Our 48 hours in Utah were split between Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo, as we attempted to hit as many sites as possible before our long, 10-hour drive to Yosemite National Park on Thursday.
We began our day on Wednesday with a trip to Temple Square in Salt Lake City:
“Temple Square in Salt Lake City is Utah’s most popular tourist destination. Part of its appeal lies in its accessibility: three city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City contain nearly 20 attractions related to Mormon pioneer history and genealogy, including the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, and the Family History Library. This means that visitors can see all or most of these attractions in a relatively short period of time.”
Salt Lake Temple
“This building is a worldwide icon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the heart of Temple Square. The massive granite edifice was constructed in a neo-gothic style over the course of an astounding 40-year period between 1853 and 1893. The pioneers who settled the valley sacrificed both time and material goods to the building of the temple, which stands as a testament to their faith and devotion. Please be aware that only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are permitted to enter the temple, but all visitors are welcome to peruse the grounds and admire the stunning workmanship of the building and the serene beauty of its immediate surroundings”
South Visitors’ Center
“This building, just south of the temple, contains exhibits on the construction of the Salt Lake Temple and on the importance of family. Here you can also view pictures of the temple interior and a cross-sectional scale model of the Salt Lake Temple.”
North Visitors’ Center
This building is home to an impressive 11-foot statue of Jesus Christ known as The Christus.”
“Located just north of the temple, the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contains a 21,000-seat auditorium and an 850-seat theater. It also houses an array of artworks that tell about scripture stories, Church teachings and organization, and Jesus Christ. Free, guided tours of the Conference Center are available daily from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m, and tours of the beautiful rooftop gardens are available April through October.”
What a beautiful way to spend our morning in Salt Lake City!
From there we headed north to Ogden, Utah. Ogden is significant because of its family connections. It is where my mother grew up and my grandfather lived when we would travel west for family reunions. It was where my parents met. It was also where I attended school for a time at Weber State University.
It also happens to be home for my Great Aunt Ellen. I haven’t seen Aunt Ellen for a few years. She is 97 years old now and we wanted to make sure we fit in a visit with this special lady.
I decided to just take the girls with me for the visit. They are who Ellen has the most memories of and I thought Tyler and Ozzie might be a bit much for her, so Toby dropped us off at Ellen’s apartment, after we stopped and picked up a pretty plant for her, and then took the boys for a drive while we had a good visit.
When our visit with Aunt Ellen was over we took the kids on a tour around Ogden, showing them my old dorm and where I went to school.
We also drove up to where my mom grew up, to take a photo of her old house.
While I was standing outside her old home taking pictures, the owner came out. When I explained why I was there he graciously invited us in to see the backyard and inside of the house. He and his family have done a lot of work on the place, but it was neat to still catch glimpses of the home I remember visiting my grandfather in when I was a child.
We also drove past the condo my grandfather moved into when Grace was little. This is where she remembers visiting Great Grandpa when we flew out for his 90th birthday party.
I have a picture of 5-year-old Grace in this same spot.
Our visit was bittersweet. When you go back to a place of your past there are always mixed emotions. It was such a joy seeing Aunt Ellen and visiting places that hold such fond memories, but also a touch of sadness over loved ones who are gone and times that have been lost to the past.
While in Ogden we had one more stop to make before we began our drive down to Provo, Utah.
As a child I remember every time we came to Ogden we would stop and get a Lime Rickey. This drink was a childhood memory of my mother’s years in Ogden and became a childhood memory for us kids that we associated with visits to Grandpa Parmley’s house.
We couldn’t leave without letting the kids experience this yummy drink: a Lime Rickey!
Made from grape syrup, sprite and fresh limes, poured over crushed ice, it is the ultimate summer treat.
And it just so happened that they were having a special: a large Lime Rickey for .99 cents. We stopped and bought one for each of us to enjoy on our two-hour drive to Provo.
On Thursday morning Toby dropped Grace, Molly, Rusty and I off at the BYU campus for a college tour. While we were touring Toby was able to drive around his old stompin’ ground with the little boys and show them where he served a mission when he was 19 years old.
When we arrived we were assigned a student tour guide who took us by golf cart around campus.
The kids all received a BYU t-shirt and a folder of information about the school.
While we toured the campus we kept our eyes open for many of our Pittsburgh North friends who are attending school there, but didn’t spot anyone we knew. It wasn’t surprising since there are 30,000 students on campus.
This was our second college tour on this road trip, but the 5th college tour for Grace. It was a beautiful campus but didn’t have the same feel that we loved about BYU Idaho. It was good to tour it, and get a feel for the campus and the school, and they had so much to offer…
but it doesn’t feel right for Grace.
We will see what she decides. Application dates are looming and she will need to start praying about where the Lord wants her to go, but it seemed to me that BYU isn’t at the top of her list.
We will see.
After a good visit to northern Utah it was back on the road again. We will be returning to Utah in a couple weeks to tour the National Parks of southern Utah,
But for now…
California, here we come!
Next Stop: Yosemite National Park