14 July 2012 – Utah

We woke up around 7:30.  The breakfast here was a nice change from the one at Sleep Inn in Moab.  We were going to go to Temple Square but there were tents around Pioneer Park across the street from our hotel, so we went to that.  It turns out, there was a farmers market. There were lots of arts & crafts around, as well as produce.  They had recycling everywhere there were trash cans, and there were even volunteers to make sure people didn’t throw away recyclable stuff.  I got a bag of organic thai coconut curry popcorn, which I sampled beforehand.  We found this farmer’s market quite impressive.

We walked to a UTA stop (public transit system) and rode it to the stop at The City Creek, then walked to Temple Square.  It had a wall around the square that I was not expecting.  The first place we went was the South Visitor’s Center and spent about an hour in here.  It told how family was very important to the Mormons and talked about how the Salt Lake Temple was built.  It also showed what the Temple looks like inside, since we can’t actually go in.  We spent about an hour here.

After going outside for a few pictures of the real temple, we went back inside to get a tour of Temple Square.  It turns out we got 3 “sisters” who didn’t give us much of a tour, but spent most of the time talking about their beliefs.  They are being missionaries for 18 months so that they can get into the temple.  We didn’t go in the Tabernacle at all, just the Assembly Hall.  They weren’t really talking about the building at all though.  Even though they were missionaries, they were very polite and understanding.  Dad asked some questions that helped us figure out what the Mormons believe.

After the “tour” we took a lunch break and went to City Creek.  It turns out this is where The Cheesecake Factory is that my friend Chase was talking about.  I got soft tacos there, while Dad got a chicken artichoke soup and some type of blu cheese flatbread.  I got Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake for dessert.  As usual, their cheesecake is Awesome.  We had outdoor seating, and it started raining while I was eating the cheesecake.  Thankfully Dad brought a small umbrella, so he gave it to me while he stood under one of the patio umbrellas they had.  Dad and I have now been to 3 different Cheesecake Factories.

There wasn’t much we could do afterwards, since it was raining, so we just stayed in the mall.  Dad and I split up to look at stores, and met back up in an hour.  Now that it wasn’t raining anymore we walked to the Tabernacle.  It looked nice inside and there was someone on stage who demonstrated the accoustics of the building.  She dropped 3 pins and you could hear them clearly in the back.  The ceiling was curved which helped make this happen.  However, when she talked it echoed.

Next Dad and I went to the conference center and took a tour (an actual tour).  First we went to the huge auditorium, which had no echoing in it.  Next we went into a room with 12 paintings that told the story of the Book of Mormon.  I understood it at first, but it was hard to keep up since the guide was going through it so fast.  Besides the story, I wished I could have just looked at the paintings more and the artists.  The other couple didn’t like paintings as much though, and their kid was just sitting somewhere bored while we were in that room.  For the last part of the tour we went on top of the roof, where they had plants and a fountain.  I was expecting a lot more plants and grass up there than I saw.  We saw a  fountain and a few grassy areas around it, which looked very nice.  Apparently there was a more grassy area that we didn’t get to see.  The whole time, it was hard to believe we were standing on top of a roof, above the auditorium.  After the tour was over, I had Dad explain some stuff to me from the tour, that I didn’t understand.

We walked from there to the State Capitol.  Found out it had just closed for tours at 6:00.  We took a few pictures outside.  Next we went to City Creek food court to get a lighter dinner.  We thought about The Gateway, but just didn’t feel like walking more.  On the way, we stopped at City Creek Park and Brigham Young Park.  Then we went to get a tour of the Beehive House.  I liked it and thought it was interesting, but sometimes I had trouble understanding the guide’s accent.  Afterwards, Dad said he kept getting bored in it.  Together we would have made a good team.

At City Creek mall, Dad got a salad and I went to a Japanese place.  We continued our journey back to the hotel, going a different way than we went before, so we could see more of the city.  It was 9 something when we got back.

Dad’s guessing we did about 5 miles of walking today downtown.  We learned a lot about the Mormon religion.

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