Erica and Cristen Visit Salt Lake – Part 2

The tricky part about showing people my hometown and state is that Utah is so big and the landscape is so diverse. I would have loved to take Erica and Cristen to visit one of our national parks, but the closest one is still almost 4 hours away and our weekend was too short for that. As an alternative, I decided to take them up to see the Spiral Jetty… and since I had a professor of US History with me, we had to stop at the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

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The last time I visited there, they re-enacted the meeting of the trains, but it was too early in the season for that. However, a bunch of visitors got to caravan over to the shed where the ranger told us all about the event.

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And then we were off to the Spiral Jetty. I was worried that my little car would have a hard time with the dirt road, but I figured if it survive the road to the Sun Tunnels, it could make it to the jetty. And actually, the road was just fine. I had seen some pictures of my friend visiting the Spiral Jetty just the week before Erica and Cristen came to town and the jetty was almost covered in water. I was kind of hoping it would be the same for us. When I visited before, the jetty was encased in salt, so I was hoping for a different view.

The water was a little higher than my first visit, but the jetty was still in full view.

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After climbing down to walk along the spiral path, we decided to climb up a littler higher to see it from above.

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Although, I wasn’t really willing to climb to the top of the hill like Erica did. (Although, after seeing her photo from up top, I might try it next time.)

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I decided that we had enough light left to make another stop on our way back into Salt Lake from the jetty. I took them to Antelope Island. I’ve only been there once before, and though I did see some bison, they were just little brown dots in the distance. This time we saw some almost immediately upon entering the island. And they were close!

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They even crossed the road right in front of us to get to a little pond of water.

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Mostly, I loved how excited Erica and Cristen were to see the bison. That made it even better. We drove a little further hoping to see a few more, but mostly saw some vistas and photo ops.

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Since we weren’t seeing any more bison along the road, we turned around because I wanted to make it to the beach before sunset. We got there just in time.

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I didn’t end up taking many photos during the rest of the trip. We brunched at Ruth’s Diner, shopped for souvenirs, and then I had the brilliant idea of taking them up to Silver Lake. It’s such a beautiful spot. I didn’t even think about how it would still be completely covered in snow.

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Oh well… that’s what happens when you visit Salt Lake in March. They’ll just have to come back again in the summer so we can enjoy the mountains more.

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Snowy Saturday

Every day last week as I drove to work, I was treated to a beautiful pinky blue sunrise. And every morning, I was frustrated that I had to report to work at 8 a.m. instead of continue driving toward the Great Salt Lake with my camera in tow. So I set my alarm on Friday night to wake up early on Saturday so I could finally take those pictures. Unfortunately, when I peaked out the living room window, I knew there would be no sunrise photos. But the morning wasn’t a total loss. I still pulled on some clothes and headed out for some snowy scenes. I didn’t know where I was going, but I ended up at Liberty Park.

On my way home, I found myself near a church building with a secret garden. I had always wanted to explore the garden, but somehow never got around to it. I guess Saturday was the day.

A walled garden just sounds so romantic. Even in winter, and it was absolutely beautiful.

I love living where there are hills and foothills and mountains because you can just be driving home and stumble upon a view like this down a side street.

I know that in May (and even June), I won’t be very excited about a snowy Saturday. But for right now, it’s just perfect.

Temple Square

On Saturday, Kristy, Tess, and I went to lunch at the Red Iguana and then visited Temple Square. It was a beautiful day for a visit, and apparently, to get married. We saw at least five brides and their retinue hanging around the temple.

Traditionally, couples getting married at the Salt Lake Temple pose with their families in front of one of the four massive doors to the temple. The two on the east side were occupied, but we found a free one on the west.

We walked around the Main Plaza for a better view of the temple.

And waited for a bride to finish getting her pictures taken on the pedestal, so we could take a few of our own.

And then we found a nice patch of grass in the shade and relaxed while Tess explored the flowerbeds.

Altogether, it was a simply lovely afternoon.

Catching Up 5: Temple Square

I can’t help but love the lights at Temple Square. Even with throngs of people visiting and freezing, grumpy kids used to New Orleans balmy winters and the longest line I’ve ever seen for a bathroom, it is still magical.

And of course, like last year, my camera battery died on me. You would think I’d have picked up an extra one by now. At least it was much warmer this year.

Mobile Monday 5

I don’t know why I thought I’d have more time to edit photos and blog while I was on vacation. It’s been such a wonderful non-stop round of visiting with family and friends that I didn’t even get my Mobile Monday post up yesterday. Better late than never?

Obviously I went to the airport last week so that I could get to Utah. While I was waiting in the terminal in New Orleans, though, I started reading this article in a discarded newspaper. I felt like it was so perfectly New Orleans to describe the time line of construction using Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. I also loved the Christmas trees lining the moving walkway in the SLC airport. That airport is so familiar to me. It always makes me feel good to know that I am “home.”

Of course, I went to see the lights at Temple Square, along with everyone else in the nearby area. I don’t remember it being so crowded on previous trips, but I think the night before Christmas Eve is probably a high traffic night. At least it wasn’t too cold.

Of course, I played with my nephews and nieces a lot, although I seem to have only taken iphone photos of Liam.

Of course, I visited my dad in the state prison, always an awkward and bittersweet experience.

Of course, I got together with friends and we ended up at the Nickelcade because I love arcade games.

And of course, I’ve done a lot of driving. I love seeing my mountains again.

the weather

Today I am going from this:

to this:

And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Even though I had to sacrifice a pair of pants and a skirt to make everything fit, I will take my laptop with me to Utah, so I will hopefully be sharing more on this blog over the vacation. I hate letting photos go to waste.

The Last Few Pics

It makes my heart heavy to think it has already been several weeks since I was in Utah, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to see my family there again. I had such a great visit. Obviously there was so much more than I’ve been able to post about. I was able to catch up with some old friends over lunch and brunch, play lots of nintendo (including Toy Story 3, the game my big brother worked on. It was so cool to see the characters and other things that he created), and spend quality time with my mom. At least I have lots of pictures, right?