Sunday, September 29, 2013

North Carolina Visit

We hadn't seen my nephew, Jonathan, and his family in over a year, so when we heard that his two girls, Sophia and Clara, were cast as Villagers in their local community theater's production of  Fiddler on the Roof we decided to make a point to see them perform.  As an added bonus, Jon's son, Nolan, was playing in a soccer game for his traveling team, so we could see him play again; the last time was seven or eight years ago.

So Ben and I and Paul drove down to Jon's home in Burlington, North Carolina, on Friday, enjoying the beautiful weather for traveling and the general lack of traffic on the roads midday. We arrived about 4:00 and visited for a few hours before making the quick drive to the theater on Front Street.  Burlington has a thriving little downtown and we were fortunate to be there on a "Fourth Friday" festival so we could relax while listening to a live band before walking over to the theater.

The lobby featured some interesting displays about the history of the play....

...and also pictures of the cast, which I thought was pretty cool. 

The musical was quite good, with far better performances than one would ever imagine from a local group, including those of the Villagers, who are so important in conveying the emotions of the various scenes. We enjoyed seeing Sophia and Clara doing what they love. 

On Saturday we all went to an exhibit of LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, an exciting display of amazing sculptures, many lifesize, and all made from "brick."  Here, for instance, is one we all liked.  Though it was named "Untitled," there was general agreement that it reflected our feeling (sometimes) of losing our head.  

Over thirty pieces were on display and all were either very beautiful or very clever and we had fun looking at them.  

The exhibition was presented by the Alamance County Arts Council, which is rightly proud of being able to host one of the four venues for traveling exhibitions of Sawaya's work, the others being New York City, Shangai, and Tel Aviv.  The Council is headquartered at the historic Captain White House, which had the loveliest benches on the front porch, just perfect for posing children for pictures.  

Later in the day we drove down to Southern Pines, N.C., where Nolan's game was held.  The hour and a half drive each way was a perfect opportunity to do some more chatting and visiting and we finally got to hear all about Jon's family trip to Italy and compare travel notes.

Nolan's team lost 2-0 but they certainly didn't make it easy for their opponents and we were all impressed with Nolan's soccer skills. I got to sit next to Julia, Jon's wife, during the game, which made it even more fun since she was such a passionate fan.

Before heading back to Burlington we stopped off for dinner at the Sly Fox Pub where we ate al fresco in its lovely garden.

We were leaving Sunday morning from our hotel in nearby Greesnboro, so too soon it was time for goodbyes.   It was a quick trip but a fun and rewarding one, and I'm so glad we got to see these great friends again.

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