Friday, May 1, 2009

Illinois may not have mountains but it's beautiful!

Isn't that ceiling beautiful?!

Last Thursday I flew to Illinois to see Bryson. We had such a great time! It was so wonderful to see him and be with him :) It was his birthday on Friday and it was so exciting because it was the first birthday we've gotten to spend together in person! I made him breakfast that morning and gave him is present. We both love the show on Food Network called "Good Eats" and so I got him a DVD of Good Eats episodes. He loved it! The birthday celebrations continued when we went to choir rehearsal that afternoon. Bryson's students surprised him with cake, a card and Happy Birthday. They were so sweet and they made a great tasting cake too! :)

While Bryson and the choir practiced before the concert, I took some pictures of the gorgeous recital hall and the choir themselves. Photographing people is something that I'm still figuring out so it was a great opportunity to gain more experience with it, and I think the pictures turned out really well!

The concert was great! The choir sang really well and Bryson did a wonderful job conducting them! It was a success! After the concert a group of us went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner. I kept it surprise from Bryson, although I needed to tell him where we were going after the concert...cause I didn't know how to get there :) But we had a wonderful time and the food was great! I think they day turned out great and I think Bryson had a fun time too! I love you hun!

Saturday Bryson and I went to Springfield to see the Dana-Thomas House. It was a house that the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright did back at the turn of the century for Susan Thomas. She gave him carte blanche with the house, as long as he kept the parlor from her childhood home the same. So with that Wright tore down Susan's childhood home except for the parlor and built and attached the house onto that room. It was absolutely amazing! He did everything: windows, furniture, even some of the sculptures. The house was the first with electric lighting in Springfield and today all the lights are at the same 25 watts that they were when Susan lived there so you can really get a feel for what it was like to both live and to attend parties at the house. Plus it seems like the house never ends! Just when I thought we'd seen it all, we would go around a corner or down stairs to another room! Since we weren't allowed to take pictures inside I don't have any to put up but you should go out and look up the Dana-Thomas house in Springfield, Illinois. You'll get to see the beauty of this wonderful house!

The other stop in Springfield was to the Lincoln House. This year is the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth! I'll do my best to not ramble...I tend to do that when I get excited about historical subjects :) But this house was the house that Abraham and Mary Lincoln bought and lived in soon after they were married. They lived in this house 17 years, which is the longest Lincoln lived anywhere else in his life. The amazing part of this house is that when the family left to go to Washington, they didn't sell the house. They probably intended on coming back after Lincoln was finished with his time in office. After Lincoln was assassinated Mary Lincoln and her boys never returned to the house. Years later, Lincoln's oldest son Robert, decided to give the house to the state provided that people could come in and see where his famous father had lived. The state was in control for a while, then turned it over to the federal government. They've turned the whole block into a national park and have kept the roads and sidewalks how they would have been in Lincoln's time: wooden sidewalks and unpaved roads. Plus all the houses around his house were kept in the same style of the mid 1800's, so you really feel like you step back in time :)

When Bryson and I went on the tour, the park ranger explained that pretty much everything in the house belonged to the Lincoln's and the left it when they traveled to Washington. Even the railing on the stairs was original, and since we used the railing to climb the steep stairs....that's right you guessed it! Bryson and I have touched the railing that Lincoln has touched. So that means we've touched Lincoln's hand! :) Come find us in Utah or in Illinois if you want to shake a hand that has touched the railing that Lincoln used to help climb the stairs! The house was beautifully decorated and it was really fun to hear about Lincoln the husband and father. After Lincoln's it was time to head home but we had a great time :)

On Sunday Bryson's children's choir that he directs at a Lutheran church in town was singing and that was fun to watch all the little kids. Then it was off to our church, where Bryson accompanied a special musical number. After church it was time for some napping :) Then off to the Concert Choir Concert. Bryson's roommate Danny McDavitt is the assistant for the choir, and due to some changes in the choral department, the choir was being disbanded so it was a big last concert. Everyone did such a great job! Going to all these concerts makes me miss singing in choirs.

Both Monday and Tuesday it was back to school for Bryson and so I wandered around campus, found the bookstore (where I spent several hours!) and just relaxed and enjoyed our time together. It also rained a ton on Monday afternoon and evening so so much for the garden tour we were going to do :)

Finally it was time to go to the airport (with one more suitcase too :) We're trying to help the moving process by bringing stuff home each time one of us is going back to Utah). We both had such a great time! I was sad to come back home but I can't wait till the end of May when I get to see Bryson again!

Here's some pictures! Bryson is very sneaky and somehow I always seem to leave Illinois without a picture of him! But at the top there is some pictures of the recital hall and the choir practicing before the concert. The rest are of the tree in Bryson's back yard, and an adorable squirrel that did such a great job of posing for me!

1 comment:

Kaija said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip! I love the choir photos that Bryson posted on his blog! Nice work! It sounds like you made the weekend very celebratory for Bryson. Nice work! Have you ever read "Love Is Eternal" by Irving Stone? Its about Mary Todd and Abe Lincoln from the beginning of their relationship to the end. Historical fiction, but it really drew me into history that I'm usually not that interested in. And the Prophet Joseph Smith even makes an appearance in the book! It was kind of a revelation for me to realize that Abe Lincoln lived at the same time as the Prophet. I usually don't put those pieces of history together in my head!