Now that the holiday season is definitely underway, some of you out there may be wondering, what's the perfect way to kick off the holidays for 2012? Well Abbz and I asked ourselves the same question a couple of weeks ago. And the answer was obvious: the Christmas tree lighting in Pioneer Square in Portland.
Actually, I can't take much credit for the idea. It's something Abbz does with her family almost every year. But because I'm her best friend, it's her duty to drag me along to these things every once in a while. So we went.
We began the evening with a little shopping excursion at Pioneer Square Mall. The place was lit up with Christmas decorations and the feel of holiday consumerism was thick in the air. We soaked up the Christmas vibe while aimlessly riding up and down escalators, wishing we had money and talking about being single. You know. The usual. We eventually made our way into a frozen yogurt shop where we made her dad buy us some caramel pretzel yogurt. And let me just say, for anyone out there who's unsure about trying caramel pretzel flavored fro-yo, do it. It's delicious.
Our next stop was, of course, Pioneer Square. It was raining but that didn't dampen our spirits. We simply pulled out our umbrellas like every other good little Portlander in the Square and found a spot near the tree. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where things got interesting.
Every year, in the time leading up to the actual moment of the tree lighting, they have performers on the stage leading the crowd in Christmas carols. This year it was a whole conglomerate of people. They had Thomas Lauderdale, multiple children's choirs, and several individuals of different ethnic backgrounds. But that's not all. As we stood there, swaying to the music like cuckoos on a tree branch (and enacting evasive maneuvers to avoid the streams of water ornery boys were pouring off their umbrellas onto us) we heard someone on the stage introduce the four Von Trapps.
As we quickly look back and forth from each other to the stage, we hear the names "Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and Justin Von Trapp." Apparently, they are four of the actual, flesh and blood great grandchildren of Georg and Maria Von Trapp of the Sound of Music. They carry on the legacy of their lineage by singing on tours and doing performances. And they were here, in Portland, at the Christmas tree lighting.
For many miscellaneous and sundry reasons (some of which being we're 17 year-old girls, our lives are a bit lacking in celebrity sized excitements, and we're awesome) we were thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that we probably squealed once or twice. Think about it. There were basically legends standing right in front of us; close enough that we could have hit them in the head with a rock if we'd thrown it - which we obviously wouldn't have. Sure, they might have been legends twice removed, but our excitement has the magical ability to ignore nuances that are potentially detrimental to its health.
Even more exciting than the above stated fact, though, was the fact that one of the twice-removed legends was a male specimen. Yes. Justin Von Trapp. And in addition to his stardom, from where we were standing, he had a pretty darn cute face.
Immediately, I began scheming ways to get his attention. I kept telling Abbz, "He's so close! All we'd have to do is intercept him on his way out and we've met him!" Now, let me just pause here and give a disclaimer: we are not stalkers. We are simply good at enjoying God's creation in every form. That, and we're not afraid to take action in the midst of opportunity. A talent which can be good and bad, depending on the context. Anyway, we decided against sneaking around to the back of the stage, but that didn't stop us from getting an opportune position in the crowd. We chose a spot from which he was very visible. Then we waited. Every time he seemed to look in our general direction we would wave.
At first, it didn't work. But then, after several failed attempts, I happened to catch his eye and I quickly waved and smiled wide. And sure enough, boom! He had seen me. I could see it in the look on his face. He smiled gingerly, then looked away, embarrassed, not quite knowing what to do about it. Abbz and I started laughing, enjoying our moment of success. As we continued to watch him we thoroughly enjoyed his sheepish awkwardness and intentional avoidance of looking again in our direction. Of all of the hundreds of people in the square, we two rain-soaked girls had his attention. And it was the ultimate success of our evening.
Soon, we moved away from the stage to talk with some friends, but before we left the square, we ran back through the thinning crowd to wave goodbye. Just because we could. The four of them were singing again and this time, because there were fewer people left, it didn't take long for him to spot our bright smiles. He again resumed his half smile, timid glances, and obvious enjoyment. As I looked at him in that last minute, I realized he probably wasn't actually the cutest guy in the world. In fact we came to a consensus that he was probably a little awkward. But he was still a celebrity in our eyes, and if we had a celebrity blushing on our account, it was all worth it. Might as well have been Brad Pit.
When I was sure I had captured his glance, I half turned and waved goodbye. That got a genuine goodbye-in-return smile from him, and we turned, raindrops on noses, and walked away, not looking back.
The rest of the evening held further excitements including pizza, urban hikes, puddles, Starbucks and lots and lots more laughter (cause, let's face it, that's mostly what we do when we're together). But every other joy was only a cherry on top of our prime victory. In the words of Abby, it was the night that "girls became women on the streets of Portland . . . But NOT in the way that sounds!!"
It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. It kicked off the Christmas mood and got us excited for the many more holiday adventures we're sure to have. On the drive home, as we held our Starbucks close and listened to Christmas music and the sound of rain on the roads, we felt content in the knowledge that we'd wrapped up another successful day in the office. We may not have the resources to conquer the whole world, but we sure know how to conquer OUR world. <3
#ChristmasCOOKIEtime #Brownpaperpackagestiedupwithstrings #ThugLife