Hey kiddos, let’s talk vacation!
I woke up last Monday at 6 am, eager to hit the road. I had my bag packed, my snacks ready, and spirits were high. We made good time, and stopped in Omaha for lunch. We went to this super cute pizza place called Lighthouse Pizza, where they offer these HUGE slices of pizza. It was super yummy, and a much needed break.
My companions and I did a full day of driving on Monday, getting in to Denver at about 10 pm.
I hit the bed hard and slept well. When we woke up, we were ready for adventure! We had breakfast at a place called Snooze, where they only do breakfast food. And boy do they do it well. Our waitress gave us a free pancake with whipped marscapone as a gift for visiting from Minnesota!
The menu was a little overwhelming, but I ended up going for a breakfast scramble with cheddar cheese, chorizo and bacon. It came with toast and hash-browns. It was basically the best breakfast of all time.
After our phenomonal breakfast, we headed out to a cool little spot called Lookout Mountain. We hiked around, and ended up on this beautiful cliff that looked out of the other mountains.
The view was pretty spectacular! After the hike, we drove around the Red Rocks amphitheater. By then, we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the house for a late afternoon power nap. We hit up a local pizza place for dinner, and then went to find a good spot to watch the sun set in the mountains. I didn’t make it to the top of our hill by the time the sun set, but I still got some pretty amazing pictures!
The next day we headed towards Utah, and had to leave Colorado. We started out in the desert part of Utah, so the sky went on forever and it felt oppressively hot compared to the cool mountain temps we had in Colorado. But we stopped near Arches National Park, and I got to take some photos.
We arrived in Salt Lake City in time to catch dinner with my friend E, who recently moved out there! I cried, she cried, and then we went to Cafe Rio, which is the Utah version of Chipotle. It was super yummy, and we got to meet up with a returned missionary who served in our area. It was a little weird to see him out and about being an actual person instead of a missionary, but I was thankful for the chance to catch up.
We stayed at E’s place in Salt Lake, and the next morning, we hit Temple Square. I loved getting to see the Salt Lake Temple. It’s the temple they put on everything, and it was cool to actually see it. We toured the conference center and the tabernacle, and while we were in one of the visitor centers, I saw this on the wall.
Mosiah 2:17 is one of my favorite scriptures, and the picture of Christ beside it is another one of my favorites (I own the full print, I just need to get a frame for it). It was so cool to have a moment where even though I know this wall wasn’t there for me, it was perfectly timed for me. I want to become more involved in serving others.
After we were done at Temple Square, we had to go get ready for the wedding. We were late, but luckily so was the person with the bouquet, so we got to see the ring ceremony! It was so cute, and you could tell the couple was so in love. The party was fun, a little backyard gathering with dancing and yummy desserts. As their send-off, the bride and groom got into a dunk tank, and auctioned off balls to throw as a way to raise some extra funds for the honeymoon. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it was so perfectly them that it didn’t feel weird.
I went home with E after the wedding, and I got to spend some one on one time with her, and some alone time the following morning. I wanted to get a little lost, so I went walking around Salt Lake City. I ended up liking it a lot there, and I wouldn’t complain if I ended up going there for grad school. We’ll see what happens!
Friday Afternoon, E and I went to yet another local pizza place, but this one was the place to go by the University of Utah campus. It had fancy root beer, and every wall was plastered with the names of students who had passed through.
After dinner, we met up with my traveling companions at a soda shop called Thirst. I love the soda shop concept, and wish it were a think in Minnesota! I want weird mixed drinks that aren’t alcoholic. I got a drink called “Dr. McCreamy” which was Dr. Pepper, raspberry puree and coconut cream. It was super yum!
E took me back to her place, and decided we needed to dye my hair. So that’s how I spent my last evening in Utah.
The next day we were ready to head back. Unfortunately, I wiped out on the walk to the car, and ended up scraping up one knee something awful, and wrecking my ankle. (I’m still in the ankle brace, but it’s on the mend!) Luckily, once I got in the car, I got to stay in the car for another twelve hours. One of the coolest things on the trip happened in South Dakota:
We made it across Wyoming, and stopped for the night in Pierre, South Dakota. We ordered delivery to the hotel, and spent some time in the hotel’s hot tub, which was more of a mildly warm tub, as the heater was broken.
The next morning, we were back on the road. It was only about a seven hour drive, but I found great comfort in seeing the Welcome sign for my beloved state.
I had such an amazing time on my trip, and I’m so thankful I was able to go! From hiking, to the wedding, to exploring, I found something wonderful around every corner! While I can’t wait for my next trip, I’m enjoying being home!
Until Next Time,