Since God gave me stuff that shakes, I dare not waste it in shakelessness. For I have it on good authority that talents are not to be hidden or buried. It would seem that mine are pretty exposed. Yup, I am that righteous.
The wind plastered our veils to us like flypaper.
Recently, I began belly dancing again after taking a few years off. I joined a class with hips of all skills. As with previous courses, no criticizing appearances was allowed in this class’s hallowed mirrored halls. We undulating ladies celebrated the loveliness of the feminine form, stretch marks and extra padding and all.
My classmates ranged from inhibited beginners to unrestrained veterans.
After eight weeks of lessons, my group performed at a laidback function at the Provo Farmer’s Market. Fortunately, a downpour predicted to hit mid-routine didn’t materialize until much later that day. The wind didn’t get the memo about the delay though. A breeze gusted as we shimmied, which made our veils completely unruly. Still, wild wardrobes and all, it was a memorable experience performing on park grass to a leisurely crowd.
In one portion of the dance, the back row was supposed to come forward and do some graceful veil spins. The rest of the line got confused and didn’t move up as planned so I practically did a veil solo.
Belly dancing isn’t anything like the seductive business it has been popularized as. For me, it’s a pleasant way to exercise my core with amazing women and appreciate that real beauty comes in many dimensions. Also, I love to dance and, surely, God didn’t give me bouncy hips for nothing.
I’m a Jack of all centuries. I can shake a hoop with a Civil War crowd or delicately eat strawberries with a Regency gang. A few weeks ago, Jason and I did precisely the latter.
These pillars conjured Pemberley’s grace.
The Visions of History Society invited us to attend their Premier Summer Regency Picnic. This event occurred at beautiful Memory Grove in Salt Lake City on a pleasant but sultry May Saturday. Our company spread blankets beneath broad branches and indulged in cucumber sandwiches and fresh fruit. After all, to sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
Over twenty attendees filled the park with a curious history.
Due to our peculiar attire, our group frequently received puzzled glances and inquiries from curious passers. Many girls recognized our men’s resemblance to Mr. Darcy and were instantly intrigued/in love.
Cute bridges are not to be wasted.
Memory Grove was an enchanting setting for this affair. It provided stately columns and darling bridges ideal for Regency reenactments. Oh the fantasy of history!
The harsh afternoon light did not conceal the classic elegance of Memory Grove’s structures.
It was a delightful afternoon, although it’s a shame that Regency folk wore so many layers. I wouldn’t have complained about being properly dressed in a little less. Thanks Visions of History for asking us to join your al fresco communion with nature and the past.
Running is a highly unpredictable pastime. One never knows its outcome. Will you trip on your shoelaces and break your fall on a pillow of dog poop? Will you inhale enough gnats to produce polka dot snot? Will you drink too much Gatorade and vomit blue? Will you lose yourself in a garish powder fog? When you lace up your sneakers and head out onto the asphalt there’s no telling what mayhem awaits you.
Yes, we were rad.
This picture was taken before we blasted each other in earnest.
This year we again participated in Color Me Rad, a 5K with shade. We’ve done this race for years with my brother and his wife but this time we added some smaller targets; our niece and nephew joined our familial rainbow.
I looked like a rainbow in a hairnet.
Jadon took to being painted pretty well, even with oozy liquids. Isabelle, on the other hand, only appreciated pink hits. She was pretty mopey about every other hue. Still, a good time was had by some of us at all points and all of us at some point.
Jadon was okay with powder showers.
Isabelle only liked the pink parts of the race.
Color Me Rad is a cool mix of sprint and tint, one we will gladly radly run again.
Utah’s winters suck. Temperatures well below freezing and blizzards that make driving terrifying are all part of the package. But, as we Utahans recently discovered, not having a winter sucks even more than suffering through one. I am referring to our last encounter with those months that should have had us cursing Mother Nature’s frigidity. Instead, pleasantness was present and snow was absent. It was bizarre and distressing and for snowboarding it was catastrophic. And yet…
When reflected off fresh powder, sunshine is all the sweeter.
Smiles go with boarding even when it’s too cold to see them.
I was coming out of deep powder. That’s all I have to say about this awkward pose.
Jason and I went snowboarding exactly five times this season, our lowliest amount in years. We were ever ready to go but it’s a bit tricky to snowboard without snow. However, all was not lost. We did have a few good storms and Jason and I hit every single one of those. Like crazed kids at a carnival, we gorged ourselves on powder whenever it presented itself yet walked away from the season feeling rather unsatisfied.
The snow sculptures Brighton builds every year are always fun.
Strange things are met on the slopes, like my husband.
I was detectably moving here, I promise.
I hope our next winter deserves its accustomed loathing. You can say the climate hasn’t changed but it sure looks like it’s wearing a different outfit to me.
During our last couple days on the island, we made time for mellowing because vacationing in Hawaii without relaxing is like traveling to the Black Hills and passing on Mount Rushmore. However, we did also allot for a few other appropriate pastimes.
This was our lovely sky chariot.
We used our first morning back in Hualalai to get a bird’s critique of Hawaii via a two-hour helicopter tour. Although this entire ride was magnificent, two parts were particularly captivating.
Pu’u O’o is impossible, and dangerous, to reach on foot but, luckily, it’s impressive from the air.
We circled the Pu’u O’o vent, Kilauea’s current spilling site. Unlike Halema’uma’u, Pu’u O’o is typically a blazing spectacle. It has been endlessly erupting since 1983 but its ceaselessness sometimes gets overlooked because of its inaccessibility. Although you can’t reach Pu’u O’o on foot, from the air we saw its molten stone lighting trees on fire. It was pretty unbelievable.
This picture does not justly represent the expansive beauty of Waimanu Valley; it’s just a glimpse.
My other flight favorite was Waimanu Valley. We looped through this fantastically lush and vertical gorge, awed by its delicate waterfalls. One of those was Waihilau Falls, the 13th tallest waterfall in the world at 2,600 feet. Soaring through Waimanu felt like floating through a tropical dream.
The best part about touring Ocean Rider was having a seahorse wind itself around my finger.
Our hotel was right on the beach so we ate most of our meals at the ocean’s edge.
We made time for reading on the sand, a wise decision.
Seeing the sun float on the ocean like a brilliant drifting ship was a daily highlight for us.
Following our chopper excursion, we toured Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm. Ocean Rider has essentially stopped the harvesting of wild seahorses for aquariums by raising their own. They breed 30 species of seahorses on their farm and we got to hold one, or at least pretend our fingers were coral while it curled around them.
One of the coolest things about our hotel room was its outdoor lava-rock shower. It had both privacy and flowering plants.
The next day, for our final outing, we visited Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona. Hulihe’e was built in 1838 and was a preferred vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. We had a tour guide all to ourselves there and learned a great deal in the hour or two we spent roaming its history.
I had some fun playing with my camera on the beach.
That about does it for our Big Island explorations. On a closing note, as I already mentioned, it would be a shame to travel to Hawaii and not unwind a bit. If you visit, don’t let the laidback spirit of those islands roll off you. Instead, drink up the easy-going culture like a glass of delicious fresh-squeezed guava juice. You won’t regret it. We saw and experienced plenty on this trip but we didn’t skimp on the relaxation. In both my professional and nonprofessional opinions, we achieved Big Island hemolele.