Ever had high expectations for something you knew nothing about? My roomie and I went to The Nutcracker by Russian Ballet. I expected it to be some great performance since the Russian Ballet is very well known. I am not saying that the show was bad just not what I expected. Here let me explain. We drove 6 hours in near freezing rain. It was a long boring drive only made better by listening to The Odyssey narrated by Ian Mckellen. It took me almost 30 minutes to stop hearing Gandalf tell a story. I have never been able to read all of The Odyssey so having it on disk made it very enjoyable. After driving for what seemed like forever, we checked into our hotel. It was a very nice hotel with a restaurant attached which is where we ate. It was very unique in the fact that we cooked our own steaks on a rock that was heated to molten lava temperature. A few drinks and some singed knuckles the road weary fell away. We got dressed up and the hotel provided transportation to the civic center. I am not sure if it was because the center was under construction but we were seated in what looked like a basketball court that had a stage at one end. The floor seating was padded folded chairs. There was no announcement before the show, no warning call, no real anything. The people in the row behind us were loud and annoying. In the first 10 minutes of the show one of their group had a coughing fit and removed themselves from the row. Well since that person didn’t come back in the next 10 minutes their friends had a loud whispering conversation about how worried they were for their friend. It was very distracting. Their friend showed up at intermission. I was annoyed and “thirsty” and went to the bar at intermission. It took 20 minutes for me to get my drink. The drink tenders were the slowest people in the world. So besides noisy neighbors, uncomfortable chairs, disappointing drinks, the show itself was very good. I knew nothing about the story of the Nutcracker and watching in ballet was very wonderful. The athletics of the players was phenomenal. There is a lot of talent there. After the show we walked back to the hotel stopping at a bar or two, then went to bed in rather comfortable beds for a hotel bed, and the next day drove 4 hours to my dentist appointment. Finally, 5 hours after my appointment we made it home to happy kitties and warm blankets. All in all it was a disappointing trip but chalk it up to experience. Hopefully our next trip will be a lot better. T Minus 4 days!!!!!!