Every have a perfect few days?
Our Labor Day weekend: Perfect.
We began the weekend early by going downtown for a free outdoor jazz concert.
A glass of wine at a hotel, then we sat in chairs on a lawn while a local group called Lark and Spur entertained us.
The weather was perfect for an outdoor sunset concert.
Oh it was tempting to get up and dance to the tunes.
Saturday we *finally* attended the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, which is held in a beautiful park designed especially for the annual festival, with the Provo River running at the base of the huge Timpanogos mountain.
It is the second largest storytelling festival in America, and I have been yearning to go to the annual festival here ever since we moved here eight years ago.
Bernie and I discovered the joys of Storytelling Festivals when I was in grad school in Denton Texas and enrolled in a Storytelling class.
The Denton area storytelling festival came highly recommended so I asked Bernie to come up to the school and attend the event.
I admit that both of us were a tad skeptical of the event, picturing lame-o "once upon a time" recitations or folk tales told by some one in a costume of some sort.
We settled in for whatever the story telling might be like and within minutes we were hooked.
I imagine it helped that we were treated to a story by a fabulous Native America woman who told a traditional Coyote story with such sly humor we were laughing right away.
Next up was Donald Davis.
Little did we know that we were about to hear the President of the American Storyteller Guild and arguably the best and best known of all American storytellers.
He told a story that lasted almost an hour.
It felt like minutes...and when he was done we felt like we had left Denton ca 1999 and had been transported to North Carolina ca 1950.
We. were. hooked!
35,000 people attended our Timpanogos Festival over four days.
On Saturday we caught about ten storytellers, beginning with revered Donald Davis!
Here's a clip of Donald Davis telling a story about visiting his grandparents, getting a driver's license and a snake.
(Oh to have been one of his grandparent's grandchildren!)
This festival included storytellers that also performed music, as in the clip above.
I recorded it because the performers at this particular time were performing music created using a single string on a bow and a plain old paper bag.
We also got to hear Bil Lepp who was an absolute hoot!.
Sunday was church, and that evening we joined Jeff's family for dinner with some of their friends.
The friends have a three year old that is in our Sunday School class.
It was great getting to know Levi's parents!
Jeff asked that I bring some Indian food to share so I made gol goppa, an Indian street food treat.
A hallow fried ball that is filled with a savory mix and then filled with a spicy fluid.
We ate about two dozen of them in no time at all!
Monday, Labor Day, was our traditional Labor Day Swim in Great Salt Lake.
This year Luke joined us!
It was quite a walk to get down to the water.
Luke was ready to just get on with playing in the sand right away.
This was the walk to the water.
Yup, just play in the sand will be just fine!
Bernie eventually lured him on.
I swear someone has pulled the plug on Great Salt Lake.
Every year the water is a bit lower than the year before.
It is a lake, not an ocean: there is no low or high tide!
Bernie and Luke waded in.
Water play was fun!
The air and the water temperatures matched.
Right after this photo he waded back onto the sand and Bernie joined him.
Together they build sand trucks, which is a bit more advanced than a sand castle...
Eventually Bernie pulled him back into the water.
That proved to be a mistake: Out of the blue Luke decided he did not like his rash guard and wanted it pulled off.
Then he suddenly remembered that his baby brother Calvin wasn't with us.
But it just about broke his heart.
Suddenly Luke was sobbing hysterically:
Bernie raced his now screaming grandson back up the half mile to the parking lot like he was being chased by zombie.
I will never worry about zombies after this.
That man can move like lightening!
Once we got back to the car Luke pulled himself back together and with a bit of juice and milk and a peanut butter and honey sandwich he was back to his old happy self.
We all showered up and then we told Luke that we were going to go see Buffaloes.
He thought that would be great!
And he observed we could also see tigers.
There were buffalo alright.
They were right there beside the road.
And even crossing the road right in front of us!
The buffalo noted the sign.
Decided it did not apply to him.
Luke was thrilled with the buffalo and the tigers.
Bernie and I didn't actually see any tigers ourselves but later I remembered that a couple of days ago Luke had gone to the zoo and I had told him to say hi to the tigers for me and to count their stripes.
I think he was remembering that conversation!
(Storyteller Bil Lepp told a great story about Bluffaloes that you might like.)
Driving back across the causeway I spotted a place on the shoreline where an algae had had washed up and turned the sand pink.
Antelope Island scenery is always magical.
I have never seen it look exactly the same twice.
A photographer's dream come true.
It feels really good to have a place that we always go to on Labor Day.
This was the first time we went in the morning.
Different lighting, same delight.
Like I said...it was a perfect couple of days.
And a perfect way for us to spend a long holiday weekend.