Salt Lake City, Utah

On our free evening in Salt Lake City, we decided to go to the Mormon Tabernacle to hear the choir practice. The most impressive building shown in the picture above isĀ  the Mormon Temple (not where the choir practiced). The practice was held in the dome shaped tabernacle. Before entering, there was a group of kind elderly ladies that searched our purses. People were sitting informally in the pews to listen. It attracted an international audience.

By far my favorite instrument is the pipe organ. This was the largest pipe organ that I have ever seen. The sound was rich. Too bad I couldn’t fit it in my suitcase!

The tabernacle was inside of Temple Square which was surrounded by a large wall. Once I passed through the gates, I felt like I was in a different world. Everything inside was green and lush. There were immaculate gardens. It was peaceful and beautiful.

There were several statues in Temple Square, one of a seagull. Our Salt Lake tour guide said that when the original Mormon settlers came there was a cricket plague. The seagulls swooped in to devour the crickets. Now the seagull has a monument erected in its honor. It is also the state bird. Who would’ve guessed?

Right upon leaving the grounds, there was a young group of Christians evangelizing to the people as they exited.

Outside the gates there were several outdoor fountains that at certain times of the day had a water show, but I didn’t see that.

Down the road from Temple Square was a place that had a lot of signs for tourist photos. It seemed like a traffic hazard more than anything. It was something different.

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Like major cities, there was a homeless population. There were kids that came by on skateboards asking for money to buy drugs.

The city itself is very clean. It was hard to find a cigarette butt or a candy wrapper. It would be nice if such care was taken towards preserving the polluted Great Salt Lake. Although it is nice to know that they weren’t serving fish from the Great Salt Lake at local restaurants since the lake is much too salty for fish.

One major misconception I had about Salt Lake City before visiting was that it was a dry city (as in hard to find alcohol, not as in climate). I didn’t find that to be the case, although the beer on tap has only 4% alcohol. Some of my local favorites are the Moab Brewery Porcupine Pilsner, Squatters Arnold Palmer Ale, and Wasatch’s Polygamy Porter. The good thing about less alcohol was that I was able to sample more. Although Utah law says that you can only have two drinks in front of you at a time, even if those drinks are 2 ounces each.

I was surprised at some of the restaurants in the city. I had an unbelievably good burger at Fat Jack’s Burger Emporium. I built my own and it included some unusual ingredients like Spam, avocado, cilantro, and a fried egg.

Even though we didn’t have a lot of time to explore the city, we were able to see a lot of the major highlights.

The Great Salt Lake

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Paul and I went on a business trip this past week to Utah. We had one afternoon free to see the local sights. I’ve always thought it would be cool to check swimming in the Great Salt Lake off of my bucket list.

It was a cool day when we visited. It was 65 degrees and the water was about the same temperature. We took a tour bus to the site.

It was eerily silent at the Great Salt Lake. No jet skis, no power boats…nothing.

There were some sailboats that weren’t in their slips yet. It still is a little too early for the sailing season. I did hear that the Great Salt Lake has some of the saltiest sailors around.

The lake is very shallow, 11 feet at the deepest.

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Here is a picture of Paul about to make the plunge with his foot. You could see the little sea monkeys in the water. It is too salty for fish, 5 times saltier than the ocean.

The locals warned against swimming in the lake. Unfortunately, the water is polluted from nearby factory run off and has high levels of mercury.

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Here is a picture of Paul and I ‘swimming’ in the Great Salt Lake. A few people braved the cool water and air temps to swim. I opted not to this time, but wouldn’t be opposed to it in the future.

The travel diaries; Park City, Utah

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Paul and I have been to Park City a couple times for business. Park City is a ski resort town. This town hosted the winter Olympics back in 2002. As you enter town, you can see a massive ski jump. There are ski lifts located throughout the town. The resort that we stayed at was a ski resort in the winter. On the top left corner of the above picture, you can see a ski lift. In the off season, there are miles and miles of ski slopes turned into hiking trails.

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We spent a lot of our free time hiking at the resort. We rarely saw any other people on the trails. There weren’t a lot of signs, but surprisingly we didn’t get lost.

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It is absolutely beautiful in the fall.

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We didn’t spend all of our time wandering around, however the few pictures I have of downtown Park City were not quite as scenic. While we were in Park City, we had some of the best sushi ever. Too bad I don’t remember the name of the restaurant. It was small and crowded, but had some of the best sushi. We also stopped in at the Wasatch Brewery for food and drinks. I tried the jalapeno beer. It was strange, the warmer the beer got the spicier it seemed. I also liked the Polygamy Porter. It was so good that I had to buy the I’ve tried polygamy shirt. I am a little paranoid to wear it at home in case I offend some of the Mormons in the area. It also had other little sayings on it like bring some back home for the wives and one is just not enough.

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Back at the resort, we got together with Joe and some other business friends at the resort bar. The liquor laws in Utah are rather strict. I’ve heard that Park City is more lenient then other places in the state. For example, if we wanted to order a round of drinks, we had to purchase an appetizer first. I vaguely remember the bartender saying that if a beer is on tap that it has to contain 4% alcohol or less.

Park City is a nice little tourist town. I can’t imagine how beautiful it must be there in the winter. Throughout the town, they had little bonfire warming spots which weren’t lit while we were there. It was a clean town and the people were friendly. It was quiet in the off season. It was nice to have this beautiful town to ourselves.