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Thursday, October 12, 2006

SLC punks - there ARE a lot of them

Last weekend we went to Salt Lake City for a mini-vacation. We had some free Southwest tickets that expire tomorrow, so this was our last chance weekend. The free tickets kind of work like standby, so we had to pick a city with lots of empty, nonstop flights - SLC it was!

We pricelined a hotel and rental car - if you haven't tried this, definitely do. You don't get to pick the exact hotel, but you get to pick the are of the city as well as the star rating, which is all we cared about. We ended up at the Red Lion in downtown Salt Lake. The hotel wasn't in the best of areas, but there aren't any really bad areas in SLC. It was very nice. A little loud (the sliding glass door facing the street was very thin), but otherwise great.

We flew in late Saturday morning, got our car (upgrade to a Malibu), and drove out to the lake. It's not like a normal lake - you can't just drive up to it from anywhere. First, this time of year it's super low, so normal shorelines are pushed way back. Second, it's like a ghost lake. People don't live on the shore, nor were there any boats in sight whatsoever. We're used to the Ozarks, or the less crowded Bull Shoals. Seeing an empty lake was very odd. In fact, we didn't even see any marinas other than a very small one on Antelope Island (a nature reserve in the lake accessible by a small causeway).

Anyway, we ended up at the

Saltair, an old resort area that burned in the 60s. We had no idea what it was until entering the gift shop. It also serves as a concert venue which we figured out after seeing numerous Insane Clown Posse folks bandying about. ICP folks are scary - they paint their faces like mean clowns and wear shirts that say 'fuck' and other nice things. At one point some were wandering around outside, and two older ladies exiting the gift shop saw them, covered their mouths, pointed, and laughed. It was hilarious.

Then we checked into the hotel and walked around downtown and the
Mormon Temple Square. We were accosted by two Mormons almost immediately (they swarm the place) - a blonde and a girl straight from Africa. I didn't know there were Mormons in Africa. Apparently I was wrong. Anyway, we managed to escape with two postcards picturing the temple, which we held up as we walked around as a sign to the others that we'd been approached. It worked. It's beautiful, but almost not worth being accosted. I thought later that I should have asked them if they knew any polygamists. Or if they wore magic underwear (it exists!).

We found a great microbrewery downtown near our hotel called

Squatters. Great beer, and great food. Q and I love beer, so we decided, when we go out of town, to find good local breweries. We had a hell of a time afterwards finding liquor, but finally found a state store, which is the only place to buy it. Odd. But not bad prices, surprisingly.

The next day we headed to Park City, which was an hour away in the mountains. It's a ski resort, and the place where the winter Olympics were held in 2002, I think. It was really cool. There was a great downtown area, with good food and shops. We visited another microbrewery -

Wasatch. They have a beer called the Polygamy Porter - hilarious. We then went to a tourist-y area, where we got to toboggan down a mountain, simulating the luge or bobsled, as well as ride a roller-coaster thingy. It was a lot of fun.

Then we visited Olympic Park, which was a blast. We got to zipline, do another toboggan ride, and watch freestyle skiers do tricks off ramps into a pool. Very cool. We also got to go to the top of the ski jumps, and see the track where the luge, bobsled, and skeleton are done. Apparently during the games there was a deer who jumped on the track about 3/4 of the way down, and slid to the bottom. They got him off the track and back on the ground, when he proceeded to run back up and do the exact same thing. What a punk.

We went to Squatters that night to eat and watch the Cards game (yay - they won!). The next day we went to

Antelope Island for a while before flying home. The island is really beautiful, and we got to see roaming bison (same thing as a buffalo - who knew) and gorgeous scenery.

Coming home sucked, as usual. Going back to work was even worse. But we had a blast in SLC. It's so beautiful there, nestled in the mountains and next to the Salt Lake. I'd definitely go back. In fact, we want to go again so we can camp at Antelope Island, right on the water. Then maybe go from there into Wyoming, which is also gorgeous.

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