One of my life goals is to take each of my granddaughters to the Nutcracker ballet in San Francisco. This year Gianna accompanied me! She even wore a dress for the occasion, not her favorite garment. She looked lovely and her mom had curled her hair a beautiful pageboy, a style reminiscent of my youth.
The three hour drive to SF whizzed by as she sat in the back seat, eating pistachios and playing hangman on my iPhone (thank you Aunt Jenny and Kyle for suggesting I download this application). We stopped at Trader Joes and bought sushi for lunch, and she ate all 6 pieces and the ginger, exclaiming her pleasure.
We were a little behind schedule, so we really had to rush to get to the Opera Hall after parking in the Civic Center garage. But we made it in plenty of time. I thought I had purchased tickets for seats one level below the balcony, but as it turned out we were on the ground floor level with the stage. What a suprise!
Gianna has an eye for detail and the things she noticed say a lot about her. She said she liked being at a level where she could watch the dancers's feet. In the dance of the snowflakes, she said, "Dearma, do you see the muscles in their backs?" She commented on the lead male dancer by saying, "The reason his legs are so big is because they are muscular." She asked questions about the sets. "How do you think they move?" "Do you think they are made of metal?" She was also quite the observer of people, for instance, pointing out folks who wore jeans or very high heels.
After the ballet, we went to Max's for dinner where she ordered pasta with butter and parmesan cheese. She loved the hot rolls, which she said tasted just like Uncle Culley's fresh bread. The ride home was long--rush hour traffic and then fog-- but she was wonderfully patient. We talked about her trip to North Carolina and New York and about St. Nicholas Days from the past and she played more hangman. In Oakdale, we stopped at Cold Stone where she ordered cotton candy ice cream with gummy bears. In her words, "I'm sure glad we stopped there!"
When we got back in the car, she read the clock on the dash and said, "It's 8 o'clock. That's my bed time." And she promptly fell asleep. That's Gianna & the Nutcracker! A fine memory for sure.