Postcard: Salt Lake City 7/28/2020
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July 28th at 11:47pm
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Last September, we took a trip out west.
Our vacation consisted of stops in:
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Blackfoot, Idaho
- Yellowstone (West Yellowstone, Montana and the park in Wyoming)
- Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Arco, Idaho and Craters-of-the-Moon National Monument
- Boise, Idaho
- Twin Falls, Idaho
This is a postcard from Salt Lake City.
I cashed in four nights from my rewards program so we could stay at The Grand America, one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever been to (Elton John stayed here when his tour was in town - more on that later).
Our room was gorgeous. Francis found the toy store large and diverse, and the pool was huge. It was so nice to come home to.
We put aside our thoughts on religion, Christianity, and Mormons (now they're supposed to call themselves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and simply went as no-baggage guests.
Temple Square was extraordinary. The people were unfailingly pleasant and the grounds were spotless. Not a weed could be found anywhere, and Gina checked closely. Architecturally, the buildings on the square were unique - especially the temple.
Because iCloud really, really sucks, we lost the pictures we took of the tabernacle, the temple, and most of the grounds.
The docent - a kind, welcoming lady - was thrilled that we spoke French to Francis. We showed off a little bit - Où sont tes mains? De quelle couleur est cette chaise? - and then went next door for lunch.
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an office building and event space. It also has a gift shop and a casual restaurant called the Nauvoo Cafe, where they serve a delicious turkey pot pie. (Apparently those are a thing in Utah.)
Red Butte Garden
The theme of one garden was "Cancer Fighting Flora." Francis loved the children's garden (above), and we all enjoyed the water pavilion garden. A waterfall gurgled softly on the other side of the pavilion lake.
Discovery Gateway Children's Museum
We made sure not to bore Francis with too many visits to grown-up things, so we went to a museum dedicated to kids. He had a blast playing on construction toys and shoving plastic colored balls down chutes, as kids do.
The Utah Capitol
It was a hot day and a brutal walk up the hill where the capitol sits.
The Utah capitol is massive. It looks exactly like you would want a statehouse to look. Francis loved running through the enormous routunda and up and down the open marble staircases.
Pioneer Memorial Museum
I was not expecting to like this museum as much as I did.
Imagine a place where almost every possession of Utah pioneer families ended up. Like... everything. Guns, furniture of every type and sort, artwork, bric-à-brac, vehicles. It's all here. It was amazing.
Once again, people were polite and welcoming. The director of the museum greeted us personally and spoke to Francis. She told him about a turn-of-the century fire truck at one end of the museum - which, sadly, he didn't like as much as we hoped he would.
A babysitting service came to the hotel to watch Francis while Gina and I went out.
After eating, we saw Elton John at Vivint Smart Arena. We splurged on floor seats and were about fifteen rows from the stage. The concert was jaw-dropping. If you have a chance to see Sir Elton at all - the tour is winding down a bit and, well... COVID-19 - do it.
Great Mexican food
The last item to report: excellent Mexican food can be had at The Red Iguana. Rumor has it that if the main store is busy, there's a second one down the street that's always less crowded! I wish I had known before we went - we waited 45 minutes, but it was worth it.
We loved Salt Lake City. It was beautiful and clean, there was plenty to see and do, the food was great, and the people were friendly. If we hadn't been so excited about going to Yellowstone, we might have stayed longer.
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