As of right now, I am at Nate's parents house without Nate's parents or Nate. They are in Hawaii and he is in California, on one last business trip for the year bringing the grand total of days Nate has spent in California this year to 58. Yep, that's almost 2 months. As my mother-in-law pointed out, at least we're not ALL in California 365 days a year. Tu Chet. (Sorry Cali Lovers). We miss Nate and are excited to welcome him back home just in time for Christmas, on the morning of the 24th. In the meantime we're trying to enjoy time with cousins, friends, and all of consumerism that Utah has to offer (really not too much of that, but who can resist going to IKEA where they watch your kids FOR FREE while you shop? All I ended up getting was some Swedish chocolate, but I'd go back in a heartbeat and just sit on a bench for an hour. Why doesn't every store have this wonderful service??!!)
Anyway, going way back to November, we kicked off Christmas the night before Thanksgiving with a trip to downtown Denver to see a dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker. Nate's company had tickets.
At the suggestion of friends, we showed our kids the Barbie Video of the Nutcracker to familiarize them with the plot and music. Super Why (a kid's cartoon) also happened to do a Nutcracker episode that morning, so that helped too.
One of the most exciting parts for the kids had to be riding the light rail into Denver.
It was perfect for our kids to be at a dress rehearsal, because it was a much more relaxed atmosphere and we didn't have to be uptight about their behavior. Although, they were surprisingly into it (especially Harrison). Only about half the dancers were in costume, the others were in sweats, but I don't think the kids really noticed. It was also cool to see an insiders look into the process. The director would call out notes to the dancers every once in a while. They left the curtains open during set changes, and the director answered a bunch of questions during intermission.
During intermission we also entertained ourselves with several elevator rides and taking silly pictures. Here's Harrison showing of his newest Bakugan shirt that I made with freezer paper.
We left a little early, because Elizabeth had had enough. Harrison was pretty disappointed to leave. At least we stayed for "Waltz of the Flowers," a song they do in his music class. He sung/hummed along to the entire thing. So cute. I love that he has interest and ability in music.
We went to Chili's for dinner. I hadn't been in years. Now I remember why. I would not be disappointed if that was my last trip to Chili's ever.
While waiting for the train to ride home, Harrison popped the "Asian Squat" in the train station. Nate and I got a good kick out of that. For those who don't know, this is a very common sight to see all around Asia as people wait for things. I guess it just comes with the genes!
It was a really fun night with the family. One I think we'll all remember for a long time. I hope to be able to provide more cultural experiences like this for our kids. I love that when we're out in stores and they hear a song from the Nutcracker they recognize it!