After crashing pretty hard at 2:30 in the morning on Stefani and Andrew’s guest bed, we woke up around 9 in the morning and got our plans situated; we decided to visit Park City, which housed the 2002 Winter Olympics and is only 15ish minutes away from SLC, and then we’d hit up the great Salt Lake, and then take Stefani and Andrew out for dinner somewhere .
First of all, let’s be clear about Salt Lake City: It is positively a gorgeous town; very clean, very architecturally pleasing to the eye, and full of gorgeous hills and mountains. But it is weird. Here are the reasons that it is weird: 1) It’s the mecca of the Mormons, and the place is crawling with people all dressed THE EXACT SAME WAY. 2) The street grid makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. As I mentioned in my last post, the streets are numbers like 4500 North Street. And that street could be running east to west. You just don’t know. I mean, I could not live here. I am directionally challenged, and I could not find my way out of a wet paper bag, much less this place. *Disclaimer* I don’t hate Mormons. I have nothing against them. I just find their lifestyle and religious beliefs very unusual. Disclaimer over.
Back to Salt Lake City.
This is right in the heart of downtown, which is where THE TEMPLE is located. More on THE TEMPLE later.
On we marched to Park City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics. When we first arrived, we could see the ski jumps and bobsled course set into the side of the mountain.
We got to the parking and lot and noticed people skiing down the ski jumps and into a pool, so we decided to check it out. Apparently this is how ski jumpers practice in the spring and summer, and you could even pay to have lessons.
If you look carefully, you can see the skier backflipping into the pool. This looked like it hurt…a lot.
So then we went into the Olympic museum and checked out all the exhibits. It was sort of geared toward teaching young kids about how cool skiing is mixed in with some hall-of-famer stuff. I know goose egg about Olympic skiiers, so it wasn’t that interesting, but I did manage to take a fun photo:
We soon left the Olympic museum and started toward the heart of Park City. There we checked out all the shops, restaurants, and goings-on, which included a lunch at the Eating Establishment of sandwiches and fish tacos. They were DELICIOUS. We looked around at Olympic Village and the other resorts there in Park City and decided it is super posh. Park City is also home to the Sundance Film Festival during the summer, and Andrew and Stefani attended last year and voted on an award-winning film. Lucky them. Here are some highlights of Park City:
After Park city, we headed over to the Great Salt Lake, hoping to see the wonder of a salted lake in the middle of the desert. We drove probably 45 minutes to get there, only to discover that it’s $9 per car to go into the park and lake area. By this time, and we’d paid almost $50 in park entrance fees, so this was not really good news. Since we didn’t really care about the Great Salt Lake that much, we decided we’d just turn around and go back to Andrew and Stefani’s apartment and wait for them to get off work. Lame I know, but we’d spent so much money on gas and park entrances, and the salt lake wasn’t really THAT cool. I mean, it’s just melted glacier water in a big hole… (I’m trying to rationalize this.) Here’s a picture I got of it from far away:
When we got back to the apartment, Andrew took us on a tour of SLC, which included the Mormon Temple and the Capitol building. The Mormon Temple is big and beautiful, but it looks a little bit like the Kremlin. It’s even got this gold guy on top of it that looks like he’s saluting someone Russian (it’s actually a guy playing a trumpet, but I was stuck on the Russian thing). While on our tour, we also learned several facts about the Mormons: they have special underwear. Yes. It’s true. They have a sort of onesie getup that they don’t remove. EVER. This is the extent of my knowledge on this subject. Also, it’s a BIG deal to get married at the tabernacle, aka THE TEMPLE/Kremlin. They do 50 weddings in a weekend, and there’s a 2-year waiting list to use the place. CRAZY. Another thing: Mormons don’t know the F-word and have never seen R-rated movies; they don’t drink or smoke; and they don’t go out after 7. Weird people.
Here are some shots of the Tabernacle/THE TEMPLE/Kremlin:
Then, Andrew took us on a scenic hike, which included sweeping vistas and a view of the capitol. SLC is clean, but they have a hidden coal plant in the mountains that makes the air there slightly polluted. Add that onto the already thin atmosphere at the high elevation, and you’re winded just walking around.
That evening, Andrew and Stefani took us out to Red Rock Brewery, a local establishment downtown, which boasted local brews and delicious foods, to watch the Thunder game. I had a pizza, and Jacob had a buffalo chicken sandwich. We also had a big discussion at dinner that night about a very important subject: Are hefeweizens lady beers? Leave your answer in the comments section. I say wholeheartedly, “NO.”
After dinner, we went back to Andrew and Stefani’s house to finish watching the Thunder game; unfortunately, we lost. But fortunately, now, IT DOESN’T MATTER. We made it to the NBA FINALS. We turned in late and prepared for an early morning departure to our next destination: Yellowstone National Park.