taken for granite

In the past couple of years, my sister has suggested an activity that is becoming a staple in our family gatherings, especially when our relatives from out-of-state are here. The first time around, it was on Thanksgiving Day, and after we had filled up on the bounty, we packed all of the teens and kids into the car and went to hike Stone Mountain. This was a great activity, and here in GA, it’s really still rather mild in late November. This past weekend, we went for that hike again, the first where I have taken the girls. It’s a very different challenge during the summer, but is great excercise as well as a bonding experience for all of us.
I really wish I’d packed more water for the ascent this time, and think that they should consider making some water fountains available at the pavillion that sits halfway up the trail to the top.
I was looking at the Atlanta paper today, and there was an article about some local clubs that have been organized over the years who go and climb the mountain every day, which is marvellous if you have the time and means.
After our climb back down, we took some blankets to the lawn and saw the laser show (I used to go all the time, when we lived in the area during my younger years, but I hadn’t seen it in a long time). There is a new company in charge of the whole production, and they are using a lot more in the way of projections, pyrotechnics, and the like. It’s not a bad show at all. If you are visiting the Atlanta area, you should add it to the “see list” for one evening.

An Early Surprise

at the end of the day yesterday at the office, a couple of people came around asking those of us who hadn’t headed for the hills at noon if we would be interested in tickets to the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I put my name in the hat, as usual, and thought of how I’d been telling myself for about three years now that I’d get tickets and take the girls to see it during the holidays.

They drew a name from the hat, at the tickets went to the controller in the financial department. I congratulated him and started to get my things together, then he showed back up and said that his son would not be available to go, so he wanted me to have the tickets. It was incredibly nice of him to pass the tickets along.

It was 5:30 at this point, and the girls had been at my parents’ house, and the show started at 7:30 sharp. I called my mom, and asked her to meet me halfway between my work and her house so that we would be able to make it. It being Friday, there seemed to be tons of extra traffic, and being winter, it was already rather dark by then. I was coasting diligently through the four-way stop that is always highly congested, feeling much better about the car because I had to get new tires at the first part of this week. The old ones were suffering from band separation, and could have blown out at any moment. This condition was the cause for a really rough ride, too.

I criss-crossed my way along county roads, bypassing the Friday- and holiday-congestion I knew would be on the freeways heading away from the city, and finally made it to the meeting point. Got the girls and their things, and we were off like a shot. Fridays are more casual in the office, so I had jeans and sneakers on, and a collared long-sleeve shirt. The girls had only been playing all day. The clothes matched, but the shoes were just way off. No stopping now, though.

The seats were incredible, front row of the balcony, just left of center. Perfect for the girls’ first ‘true’ ballet experience.

The show was amazing. The dancers were awe-inspiring, the costumes and sets were fantastic, and I kept seeing inspiration and imagination filling the girls’ eyes as they sat riveted, watching. It could have been the stars glowing from the ceiling, or maybe the snow coming from the rafters, but I thought I saw a little bit of magic in their eyes as well.