Not long after I moved to California, a friend that grew up in the area told me that I had to go to the Pageant of the Masters. Being new to SoCal I had no idea what that was so headed straight to the web and found out that Pageant of the Masters is an annual show put on by the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach - "Watch art come to life right before your eyes in a star-lit amphitheater." Ok, that sounded interesting so I got a couple of tickets and off we went to the Pageant of the Masters 2017.
This show was absolutely fantastic! I loved everything about it; the uniqueness, the orchestra, the story, the elaborate sets & costumes, sitting outside with the coastal breeze and a mountain backdrop while sipping on the wine we brought with us, just everything. It really is like no other show or art event I've ever seen.
(No photography is allowed so extra special thanks to the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach for the photos!)
Even after looking at the website and reading reviews I didn't know exactly what to expect or what we would be seeing. The theme for this year was "The Grand Tour" which consisted of a narrated story of a wealthy young man traveling through Europe in the 1800's. Letters between the young man and his father were used to tie in and present the show.
As the narrative is read and the orchestra plays the curtains open to a recreated piece of art - say a famous painting. The painting is framed on the stage and larger than life, obviously. Actors/models are part of the recreation along with elaborate backdrops & props. Marvelously, the design, costumes and make-up were done so well and with such detail that in works containing several subjects it was difficult to say for certain which were actual people - even with binoculars! (Below are photos of how this looks from the audience and then a close up of the same painting.) Pretty cool, eh?
Paintings were only one art form in the show. There were also marble and bronze statues, porcelain pieces, posters and more. The photo below of the Portland Vase was one of my favorites. This was on the stage and that's a person!
Ok. A few more paintings and then I'll show you some 'how it's done' photos. Just look at the details. Those are real people!
Below is a backstage makeup photo and then the finished deal. The young actor is in the painting on the far left.
Here are several photos that show some of the process for the Annie Oakley poster that was part of the show; beginning with casting.
A few extra goodies about attending the Pageant of the Masters: (1) you can bring your own beverages (including alcohol but no glass containers); (2) Laguna Beach Shuttle that runs in the summer has a drop off right at the Festival of Arts; (3) there is a wonderful art show featuring local artists before the Pageant begins; (4) a restaurant and bar are located right there (make reservations to be safe) (many restaurants are within walking distance also); and (5) binoculars and seat cushions are available for rent for an extremely low fee ($10 for binoculars and $3 for seat cushion). (You can read the rules of the Festival of Arts here.)
I could go on and on but really you need to see this unique show for yourself! We are planning on going again next summer and can't wait to take our summer house guests to the show also. Are you visiting SoCal next summer? If so, be sure to add Pageant of the Masters to your list!
What was your favorite artsy event this summer?
A highlight of my summer and one of my favorite travel weeks ever was with a new travel companion - my seven year old granddaughter, Alyssa. We went to Anna Maria Island, Florida and had a blast doing all things beachy.
Any momentary doubts that I might not being able to keep her entertained or that she would get homesick after the first day were calmed right after we began our drive from Orlando to Anna Maria Island. This little lady is her mother's child; who is my child, and good Lordy Lou she can talk! By the time we arrived at our little cottage 2 hours later we had the entire week planned out and were destined to be perfect travel companions.
Here's a few tips that helped make our week such a success:
1. Involve the child in planning. (Whether it be location or activities at the destination.)
My granddaughter had several choices; Niagara Falls, NYC, Grand Canyon & a Florida beach. She looked at photos on the internet and options at each destination and chose the beach. Allowing a choice gave her something to anticipate and also to feel like this was "our" trip. She definitely had some ideas about what we could do at the beach such as build a sand castle and look for shells.
2. To the degree possible keep normal sleep schedules. Of course part of the fun of traveling with "Mama Bear" as opposed to parents is the fun stuff like staying up past bedtime. But the day can quickly turn sour if your grandchild is tired and grumpy.
We alternated - one night we stayed up later (even by thirty minutes was fun for her) and the next night we went to bed at normal bedtime. Fortunately, my granddaughter is not a super early riser, but even so, I pretty much kept her sleep schedule also in hopes of having enough energy to keep up each day.
A memory I know I will have for many years is how tickled Alyssa was to tell her mom that Mama Bear and her stayed up until 11:30 watching The Parent Trap movie. She was absolutely thrilled and since we had an easy day at the beach planned for the following day it worked out fine.
3. Don't forget your old "Mom" bag of tricks. Really. I kept in my tote all the things I used to carry around when mine were little - a snack, wet ones, something to write with and on, a mini first aid kit, an extra tee shirt, and a few items for distraction/entertainment.
A friend of mine came to visit us one day at the beach and while waiting for our dinner the three of us played Go Fish with a deck of cards that were in my bag. Not only did it keep Alyssa entertained we really had fun also. Subsequently, each time we went out to eat Alyssa asked to play cards. By the time the week was she was quite pleased that she could easily manage six cards in her hand as opposed to four. [Enter disclaimer in case granddaughter becomes professional poker player.]
It is much easier to have a distraction handy than to have a time to eat meltdown! (Only need to experience one of those in a restaurant to realize the value of adding yet another item or two to the already twenty pound 'just in case' bag. 😳}
4. Do things they like and that interest them. When you are traveling with grandkids center the agenda on them and things that they will enjoy and remember. My goal for this trip was to spend time with my granddaughter and to help foster in her a love for travel and new experiences. So focusing on activities she would like made sense.
Many moons ago when my children were young (ages 8 - 14) my sister-in-law and I took them on a 7 night trip to Spain. One evening I overheard them fussing in the connecting room. And it went something like this:
Sister to Brother: You need to stop it!
Brother: Or, what? You're gonna make me go to every cathedral and museum in Spain?!
Brother: Oh, right. We already did that!
All kids: Hysterical laughter.
Ouch. Lesson learned.
On this vacation, Alyssa and I spent quite a lot of time in the pool playing all sorts of water games; at the beach building sand castles & looking for shells; and riding around the island in a rented golf cart. One favorite was an outing to the Donut Experiment where you can get your donut made to order. Yum! Simple activities that provided real quality time together.
5. Don't overdo it & be flexible. We all remember our kids when they got tired and over stimulated. Just say no to that situation and keep things simple and age appropriate.
Be flexible for weather, someone not feeling 100% on any particular day, or your grandchild not being interested in a specific activity. If you have extra ideas and/or activities for a rainy day in your pocket it can save a vacation day.
I had a few things in mind to do with my granddaughter on our trip; go to the Ringling Museum, sunset/dolphin watching cruise, visit the botanical gardens, enjoy a German dinner at a cool restaurant on the island ... of those particular items, she was really only interested in the sunset/dolphin watching cruise. And, sure enough the sunset/dolphin cruise was a highlight of the trip for Alyssa.
6. Keep in touch with parents and other siblings. Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp - these applications are fantastic for staying connected. As the kids get older of course they can call or text on their own but at age 7 it worked out great to have at least one Facetime call a day to parents.
7. Discuss use of electronics with parents prior to vacation and abide by their rules. Most all kids today know their way around an iPad, laptop and smartphone. And most parents have pretty set house rules regarding the time the kids can spend on these devices.
Letting your grandchild know that these set rules will be followed on your vacation will hopefully eliminate the potential stress of the kids wanting to be on their devices way more than they are allowed.
8. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Spray it on those kids every time you go outside with them!
Whatever you do when traveling with your grandkids relish in the joy of being a grandparent! I'm so happy to have taken my first trip with one of my grandkids and that it was such a wonderful experience for both of us. Looking forward to traveling next with my grandson, Logan and bringing him to California!
Have you traveled with your grandchildren? If so, please share any additional tips you have for traveling with grandkids in the comments below!
Come along with this southern girl on my fun travel adventures! I’m taking the tours; seeing the sites; trying out the hotels; dining at the restaurants; cruising on the cruise ships; and sharing the experiences on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel escapades and that they will be inspiring and helpful when planning your own fabulous adventures.