I know it may not seem like it, but I took a few vacation days at the beginning of this month. My wife Sharon and I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent a few days in that location.
Why Salt Lake City, you ask?
It’s a bucket list thing. Not SLC, specifically. But, Utah is the 49th of 50 states in the US that we’ve visited. We have only Alaska to go, and we’re not in any big hurry to cross it off the list. The majority of these states were visited after Sharon and I became a couple in the year 2000. Add Jamaica, Cozumel, and the Caymans to that as well. And, Oh, Canada.
We did the tourist thing. We stayed at the Plaza Hotel at Temple Square, in the heart of the city. We saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday, and, of course, the Mormon Temple (from the outside only). This was a beautiful experience. We took a couple of bus tours. We saw the State Capitol building (that looks so much like the Capitol in Washington, D.C., that it has been filmed as a stand-in in movies). We went to the This is the Place Heritage Park, where Brigham Young emerged from Emigration Canyon and said “This is the place!” And we drove through the University of Utah and surrounding environs. The architecture and scenery were amazing.
We also journeyed out to the Great Salt Lake itself, which is apparently full of sea monkeys. Okay, it has a lot of brine shrimp, which used to be sold from the back cover of comic books as sea monkeys. The lake is also home to SaltAir III, the descendent of the original resorts of the same name, both of which burned down. The current incarnation is an airplane hangar that also serves as a major concert venue. The Pixies’ 1991 song “Palace of the Brine” is a reference to SaltAir. SaltAir II was located about a mile to the east of the latest version, and was a film site for the 1962 horror cult film Carnival of Souls. It’s a classic. You can probably find it for free on-line, as it’s been in the public domain for decades.
We bombed around the city quite a bit and walked through the City Creek Center shopping mall, which had a lot of higher end retailers. Of course, we ate well while on vacation. We ate at the first Cheesecake Factory I’ve been to since Atlanta, Georgia, many years ago. We also had a wonderful Italian meal at Brio Tuscan Grille. Last but not least, we ate at the Red Iguana, which was once featured on the Guy Fieri television show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. I had one of the best Mexican food meals that I’ve ever had there, while drinking good Mexican beer.
Sharon and I had a wonderful time in SLC. The people who live there were welcoming and pleasant. And the city is one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen.
One day, maybe after I retire from the post office, we plan to take a driving trip to Utah’s parks. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. They’re supposed to be spectacular. But, in the mean time, this trip to SLC officially crosses Utah off our list.
One more to go. Alaska here we come. Eventually.