Last day of teaching in Provo, Utah. After the session, my co-worker and I headed in to Salt Lake City to a hotel closer to the airport. We both had flights out to our respective cities tomorrow morning and thought a change of scenery would be fun.
After checking in to our hotel and dumping our bags off in our respective rooms, we hopped back in to the rental car and headed in to downtown Salt Lake City. We’d been here, briefly, a couple of days ago to go to Whole Foods, but had done no sightseeing. I’d been to a company meeting here about five years ago, but, again, spent most of the time in the hotel during the day and in bars with the team at night. So, with a few hours of daylight and two hours on our parking meter, we set out.
We took in Temple Square, sans any organized tour. A few pictures, and we moved on. For me, urban walks are all about architecture, art, and horticulture and plenty of photos of each. We spotted the capitol building on a hill and set off for that. It was a formidable building, the stone darker in color than most other capitol buildings I’ve seen. The view from the capitol building was great, and, again, several pictures were taken.
I let my co-worker select the restaurant for the night. I selected the first night’s, and it was, well, not what I expected. Last night we collaborated, tonight, his choice. He chose “The Copper Onion”. The streets of Salt Lake City were, for a city, very under populated and nearly deserted, especially considering it was early evening when most folks would be getting off work. Apparently everyone in the area was at “The Copper Onion” because no reservations were available online until 9:00 PM, so we opted to show up around 6:00 and take our chances. Thankfully, we only had to wait five minutes for a table.
The client served us pizza for lunch, and in spite of my better intentions, I chowed down three pieces. You do burn a few hundred extra calories standing and teaching for eight hours at a time, right? You do. And we just walked a few miles, as well, in our sightseeing escapade. But dinner promised to be a splurge. I ordered a local micro-brew, so many good micro-brews out of Utah, and Salt Lake City in particular. We had the waitress select a meat and a cheese of the charcuterie menu for us, and they were both wonderful, served with a quince jam to compliment the cheese. I was torn between the pork chop and the Alaskan halibut, and on the waitresses recommendation, went with the halibut. It was good, but I really wish I’d ordered the pork chop instead. The man next to me ordered the pork chop, it was a huge serving, but looked amazing. The halibut was lighter, and very good. But, then the man next to me ordered the “homemade” honey, pistachio ice cream. I was doomed, how could I not order a very small scoop of that? And a second, different micro-brew?
About half way through my ice cream and second beer, we realized our parking meter had expired. We abandoned what little was left on our table, paid the bill, and scampered back to the car. Fortunately, there was no ticket. On our way back to the hotel, we passed the stadium where the Jazz plays. I’m not really into sports, but for some reason get a kick out of seeing different teams’ stadiums in different cities. I love seeing universities, too. Just the tourist in me, I suppose.
True to my nature, when given just a couple of hours of free time, no matter how hard I’ve worked, no matter what ungodly hour of the morning I have to get up to work or catch a flight, I am going to take advantage of that precious time to see or do something I haven’t seen or done before. Not usually anything major, but, at the least, an experience in a new town, a new city, taking in some new sights and a new restaurant. Life is way too short to hang out at a hotel, or at home, for that matter.