Category Archives: local haunts

cultural calendar

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We’ve long had the tradition of purchasing tickets to special shows as holiday or birthday gifts for the girls. And we take advantage of so many of the free shows offered in this city – from the summer Shakespeare performances in Forest Park, to the weekly symphony shows at the Piper Palm House that both girls attended every summer as little ones. We seem to always have friends involved in local performances, and we try to make time to see as many as possible. But we’ve never been season ticket holders to anything before this summer.

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Back in the spring I took a photo of the Muny show flags while I was running past them. M and the girls got the idea to purchase season tickets this year – they figured that we could all manage staying up pretty late on a few summer nights, and the season lineup looked great. The Muny offers a certain number of free seats to every show, so purchasing tickets isn’t really necessary. But we knew that if we did purchase them and get them on the calendar, we’d be much more likely to follow through. It turned out to be a really fun summer plan.

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We saw The Wizard of Oz (terrific tornado scene), 42nd Street (curtain call tap dancing was fantastic) and The Music Man (can’t get much better than 76 actual trombones on stage at the end – and also, the rotating set was ingenious).

After vacation we had Young Frankenstein (a bawdy washout on the final night of the run – so we gifted our replacement tickets to friends), Mamma Mia (so-so, but the ABBA concert at the curtain call was worth the price of admission), Fiddler on the Roof (loved having the orchestra on stage, and F still throws up her arms and belts out “TRADITION!” as an answer to most morning questions), and Aida (where we had front row seats to a Black Lives Matter singing protest just after intermission – an experience and conversation starter with the girls that I’ll never forget).

So it made for a powerful and eventful summer – and a lot of sleepy Wednesday mornings!

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The other musical obsession in our household? Hamilton.

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The girls gave M the soundtrack for Father’s Day, and they are obsessed. Especially E. She loves when she’s alone in the truck with M because they can blast it and sing, and not worry about F shouting out some choice language the next day at school. E’s got a serious talent for memorization of lines and lyrics – she can listen to something a couple of times through and then repeat it on demand. Her goal is to master the entire thing at some point – I have no doubt that she’ll get there.

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We attended The Party That Shall Not Be Named at Left Bank Books a few weekends ago to celebrate the midnight release of The Cursed Child, Parts One and Two. Both girls made it to midnight – although F was pretty much done by 10:15. The whole release part was really lost on her. She got a butter beer and found a spot in the children’s section and demanded to be read to by her vary patient father while E had her body painted and fortune told and waited for the book.

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While browsing the store, M and E found the Hamilton book – and promptly requested it as a shared gift. Here’s the photo that was taken of her at the event by the RFT. (More photos at that link.)

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Since E was already getting a bike for her thirteenth birthday, I picked it up for M. I highly recommend it for anyone equally obsessed in your household.

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Which segues nicely into my next bit – more season tickets! (Stay with me, there are some circular references here.)

M used his birthday money from his parents and my parents to buy season tickets to the Fox this season. We love seeing shows there, but probably wouldn’t consider becoming season ticket holders quite yet, except… for the the news that Hamilton will be here in the 2017-18 season. So season ticket holders this year will have the option to purchase next season’s tickets before the remaining tickets are offered to the public. You know, before they sell out in 4.8 seconds flat.

We only bought two tickets, so we’re hopeful we can snag a third one to Hamilton, but if not, I’ve already offered up my ticket to E.

I just haven’t figured out my price yet.

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And back to that Harry Potter party at Left Bank – we all entered a raffle while we were there. The prize was tickets to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the St. Louis Symphony – and we won! So now our cultural calendar is full to bursting, with some nice gifts – and a little luck. Or maybe magic.

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wednesday morning in the garden

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This summer we’ve enjoyed having season tickets to the Muny – our spectacular outdoor theater that hosts six or seven musicals a summer. The girls are a great age to start this tradition in our family, and they’ve loved every minute of each show. Our tickets are on Tuesday nights, which has meant that we’re out late pretty early in the work week. On a few occasions, we’ve skipped our early rise to visit the garden on Wednesday mornings in an effort to let them sleep as late as possible on their post-show mornings.

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Yesterday they needed to be dropped off for a camp field trip just down the street from the garden, so I decided to play the morning by ear. Both girls woke up reasonably well, and so we decided to pick up a quick breakfast nearby and spend the rest of the morning until drop off time in the front portion of the garden.

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The temperatures have dropped a bit from the stifling heat wave we’ve been sweltering under. The humidity is still so high, but yesterday morning was pleasant enough for late July.

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So many pinks, everywhere – even on the leaves. The girls wandered from fountain to fountain while I kept my own pace with my camera. They are pretty self-sufficient here and are good at occasionally checking back in with me when they run ahead.

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I let them laze around at a snail’s pace, and really focused on the flowers blooming in a few of the closer gardens. The air was heavy, but we only had a few sprinkles while we were inside. Everything was covered in water droplets and looked lush, despite the heat.

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The water plants are really phenomenal right now – particularly the water lilies. We also studied this interesting plant that has quickly fanned out across the pool like a Christmas tree. The girls imagined that it was strong enough to walk across, and were a little disappointed that I wouldn’t let them try it.

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It’s Thursday morning, and I’m tired. It’s been a full week, and I’ve been burning the midnight oil here on the house project and watching the convention speeches. We have an early meeting in the morning with the contractor, and I’m really excited about that. But I’m also excited about catching up on some sleep this weekend.

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On garden mornings I always wonder if sleeping in a bit would benefit me more than getting up and out the door to this place. Once I walk through the front doors, I’ve stopped wondering. It’s always worth it.

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wednesday morning in the garden

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As I mentioned before, I’ve been taking advantage of my “free” mornings to get up and outdoors before the temperatures climb. It’s still ridiculously humid here this week, so it’s no less sweaty in the morning. But there’s a different feeling in the air as night slips away versus the heavy, stagnant air that’s hanging around the six o’clock afternoon hour when I’m typically running.

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I debated about Wednesday morning’s agenda – wondering if I should stick to my daily running schedule, or skip a running day and visit the garden. Then I remembered I could do both! What a week! I still haven’t completely gotten used to it. During the school year I get up before six and somehow three hours go by before I ever sit down at my desk to work – all the tasks related to getting three people up and ready and fed and out the door to two different schools eats up so much time.

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On Wednesday I woke up with M (he gets up super early each day), and then I ran six miles in the park and drove straight to the garden for their early morning walking hours that start at seven. I felt a little self-conscious at first in my sweaty (seriously dripping) running clothes + nice camera(!), but then I got over it. Everyone else was sweaty too – it’s just that sort of week.

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The garden was just teeming with wildlife and buzzing with bees everywhere. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there on my own, and I got to set my own pace for a change. I wanted to see it all.

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Fruits and vegetables are loaded up on stem and stalk, and the planting beds are so vibrant with the very brightest colors everywhere.

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The color combinations in the beds have been some of my favorites this year. I saw flowers in bloom here that I recently saw in the more tropical environs of our vacation residence. Hot colors, heat everywhere. The greens are cooling though, and the shade is welcome and everywhere. I followed it back to the entrance, reluctantly. Back to a shower, and some breakfast, and the start of my other day, four hours after waking.

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There’s a different energy in my days this week, and it’s fun to try that on for a spell, with no limits. Just a camera and some time and plenty of water.

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