July 3rd, 2007


OtRwC Day 23, Part 1: Sunday in Cedar City

Elaine and I were a little short on some socks and other minor items, so we figured we'd go shopping on Sunday. There are no activities at the Shakespeare Festival on Sundays, so we had the day free. We wanted to check out the Cedar City downtown a bit. So that's where we went.

We found one store open, a strange country store. Odds and ends of country-like stuff. It's a fair-size store, in an older space, so we poked around it for a while. No clothes, however. We walked around a bit more and stopped in at The Grind coffee shop for coffee. The Grind is a large coffee place with all the required elements: soft furniture, magazines, books, free wi-fi, and a computer. I took a look at the book shelf. Virtually all religious works, both fiction and non. We learned later that the Grind is host to special free performances by Shakespeare Festival actors and singers on Thursday nights at 11 pm. That sounds cool.

Just about everything else was closed. The streets were quiet. And speaking of streets: we drove around some of the neighborhoods and saw that they had unusually wide streets. I can't come up with any reason for wide streets, wider even than current standards usually require, in old neighborhoods. We thought maybe the streets were installed before uses were determined.

Outside the historic downtown there are some newer shopping areas, including one with a Wal-Mart. I could not go into that store, regardless of my needs. We did go to a Smith's Grocery and picked up some food for the duration.

Later I decided I wanted some wine. I had a suspicion, however, that it might be hard to find. I had seen a state liquor store up the street and remembered how some of these states regulate sales of liquor. Nevertheless, I went out to look. I drove to the state store first, and found it closed. I then went to Albertson's. No liquor of any kind. I remembered that the grocery store in Kanab sold wine so of course I became curious and looked up Utah liquor laws when I got back to the motel. The laws are a little complicated but the upshot is that it's hard to get liquor on a Sunday. Some cities have state liquor stores (in which case no other store can sell liquor, except low-alcohol beer) and others have "package licenses". I suspect the Kanab grocery had the package license because it's such a small town. I could have gone to a restaurant or airport or private club other place that serves liquor and some of these can sell packaged products. I wasn't really that desperate.

Right now, then, it's difficult to do much shopping in Cedar City on a Sunday. I suspect that as new chains move in this will change. If I lived here I would use Sundays for hiking or puttering around the garden or something like that. However, this focus on the religious would wear on me.

OtRwC Day 23, Part 2: Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.

Yesterday, Monday, we were freed again. The Sunday restrictions were off. But we still could not find much outside of Wal-Mart. We went to a local department store, Christensen's, and found it similar to the department stores of my youth, with clothing choices few and modest. Not that I am immodest, of course. Not me, no.

Our first plan was to get pedicures. In Manhattan, Las Vegas, and yes, San Luis Obispo, nail salons are everywhere. You can't spit without hitting one. There are some nail places in Cedar City but not nearly as many. Elaine got on the phone and made appointments for us with one of them, sight unseen. She figured a place that specializes in nails would be more likely to have the pedi-chairs and be more up-to-date than a full-service salon would. She was wrong, of course.

The nail place we chose is called Nail Biz. It is next to Deseret Industries, the thrift stores of choice in this part of the country. We had to climb a flight of stairs to the salon and we emerged in a space unlike any I have seen before.

It is a rectangular space divided into several small rooms. The rooms have openings, like windows, in the walls, without glass. Each space is cluttered with nail chair and table, shelves with odds and ends, magazines, odd chairs and stools, and more. Nail polish jars are everywhere, on every free wall surface. Decorating the space, in addition to some odd things like the seamstress dummy strung with ankle bracelets, are large decorated "nails". Curved shapes, like long nails, decorated several ways are hung high on the walls.

We chose our nail polishes and were led to the pedicure room at the rear part of the space. This small room has two pedicure stations. What they are:

Raised platforms with square indented spaces for water tubs and with recliner-type chairs. On the edge of the platform are foam rolls, maybe six inches in diameter. Steps in the middle allow access to the high chairs. The pedicure person sits in a chair in front of the platform and is able to have easy access to feet without bending.

My pedicurist filled a portable foot spa with warm water and plunked it into the indentation. I put my feet in there. She took her time with my pedicure, using a callus killer, salt scrub, lotion, and scrubby tools. It took a while but I think it may be the best pedicure I have ever had.

Afterwards we decided to go to St. George. St. George, Utah, is about 45 miles south of Cedar City and near the border with Nevada. It is also the fastest-growing city - in the nation? I'm not sure, but its growth patterns are obvious. It's getting that Las Vegas look about it. We knew there is an outlet mall there and a regular mall, and that was our aim.

We hit St. George at about two, as I recall, and had lunch at Chili's. The black bean burger is delish! I had a margarita with it, perhaps to make up for the Sunday loss. We then went to the outlet mall, which is not very large. I found socks and some new tops (Elaine's interference - my children find stuff for me when opportunity presents). We went to the regular mall. Got a few other things, including some gifties for Joey's upcoming birthday.

It was hot there. 108 degrees. It was nice to be back in civilization but the cooler air of Cedar City beckoned. Not to mention the performance of Twelfth Night for which we had tickets.

I do joke about civilization. Cedar City is more restricted than St. George but it has compensations and I doubt the entire city is of one bent. The fact that we could tune in public radio loud and clear suggests otherwise, as well as the presence of the university. I was glad to get back to our motel room because I was feeling sleepy. So I napped a little before we were due to head for Shakespeare.

We arrived at the theater at about 7:45, after the Greens performance was over. We stood in line at a concession stand to get water. Then found our seats, the same as last Saturday's. The theater almost filled up, this time including children (six and over). It is a comedy, Twelfth Night, and there was a half-hour presentation at seven that explained the show, which was probably helpful especially for children.  The acting and staging made it all pretty clear even without the explanation, and it appeared that nearly everyone understood what was going on. When Shakespeare does comedy it often involves buffoons and mistaken identity and this one has both and more. We loved it. The actors were excellent, the scenes changed seamlessly and imaginatively, the comedy was very funny. I'd recommend this one to anyone. This festival is justifiably well-known and appreciated.

Tonight we do Coriolanus, another one involving battles and power, which I expect to be a bit more difficult to follow although, again, the basic story is not that complex.