Tags: cedar city


On the Road with Cat Day 26, Part 1: LV again

written 7/6?
We are staying at a motel near the airport in Las Vegas. The motel does not have a wireless network, but it does have a data port on the back of the phone. So I tried to connect to PeoplePC through dialup. No good. Busy. I tried again another time. Same problem. The phone instructions say to dial 9 first, so that's how I set it up. Doesn't work. I connected the phone line directly to my computer from the wall rather than going through the "data port" because I don't have an extra phone cord with me. This may be the problem, although I can't think why. If I can get a phone cable today I will try again, going through the phone.

Yesterday was our first full day here. We dilly-dallied, then went to a Panera Bread as noted in my previous post, and stayed there until about 2:30. The Panera Bread we went to is in The District, the shopping center in Green Valley that tries to be a little downtown (and which, I admit, I rather like). In that center is a doggie treat store where they make their own doggie treats fresh daily. So we went there next. Elaine picked out some goodies for the pup (who misses her!) and we headed for Joey's school.

It was such a hot day. We pulled up at the school about five minutes after the classes let out, but the gates were closed and there was no sign of Joey. But then he called Elaine's phone, said he was in the office. We picked him up. They had brought in any kids that didn't go immediately to cars, it appears, because of the heat. I don't know what temp it reached yesterday but I heard weather people later saying something about the record.

On our way to a movie theater Joey did his homework in the back seat. He said he only had two math papers so he played his version of "Are You Smarter than a Third Grader?" with us.

The film: Ratatoulle. Joey had already seen it but was up for seeing it again. Elaine and I enjoyed it enormously. It was a great change from the usual cartoon shows that rely on anthropomorphistic jokes. Well-drawn, set in Paris, with a lot of attention to detail so if you'd been there you'd recognize the places. Original story, funny and a wee bit bizarre.

From there, Borders Bookstore. We mostly sat in the cafe and put together a wooden Tyrannosaurus Rex that Elaine and I had found in that odd country store in Cedar City. We worked with Joey so that he found the pieces and attached them, one at a time, and grasped how it was done.

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.

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 22, Part 1: Shakespeare

Last Saturday morning as Elaine and I packed up our belongings in our cabin in Bryce Canyon, we discussed where to go next. We had tentatively considered going to Mesquite, Nevada for a day or so. Mesquite is trying to re-invent itself as a destination spot for spas, but so far has to use cheap rooms to draw customers. The cheap rooms attract me and we thought maybe we could hang around a hot tub and get massages and so on.  I looked at the map to see what we might take in on the way to Mesquite, and saw that a logical stop was Cedar City, Utah.

Cedar City is right on highway 15, which we all know goes straight to Las Vegas, and as I know also goes through Mesquite. Cedar City is home to Southern Utah University, which in turn is home to a major Shakespearean Festival. This festival goes on all summer. It seems to be a big part of the definition of Cedar City, which calls itself "festival city". Cedar City is a lot older than the festival, of course, but other than the surrounding beauty that is southern Utah, it doesn't offer all that much by itself. It has a "historic downtown" which is rather cute and seems to be functioning rather well, and in general the size of the town (27,000) means it offers all services so looks like a rather nice place to live. All of this we did not know when we set out from Bryce, a mere 80 miles from Cedar City. We figured we'd stop, take a look around, maybe take in a play, maybe stay the night.

We took highway 14 to Cedar City, passing Cedar Breaks, yet another national monument that looks incredibly beautiful (we may take that in today or tomorrow), and arrived not long after noon. We saw a sign to the Shakespeare center and followed it to the ticket office, where we bought tickets to Candida (by GB Shaw), which was playing at two that afternoon. Then, of course, we had to get a motel. The Shakespeare booklet had a list of local motels and pricing so we called one and found a room. We zipped on over to the stunning Best Value Inn, got the room, and installed Bullet. This motel offers "limited pets", according to the website, which we found means we get to pay a $7 fee each day and we also have to stay in a designated "pet room", which has certain issues (not related to pets). But it's cheap.

We saw Candida at the Randall L. Jones Theater, a really nice theater with about 750 seats. We got terrific (and a trifle expensive) seats near the front. It looked like just about any seats would have been good, though. The play has aged well - which we might expect with Shaw. Really so contemporary that you might think it's a modern playwright's idea of 1900, when in fact it's way ahead of its time.

Having soaked up that brilliance, we thought maybe another play that night. We therefore later bought tickets to King Lear and after enjoying part of an outdoor entertainment we went into the amazing Adams Shakespearean Theater to see the play. We had great seats in the top tier, where we had the cover of the partial roof (in case of rain) and the benefit of the outdoor sky to enhance the experience. The play is, of course, one of Shakespeare's best, and while it demands the attention of playgoers I felt that the staging and acting went a long way to help us past the old English. I would like to see the play again, elsewhere, so I can gain a greater understanding of the details. The fundamental story, though, is simple and heart-wrenching.

The following morning, Sunday, we decided what the heck, let's just take in a couple more plays. We signed on for three more days at the Best Value Inn, decided to lay in some food (the place has a fridge and microwave), and took to the streets. Stay tuned for the story of Sunday in Utah.