December 13, 2011

Visiting Family

This weekend, DS's mom, sister, and niece all came up for their annual viewing of The Nutcracker.  The latter two had seen it three years in a row by three different ballets.  It's sort of their thing.  So we talked them into seeing ours, which had the added benefit of finally getting them up here to see us.

Our niece is 9 and really wanted to see things like the Liberty Bell and the Betsy Ross house.  That was easy for us to do, since we live within a few blocks of all that stuff.  Saturday morning we walked around looking at some of the close stuff.  One of my favorite things to show people is Elfreth's Alley, which is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States.  As a nice bonus, the residents had decorated for Christmas.  We also toured the Betsy Ross house, where the Betsy impersonator talked to us for a long time, and made our niece a paper star using the same techniques used to make the first flag.  We checked out the Liberty Bell, where we learned that the name came much later in its life when abolitionists adopted it as their sign of freedom.  Then his sister wanted to see the Love statue, so we went across town to see that.  On the way back, we checked out the plaza where all the giant game pieces are, which was a lot of fun.

We had some time before we had to get ready for the ballet, so our niece and I made some jewelry, and I taught her how to play The First Noel on the piano.  It was a lot of fun to see her trying so hard to get it right, and I was super proud when she could finally play it through without messing up and with correct fingering.

The ballet was magnificent.  There was a full orchestra and a choir there for the music.  The sets were really cool, and some of the costuming was just gorgeous.  This was my third ballet company viewing of The Nutcracker, and it's always interesting seeing all the little ways companies do things the same and differently.  The pas de deux at the end was just so great.  Our niece thought that part was boring, but it was the more technical part that probably doesn't look as impressive when you're small and don't understand how hard standing on en pointe and being pulled across the stage with one leg up in the air really is.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend.  I hope they get to come back soon, because we barely even scratched the surface of things to do in the city.  Plus I just love hanging out with them.  Maybe next time they'll bring the boys too!

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1 comment:

tRuCuLeNtWoMaN said...

Awesome, Jessica!!!