travel

A Visit to the Utah Shakespeare Festival

Earlier this summer (it’s still pretty warm in Las Vegas so I can’t admit it’s officially fall yet) I had chance to visit the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. It was a fantastic trip on many levels:

Great company

I was traveling with my fiancé, and with a couple who are great friends, one of whom is my former boss (we still work at MGM Resorts and he is still my mentor). The entire trip was comfortable, no one was trying to impress someone else or wondering how someone would react to something. We just enjoyed each other’s company.

The Power of Simplicity

One of the best parts of the trip is that we got to connect and spend quality time together as a group, which was facilitated by the simple nature of the trip.

For those that don’t know, Cedar City is a few hours northeast of Las Vegas in southern Utah. It is an unassuming, quiet college town. So we drove instead of flying, stayed at a simple motel, ate at small restaurants where we didn’t need reservations. We enjoyed activities like a long hike with snacks and wine, and of course the Shakespeare Festival itself which is one of the best in the country.

Simplicity allows the best of you and others to come out – aren’t we all better when we can take a deep breath, slow down and not get distracted by the complexities of our modern lives? I notice this every time I use audio visual equipment now compared to a former time in my life when I had “all the best stuff” and nothing seemed to work. Fast paced, complex – these things just add needless stress and distract us from the important things in life – our relationships, our well-being, our peace of mind.

Quality

Quality is something that you should always appreciate, in Cedar City:

  • We had some fantastic food, maybe we were surprised given that Cedar City doesn’t pop up on foodie lists.
  • We found an incredible coffee shop and used bookstore (The Grind coffee and Main Street Books), that I would put up against the best in Portland, Seattle, and other cities.
  • We saw great plays performed by great professionals dedicated to their craft.

I appreciated the quality even more as I reflected on the last time I had attended the festival, almost 20 years ago. It was about two lives ago for me, and I only remember the quality in the plays. Otherwise the trip wasn’t nearly as good then as it was now. I am hoping this trip created memories that will last and will be reflected on fondly for years to come. I think if they are it will be because of the simple high quality experiences I enjoyed with great company.

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