Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas surprise!

I love Christmas, and I love surprises, but the two together are exponentially wonderful. This time last week, I was still anticipating what was to be the annual "Christmas surprise" trip to take place the next day. I work in two top-notch dental practices, one of which treats the staff to a day trip, destination unknown, sometime in the month of December. It wasn't too hard to figure we were headed for San Antonio once we got on the highway, but where exactly we would end up and what we'd be doing was still a mystery. The cold and drizzle ushered us into the downtown area as we circled around trying to find a place with enough clearance for us to park the 14-passenger van. We were right there in the heart of San Antonio, at the Riverwalk, bordered on one end by the Rivercenter Mall, where I figured we were going. But as we made it around yet another block, I noticed a giant moving van-sized vehicle with a huge Lion King logo painted on its side. For one brief instant, I imagined that a Broadway play might be on the agenda, but soon dismissed the thought, as it just seemed too extravagant to me at the time. Finally parking our van, we stepped out in our coats and with umbrellas, awaiting instructions. That's when we each got a card wrapped in a red envelope, with something strange and foreign written on the front, along with our names, and underneath that was another name in quotes. I recognized the foreign greeting as something African (which turned out to be Merry Christmas in Swahili) -- and as we compared the names, we soon realized we'd each been given a name of a Lion King character! We WERE going to the Majestic Theatre! To see THE LION KING!! I could hardly contain myself. I'd seen the fabulous costumes on television numerous times and thought of how I'd love to see the musical on Broadway, and I was about to get my wish! Our first stop, however, was the Rivercenter Mall. We had been given some spending money and our mission was to buy ourselves a gift in an hour and fifteen minutes. We were one happy group of women! I have to say though, this is not my usual M.O. when it comes to shopping. I take my time mulling over every pro and con before making a purchase of any kind (which is why my husband rarely accompanies me). I looked for some slouchy boots, but none of them fit just right. I found some nice shoes on sale and bought them, only to have buyer's remorse when I discovered the cutest brown jacket shortly afterwards. My solution was to buy the jacket, too, with my own money. Problem solved! Next we had a mouth-watering meal at the Iron Cactus restaurant on the Riverwalk...appetizers, entrees, desserts, all shared as we each wanted a sample of everything. Admiring the Christmas lights and decorations from underneath our umbrellas, we made our way to the Majestic. What an appropriate name! The theatre is absolutely beautiful and was worth the trip in itself. The three hours that followed were nothing less than magical, dazzling, breathtaking -- we are talking goosebumps here, people. I tried to drink it all in -- the colors, the costumes, the sets, the singing, the dancing, all the details. A week later, I'm still amazed that I was actually there! I have yet to figure out what I've done to earn the privilege of being named after the most ridiculous hyena in the play - "Ed" - but no matter. For THIS Christmas surprise experience, I would have answered to just about anything!


  1. so fun! And that food looks AMAZING!!!

  2. It was! Parmesan crusted tilapia with lime-cilantro rice and grilled asparagus....and tequila-soaked skewers of steak and shrimp and veggies with cheesy corn cilantro rice...if memory serves. The desserts were a big hit too. One was a fried cheesecake, which sounds kinda gross to me...but it was heavenly and light and delicious. I have a picture of it too if you'd like to see it, LOL!


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