January 15th was the date, and fifteen of us slipped on our finest gowns or outfits, fitted on our most uncomfortable shoes, and carefully curled our hair.
|From l-r: Melanie, Lauren, Susanna, Mikaela|
Sarah was the mastermind, and we all gathered at her house to take photos and carpool to the performance in Portland. The play didn't start until 7:30, but we arrived at 5:45 for good measure.
|Froml-r: Jo, Hannah, Rachel, Sarah, Grace, Benjamin, Emily|
Kaytra and Titus, sweet sister and brother duo!
Two of our group were to meet us in Portland, so unfortunately we didn't get photos of them. This, however, is the rest of the group. As soon as the flash died on this photo, everyone dashed to don coats, grab purses, locate GPS's, and load into the two minivans (ahem, limos) we were taking to Portland. We were driving our van, so half the group piled into it, and then Mikaela turned the key. The sound of the classical music station cheerfully filled the car, but there was no whirring of the engine. The car was dead!
Current time: 6:00
Curtain on the play: 7:30
We decided that one of the guys should try turning the key, since they sometimes have the magic touch, but it was to no avail. We prayed with all faith, grabbed the keys, and tried the ignition, but still there was no sound! The hood went up, but we soon realized that even if we succeeded in starting the van, we didn't want the battery to die again in Portland. So Benjamin heroically stepped in to drive his family's twelve passenger van in downtown Portland, and half of the group piled out of our van into his.
(Rabbit Trail Alert: Jumping the car did nothing, and we spent the night with Sarah and family as planned, but then Papa drove down Thursday morning to tow the green van home. From this experience, however, we have learned a moral: when you purchase a van, and the person you are purchasing it from does not know the code for the anti-theft device in order to pass it on to you, be aware that even after 10 years of owning said van, the device may accidentally get bumped and prohibit the car from starting in an endeavor to restrict thieves. You may then be required to tear apart the dash in order to cut the wires and enable your van to start again. End of rabbit trail.)
We finally pulled out of the driveway, made it to Portland, and found parking near where the GPS said the auditorium was.
Current time: 7:05
We met the last two additions to our group and trouped down to the auditorium, only to discover it was the wrong one! A kind security guard informed us we had eight blocks to go, whereupon we girls glanced ruefully down at our high heels and started power walking regardless!
Current time: 7:15
At 7:27, with only three minutes to spare, we arrived panting, flushed, and thrilled at the auditorium. In the last half hour we had been asked if we were going to prom several times, which only elicited laughter from us. We were handed our programs, found our seats, and sat back to watch the story unfold.
The moment when Belle walked out in her iconic yellow dress was breathtaking! Although there were a few things that we didn't like about the play, it was as a whole very sweet, amazingly well-done, and an experience of a lifetime! It followed the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast in general, but offered several new songs and also added several endearing scenes.
When the play was over, and we were done with our standing ovation, we retraced our eight block hike, chattering about the sights we had just seen the entire time, and headed to the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House, a quirky place where all is not as it seems and we had been forewarned not to go the bathroom alone. (!) Sure enough, when the younger girls headed upstairs to the bathroom, we soon heard shrieks pealing down the stairs, and we soon had our own experience when we went to see for ourselves. But I'll say no more, for I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise should you end up there someday!
The place was eccentric and charming, with each table having the name and photo of a different composer under the glass. The menu of delicacies didn't take itself too seriously, either, with several options crossed out, and a few chocolate spots precisely placed to guide you to the most delicious options.
On that magical, beautiful evening we made memories together that will last a lifetime. Mikaela, Sarah, and I finally rolled into bed at 2 in the morning, so we woke up groggy and exhausted the next morning, hardly prepared for our busy schedules ahead. Nevertheless, we all knew we wouldn't have traded anything for the dream-like night we went to see Beauty and the Beast. And it just wouldn't have been the same without a dead car and an adventure in finding the auditorium, now would it?