Monday, June 13, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Leave If I Want To . . .

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!


Cherie said...

Well a belated Happy Birthday to you!! What a fun way to spend your birthday.
The St. George Temple in beautiful - I saw the outside once when we were on vacation passing through. I would love spend time inside one of these days.
The staircase also reminds me of the staircase in the Nauvoo Temple - beautiful!!
I love the story of Brigham Young and the Steeple!
Hope you are having a great week!

Rebecca Irvine said...

Hope you had a great birthday! Your pictures looks like you had a great time.

Sue said...

Happy birthday! Better late than never, right?

That onion soup looks really cool. And your pictures are wonderful, especially the temple and Grand Canyon.


Julie said...

Happy Birthday. I hadn't heard that story of the steeple. I'm glad you shared all those tidbits and pictures and especially that you were able to escape town for your special day.

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!! Beautiful St. George. I love all the history.

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!! Beautiful St. George. I love all the history.

Connie said...

Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like it was lots of fun and how nice that you included your brother this year! I have never been to the St. George Temple! It's time I went. Very interesting story about the steeple. I have a feeling not only did the prophets wear ties but most of them had beards!
Great picture of the staircase and of the Grand Canyon.

Kristin said...

What a birthday adventure! Sounds heavenly!

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«·´¨*·.¸¸.♥ Happy Birthday!! ♥ .¸¸.·*¨`·»
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DianeSS said...

That sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday! I enjoyed those little stories about the temple too.

LeAnn said...

What a lovely post about your trip. I enjoyed reading about the St. George temple. I am glad you were able to celebrate your day in such a sweet wy.
Blessings to you!

Terri said...

What a wonderful experience! I am so glad you had a great day for your birthday, but jealous that you got to be with Randy. I had forgotten the stories that Randy told about the temple remodel so thanks for documenting them. Glad you had a great day

MissKris said...

Wow! It's been forever since I've been on blogger. What a fun post! I'm glad I got to see pictures of your trip! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Marilyn said...

What a great birthday treat! Someday my hubby & I are going to take a temple trip and attend all the temples between here and Logan! (someday-sigh) It looks like you had a great day. P.S. Amy is officially in Glendale, they live in the apartments at 4545 W. Beardsley-is that in your stake?