Salt Lake City is so quiet! Especially when compared with New York City. I woke up too early on Thursday morning, my inner clock functioning against my will, and left the hotel to search for food, because nice hotels never have free breakfast. In New York there are bodegas, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and Duane Reades around every corner, but in downtown Salt Lake City I walked for about 45 minutes before I found a little bakery. And where were all the people? Oh well. Despite the eerie silence of the city, E and I walked over to Temple Square and took pictures of the temple and the flowers and the sculptures and everything. We sat and watched the brides coming out of the temple, "popping out like popcorn," my sister said. It was certainly a gorgeous day for a wedding. The sky was deep blue, the sun bright, everything green, and the mountains in the distance still snow-capped. I loved the poppies growing around Temple Square the most. And the forget-me-nots.
We marveled at the temple, counted all the fountains and brooklets, walked around Brigham Young's house, the Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, and the Conference Center. We went to the Museum of Church Art and History, where we saw a handcart that our great-uncle Blaine built. No, he didn't cross the plains with it! He built a lot of them for reenactments and stuff. The Museum is great--they have the printing press that the first Book of Mormon was printed on, some of the original manuscript pages, and so many other interesting artifacts and artworks. Following that, we went in the Conference Center, where the current Church Art Contest is being held. Every four years or so, the church holds an art contest, and members of the church from all over the world submit artworks that have to do with gospel themes. The pieces were amazing! Everything from landscape paintings to a tile-mosaic radio to baby blessing dresses of fine lace, to a gorgeous woodblock print of a woman. I was also fascinated by the glass sculpture hanging below the skylight.
After getting our fill of Temple Square and art, E and I walked over to the Gateway Mall, a huge outdoor shopping center that was so cute we felt like we were in Disneyworld. Around 3:30 we jumped on the TRAX, the SLC version of the subway, which took us to the train station where we boarded the Frontrunner, a double decker train that took us out to Ogden. The train was so fun. The seats inside have little tables between them, and the train even has wi-fi! It was like a cross between being on the Orient Express in an Agatha Christie novel and some kind of futuristic monorail. I loved it!
It took about an hour to get to Ogden, with the in between scenery full of farms, old trains, electrical stations, junkyards, desert, and mountains. In Ogden we found ourselves at an old Western Union station said to be haunted. I took pictures of the abandoned buildings around it, fended off a panhandler, and E and I climbed on some old train cars there on display. We found a little diner converted from an old train car, and bought ice cream sandwiches and waited for our parents to come pick us up. When they finally found us, we headed north through the canyon to Logan, and the sight of all the green rolling foothills brought back all my memories of coming to Utah as a child.