The stars aligned twice in March and I was able to visit with another set of friends—this time, with Angie and Wendy, who are but six hours away in Utah. Salt Lake City (for I think of the entire metropolis as one giant neighborhood) has definitely earned a spot on my list of Western Cities To Which I am Quite Attached, Despite Never Having Lived In Any of Them these past five years. We had such a good time when they were here visiting in October, though I fear that I definitely got the better end of the deal regarding the "what should we do while we're out at night?" question. : ) Angie posted a terrific account of our visit (vacation for me, "staycation" for them) but I had the camera, so this will be a far more photo-heavy post!
After our 20 minute speedwalk through a scrapbook expo by Angie's house, there was at least another 20 minutes of discussion about which unique, cute, rustic, yummy restaurant we should eat at. This one or that one? Or wait, what about those other 30? Or, we could drive 9 minutes in that direction and then we could go to that one, that one, or even better yet, that one? PLEASE. I hope you're saving up your money to eat out as much as possible, Utahans. You have no idea how lucky you are that you have so many choices. Ha. We ended up at Trio, which was an excellent choice. Really? Three excellent restaurant meals in one month? I'm not sure I can even process that these days. For anyone eating vicariously, I had rosemary flatbread and cedar plank salmon. Mmmmmm.
After dinner, we hit not just one, but TWO dessert spots. First up? Hatch Family Chocolates. Wendy had one of these
because in UT, everyone dips everything in chocolate. I had a dark chocolate orange cream, which is rivaled only by dark chocolate orange jelly sticks for Most Favorite Thing To Eat at a Chocolate Counter.
Then off to Gourmandise, a sit-down dessert restaurant. Except for the fact that we didn't understand the ordering and sit-down procedure at first, it was also excellent. They were just out of the pear-almond tart it took me 10 minutes to decide on, so in a panic that I didn't have a Plan B I went with baklava.
3. After dinner + dessert + dessert, it was time for a night tour of Salt Lake City! I had a good angle out of the window of Angie's monster truck (which I fell out of the first time I got out, nice) and I'm pretty sure my camera was sighing with joy. It likes to be taken to new places.
a peek of the Salt Lake Temple
from way up in a neighborhood called The Avenues
After my tour, the first phase of the custody agreement kicked in and Wendy went home for the night and I stayed at Angie's house.
4. In the afternoon on Sunday, we met back at Wendy's for an early dinner (I'm afraid I may have appeared strangely hungry on Sunday, because we had a late breakfast at 10 and an early dinner at 4. I didn't realize how much small children have affected my eating habits! That, and the food was so good I couldn't help but have two servings of all of it.
Wendy's house is just as wonderful as you might imagine it to be; cute little outdoor windchime mobile thingies, scrapbook-product decor, bursts of color and whimsy and she-knows-where-to-get-all-the-cutest-stuff-from-Etsy. It is, on the other hand, much louder and more rambunctious than my house. Five boys vs. three girls = different worlds. Not bad different, just different different : )
5. After dinner, we took a walk in Wendy's neighborhood, which I have to say, was full of really interesting things. Some examples:
I'm not even sure what to say about this van, except that it's the coolest rusty piece of old junk I've ever seen.
Angie mentioned drinking out of a well, and here is the photographic proof.
I'm sure I made a spectacle of myself taking all the flower pictures that I took, but I have to have something to tide me over.
7. How many scrapbookers does it take to figure out a first-generation Silhouette? Sounds like the beginning of a joke, but actually, no... the answer is three, over two nights and using two different computers. The project-of-the-weekend was to make a big canvas with a vinyl letter message on it. We painted our canvases without any trouble, but whoo boy, figuring out the Silhouette was a trick and a half. But when we did, we were hooked. So hooked, in fact, that I've already emailed the company to pester them about when a Mac-supported version of the Silhouette will be available. Not before Fall 2010, I'm told. I've never had a reaction to a die-cut machine before, but this one? Very cool indeed.
Painting our canvases under Angie's fancy daylight lamp. Note the big printer-paper "A" on her canvas; it only took us 14 tries to get that to print out, on the wrong part of the paper. Also, it was apparently a fluke, because we couldn't really get it to work again.
Hello, IKEA. I've missed you terribly. On my shopping list: a new dining room chair to replace the one that met an unfortunate end at the hands of Bridget and Gracie, and new lingonberry jelly. I got a few other things, too:
like this adorable bird tray and
It was a very successful trip. We had dinner at the Blue Plate Diner where I inadvertently didn't take any pictures. They let us eat there even though we weren't as cool as the waitstaff. Custody Agreement Part III: I stayed at Wendy's house and Angie went home to prepare for a busy Tuesday.
9. I left early Tuesday morning. My first stop for gas was in Points of Rock, Wyoming where I saw this gem:
10. And finally:
Especially important since while I was gone MaddiehadfoodpoisoningMattdid8000loadsoflaundryandthedayafterIgotbackitsnowedtheend.
Thanks for a wonderful trip, A & W!