Friday, May 4, 2012

Big Day

It's a big day for my girls.

A couple of months ago, Bigger Girl found out that Broadway Across America (i think that's what it's called) is going to be performing Cats in Chicago this weekend.

Now if there is one thing Bigger Girl loves, it's Cats.  She thinks it is fabulous, amazing, and every other adjective you can think of to describe it.  She is so totally enamored with it that she writes and reads fanfic for it online.

So she at once began adding her savings, plotting and planning, and doing everything she could to figure out how she could get there.  She wanted to do it as her Senior trip, and bring Little Girl with her.

She looked into flying, but she has always wanted to take a train.  When i mentioned that my childhood dream has always been to take the train The City of New Orleans, and that it runs to Chicago and back continually, she knew she was going to pull it off.

Working hard and saving money has always come easily to her, she is a natural saver.  After several arguments with a computer, she managed to snag tickets to the Saturday performance.  Following discussions with Little Girl about the value of seats versus sleepers, they decided on and booked a roomette on the train there and back.

Getting a place for them to stay in Chicago was much trickier.  Turns out, in the US, you can vote and die for your country at age 18, but you have to be 21 to check into a hotel.  No, i don't know if that's a Federal regulation or if all hotels have just decided to be that way.  Then the idea hit me -- youth hostel!

Sure enough, there is a nice one in Chicago, in just the part of town they want to stay in.  Easy as can be, they let you check in if one of your party is 18.  They will be sharing a dorm room for 8 with a bathroom attached, and cheaper than a hotel.  Also, you meet the best people in those places, i've been told.

Restaurant reservations are made for the one next door to the theater two hours before showtime.  A highly rated restaurant, too.

The biggest trouble, besides accommodations, was finding an outfit for Little Girl that she could wear to such a nice restaurant and theater.  Bigger Girl, when asked if she has siblings, usually either says, "I have 3 brothers and one of them is a girl" or "I have two brothers and a tomboy."  The descriptions do fit, Little Girl loathed dolls and dresses as a child and as a teen still loathes anything but jeans and t-shirts.  She spends almost as much time in the creek as #2 Son, and she is as comfortable with guy friends as will girls.

It took two special trips to several stores to find a pair of pants, nice blouse, shoes, and jacket that she would consent to wear.  The best thing about it is now she certainly has something nice to wear to Mother's Day and Bigger Girl's graduation, too/  In fact, as seldom as she dresses up, if she leaves these hanging in the closet instead of wadded on the floor, and she doesn't outgrow them, she should have a nice outfit to last several years.

Now they are packed and the plan is that i will drive them to the train station in New Orleans.  They will ride the train, and on arrival in Chicago go to the hostel and store their bags.  The next few hours they have a few things in Chicago they want to explore, mostly museums as both of them are bookworms and writers and artists and studious at heart (though Little Girl would never admit it), then back to check fully in and get dressed.  An evening of dining and theater follows, which will be Bigger Girl's biggest thrill.

Sunday morning they will get up, have breakfast, check out of the hostel, lock their bags up there again (they are allowed to do that), explore a bit more, then pick up their bags and back to the train.  My job is to pick them up Monday afternoon in New Orleans again.

Bigger Girl has been so dedicated to making this trip happen she has even stayed after school to do extra work so the days she will miss wouldn't interfere with her graduation (it wouldn't anyway, i checked with the teacher before i encouraged her to follow this dream).

They should have a marvelous time.

Today is

Cassinga Day -- Namibia

Compliment Someone's Smile Day

Declaration of Independence Day -- Latvia

Dodenherdenking -- Netherlands (Remembrance of those in the armed forces who have died in war or peacekeeping missions.)

Exaultation of Wine -- Ribeiro, Spain (through the 6th; wine, fruit, music and dance, what more could you ask?)

Fairy Ring Day (Giving) -- Fairy Calendar

International Firefighters' Day

Magic Dragon Street Meet and Generation Next Magic Dragon -- Historic Bagnell Dam Strip and Prewitt's Point, MO, US (through the 6th; if you like car shows, this is the place for you!)

May Fourth Movement
     Literary Day -- Republic of China
     Youth Day -- People's Republic of China

Midori no hi -- Japan (Greenery Day/Arbor Day)

National Candied Orange Peel Day

National Homebrew Day

National Orange Juice Day

No Pants Day -- first Friday in May, and not to be confused with the annual No Pants Subway Ride in NYC

Prayer Day -- Denmark; Faroe Islands; Greenland

Relationship Renewal Day

Remembrance Day for Martyrs and the Disabled -- Afghanistan

Respect for Chickens Day -- International

Sagami Giant Kite Festival -- Sagami, Japan (through tomorrow; giant kite that requires a team of 100 people is flown on the banks of the Sagami River)

Senior Citizens Day -- Palau (obs.)

St. Florian's Day (Patron of Poland, upper Austria, brewers, chimney sweeps, firefighters)

St. Venerius of Milan's Day (Patron of lighthouse keepers)

Star Wars Day -- greet others with "May the 4th be with you!"

Birthdays Today:

Randy Travis, 1959
Pia Zadora, 1956
George F. Will, 1941
Audrey Hepburn, 1929
Heloise Bowles Cruse, 1919
Bartolomeo Cristofori, 1655

Today in History:

Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance, 1415
Peter Minuit becomes director-general of New Netherlands, 1626
A French manufacturer debuts the first folding umbrella, 1715
Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III, 1776
Napoleon arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile, 1814
The Haymarket Square Riot takes place in Chicago, 1886
The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal, 1904
The Royal Canadian Navy is created, 1910
May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, 1919
Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion, 1932
Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea, 1953
The "Freedom Riders" begin a bus trip through the South, 1961
The Don't Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to "Greenpeace Foundation", 1972
An all-female Japanese team reaches the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak, 1974
Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1979
Latvia proclaims the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation, 1990
The Scottish National Party wins the Scottish general election and becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever, 2007


  1. So exciting. Nerve wracking.


  2. I am a Bigger Girl fan. As a graduating senior she is already a directed and actualized person. What a gift you are giving Little Girl by allowing her this adventure with her sister--imagine having that memory.

  3. I thought I was the only person left alive who hasn't seen Cats. Somehow, I've never gotten around to it. Big Girl is inspiring me to try harder.

  4. Mom treated me to the show when I was fresh out of college. They will love it! I think I have the VHS around here somewhere... Yes, that is how long ago I was in college. ;) I hope they enjoy the train. I took the train once, going to California, and thought it was wonderful.

    Oh, and it looks like you have Star Wars Day down...

    May the Fourth be With You,

  5. Miz, it is exciting, i'm glad they get to go.

    Anonymous, i'm a fan of her, too.

    Stephen, i haven't seen it, either, but they play clips on YouTube so much around here i feel as if i have.

    Cat, i haven't been on a train since Europe, and that was a long time ago. Happy Star Wars Day!

  6. Oh, this is going to be so exciting for them! I loved Cats - fabulous show.
    This will definitely make wonderful memories for them. My sister (Reb) and I once traveled across Newfoundland by bus, took the overnight ferry to Nova Scotia, then the train to Halifax. It was exciting and nerve-wracking and fabulous. We were in our mid-teens, and had never really traveled without our parents. It was a real learning experience.
    I hope your girls have a terrific time! (I was in Chicago last summer and loved it.... just wish I had been able to spend more time there.)

  7. Bag Lady, i remember your Chicago pics, and i hope they are having as much fun as you and Reb did all those years ago.