September 2012

Wow it has been a long time since I last posted so will try to catch up by months until the end of the year and then will not post again until we start traveling.  Will explain that all soon.

On August 31st we set out on the road again.  We had a really nice relaxing trip.  We stopped at Donner Summit for lunch which is in the Sierra’s and had an elavation of 7227 feet.  The temp had dropped from 90 to 69 which felt very cool to us.  I-80 going east is quite boring as nothing to see at all.  We stopped early in the afternoon at Fernley RV Park in Fernley Nevada.  This is located about 30 miles east of Reno.  A very nice campground and being a passport America park we only had to pay $16.40 a night for full hookups.  We did not unhook as we were only there for one night.  We made dinner and then just relaxed watching alittle tv and playing on our computers.

Early the next morning we started on I-80 again heading towards Salt Lake City, Utah.  We ran into alot of rain and wind.  We stopped for the night at the Wendover KOA in Wendover Nevada.  They charged us $43.85 for the night because it was a holiday.  The thing that made me mad was they closed the pool because of the wind and rain and they had nothing else so what were we paying for????  Koa has not been a campground of choice for us – much to expensive!  Years ago when we camped with our children we stayed at them quite often and they were reasonably priced.  Wendover is in Mountain Time so we lost an hour!

The next morning we started across the Salt Flats of Utah.  We saw nothing else for 70 miles.  Being from the east coast its hard to believe how much empty land we have in this country.  We saw lots of wild horses out on the plains also. 

We arrived at the Marriott Mountainside in Park City Utah around 2PM.  We got all checked in and they told us where to park our camper for the next two weeks while we enjoyed the luxury of the Marriott.  This is one of the reasons we love our timeshares – gets us away from our little house for a short while to enjoy  living in larger quarters.  LOL.  The resort has hot tubs, exercise room, laundry, pools, bicycle trails and shopping right outside your door.

After getting settled we decided to check out the area around us.  Right outside our condo is the mountain where some of the 2002 Winter Olympics took place.  The resort is at 7000 feet and you can ski right out the door of the resort.  I thought that was pretty cool. We walked around and watched people using the alpine slides, ziplines, and the ski lift.  We walked thru some of the shops and then stopped into the Legends Bar for a nice drink and chat.  Wonderful day.

We decided to attend a showing of a movie called Utah – A Portrait which told us all about the geography that makes up the Beehive State. It is really a pretty cool state.  We talked to one of the guys and come to find out he was from Springfield Massachusetts.  How small this world really is as we lived about 30 miles from there. 

We toured Deer Valley, Bald Mountain, Olympic Village and Park City just looking at all the different things we will be able to do while here.  Going to be an exciting week.

Park City has free bus transportation so we decided to jump on the bus and go downtown.  Very nice little town with lots of restaurants and little shops.  We walked and walked and realized how many hills were here.  We stopped for a nice lunch and then went to the Park City Museum which promotes the history and heritage of the city. They even had the original jail inside the museum.  The city was founded for the silver mines and now is used mostly for winter sports and during the warmer months for bike riding.  The mountains are huge – the views stunning and the area nothing like I imagined.  Another wonderful day.

The 5th was our 42nd Anniversary and we wanted to do something special.  We first went to Olympic Village and watched the skiers do their jumps and land in the swimming pool.  It was fasnating to watch as they wear all their ski equipment as if they were coming down the hill in the winter.  We sat watching for about 2 hours and really enjoyed that.  We also did the Alf Engen Ski History Museum and the 2002 Winter Olympic Museum which gave you a good history of sking.  We went to Maxwells for a nice lunch and did the outlet malls.  Bought a few things in Talbots which I love.  That night we went to the Butchers Chop House which was highly recommended.  We both ordered prime rib – not the best we had and quite expensive.  We walked to the restaurant straight uphill but took the bus on return trip. 

Another day we went back to Olympic Park and did a tour of the village.  The tour takes you to the top of the worlds highest altitude ski jump.  It looks quite big from the ground but up on top it takes your breath away.  I personally could not imagine going down that hill.  They have the ski jumps of K90 and K120 open for practice runs.  We got to see the fastest  bobsled, luge and skelton tracks also.  Our guide explained everything to us and we learned so much.  He also told us that most athletes are not really healthy people as they are much to skinny in order to get good jumps etc.  I never realized that before as everyone knows we are not good athletes.  LOL

While in Park City they held the State Fair in Salt Lake which was about 25 miles away.  We had such a nice day walking around seeing all the animals, exhibits, listening to the singing, watching others enjoy the amusement rides and also the judging of animals.  At night we attended the PRCA Rodeo which was amazing.  We had never been to one before and the action was wonderful.  We even watched little 3 year olds trying to ride a sheep.  Really a wonderful experience.  

One of the highlights of this trip was getting to visit with an old friend from Connecticut and meeting her new husband.  We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed our dinner.  I like meeting new friends but seeing old ones gets me really pumped.  Thanks to V and B for a wonderful night.

The Marriott had about 6 hot tubs and a few were just for adults.  They felt wonderful on my old bones that we just sat and enjoyed them.  They also had a nice pool and loads of chairs to relax.

Enoyed the movie “Bourne Legacy” at the Redstone 8 Cinemas in Park City.  It was a cool rainy day and we decided that was the best way to spend it. 

We found Salt Lake City to be a really cool place to visit.  Our first place to visit was The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Church History Museum.  All the exhibits and programs tell about the history of the church and their journey west.  They have displays of an 1847 log cabin, covered wagon and lots or beautiful displays of art.  It was a very imforative place to visit as I really did not know much about their church.  We found that the people were truly remarkable – so helpful and friendly. 

We walked over to Nordstroms and had a wonderful lunch.  We then toured one of the visitor centers and got more info about the church.  They have loads of missionaries from all over the world which made it very interesting talking to them.  Our next stop was The Family Search Center where volunteers will help you trace your family roots.  They have the worlds largest repository of genealogical records and they have centers all over the world which I did not know.  We played with that for awhile but next time I will be better prepared with better info on names and dates.

All in all a wonderful day and only $5 to park.  What a bargin.&
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We returned to Salt Lake City another day and decided to take a tour of the complex.  They give tours in more than 30 languages so everyone whom visits can understand and learn what is done here.  We had two beautiful young women to explain things to us – they were very pleasant and told us so much.  Temple Square is the spiritual and business center for the church.  The Temple was built in the mid 1800’s and features some of the most intricate masonry work.  It was built with granite from the Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The Tabernacle has one of the largest pipe organs with 11,623 pipes and is so acoustically perfect you can hear a pin drop in the pulpit.  We attended an organ recital by Andrew Vasworth which was just wonderful. 

Beehive house was Bringham Young’s home which was constructed in 1854. 

Next stop was the Visitor Center where they have a huge Christ Statue.  It is 11 feet tall made of all marble.  When you sit down and look at it you feel that Christ is looking right at you and it is such a warm feeling.  I have never experienced anything like this before.

The grounds are just beautiful with blooming flowers everywhere.  You cannot enter the Temple unless your a Mormon.  I read that Mrs Romney’s parents could not attend her wedding beacause of that.  Very interesting fact.

Our next stop was the Conference Center which serves as their meeting hall and has over 21,000 seats.  All the seats ave an unobstructed view of the pulpit.  It has a 7,667 pipe organ, a waterfall, beautiful paintings and even the roof has grass and trees and places to walk.  It was a spectular site.  Our guide was a wonderful school teacher whom shared alot with us.

Salt Lake City was a planned city which was patterned on a grid with Temple Square as the center.  The streets are all named for the distance from the Temple.  Quite interesting.  The Capitol building looked very nice sitting on a hill but we did not have time to visit it.  The whole area looks out on the Wasatch Mountain range.

City Creek Center sits across the street from Temple Sqaure and was just completed in March 2012.  It is one of the nations largest mixed use devolpments and includes residences, high end retail shopping, entertainment and loads of restaurants.  90 stores with Nordstorm and Macy’s in the mix.  We had a nice lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  Another perfect day.

Antelope Island State Park was a big hit for us.  It is located in Syracuse and is part of the Great Salt Lake.  While here you can hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, sightsee or just enjoy the beauty walking.  You have spectacular views of the lake, home to free ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelopes and millions of birds.  We stopped first at the visitor center and watched a film about the park and how it was settled.  We also learned about the Great Salt Lake and how the water is 5 times saltier than the ocean. Four rivers flow into it but it has no outlets.  You take a causeway to the 28000 acre island. 

At the visitor center we also saw interpretive exhibits, visited a gift shop and saw wonderful paintings by a local artist of the island.  We started driving and stopped at the Island Buffalo Grill at Bridger Bay Beach for lunch. 

We drove the island and stopped many times to climb up hills to see a different view, and to see how many animals we would see.  Our last stop was the Fielding Garr Ranch.  We took a tour of this ranch which wass once a working cowboy ranch.  The ranch house is the oldest Anglo building still standing in Utah on its original foundation.    The Mormon Church assigned Fielding Carr to establish a ranch.  They used this ranch until 1981.  It was quite interesting to visit and see how different the western half of this nation lived.  Another beautiful day in Utah.  On our way back to Park City we decided to stop at Hill Air Force Base to pick up some wine.  Once home is was time to start packing as we were planning to leave the next morning. 

We went pass the Bonneville Salt Flats where they race and set speed records.  We actually saw people driving their cars on the flats.  I never heard of that before but Tim explained it to me.  Very interesting.

The rest of the month we celebrated Makenzie’s Birthday by calling her as she is in South Carolina.  She turned 6 on the 18th.  On the 22nd we attended Gracie’s Birthday Party at the park.  She turned 3 and had such a nice party.  On the 25th was my 66th Birthday and we decided to do something different.

We went the Sacramento Zoo for the day.  It is rather small but we had fun looking at all the animals.  It seems that every zoo has a few different animals that you had never seen before.  We then went to Olive Garden for a late lunch which was wonderful.  The best part was talking to my girls, all my grandchildren plus my sister and brother.  Wonderful birthday for an old lady.  LOL

That rounded out September.  Stayed tuned for our next month of adventure.