As I mentioned in my last post I just got back from a trip to Utah. I’m going to spend my next few posts talking about that trip, so buckle in and get ready for the ride. We started out in Salt Lake City, drove down to Bryce Canyon, then over to Zion National Park, and then back up to Salt Lake City. Most people who hit southern Utah tend to fly into Las Vegas, which I don’t blame them for. First it’s closer, and second it’s cheaper. I however got into my head that I wanted to see Salt Lake City for some reason. Plus, I’ve already been to Vegas more than once and will be going back next summer for a conference so didn’t really care to go there again. Also, most people bundle that version of the trip with the Grand Canyon, which I have also already been to. So Salt Lake City it was.
We got in on a Saturday evening, checked into our hotel, and then found a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. We wound up going to Red Rock Brewery where we both enjoyed the food, my husband enjoyed the beer, and I enjoyed being able to order a locally brewed cream soda. It also happened to be prom night in Salt Lake City so there were a lot of large tables filled with high school kids in prom attire. Apparently big, fluffy dresses are in this year, at least in Utah.
We serendipitously happened to be in Salt Lake City on a Sunday, which meant that we were able to go see a live performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which I recommend if you happen to be Salt Lake City on a Sunday morning or a Thursday evening (they have open rehearsals on Thursday nights). I don’t agree with much of the Mormon doctrine, but they do have a fantastic choir. They do a live broadcast of something they call Music and the Spoken Word, which is what we attended. I was going to throw in a YouTube video of the performance we attended since they also put them up on a YouTube channel, but for some reason there are 3 weeks of performances missing and the one we attended is one of them 😦 You will have to settle for these still images instead.
When you leave the performance they have Mormon missionaries waiting to show you around Temple Square and of course share something about the Mormon faith with you. They have missionaries there from all over the world who can speak in many different languages. Even if you don’t agree with the idea of it, their evangelism efforts are rather impressive. I wasn’t entirely clear on the process of picking up a missionary. There are missionaries standing in a big circle rotating around in front of a microphone telling you to find a missionary to get a tour. At first I thought we had to wait for one of the people in the circle, but the circle just kept going around. Then I realized we could ask any of the other ones that were milling about, but I tried that twice and they kind of walked away. Obviously they weren’t very good at their mission. We finally sidled ourselves up next to some group of Canadians and joined their already in progress group. Though while we were waiting for our guide to get a portable mic since we were such a large group some other missionary who is good at her job tried to offer us a tour.
The tour itself wasn’t very exciting in my opinion. I was expecting more history than I actually got. After the official tour was over we wandered around the square a little bit on our own and looked at the miniature replica of the Temple. I liked that they had that since you actually aren’t allowed to tour inside the Temple itself. It gives you a good idea of what the Temple looks like on the inside. Though I do have to say that I was honestly less impressed with the outside of the Temple there than I am every time I see the Mormon Temple that seems to jump out of nowhere as you go around a curve on the DC beltway. It always seems surreal to me every time I drive by it.
After we were all Mormoned out, we decided to try and look at some of the stuff from the Salt Lake Olympics. Much of what is left to actually look at is not really in Salt Lake City though. We did swing by the stadium where they held the opening and closing ceremonies and saw the torch. The little museum there was closed on Sundays though.
We decided to drive up to Park City to take a look at the Olympic stuff that was there instead. After we got out there we walked around the town a bit, had lunch, and then went to the museum. Not that I would ever be invited to attend, but I really would never want to be in Park City when Sundance is going on. I have no idea where all the people fit or even where they actually show all the films. There’s just not that much there. The traffic must be insane, but as I said nothing I will ever have to worry about.
Our final destination of the day was a trip to The Great Salt Lake. It was too cold to actually get into the lake, but I did stick my hand in. My takeaway from the Great Salt Lake is, a. It is very salty. You have to walk across a bunch of crusty salty dirt to get to the water. b. It smells bad. c. It is much shallower than I thought at least around the edges. A guy walked out with his dog into the water for a really long way and never got deeper than his waist. d. I’m glad I live somewhere I can get to an actual beach easily and don’t have to swim in that for my summer fun.
Sunday night we decided to give another local brewpub, Squatters, a try at the recommendation of our friend Kevin. Do not listen to Kevin. Nothing about that experience was better than Red Rock Brewery. The food wasn’t as good. Oh and did you actually want to try any of their beer on tap? Too bad because they were out of half of it. Same for their house made root beer. Paul did get an IPA in a bottle, but wasn’t really impressed with it.
That brings this exciting installment of what did Danielle do on her Utah vacation to a close. Stay tuned for future episodes coming to this blog soon.