Erica and Cristen Visit Salt Lake – Part 1

I thought about titling this post “Reunited and It Feels So Good!” because it’s been 7 long years since Erica and Cristen and I were all three together. My friendship with them pre-dates this blog, so let me explain. They were my lifelines during the two long years we were in graduate school together at Purdue. I’ve seen them both separately since we graduated in 2007. Obviously Cristen and I went to Europe together almost two years ago, but she also visited me in New Orleans. Erica and British Kevin visited me in New Orleans, too, (although, that never got blogged about because they visited in between blogs) and I visited her back in our old stomping grounds in Lafayette. But the three of us have had to rely on Facebook chats while watching Project Runway and group text messaging. Until they so kindly came to visit me in Salt Lake last weekend. (I know it was just so they could both add another state to their lists, but I’m grateful they came anyway.)

I had to work during their first day of exploration, but on the next day, I was excited to show them around Temple Square and the crown jewel of Salt Lake – the temple.

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I took them to the South Visitor Center to see the model of the temple, but they were much more interested in finding their family lines on the computers set up with Family Search. It was exciting to find our great-grandparents and grandparents in census records and immigration forms.

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After touring the Beehive House, I showed them one of my favorite little gardens behind the Beehive House and Lion House and we found one of the first blossoming trees I’ve seen this spring.

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We took the elevator to the top of the tallest building in Salt Lake City and saw the view from 26 stories up.

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10_Looking-East

Having visitors gives me an excuse to go places I usually don’t, like on a tour of the Conference Center. Our tour guide was Buff, and she was pretty much amazing. She flies into SLC from Arizona every Friday to give tours of the Conference Center (she’s a flight attendant, so she can do stuff like that). She told us all sorts of interesting facts and showed us all the art.

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And then she took us to the rooftop garden. It would have been more lush in the summer or later in the season, but the views were still pretty great.

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Our time downtown was cut short because I had to pick up my car at the mechanics before 5:30, but we had just enough time for one more visit, the very posh Hotel Utah (aka the Joseph Smith Memorial Building). We got on the elevator to view the lobby from the mezzanine, but I was distracted by people and didn’t actually press the button for the mezzanine. When an employee saw us with our cameras, he assumed we were riding all the way to the tenth floor. I had no idea what was on the tenth floor (my experience with the building has been limited to the first two floors, really), so I was delighted to see a different, more on-level perspective of the temple.

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And when I was showing them the beautiful chapel where Matt and Izzy once attended church, I learned something new. It used to be the grand ballroom for the Hotel Utah (before it was renovated to be the Joseph Smith Memorial Building). It still has the grand ceiling.

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More of our adventures to come.

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