Last Sunday was the first weekend of the summer and the first of the concert series. Nathan and I wanted to go listen to the beautiful strings play various movie songs while just relaxing in the open air. The kids put up quite the struggle about going. It got to the point where I almost caved and didn't go. I just don't like doing things that will be more stressful because of their poor attitudes. I know that the symphony is not the highlight of their summer, but they just need to give a little since I spend my week getting them to and from their events. I finally convinced them to play along by reminding them that they can bring board games to play on the picnic blanket. I kept a little treat for them a secret.
Besides listening to the symphony and the wonderful down time, I love some of our traditions with this event. Our family typically has a picnic dinner while out there. The kids love to picnic. We've done it where we pack our own food, but our favorite thing to do is go to Whole Foods downtown and grab a bunch of finger foods and special drinks that we don't usually splurge on. This time we just got hungry before leaving and had dinner at home. What we did do that was special was stop at Sandy's, an amazing totally Austin restaurant, for shakes. If you have never been, you must! They have excellent burgers as well as shakes! It was a great substitute for the wine we usually have.
This time we make it down there just in time for the concert so we get to sit a bit farther out than usual. It's OK because we are right in the path of the speakers. The conductor is a bit nervous and it's obvious. She almost forgets to welcome the audience and introduce the strings. All of the musicians out there are volunteers who are part of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. She tells us that she is a high school orchestra director and that her co-worker has created these amazing versions of famous movie songs. Only some are recognizable because they did not pick title songs and I love that!
The kids have the picnic blanket out and are playing games. Only a few times do we have to interject that just because my students play this way does not mean that it's the standard rules or that they should play that way. A few mini social skills moments where I have to talk to them about agreeing on the rules before playing the game, but oh well. Then I make the mistake of telling Nathan that I might actually have to learn how to play chess. Darn smart phones! He downloads chess and we play a game, but I'm going with it. No, I do not remember the rules about who goes where and such.
One thing we both are doing is people watching. It was so nice to see groups of people coming together for a pot luck style picnic and just spending time together. That is totally on my to do list! Nathan and I both watch this couple who are apparently on a first date (or at least pretty early in the relationship). This young man is working so hard to make the young lady feel comfortable and relaxed. He's packed a picnic and everything. Its super sweet, and I would have been totally wooed by this. This girl, well, she is not rewarding his efforts with positive social skills at all. It is so bad that I thought she was blind and wasn't aware that she was not giving him any eye contact at all. Then she did it, she looked at him and bated her eyes. She even finally smiled. Unfortunately it was at the end of the concert. There's hope for love yet.
I rarely take pictures of my self, but I decided to on this night. I wanted some pictures of Nathan and I enjoying ourselves. We celebrate 15 years of marriage this summer and I realized we never take pictures together. Both of us take tons of pictures of the kids. When I went to see what was going on on Facebook I noticed that a friend of mine was posting pictures of her children at the symphony. Of course I had to go find her! We hope to all get together for the symphony this week when the brass play.
Both kids have finally admitted to enjoying the evening at the symphony and are asking to go back this week. I knew they would love it! Grab your family, friends, picnic basket, lawn chairs / blanket, and spend an evening just relaxing in Austin. It's worth the time - oh and the concert is free! I leave you with pictures of my little diva at the symphony.