The post I had planned to do, about our trip to the pumpkin patch a while ago, has been temporarily bumped until tomorrow to make way for a post about our really cool weekend. We headed to Idaho Friday for the Rick’s College (BYU-Idaho) Symphony Orchestra reunion.
After a long drive of 12 hours, during which we told the kids the story of how Mom and Dad met, we finally landed at our friend’s house in Rigby, just a few miles away from the University. The kids were wired to the hilt after sitting in a car all day so we didn’t hit the sack until midnight or so, but had fun visiting with our good friends we hadn’t seen in three years.
Saturday morning the fun started. While Paul and I got ready, the teen-age daughter of our friend did all the girls’ hair and painted their nails. Rides on the four-wheelers were next on the list as all the kids bounced around and had a grand time. It was quite the picture with their hair looking all sweet, girly, and perfect, to see them racing along on four-wheelers. I just wish I had the camera up to catch Dot’s face at the moment she thought she was going to run me down – it was classic.
Then we headed into Rexburg. We drove around looking at the changes in the town and pointing out all the places we mentioned in our story. We stopped at Smith Park for some lunch – Paul and I had been to the park numerous times way back when and the kids had fun playing and listening to Mom and Dad reminisce.
(Paul and I have a very similar photo from back in the day…)
We wound up on campus shortly after. We wandered around the music building and barged in (with permission) on a Jazz band (small group) rehearsal. Jacob stared fascinated at the drummer the whole time. We took a tour seeing all the new buildings and changes that have been made. I used to live out in the boonies, but the campus has grown so much that my old apartments were right across from many of the buildings. It was neat to see how much it had grown in just 11 short years and for the kids too see our favorite spots to hang out. After the tour we waited in line to recieve our tickets for the Halloween concert and changed the kids into their costumes.
The Halloween concert is a long standing Rick’s/ BYU-Idaho tradition. I was in orchestra for one semester, my first, before my schedule began to get in the way and I switched to band only. During that semester I got to participate in the Halloween concert. The conductor dresses up as the count, our band director and associate orchestra conductor, is Igor. The two banter back and forth and really ham up the show. We sat with great anticipation in the back row of the auditorium. The lights dim and Igor limps out on the stage directing his helpers to place a coffin in front of the conductor’s stand. He chooses some poor unsuspecting individual to come out of audience and instructs them to push the button on the box – with much humor and anticipation. The button is pushed and every thing goes black except for the wild flashing of the strobe light. We see the coffin open and from it raises The Count and begins to conduct the orchestra in the traditional opening number: “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg. The children gasp in awe as orchestra members begin to dance across the stage and taking their places. The music builds and builds as the orchestra grows. Finally everyone is in place and it turns into a wild frenzy as dancers leap and flip across the stage, the strobe lights flashing madly. The song ends and the kids whisper excitedly (I want to see that again).
Then the concert takes off with amazing music, hilarious performances and side shows. And, as it was a reunion concert, there were many video flashbacks to past concerts that had us all laughing, cheering, and remembering days long past. It was definitely a memorable experience for us and the kids. Elizabeth asked me urgently many times, “This isn’t the last Halloween concert is it?” When she found out that the tradition would continue she sighed in relief, “Oh good.” It was exciting to know that she hoped to see it again someday and maybe even play in it. It also reminded me that I have a video tape of the concert I played in and I promised the kids we would watch it this week – I have a feeling it is about to become a Halloween tradition.
After the concert we met up with old friends and chatted and returned the children to our friends who were kind enough to babysit for us. Then we headed back to the University for the reunion banquet. There we met up once again with Paul’s old friends Dan and Darren that extended far beyond college years into childhood. We were able to sit and hang out with Laural and Becky. It was awesome to see you guys! and others too! We were able to meet up with our conductor – mainly for the symphonic band and visit with him as well. It was a fun evening of re-acquaintances and memories.
A small group of us…
And then we found Brother Neilson and a few others (and spouses)
After the dinner Becky and Ed offered to take us up in the helicopter they flew here. We have always wanted to experience fly in a helicopter, but have never had the opportunity. Thanks you guys! It was definitely a highlight of the trip. It was amazing to us how smooth it was and the view over Rexburg and the campus at night was simply amazing. We tried to take a few pictures, but the vibrations were bad enough that it made taking a clear photo difficult, especially at night. We did get a couple of amazing pictures of the Temple though.
Then we returned home and spent the remainder of the evening chatting and playing until we turned in. Sunday we were up early and heading home. The trip home passed rather uneventfully, except for the one time the van overheated. We discovered that the fan must have gone bad. So we sat at a rest area for an hour or so until the van cooled down and took off again. As long as we kept moving and didn’t leave the van idling we were fine.
The kids were excited to see their home again, especially Jacob and while it is always fun to go on exciting trips, it is always wonderful to return home.
It was a memorable and fun-filled trip for all of us, and so good to see some of you!