This last weekend I went with my choir to sing in St. George for the UMEA Convention. Stuck in St. George with no car or any transportation whatsoever, we had to make our own fun. We all thought we were stuck on the edge of town, but when we started walking on Friday night, I found out I was right in the middle of where my family would spend a lot of time in St. George. We used to go quite often, but haven't as much the last few years. In the middle of this area was the Holiday Inn. My dad's friend was the manager at the Holiday Inn and that's where we would stay every time we would go to St. George. We would stay their every Easter, every time my sisters had a softball tournament, when we would go to Tuacahn while my sister was teaching there, and innumerable other times.
I have so many memories staying that hotel. Every Easter the hotel would have an Easter egg hunt for the kids staying there. Two years in a row, with the help of my older sisters, I found the winning egg and won the grand prize of a giant stuffed rabbit. The tennis court at the Holiday Inn is where I first learned to play and love tennis. At the hotel they have an indoor/outdoor pool. You can swim under these flaps and suddenly be swimming outside. My sisters and I would spend hours at the pool. My best friend from elementary school moved to St. George, soon after he moved I went to visit him and the Holiday Inn is where I last got to spend time with him. I have always seen it as an escape, a place where I could spend time with my family and have a lot of fun. My dad would always say that our idea of camping was to go to the Holiday Inn in St. George and really it was. Other families may have gone camping to bond and have fun together, but my family's trips did the same and more for us.
About seven years ago my dad's friend passed away. We no longer had a connection at the Holiday Inn and it reminded my dad so much of his friend. We went less and less all the time up to the point where we completely stopped staying there. I haven't stayed there in a few years, but I knew it was still there. I could always go back if I wanted to. This time walking down St. George's Bluff Street, something was different. The Holiday Inn sign was missing from the skyline. A blank space was there in its stead. I thought to myself, "maybe their sign broke," but as I got closer their marquee said, "Welcome to the Lexington Hotel." I wondered, "what is the Lexington Hotel? That's the Holiday Inn." It had changed. After being a St. George landmark on Bluff Street for many years it was gone. Some other hotel chain had moved in. I couldn't help but to walk in and see it one more time. The furniture and feel of the lobby was different. The gift shop where was gone. The arcade where I would go spend my change was gone. The air hockey table in the loft where was gone. The tennis court was gone, replaced by an over-sized tacky event tent. What had Happened
Whether I liked it or not, I now had closure on all of those memories from my youth, but I realize that nobody could ever take those memories from me. The venue that I associated many happy things with was gone, but my memories weren't. Life always moves forward whether you like it or not. Things change constantly. I am so happy I have those memories, but it's time to make new ones. I can find a new place to escape with my family, new and old friends, and future family members. I can start a new tradition, move on, and enjoy the newness and change life always brings. Nothing is permanent, but our families. I am so thankful that I have so many family members surrounding me all of the time. I hope I never lose any of them.
|The New Lexington Hotel (that signs not there yet they have just photoshopped their sign on the Holiday Inn picture)|