn't resist having his picture taken standing there as well! (I am guessing they all wore ties though:-)
Unfortunately that was all the time we could spend in St. George as we had to head home for three wedding receptions and a baby shower. But on our return jounrey we did a quick drive by the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I had not been there since I was 14 and loved being able to go again. And I really loved all the old dead trees!! I thought they were so fascinating!But there is nothing more spectacular than the view of the canyon!! Gorgeous!! Astounding!! And testimony building. What a beautiful and wonderful world we live in!
We made it home in time to attend all of the other fun activities--including some great birthday celebrations with family and friends.
Thanks to everyone for your time, your sweet gifts and especially your love!! You all bring great . . . joy to my journey!