The Weekend That Was!

Last weekend my husband and I flew out to Salt Lake City, Utah for our friends’ wedding. Initially, I really didn’t think there’d be much to see or do in Utah since I am one of those New Yorkers, who feel like NYC is the epicenter of the World, so I really wasn’t expecting much but farmland and wide, open spaces in Utah, but we were in for a big surprise.

Our first observation after we collected our rental car and drove to our hotel was that it was a Thursday afternoon and there was zero traffic on the highways, like none. Where was everyone in the middle of the day? At work, perhaps. New Yorkers work too but there is always unjustified traffic to fight and curse at on any given day or night in NYC. Always! We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of traffic in Salt Lake City, we arrived on Thursday and left on Monday, drove everywhere, and not once did we encounter any traffic; and get this? We even visited downtown, Salt Lake City, twice, and both times we effortlessly found parking.

As we drove to our hotel we were struck by the gorgeous mountains that served as the backdrop to the city. We observed “white stuff” on the peak of the mountains and we wondered could that possibly be snow? I mean it is the end of June, the first official day of Summer was upon us that couldn’t possibly be snow; but sure enough, it was.

A few days later we had the opportunity to take a drive up one of those mountains and experience the beauty of Summer snow-capped mountains live and in living color. Oh, what a sight that was! Absolutely picturesque!

Bold Mountain, Utah – Both these pictures were taken on June 22, 2019.

Utah is apparently known for its snow. I later read that Utah has the best snow on Earth because it has the perfect balance of wetness and fluffiness. Who knew?! I also learned that Utah gets an average of 18 snowstorms per year, averaging 551 inches, thus it takes forever and a day for the snow to melt from the peak of the mountains, hence the beautiful snow-capped mountains in June, which may very well last all the way into July. It was indeed a sight to behold!

The only thing I knew about Utah, prior to my visit, was that they were the home of the religious sect called the Mormons and that some (not all) Mormons practiced polygamy, which I find intriguing.

We did a bit of sightseeing tour of the Mormon Temple, which was pretty impressive. The architecture of the Temple was intricate and stunning. The erection of the Salt Lake City Temple began in 1846 and took 40 years to complete. I couldn’t help thinking that these masons and builders were way ahead of their time in the construction of such an architectural masterpiece. The pictures below do not do justice to the beauty of the Temple.

On the Temple property, there were also bold, elaborate sculptures that depicted the story of Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, the founder, and creator of the Mormon Church, and who it has been said, was anointed by the Apostles Peter, James, and John to carry on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Mormons, or members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, as they preferred to be called these days are a friendly bunch, who will eagerly give you a tour of their Temple while providing a synopsis of the teachings of their doctrines. I was even gifted with a copy of The Book of Mormon, which I actually plan to read someday.

Greg, my husband, and I quickly learned that when in Utah, one must hike. Utah is known for its’ parks, canyons and its’ epic mountainous trails so when we were invited on a hike, which we were told comprised of an “easy trail” we jumped at the opportunity.

Oh my gosh! The trail was not an “easy” one, it consisted of nothing but uphill climbs, and as fit as I think I am, especially since I have been working out consistently all my life, I quickly realized, only 10 minutes into the hike, that no amount of time spent in the gym could have prepared me for this real mountain hike. I was breathless and damn near dying just a fraction of a mile in.

Since the trail had been described as “easy”, I was expecting some flat paths coupled with climbs, not just uphill, treacherous climbs. I am not ashamed to admit that I quit the 4.8 miles, 4,141 feet ascent to the peak of the mountain, after only going a mile up. As the air got thinner, I found myself out of breath and petrified of falling and hitting my head on one of the rocks. I shamelessly threw in the gauntlet and told my husband to continue without me, and while I waited for him to return, I surveyed the beauty around me, took out my phone and took endless pictures of the Bell Canyon Trail, especially since I would never see this place again, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will never embark on an uphill mountain hike ever again in this lifetime.

The lawyer in me wanted to visit the Courthouses downtown, Salt Lake City in order to observe the daily proceedings and to get a sense of the type of cases being heard, but my husband wasn’t having it. He told me in no uncertain terms he wasn’t at all interested in “that stuff” so I had to settle for a visit to the Capitol Building instead, where the legislators and lawmakers conducted their business. We didn’t get to go inside, which of course I wanted to do, but our time was limited, so we settled for a tour of the grounds and some snapshots instead.

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On our second night in Utah, we went to a party on the Park City hip strip. We were late and as we parked the rental, as such we didn’t properly observe the parking instructions because we were too busy trying to get inside and rejoicing at how close a parking spot we found to the party’s venue.

At the end of the party, we returned to our car to find a parking ticket. We hadn’t realized that we should have walked to the end of the block and feed the meter. As we contemplated the expense of the parking ticket, especially since we were used to the astronomical parking violation fines of good ole New York City, we realized that we were being let off with a “warning”. The great city of Park City, Utah, decided not to charge us for our violation but instead waived the fine with a notice that read “Don’t worry this one is on us”. Incredible!!!! Can you believe it?! I think it was that moment that we fell in love with Utah!

Our mini vacay to Utah was one of the best getaways we’ve had. We enjoyed the warmth and friendliness of the people, the overall beauty of the State and how very clean the place was. It was hard to find a stray piece of paper on the ground anywhere.

It was interesting and fun learning the facts and history of Utah, enlighting myself about what made them special and even finding out that Butch Cassidy is a real person from Utah. Did you know that? I didn’t!

Who remembers the classic Paul Newman movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? I thought it was just a fictional portrayal of outlaws and bank robberies. It took visiting Utah to learn that Butch Cassidy was a real-life person born and bred in the great state of Utah, and may even arguably be the most famous Utahn to date. Then again everyone knows of Marie and Donny Osmond, and apparently, they are from Utah too, I didn’t know that. Did you?

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Like what you’ve just read? Please let me know by hitting the like button and leaving your thoughts in the comment section. Oh, and don’t forget to follow/subscribe to my Blog, http://www.racquelwrites.com. Thanks! πŸ’•

99 thoughts on “The Weekend That Was!

  1. Great story and pictures! I can relate to the hiking story. I did a challenging 10 mile hike recently that pushed me to the limits of my edurance. Utah is indeed a beautiful state. Nice piece of travel writing.

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  2. Great pics and insights! Utah has never been on my bucket list, but you may have changed my mind because I do like the relaxed pace of small towns, nature, hiking and interesting architecture. And no traffic and waived parking fines must have felt sort of like a miracle! LOL. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…Yes, a miracle, indeed! Especially being from New York where they stuck it to you for everything, that waived parking fine was super special and Oh so sweet of them.

      Utah, huh? Who’d a thought?? It sounds like it’s right up your alley with the small towns, hiking, nature and they do a lot of camping there too…And when you want the bar/restuarant/trendy scene just head over to Park City. Head out there, I promise you’ll like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, they ticket big here too, and the tolls are ridiculous. Not so much a camper. I can hike for hours, but I am not sleeping on the ground. Will put Utah on the list

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you’ll like Pt Townsend. Trails, beaches, farmer’s market, historic buildings, cute vibe. I haven’t spent a lot of time there. Usually, I’m driving through on my way to another “Port” or the Olympics, but I went to a jazz festival there one summer and LOVED it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi R
    Had no idea that butch cassidy was from Utah!
    And so cool about the warning – we need more of that in other states –
    A while ago we used to watch the show called parking wars –
    And there was very little grace given – even when someone came running out – tickets were issued.

    And the snow photos are so Beautiful 😊

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  4. The landscape is gorgeous in Utah!! It seems like a β€˜clean’ state. Anyone from a major city is always surprised on the β€˜amount of traffic’ there is in another state. πŸ˜†. Can’t compare to NYC.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This really did provide some insight into Utah. I’d never think to go there, and like you, one of my only thoughts is the Church of LDS, especially because I just finished that book, Educated (which by the way I recommend). I was wondering how there’s snow on the ground, while everyone seems to be in summer attire? And also, how was the wedding??? lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll put “Educated” on my book list, Kathy. Thanks for the recommendation. I hope I get to read it before the year’s end.

      There was snow on the ground because we had driven up to the mountains that afternoon. Utah is extremely mountainous and they get hit with an average of over 500 feet of snow per year so it takes forever an extremely long time for the snow to completely melt from the top part of the mountains, so even though it was the end of June at the time of our visit there was still lots of snow on the ground (in the mountains, that is). It even snowed that afternoon while we were driving up to the mountains. It was pretty awesome to experience snow in June. Yup, we had summer attire on because after all it was June 22nd. 😁

      The wedding was fantastic! We had the best time. The venue for the ceremony and reception was absolutely gorgeous. Breathtaking, in fact! The vows recited by the bride and groom to each other was soul stirring, yet funny and oh so relatable for any couple and the music at the reception was off da hook. Greg and I stayed on the dance floor even though Greg usually doesn’t dance. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That parking violation is absolutely adorable. Neighbourly vibes out in Utah! The hiking photos are so pretty, you’re doing good work for their tourism board. Here’s to more travels for you and hubs, you two are gorgeous! ❀

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    1. Girl, I have missed you! Where have you been? I assume you were taking a break or have I not been getting notifications when you post?

      Thanks so much. I had missed you reading and commenting. πŸ™‚β€

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    1. I learned of the Mormon War only while in Utah. Greg had some knowledge of it before and was only too happy to elaborate and educate me. I, myself, haven’t read anything on it yet though until now so I am happy you sent over those links. I’ll read it a little later on when I have more time. Thanks, 007!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fascinating! The no traffic, the easy parking, the “this one’s on us” first time ticket. Makes me feel like packing up and moving there immediately.
    Beautiful pics, too!
    Your hiking story was funny to me because when my husband and I started hiking about ten years ago, we were huffing and puffing steadily up a winding trail when four hikers came up behind us (out of nowhere, because no one had been behind us when we started) and said, “Excuse me,” “Pardon me, ” “So sorry–thanks,” “Excuse me!” as they squeezed past us and then kept going at a VERY fast pace up the trail, soon disappearing from sight. But that wasn’t the worst part, of course. The worst part was they were FOUR WHITE-HAIRED ELDERLY PEOPLE, lol !!!!!!!!!
    It took us a LONG time to get over our bruised egos and of course made us work out even harder after that !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, Stacey! It’s so funny you’d say that because I left out the part where elderly people (and kids, little tiny ones too) were zooming past us on the trail. It was embarrassing! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  8. Wish I would have known you were going that way. My cousin is head of HR for an AWESOME ‘chain’ of restaurants there that isn’t really a chain. 5 locations. All are in SLC area.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great trip!! Sometimes trips like that are so focused on the actual event, that you don’t get to go out & venture around to see what the place has to offer – I’m so glad that wasn’t the case & we got to benefit from your photos and experiences around town! I can’t even pick a favorite part. So very glad you didn’t continue on that hike and end up falling on your a** like I did in Seattle!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, girl, I remember reading about your fall on your Seattle hike. How are you feeling now? I remember you saying you had to be hopping around for a few days afterwards, unable to walk properly.

      It really was a great trip, way better than expected. It’s making me wanna go out and explore all the other places the great US of A has to offer. Usually our vacations consistent of international trips but the US has so much to offer. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My knee is fine now, thank goodness! I think I twisted it plus landed on it – and it took a bit for the swelling to go down. The way back home was made a bit more difficult because of it, we had a stop at San Francisco too and walked from the wharf to china town… and I couldn’t get back again so we ended up taking an uber back to the car!!

        OH international travel!! I hope to someday do more of that! I was in London once … so many years ago. I’d love to do more in Europe. This past April I was lucky enough to find myself in Peru!! It was so gorgeous!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fantastic! Our international travel is yet to involve Europe or South America, but we’ve done a few Caribbean islands and we have even gone as far as Dubai.

        Urgggh re having to Uber it back to the car. Wow! You must have been in pain. So sorry.

        Glad your knee is fine now though. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It sounds and looks like you had a great time – I’m so glad! Well deserved!

    Hiking is no joke – even easy ones. I’m always wiped out after I hike!

    I love that you are completely filled with wonder concerning American history. I suspect it’s because you focused on Jamaican history while you were attending school as s youth?

    No pics from the wedding?! I was hoping to see you two dressed up fancy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is there such a thing as an easy hike? I suppose flat trails with minimal climbing are considered such.

      Did I ever mention to you that my first degree is in History. Graduated magna cum laude too πŸ₯° but my focus was primarily on African History, for obvious reasons and European History since Great Britain colonized Jamaica. I did take one American History course on the Civil Rights Movement in my sophomore year but American History was never my main focus.

      No pics from the wedding because the piece was more focused on the entire weekend in Utah not the wedding but I could text one to your phone if you like. πŸ™‚

      Happy 4th, Heather!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there are easier hikes. Hiking on flat trails is just called walking. πŸ˜‰

        You did tell me you studied history – and I assumed you didn’t study much American history (you’re not missing out on much).

        I’d love to see pics from the wedding! 😁

        Have a great 4th!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so excited that you went to Utah! My sister lives there in Park City. Isn’t it gorgeous! I don’t love Salt Lake, but it’s okay, too. They do get some bad pollution there at times due to the topography. But those glorious mountains!!! Southern Utah is a whole different looking place, but just as amazing. Next time maybe you can go there. I’m glad you had a good trip and good to see you post. ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We looooved Park City. It was like a little version of Manhattan, very hip and very happening. It’s also overpriced, like Manhattan. πŸ˜‚

      Yessss! Those glorious mountains. Nest time we’ll stay longer and make sure we check out Southern Utah.

      Thanks, Paula. 😘

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      1. Not really. We were in Park City the same day we had done the hike so we didn’t do too much walking around. After the hike we had just enough time to shower and get to the party so after we left the party we were pretty beat. We just walked up and down the strip, we did see the artsy shops but we didn’t go into any of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Rakkelle,

    Awesome pictures! Although I was born in the country, I live in urban denizens and surburbia but never forget my roots in the mountains. Oh, wait I forgot I was born in NYC. These roots run deep. Love the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A non parking ticket parking ticket? You’re not in NYC anymore that’s for sure! Glad you enjoyed the trip, it looks lovely. Utah has never been on my bucket list either but I always hear good things so maybe it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your photos are great! I’m glad you and hubby had a chance to get away. I’ve never been to Utah and like you, the only thing I knew about Utah was the Mormons are there. I’m jealous of your hiking excursion! I always enjoyed hiking. So glad you had fun, even if you did get a bit winded! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you really jealous of my hiking excursion, even though I nearly died up there?! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      I get what you’re saying though. It’s my ability to actually make the attempt to do it that you’re referring to….I know you must miss all your mobility and the activities you used to be a part of…I’m so sorry that your movement are restricted these days, Deb!

      So much love to you! I’m always putting positive vibes out in the Universe on your behalf. Hoping for a miracle for you soon, or at the very least replacement surgery. πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

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