Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Step Back in Time Alone

During our visit to St. George last week, I took myself on a self-guided walking tour of the St. George historical sites while the boys hiked and the girls stayed with Kristin,

I've had my eye on this tour since May when I discovered it was an option, all neatly mapped out on a glossy brochure. My real dream of doing the tour was to do it dressed in my red pioneer dress my sister-in-law Cindy, made for me four years ago. I didn't quite have the guts to dress in period costume, but I did wear a dress. (I declined Kristin's offer of loaning me her pioneer bonnet, which incidentally I think was offered to me in a slightly mocking tone.)

As for my shoes?
They worked out just fine despite the lady in the Visitor's Center who when handing me my brochure clucked her tongue while looking at my shoes and told me, "You will be walking miles and miles. These miles here aren't your typical miles." Not sure what she meant, but I knew I would be walking a lot and planned my shoes accordingly.
This little self-guided tour was the highlight of my trip. By that, I mean no offense to the people I spent the weekend with, but I quite enjoyed the two hours alone walking the streets of downtown St. George.

I loved walking and observing at my own pace. No one whined about how far it was, no one got bored and nobody made me look at things I didn't want to look at.

I fooled myself into thinking that for some reason I was now cultured and entered an art museum. None of the pictures appealed to me in the least, and we had a slight hic-cup when the Art Museum man asked me which print I liked the most and why? Again, I say that none of the prints hanging on the walls interested me at all and for a brief second, it brought up my suppressed memory of being at the National Museum of Art and History with Luke last year in Washington DC. I momentarily felt trapped that this Art Museum man would discover my non-love of art, and I made a quick escape. (After first politely declining his offer to get me in for free to a special display of art at another museum across the street.)

I did however, absolutely LOVE Michael Bedard's Art Gallery. Being already familiar with a few of his paintings, I was anxious to go to his gallery. One day I will have a print of his hanging in my home. I'm not quite sure the poor luck of my art gallery experiences... In this gallery, the artist paid little to no attention to me, especially compared to the other gallery person. I would have quite liked to discuss Michael's paintings and would have loved to have pointed out my favorite one to him.

Instead I left his gallery wondering if there is some sort of Art Gallery communication system and he had already been tipped off by the first Art Museum man "To pay little attention to the woman alone who may enter your gallery soon. She is an imposter."
I visited the old Tabernacle (again declining the tour). My experience in that beautiful, historic building could have been better if Mike hadn't have chosen that particular time to call me four times in a row, despite me declining his call each time. I was trying so hard to act interested and cultured while listening to the sweet sister missionary give me some brief details of the building, but the constant interrupting of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" ringtone was a slight distraction.

(the clock on top is from London)
I loved the Pioneer Museum (have I told you before I would have loved to be born in a different era?), I declined the tour of the Brigham Young House. I don't do guided tours, I get bored. (There comes the non-cultured side of me again...), 

I saw and read historical markers, and I loved looking at old buildings.

Anytime I read this phrase in any of its varied forms, I tear up. I have walked the streets of Salt Lake City, I have (now) walked the streets of St. George. Of course so different than what anyone would have envisioned 150+ years ago. These cities (and many others) stand as a testament to the faith, dedication and foresight of the early Mormon Pioneers.  I feel honored to be a part of their vision.
Of course my absolute favorite was my visit to Judd's General Store. I purchased myself a cold bottle of cream soda there and sat outside drinking it while also enjoying a Hostess Cupcake given to me by my brother James upon my arrival at his home the previous night. (He's pretty swell to have bought me a box of those delicious, processed, calorie-laden, treats.) I was feeling a little too embarrassed to ask someone to take my photo during my cupcake/cream soda/Judd's experience. Not so much that I was embarrassed then, but I knew as soon as either of my two younger brothers knew I had done that, they would be embarrassed for me.

I opted instead to put my camera on self-timer, but then some people came walking by and I felt a little silly taking a photo of myself drinking cream soda and eating a processed cupcake. So I quickly jumped up from my seat to retrieve my camera. Only to have it take the picture right as the passers-by were inches from me. I've never thought a camera click was loud until that moment. It was a little awkward.
One day I want to stay at this Bed and Breakfast. Although I likely will have to alone. Mike is not a fan of Bed and Breakfast's, but I won't tell you why here.
Avoiding anymore potentially embarrassing camera episodes, I not only refrained from asking anyone to take my picture alongside this statue of Brigham Young I didn't try the self-timer either.
 What a solitudinous and glorious way to spend an afternoon. I will surely do it again one day.


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