Just spent a LOVELY (but SHORT!) weekend in my dear hometown of Fairfield, Iowa. Duane and I drove down Friday night after work. We FINALLY got to Tena's (after being BLOWN down the interstate with GALE FORCE WINDS) around 10:30. It was SO GOOD to see Tena again!
She was JUST up for a visit about a month ago, and I could TOTALLY get used to this "once a month" thing"!! We stayed up until about 1:00 Saturday morning catching up.
Saturday, we started the day with a trip to Revelations for coffee. If you are EVER in Fairfield, you MUST go to Revelations...it is THE place for java.
We took a tour of the GLORIOUS Sondheim Center, shopped the square (briefly!), and then took Tena home to get ready for her show (GODSPELL...more on that in a few paragraphs!).
After dropping Tena at her place, Duane and I went to the antique mall on the square, went to the Chocolate Cafe (another MUST stop on the square), then went BACK to Revelations for lunch. We had the Santa Fe Chicken pizza, and if you GO to Revelations, you MUST have it...barbecued chicken, roasted red peppers, chili oil...AWESOME!
After lunch, we went to the "Books are Fun/Reader's Digest" "outlet store". I found a FABULOUS cake cookbook for TEN BUCKS, and can't wait to try EACH AND EVERY RECIPE IN IT, then went to the theater to see the show.
What can I say?! "Godspell" isn't one of my favorite shows, but it was REALLY, REALLY good! OF COURSE, Duane and I spent MOST of our time watching Tena...she is ABSOLUTELY mezmerizing to watch...such talent...such charisma...such a consumate FIREBALL of FABULOUSNESS!!!!
If you go to the show (which you REALLY should if you're ANYWHERE near Fairfield next weekend), check out her "poking of the 'rich man' in hell" (the Lazarus scene), and focus on HER when the whole "interpreting for the deaf" scene unfolds...HILARIOUS! Her solo is a TOTAL showstopper...you'll wish she could go on singing it FOREVER!!!
Really great show, really talented cast, and the Sondheim Center is an AMAZING facility. GO SEE THE SHOW! I also got to see some DEAR friends before and after the show...Jane R., Laurie W., Mosie, Terry and Sarah C., Jean D., Martha F. (my junior high vocal music teacher, and one of the three teachers that I credit for my love, and joy in singing and musical theater).
After "Godspell", we hooked up with Tena and went back to Revelations AGAIN, so that Tena could eat, then went out to see Jason and Suzanne K. What a great couple, and their kids, Emma and Jack, are adorable. We didn't get to stay long, but a summer barbecue was promised upon our return, and we are SO collecting on that promise...especially since their pool will be up and functional as well :-)
Duane and I could only stay for a brief time, as we had plans to get together with DEAR FRIEND Carol J.
We toured her LOVELY new home (and I SOMEHOW volunteered to help strip wallpaper this summer...what was I thinking??!!), and then had dinner at Vivo, which is where Regina's USED to be. It was a nice enough meal, but I SO MISS Regina's. Tena and I spent MANY happy meals (and THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!) there, and a HUGE hole has been left in the dining venues of Fairfield through it's closing...sigh...
After dinner we drove around for a little while, then went to the high school to see Scott S's directing of "Little Shop of Horrors". I have to say that I was a little jealous. I did "Little Shop" in Washington about 10 years ago (!!??), and it's one of my FAVORITE roles. What can I say about this high school production, except that it was FABULOUS! Jon E. and Emily P. (both of which attended my storytimes and summer reading programs at the library when they were, like, five or six years old!!) were AMAZING!
I was SO proud of them (even though I had NOTHING to do with their AMAZING talents!). I felt REALLY old...Jon and Emily were the leads, and SEVERAL others in the cast were also storytime/summer reading program alums...Zach...Griffin...Price...it was a HOOT to see them!
I also got to see LOTS of theater friends and "family" who were also sitting in the audience for the show...it was TOTAL "old home" night, and I LOVED it! I had a chance to chat with Scott briefly, saw Trish, and Diana, and Judy B-S, and Ray and Laurie, and Judith, and Tim and DeAnn, and LeAnn and Jim, and Roger and Diane, and Joanne, and...the list goes on and on and on and on. What a GREAT bunch of people! I miss them A LOT!! They are an AMAZINGLY wonderful, TREASURED gift from my time in Fairfield.
I also ran into my buddy Mandie H. She asked me to sing at her wedding next October! I'm a little out of practice, but said yes...and am looking forward to it. I'm a little nervous...she and her fiance live in Branson, MO, and write and record songs. Not sure WHO will be at the wedding, but I'm SURE there will be "music people"...ack! I don't remember what she said about the location, but either the wedding AND the reception are at the Sondheim Center, or the reception will be held there...either way, I'll get to be in that WONDERFUL space again soon!
After the show, we dropped Carol off at her FABULOUS new house, and went back to Tena's. She had left a text message (yes...I've joined the 2000's, and have learned how to use this AMAZING feature of my cell phone. It's WAY addictive, and I like it A LOT!!!), that Gay C. was having a "wine and spaghetti" after party for some of the cast, and invited us to join them. We were TIRED, but went, and were glad that we did.
Gay is one of those people that you can just INSTANTLY pick up with where you left off the last time you saw her. She's an AMAZING human being, and a very dear person. It was AWESOME to chat with her, and, as always, she was gracious and welcoming and her usual AMAZINGLY wonderful self...even while she was FRANTICALLY cooking spaghetti and sauce for a hungry army of actors!
After Gay's, we went back to Tena's, and AGAIN, Tena and I stayed up until 1:00 Sunday morning chatting and catching up! Duane conked BOTH NIGHTS around 11:30, but Tena and I just had TOO MUCH to talk about! I'm afraid we kept him up with our BOISTEROUS conversation...I think we BOTH may be in bed tonight by 8:00!
This morning, we got up, got around, and went to the "Silver Bullet" (I have NO IDEA what the place is actually called...Fairfield Family Diner, or something like that...). We had a nice PROTEIN RICH breakfast, then hit the road for the TEDIOUSLY long trip back up here.
Luckily, Duane suggested that we should stop in Pella to see the tulips, since the Tulip Festival is NEXT weekend. There were MANY that were just about to open, but we managed to find a few beds that had already bloomed...GORGEOUS. Below, are pictures of Duane and me "enjoying the sights".
We also stopped in Story City at the antique mall (I didn't find anything, but Duane found a couple of lunchboxes for his collection), and had a late lunch at Carlos O'Kelleys in Mason City.
It was a REALLY action packed, quick weekend, with LOTS of driving at each end of the journey, but SO worth it! I hadn't been to Fairfield since last June, and we were WAY overdue for a visit!
I'm looking forward to spending MORE time there this summer...when things don't have to be quite so rushed (but the weather will be so UNBEARABLY hot and sticky that we won't be able to rush ANYWAY!).
AWESOME trip! I hope YOUR weekend was full of fun, friends, and AMAZING adventures too!
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