After five long days on the road we arrived at the midpoint of our journey and our prime destination. Ironically, just as in Denver, we arrived to find our supposedly tinder dry city getting doused with rain!
We were ready to stay put for a few days and get a break from the constant packing and unpacking. We weren’t so much tourists in Salt Lake as we were visitors. We spent nearly all of our week shuttling from one social appointment to the next, catching up with family and friends, many of whom we hadn’t seen in years.
*Since I am not sure about the privacy desires of our extended family and friends, I am going to share just a few pictures from this time. Imagine beautiful women, handsome men and adorable children.
Probably the biggest reason people wanted to see us was to meet our new son. Grandmothers especially want time to snuggle with their grandchildren.
There is now another “cousins dress” in the world. I managed to just stretch out one more dress from the fabric we had but we had to use some filler for the back to make it work and my girls enjoyed having another “sister” for a while.
We also managed to spend some time in the pool and our girls made so much progress in their swimming!
As for other updates:
I enjoyed watching the first season of the ballet reality show Breaking Pointe featuring Ballet West based in Salt Lake City. The season finale occurred when we were in town and my sisters and mom and I gathered around the TV to watch. Interestingly, almost no one else in Salt Lake took note of this occasion! While we agreed the show could use a little more ballet and a little less personal drama, it was really a great season. Here’s hoping it renews next year and makes the company tons of money!
When I went to pick up our take-out dinner for our viewing party, I was reminded of all the beautiful dessert in Utah and picked up many samples for a dessert buffet. Utah does sugar like no one else can. Pastry and dessert cases are absolutely gorgeous. I took pictures of so many sweets. (We also ate plenty as well.) Here are some of the dessert cakes we sampled for our viewing party:
And here is some gorgeous fudge from the local Cabela’s store. It came in flavors ranging from chocolaty “Moose Drool” to sweet “Dulce de Leche.” A customer behind me inquired about their “Red Velvet Cake” fudge which sounded awesome but apparently they were all sold out.
In contrast to all this sweetness, I caught up with a friend and her family following the “green smoothie” trend. As I understand it is a mostly vegan diet emphasizing lots of fruit and vegetables. If you have never had a green smoothie before, it generally tastes pretty sweet, as most people put in sweet fruits like apples (or as my friend chose, bananas) to make the greens go down easier. We tried to trick my daughter into drinking rice milk but she is too much of a milk connoisseur for that. She knew instantly that it wasn’t “real” milk and refused to drink it. “Ice cream” made from coconut milk and cocoa powder, however, went down just fine.
From another friend, we learned a great lesson about hosting guests. When it comes right down to it, being a great host is not about having a pristine home with everything perfectly organized. If you can offer a warm, genuine smile, infectious enthusiasm, and a steady stream of entertaining conversation, all the rest is just window dressing. Most of us aren’t quite so socially gifted so we tend to patch together a mix of social graces and organization but it was nice to have a reminder of what graceful entertaining can be.
We did sneak in some touring, checking out the new Utah Museum of Natural History which has been totally redone and is a gorgeous work of art and architecture. It compared favorably to big city museums and (fulfilling the sugar legacy) had some fun and delicious dinosaur cookies in the café.
At the museum, we picked up this interesting fact about magnolias. Magnolia trees are pretty rare in Utah now but we certainly have them here in Virginia.
We also went to This is the Place Heritage Park, also renovated in recent years. The park primarily discusses Utah’s Mormon pioneer ancestry but also pays tribute to other groups who came through the valley. Our favorite was touring Brigham Young’s farmhouse (which he never actually lived in). It’s architecture was a very interesting variation on Colonial style. One organizing tip from this house was that historically when there were so many mouths to feed (from Brigham Young’s enormous family to farmhands and other visitors) the dining room table remained constantly set. After you were done eating, you washed and dried your plate and put it back on the table turned upside down so that it would be clean and ready for the next diner.
Our visits to family always go by too quickly but we had a wonderful time, made many memories and look forward to returning again someday.
After a mountain of laundry was washed and dried, we packed back up for the return journey east.
Continue Reading: Day 13 – Wyoming