Half Way and Why Didn’t I?

October 14, 2012

Austin receiving his diploma (AA Degree)
Platt College

I have received a lot of “Why Didn’t I” questions with the main one being why didn’t I post earlier that I was going to broadcast Austin’s graduation. The answer is simple and kind of teenagerish. I didn’t know I was going to do it, until I did it.

Donna and I had been out of town on another fun road trip to Saint George, Utah and Zion National Park. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking much about Austin’s graduation as we took in two Tuacahn Theater, New York City Broadway style productions: Aladdin and Hairspray, plus a wonderful eye popping trip through Zion. Aladdin was a blow your mind integration of live production, music and 3D movie effects. Definitely, a must see if you are in the Saint George area or like us, it is worth the 800 mile round trip. You can always stop in Vegas or you can do like we did and stay for another night’s show and see Hairspray. It was also an integration but of a different kind. Who would have thought one could combine segregation in the 60’s, music and hairspray to create a hit Broadway play. Now that’s being creative. There was so much energy in the music and dance that Donna and I felt physically exhausted by the time the show was over. It was like a great workout without leaving our seats.

We also had a wonder time exploring Zion National Park, one of our favorite places to visit and we have been there many times, but this was the first time we saw Mountain Sheep in the park. Wow! That was exciting and everyone just stopped in the middle of the road blocking traffic in both directions. With the changing of the season to fall, we took a little known back road up and over the mountains by Kolob Reservoir and down into Cedar City where we had great Mexican food, Donna’s favorite. As you can see from the photos, it was a one beautiful drive. Our timing was perfect with the trees exploding with brilliant colors on rolling hills of straw grasses and azure blue skies. Take a long deep breath, release it slowly and relax, feel the sensation move through your body, similar to a slight chill on a warm day. Wonderful for the moment; the rest of the world does not exist.

Okay, now back to reality. We got up early and drove 7 hours so we could be back in time for Austin’s graduation being held at the Joan and Ray Kroc (founder’s of McDonalds) Community Center. Now, just being around all those young creative kids must have influenced my decision to start broadcasting. I mean, I was just sitting there doing nothing, when I took out my iPhone to take maybe a photo or two, and bingo I saw the Ustream app and pushed the icon. It took more than a senior’s moment to remember the password but I finally got it and we were broadcasting. Not good but we were live with low light, only one and half bars and no way to zoom in. I couldn’t record the show because I was broadcasting from my iPhone and not my home computer. Like I said, it was kind of a teenager moment; push the button and see what happens or just do it and worry later about the results.

I must say this was one of the best graduations I have ever attended. I could be biased because Austin was getting his AA degree but I don’t think so. Remember, he is only half way through his education. His goal is to get his BA degree so he has another 15 months to go. What made this graduation so great was there were no long speeches and something personal was said about each graduate as they were given their diploma. Also, in the lobby of the auditorium there were examples of graduating students’ work which really displayed that they are ready move on to the next challenge in their life…Work or as they say, a real job.

Austin would like to thank everyone that has supported him. His success (he graduated with honors 3.91 GPA), is in a way your success too because it has been your support that has given him this opportunity. Donna and I would also like to say, ” Thank You.” It means a lot us.

Best quote of the night. “I can’t believe the whole family showed up, even my aunt and uncle.”

We have had a wonderful week.

All the best,

Carlos, Donna and Austin

P.S. Ashley, our granddaughter, takes her Cosmetology state board exam Monday in Los Angeles.  Wish her luck.

Mountain Sheep
Zion National Park

Mountain Sheep on Ledge


Kolob Reservoir

Feel the sensation

A Herd of Wild Turkeys
I know it is a flock but on the ground they looked like a herd.

Giant Redstone

The Rest of The World Does Not Exist

Their massiveness pulls you to them like magnets

Layers Of The Ages

Checkerboard Mountain

One Last Look at Fall

Tuacahn Theater
Set for Hairspray Click photo for link to Tuacahn

Other Goodies  (Just for fun) or If you want to help Austin go to http://www.cafepress.com/austin4media and make a purchase all profits go to his college fund. He still needs to earn about $20,000 to pay for his tuition. He is also working part time jobs to help pay his own way.

Eric’s New Book: Fearless Click Here Save 41%

Fearless  is on New York Times Best Seller List of books to read.

Have you ordered your personal copies of the Molly Songs? If not be sure to check them out on iTunes.

Music: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/barbara-allen/id428385724

Merchandise: www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Photo of McGee by Carlos Royal:  http://www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl.628020845

Books: www.mollytheowlbooks.com

Molly Watchers E-Cookbook http://mollytheowlbooks.com/store/books-bookmarks/molly-watchers-e-cookbook.html

Movies: www.austin4media.com

2012 Calendar www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Austin’s Designs (Your purchases help him pay for his schooling)http://www.cafepress.com/austin4media

16 Responses to “Half Way and Why Didn’t I?”

  1. bonnibell Says:

    Congratulations, Austin!!!!! Yay!!!! Thanks also for sharing the great photos of your trip. Sounds like you are enjoying life.. Bonnibell

  2. June Schafer Says:

    Gorgeous places you visited! What an exciting time for Austin.Congrats to him and best wishes to Ashley on her exam. She will do well! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sherry Kelly Says:

    Beautiful photos! I am happy for you & Donna and all of your family. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your lives with your MOD family! It means a lot to us to be included in this way. I just happened to see the notice about your broadcast in time to “attend” Austin’s live graduation and hear you cheer for him. It was great! Thanks!!

  4. Cathy Messer Says:

    Awesome trip and photos! You pictures are the best!!! Again congratulations to Austin, a great job and before we know it he will be done with school. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family, always look forward to the emails :))

  5. marciamorrison Says:

    Congratulations to Austin! As a Molly watcher, I feel as though I’ve watched him grow up. You must be so proud of him. And good luck to Ashley on her exam, I’m sure she’ll do great. What a wonderful family you have, Carlos.

    Also, thanks for posting the photos from your trip. Those western lands are some of my favorite places, and it was good to see them. I love Cedar City! Have you had a chance to see any of the Shakespeare Festival there?

    Glad to hear that you and Donna are well and having fun with life.

    Marcia Morrison
    in Salem, Massachusetts

  6. Congratulations Austin! Well done and so happy that I could be part of it. Love the pictures Carlos and thanks for sharing your travels with us. Utah is absolutely beautiful and you captured it perfectly as usual. So happy that you and Donna are finally getting to travel after all the months of staying at home so we could watch our beloved Molly and McGee. Thanks for the memories and the new experiences.

  7. Nanci Norin Says:

    I add my congrats to Austin, too! Wishing Ashley all the best on her exam. She’ll make you proud, Carlos and Donna!
    Carlos, you are the *best* photographer. I often feel like I’ve visited the places you and Donna have seen. Thanks, as always for your email so full of happy news.

    • carlosroyal Says:

      The best photos were more than likely taken by Donna, she taught me all I know about photography and is really the best photographer. I just take more pictures than she does and I throw away more too! I take more photos at home and she takes more when we travel. My cameras and lens are big and bulky while hers are smaller and easier to carry. These last two trips I didn’t even take a camera other than my iPhone. I use Photoshop, she rarely does. She doesn’t have too with her photos.

      When you see photos on the blog think of them as being taken by Carlos and Donna Royal. If you can’t tell her photos from mine then give the credit to Donna because it proves she taught me well.

      Now you know the real story behind the photos. The best are Donna’s but the quantity are mine.

  8. joly2u Says:

    Congrats to Austin for a job well done. He’s off to a good start in his life. Must confess my heart stopped when I just now saw you had broadcasted, & looked & saw pics of what looked like Molly & McGee (& were them). I momentarily dared hope Molly had come back with a mate, & even that it was McGee back from someplace. However unrealistic, it sure was nice while it lasted!

    Carlos, I don’t see a perch and ledge for fledging owlets on the Texas box. Won’t they fall, or are you waiting until there are owlets to put them up? You’ve had plenty of practice with that! Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Zion Park is beautiful. I’m afraid I would have confused the mountain sheep with mountain goats. I think your spirit, to impulsively broadcast the graduation on your iphone, is a kick. Forever young, forever interested therefore interesting.

  9. Lisa Burns Says:

    Hooray Austin! We are so proud. Good luck Ashley! Thank you again Carlos. So much fun reading your updates. Photos are amazing! So beautiful!!! Love to you all!

  10. Joan Says:

    Congrats to Austin. Great kid, great grade average!!!
    My husband and I were at Zion around the middle of Sept, our first time. What a beautiful sanctuary of God’s for all men to admire and look at in awe! Your pictures are magnificent!

  11. Judy Sackson Says:

    What beautiful photos! It looks as tho the fall is a really good time to visit Zion.
    Good job, Austin! You have the family and all the MODs backing you up!
    I’m sure Ashley will do well on her exam also!
    Thank you again, Carlos and Donna, for taking us on another of your lovely trips. It’s a great way for us to see the US without even leaving home! It also gives us ideas about places we would like to visit ourselves. We are all so lucky to be MODs!

  12. CAequuslvr Says:

    Donna & Carlos, Thank-you for sharing those beautiful photos of our special country (all of them would make wonderful postcards). Always a treat when you take us with you on your travels.
    Keeping positive thought for Ashley as she takes her Cosmetology test today.

  13. Anne Says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures, Donna and Carlos. I moved from Connecticut to SoCal in the early 80’s and I miss the color changes in the fall leaves. Oh, those New England maples!
    Re: turkeys…I read just this morning that a group of them is called a “rafter”. Who knew?
    Congratulations to Austen and good luck for the next phase.

  14. Kim Gorman Says:

    Carlos, the pictures are spectacular! Thank you for sharing them with us, and for your descriptive travelogue, as usual. Hearty congratulations to Austin from all his “aunts and uncles” here!!

    Kim and Dave

  15. erindort Says:

    Lovely, lovely photos, Donna! From reading the response to Nanci Norin, I guess they are yours :)

    I am so happy for Austin. It has been a pleasure watching him grow in stature, experience and knowledge. I loved seeing the big Royal / Faure smiles on the video; thanks for sharing your great family event.

    Ashley, many, many good luck wishes on your exam!!

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