Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 10, 2017 Cedar City Temple Dedication

It's a really big deal to have a temple in your city!  The early settlers in Cedar City actually thought they would have a temple here, not in St. George and name the place where SUU's Old Main building is "Temple Hill" or Temple Knoll.  But it was not to be for many years.

But now, we have one! It required no great sacrifice on our part.  We barely helped out at all, actually. We regularly pay our tithes and offerings, but as far as a sacrifice of time or effort? Not so much.  Many of the talks in today's dedicatory sessions did emphasize that NOW is the time we need to sacrifice and spend time researching family names and attending to the ordinances. We can offer that to those who have gone before.  It was a lovely day.

However, it did not start out that way!  As many of you may know, Mike and I were invited to sing in one of the choirs for the dedication today.  Well, I take back what I said about no sacrifices--we DID practice long and hard with the other members of our choir. Dinners were postponed, sleep lost.  So, yes. I guess we did contribute.  I'm still not sure just how we got on a list, but however it happened, we are extremely grateful.  We are not stellar singers, by any means.  Mike was, once upon a time. Me? Not so much, though voice lessons have been on my bucket list for quite a while. (Kind of late now, eh?)

Friday evening, we had a dress rehearsal in the temple. Afterwards, we were each given our ticket to get in with the choir, along with one ticket for a "guest." Since we were both singing, we didn't need one for our spouse, so we told Mike's Mom that she could use our "guest" tickets and have someone take her.
Mike wore his new suit to the dress rehearsal. He bought a new shirt, too, with a larger collar. He was comfy. :-)  Saturday, Mike took his Mom to a funeral in St. George and I stayed home to do house work (not work on my Christmas newsletter, unfortunately) and laundry. I love days at home. I did shopping for a work party, I did the dishes for the first time this week (Mike's done them the other times) I ran through the hymns a number of times.

Sunday morning, when I turned off the water from my shower, Mike said, "I don't have any recommends any more."  HUH?  He repeated.  They, both his personal "Choir" ticket recommend AND the guest ticket had been in his [new]shirt pocket and I'd laundered his shirt. Now, I can count the times on ONE HAND that I have not checked pockets when I do laundry. Truly. I do it.  All the time.  But not that day.  And his little card were in the shirt pocket and totally dissolved into practically nothing. ARGH!! It was 7 :45 am and what were we to do??? The tickets were for not until the 3 pm session, but we had to be there at 2 pm to warm up and all go in together. The choir director didn't answer an email ( I only had email, not even a phone number!) And I left soon after to attend the first session at our stake center. Mike decided to go up to the temple and see what could be done.   And, yes, it was busy and crowded up there!  He was gone a long time.  They told him that he should bring his regular temple recommend, along with the pieces he'd found -- we could actually see his name and "Choir" because those two parts were actually clear stickers that had been adhered to the paper tickets-- and that the choir would certainly vouch for him as being IN the choir.  It looked like we were okay to go, but they would not issue a second guest ticket, so we had to call Mike's Mom and tell her that she wouldn't be able to attend the dedication inside the temple after all.  Too bad.  But not really. There were so many people around when WE went at 2 pm, the lines stretched around the building and people were standing outside before it was time to enter.
It would have much easier for her to watch the proceedings from her own stake center, so that is what we suggested she do. And she did. Her visiting teacher picked her up and took her.
There was no chance of her being able to be in the Celestial Room where we were singing. I asked at our dress rehearsal just where all the other people were going to be seated, and was told, "Oh, everywhere!"  Besides the instruction rooms, there were people in the chapel area, the marriage waiting room, he said they even put 10 chairs inside the Temple President's office! ha.  It was packed and the tv monitors did a very nice job of projecting the proceedings to the other locations--even our back waiting area (but we were on the very front row, lucky us).

Everything went well with the singing, the walking in and out. We didn't trip or pull down the curtain covering the mirror we had to carefully walk past between the Leaders' chairs and the wall behind them.  Nobody elbowed an Apostle on the head as they walked to their place in the choir. And I think we all mostly remembered and sang the right words and the right notes.  Whew.  We are SOOOOO glad we got to have this experience.  But we are also SSSSOOOOOOOO  VERY GLAD it is over!!!!! It was nice to be thanked by President Eyring. He walked into our little waiting room before hand to tell us all "Thank you. We love you. Good luck." And then walked in on his way out to say Thanks one more time.  Sweet, sweet man. All the talks were good. The music I heard from the first session was good, too.

A nice day. A good Day. A GREAT day for Cedar City and for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in this area.  Let us go up unto the mountain of the Lord.
What the special recommend/ticket SHOULD look like.

What Mike's recommend looked like after it was washed. :-)

NYC Day 3

It felt good to just sleep in, but our room was quite warm last night.  I got up and got ready to go to the Manhattan First Ward for 9 am church. I only went to Sacrament meeting. It was a nice walk. I wish I would have brought a different jacket than the one I did. I looked so frumpy. And I forgot a comb, so after walking for 25 minutes in the wind, my hair was rather a mess. I didn't shampoo it this morning because last night it just didn't look too bad and I figured it'd be okay for Sunday, too. Not so much.

Sacrament meeting was really good. I quite enjoyed it. And the chapel and meeing area didn't feel as though we were anywhere else rather than an LDS chapel.  The decor and colors were all very similar to any other ward meeting place.  But the organist!  HE was amazing.  The pipe organ was visible, the baffles were wooden and visible.  And his playing...quite amazing and oh-so-beautiful.  I got there about 18 minutes before time for it to begin, so I went to find the bathroom then sat down early and enjoyed the magnificient music.  I plopped down right in the middle of the middle row, didn't talk to a soul and no-one talked to me. I guess I don't look very approachable.  The member of the bishopric who conducted had a full beard, which is something seldom seen in this day and age.  There were about 7 Aaronic (and/or) Melchizedek Priesthood holders who did the Sacrament and the place was so full -- of visitors, mostly-- that they all had to come back for a second tray when they passed the water.  The congregation went clear back half way through the cultural hall.  It was a good meeting with good talks from the Riley family. No youth speaker. One intermediate hymn.

I left right after Sacrament meeting and took a slightly different route home and enjoyed seeing all the stuff.  All the food and restaurants!  So many apartments and offices and statues and people and tourists.

When I got back to the room and changed, we went OUT.  Our goal was to grab some breakfast but first we boarded the HOHO bus which was parked right outside of the deli where we may have wanted to grab some food.  But we rode on. And on. And on.  We got off near the bottom of the line and grabbed pretzels off a cart, eating while we walked over to the 911 memorial and museum.  They are beautiful. And the Occulus is, too. We spend hours walking through the exhibits in the museum and enjoyed them, were moved by them, were educated by them and were touched by them. What an incredible testament to our resilience and national pride and the world's committment to peace and friendship, overall.  Yes, there are bad people, but I believe there are more good people.

After the museum, we really needed a good meal and opted for a nearby deli called the "Stage Door".  The folks were very kind and understanding of our fickle-ness. They had everything from a grill to cold to ...well, about everything. Mom and I split a Rueben and potato salad and chips and fruit cup. I got a cannoli for dessert. I'm going to have to remember to NOT get those any more. I really don't enjoy them so much as I do many other things.  But lunch was great. Or, rather, lupper. (Linner? ). We've been basically eating just one main meal a day and then snacking the rest of the time.

Back to the bus and back to Time Square. It was getting late-ish, but when we got off the bus and managed to hail our first taxi cab. Wasn't hard at all! Donna did it well. We observed a few other folks first.  We rode it just up to Central Park, where we picked out a horse and carriage.  We opted for the shorted, 20 minute ride instead of a 40 minute one.  We DID have a cozy blankie, and we DID have a delightful driver whose name I do not recall. The horse was Billy. ha.  She was a great drive because we got a really good narrated tour about Central Park that we all enjoyed. She was really nice.

After our fun carriage ride in the dark (it gets dark here by 4:30 pm!!) We caught another cab back to our hotel area by Times Square. Those two cab rides cost 5 and 6 dollars, I believe, but saved Mom a whole lot of achy walking. Her hip is really, really sore, and Mom was tired of walking. Thankfully, our room is so very close to Times Square.  We found that there was a night tour leaving in 20 minutes. We already HAD tickets. . .we also had 20 minutes before the tour left. I made a bathroom stop inside Olive Garden Restaurant (I'll bet they love it that a tour bus ticket-seller-guide would tell non-customers to go in and use their bathroom! ha). and Donna and Janet headed to Starbucks for hot chocolate. Mom was so tired of riding around on buses. I admit, we HAVE been riding buses for a long time. Slow, bumpy and VERY VERY COLD buses since we always sit on the open top. I walked her back to the hotel while Janet and Donna got in the line for the tour bus and held a place for me (and held my hot cocoa that they bought for me. That was so sweet.)

The night HOHO bus wasn't all that great, but we did get to go across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn.  Only for a minute.  They basically just drove over, turned around and went back!  Too funny. We saw a few different views and streets, and the buildings at night. I could not take a decent night photo at all, so I'll be stealing them off of Facebook from Donna and Janet. Their phone cameras work better than mine. The guide was a "breathy" lady (aspiring actress/singer?) who maybe didn't do a lot of night-time tours because she would point out things like so, "Well, you can't really see this very well at night, but over here is..."  Why point it out if we cannot see it?  At least I wasn't having my ears shocked off on this trip.  I waited a while before I dared to put my ear buds in. I do so hate being zapped with static electricity.  And it's a BIG pop. When it's my finger touching the back of a seat, the "pop" is audible.  I've seen actual blue sparks when touching a metal filing cabinet at work.  Not a fun situation. I pack a big charge.

Well, on to our tour.  After it ended, we were all pretty well frozen, though it was 10 degrees warmer than the previous night!  The three of us stopped at Juniors and bought MORE goodies to bring back to the room (and Donna had a bathroom stop). Oh. My. Goodness.  So much sweetness and fun. :-)

I kind of slept well. I almost forgot to put in my ear plugs, but then noticed how noisy the street was..  Had a bit of threatened heartburn. Imagine that! I wonder why? ;-)

On Sunday Morning, they were supposed to have the street we are on (47th Street) closed to parking for a movie shoot.  But I went out to gather up some more savory breakfast foods to go with the sweets we had for breakfast , and there were cars parked all over as usual.  It was also rainy, so maybe they re-scheduled. We have a deli on the corner we quite like.  Well, it's more of a sandwich and pizza shop. But very convenient. EVERYthing is convenient here!

NYC Day 2

Brrrr.  It's all still very cold, cold, COLD here.

Today was our day to do the "Hop on Hop off" tour bus. We'd bought our tickets yesterday.
Slept in. I love sleeping until I wake up.  I wore earplugs to bed last night.
1) Janet snores
2) The city is noisy
3) The fire station is noisy

We had breakfast around the corner at a Dunkin' Donuts. Not exactly a New York thing, but it IS an East Coast thing and I don't have a Dunkin' Donuts in my town. And you will be surprised to know that I had no donuts for breakfast, but did have a tiny wrap with sausage, egg and cheese.  And an Almond Joy hot chocolate. There's no place to sit in the teeny little stores, so we stood and ate, then went outside to await our Grayline Hop on Hop off bus. We only had to wait 15 minutes and Mom really wanted to sit on the open top level.  WHAT?  It's so stinkin' cold, but we went up there and guess what?  We loved it!  You really do need to sit up there because all the city sites are above you and we would not be able to see nearly as much as we saw inside the bus.  Cold? Yes. Very.  But so fun to see the amazing architechure of all these old and new buildings.

Hop On Hop Off buses ( HOHOs) are narrated by guides. Some are better than others.
When we first boarded on 8th avenue, we had one guide. He said it would be re-routed due to the parade honoring Veterans' Dad up 5th Ave.  It didn't matter to us.  He was there for a stop or two.  We got off at the Empire State Building, but had to walk a couple of extra blocks to get there.  We did the entire "Empire State Building Experience."  I really really liked it. How do they get elevators to go so fast?  We loved the views from the top.  We loved it from the south side because it was sunny and leeward of the wind.  The North side offered great views, but it was shady and int he wind.  We spend quite a bit of time there, enjoying the views on both levels and buying a few trinkets at the gift shop. We did have to walk clear back to 7th Avenue to get on a HOHO bus.  More walking for poor Mom.

Our next guide was a lady who was really nice, but the bus was just  c  r  a  w  l  i  n  g  through the sluggish weekend holiday traffic.  It was so fun for me to sit on the bus and look and gawk to my heart's content and not have to worry about tripping, running into people or falling a hole, losing my balance and falling over while observing the lovely buildings.  The lady tour guide told us about the many neighborhoods we drove through--Chelsey, SOHO, Greenwich Village. We got off of her bus near China Town. By then it was 2 pm and we were ready for some lunch. After some minimal tourist shopping for souviners, we settled on a little hole-in-the wall restaurant and they did have very good food. A little more souvenir shopping AND a stop at a bakery for some evening treats, and we were on our way back to the bus.

Again, we had to return to the bus stop from which we came...three blocks or so away.  Mom was tiring out and her hip was aching. We had a gentleman guide the final leg of our bus tour and he was really hard to understand. Parly because of his accent, and he spoke very quickly and he didn't enunicate very well at all.  When I could understand him, it was enjoyable. When we got down near the waterfront area, that was about the time the sun went low and there wasn't a lot of warmth from that any longer and we started to get cold.  Everywhere.  We had thought about getting off at a stop near St. Patrick's cathedral (just to look), but we were all so frozen by then that we just stayed put .  There was no room down below on the inside --and besides, after enjoying the views from the top, we didn't WANT to go down below.  We stuck it out and froze to death.  We had also considered hopping off at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and just wandering around the lobby to warm up, but stayed put.  The final stop of our HOHO was right around the corner from our hotel.  Mom was really aching by then, so we just hobbled on up to the room.  So frozen.  Donna and Janet stopped for hot chocolate on the way up to our room. Mom got some pain relievers and a hot shower.

Then we got to sample all the Chinese bakery treats. Yum!

One of the bad things that happened was that the buses had plasic seats and I have had dry static and I was plugged into a (metal) audio outlet with plastic earbuds. However, anytime my butt moved across the plastic seats, it generated a very strong static charge and delivered it to my EAR!!!!! OUCH!  I kept screeching every time it happened, yanking the earbud out of my ear (and my hair, in the process). I didn't MEAN to scoot, but I needed to look all around and see everything I could possibly see. Such a frustrating thing.  It only happened on two of the three buses we sat on.

What a fun way to see the city. We want to go on some more, as our tickets are also good tomorrow.  There's an UPTOWN tour and and night tour we can do, as well as Brooklyn.  Tomorrow should be warmer. 10 degrees warmer will feel like a heat wave compared to yesterday and today.

I wanted to eat a NY hot dog today and we wanted to do our own "Food Tour" but having a warm sit-down meal together (and we all shared our different chinese dishes) was very much needed on a freezing day. And having only one big meal has worked out well, too.

Yes, the days we have been here are record-breaking cold days for the City of New York.  They broke record cold temps that stood since 1914. We are the champions for surviving all this with minimal damage.  I mean, nobody has frost bite! ha. So glad it's not snowing or raining. I can stand cold as long as we have a warm home to come back to so we can snuggle into the covers or take a hot shower. Or drink hot cocoa.
There are a LOT of photos of buildings. I was so captivated by the splendid and varied architechture everywhere I looked. It was hard not to take pictures. But here I am on top of the Hop On Hop Off bus. Fun times. Brrrrrr, and ZAP!!! I was constantly being zapped with static electricity by my earbuds. Oooch. Painful.

Did you know sidewalk stripes are not always painted on? Sometimes they are rolled off of a spool and pressed into place.

This is a sign (Lighted billboard) advertising the Rockettes  Christmas Show. I figured that was as close as I was going to get. This trip.

Eagle statuary on a gate.

Fire hose for a building. This is on the sidewalk. I think they dont want people to get comfy on them.

Entering the Empire State Building.

One of the many views.

Mom and me.

There were so many historical photos and informational kiosks. I could have stood around and read them for much longer than we did. It (the building) has such an amazing history!

The Veterans Day Parade was going on down there.

Lovely Art Deco design every where. 
I think this area holds the Tenement Museum, which I would live to see tbe next time I go to the city.

L & M Deli. Linda a d Mike?

Littlemparks are tucked around here and there.

Gorgeous cast iron (I think)

One of our guides told us that buildings that have arched windows where where the textile factories and sewing places were originally. Very historic areas that were fun to learn about from our guide.

We walked through a little bit of China Town and had lunch there. One guide told us that Chinatown is browing and Little Italy os shrinking. LI is now just ONE BLOCK in the midst of China Town.

Museum of American Indians.

A rounded building.

The bottom of the Brooklyn Bridge. I never got a good view because of tne freeway we were driving under was obstructing  the view.

This building (she said) was the original Madison Square Garden arena building. They built a newer larger one elsewhere.

The fire station near ohr place.

NYC Day one

On our First Day in New York Ciy for All Girls' Weekend, it was FREEZING.  Coming from the airport (JFK) with Janet on the Air Train and Subway, we were thinking that people were kind of over-dressed for how cold it was. We were in light jackets, the stations were not that cold, the trains themselves were warm.
When we got back out into it....yowza. Baby, it's cold outside.  Feels like 20's.  I brought only a light jacket, but I do have headband, gloves and many layers.  But still.
Janet and I found our way with help of GPS on her smart phone to the Hotel Edison on 45th street near Times Square.  Like the block right next to Times Square. Cool.

Our hotel is old, but the beds are comfy. There are 4 of us in a room that is narrow, but we fit just fine.  Me and Janet, Mom and Donna.  We are on the 15th floor. Our hotel is on the block next to a fire station, so there are a bunch of sirens quite frequently.

When we got to the hotel and met up with Mom and Janet, we went out to find breakfast because it was still quite early.  We went two doors (well, to the corner the other way away from Time Square) down to a deli called "Carve" and had a BIG breakfast.  Their pastries are very tempting, but we had omelets and toast, breakfast sandwiches.  They we came back to the room to regroup and  plant what and where we should go and do while we're here. We went to the visitor's center and bought tickets for the "Hop-on-Hop-off" bus. Janet and I had taken a red-eye, so we were tired and needed a nap.  Donna and I visited, Janet and Mom rested and I read through all the pamphlets on things to do and made a "List."

We had an early dinner/late lunch and wandered to 9th Avenue to see how many we'd have to choose from.  Very many.  All kinds. Mom is having a hard time walking because of her bum hip.  We were wanting pizza, actually. We checked on a couple of those places and picked one that had lots of choices.  It was good. We had garlic knots, too, and I ate more of those than anyone else. (I carried Tic Tacs with me the rest of the day)  We wandered into a souvenir shop, too.  It was just so cold that we needed to get back inside after walking around a bit.   So cold.  But it's fun to visit in the cozy room, too. We stopped at a cookie place to grab some treats on our way back to our room.

Friday night was the big night for our play!  "Hello Dolly" with Bette Midler.  So good. Shubert Theater.  Very old theater, full full house of a very VERY enthusiastic audience. David Hyde Pierce was the other lead and the whole company was excellent.  We did have balcony seats that were only three rows from the very tip tip top of the theater.  Really cool old place. It opened in 1913. The actors covered a microphone glitch toward the end very well. And there was an "after the show" plea for money and donations for "Broadway Cares," which included a brief auction. It was really entertaining.

The three of us walked through Times Square on the way back, took some photos. Froze our fannies off and headed back to our room to find Mom sound asleep and cozy in her jammies.
It was an old hotel. The tub was old, had been refinished a time or two, perhaps. Kind of ugly, but I only showered there. 

View from the toilet.

Above the toilet. Tissue dispenser has a rasor blade disposal slot. I wonder how many people look at that little thing and have no clue what it is. Did you?

The tile was very familiar. I do believe Mike used quite a few of those same deco tiles.

Later in the day, this area behind the glass shield would be filled with pizzas, beautiful ones, and very frsh. We were warching them get started while we ate.

Relaxing in our roomon Friday morning.

The view from our building/room window. Below me is 47th street, I believe. Avenue? I have forgotten already. (Updating with photos on Dec 13, so it's been a minute)

Mom teying to take a photo with a phone. Us old folks are funny trying tomuse those new-fangles techno gadgets.

Pizza, New York Style!