Touristy Tuesday is just a LITTLE late this week! Whoops – at least I got around to it eventually. This week we headed back to Salt Lake City, Utah to pick up where we left off two weeks earlier!
Our drive down from Boise was pretty uneventful, until we found ourselves in the Middle of Nowhere – literally.
The gas station owner definitely had a sense of humor at this place!
This place was part gas station, part “history” museum, and part petting zoo!
Just like the last time we pulled into Salt Lake City, we had a friend waiting for us. Matt, a character you might remember from Fresno, had flown out to meet up with us for a few days while he was on vacation.
Our first day off in Salt Lake City we checked something that off the Bucket List that we’ve been waiting to do for quite some time. Being in the Southwest, we often hear people say, “Ooh! The Wienerschnitzel car is here!” WRONG!! NO. NO. NO! And as much as we pridefully defend Oscar Mayer and the Wienermobile, a small part inside Abe and I has been secretly wanting to find out what these Wienerschnitzel wieners are all about! So with the Wienermobile off the hot dog highways for a bit, we walked on over to the nearby Wienershnitzel.
Stripped of all company apparel, we covertly ordered. Abe got the Junkyard Dog – complete with just about everything on the menu, which was delicious.
When I started Hotdogging and had to pick my nickname, I originally wanted to be Corndog Kelly – you know, because I like to ham it up! Legal turned me down though and so I was dubbed Cookout Kelly. On our undercover trip to Wienerschnitzel I figured why not be a real rebel, and ordered a corndog after my wishful namesake.
The friendly Wienerschnitzel employees had me try it with four different types of sauces too – ketchup, mustard, BBQ, and fry sauce. I can now report that if I’m going to eat a corndog, I’m going to dip it in BBQ! Fun fact though – most corndog enthusiasts actually choose mustard! (Who does that?!)
Once we had our fill of the competition, we braved SLC public transportation. Let me tell you, those Mormons may be classy, but public transportation is pretty scary no matter what city you’re in. The three girls surrounding us openly debated the benefits of “having a number” and going to prison over doing the time in a county jail.
We were dropped off downtown after our fun-filled bus trip and walked down to Temple Square. Finally!
We went into the visitor’s center, where we spoke to several missionaries, all women, That was pretty interesting.
I really like Mormon’s – they’re so darn friendly and really not judgmental for being so zealous in their own religion. Plus, the first girl didn’t blush a bit when I asked about the special underwear! I did ask about their beliefs on homosexuality and another girl said that they are raised that it is corrupt outside influences that cause those feelings. She said SHE went through a stage when she was younger but her family and church helped her change. Then I abruptly, quite admittedly awkwardly and inexcusably forwardly, asked, “So are you attracted to men now?” Well, let’s just put it this way, she didn’t exactly say yes. So yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have asked such an overly personal question, but honestly I’m glad I did! haha!
While downtown we also walked around the City Center shopping area – where we stumbled upon a really neat, modern looking two story Harmond’s grocery store. Now one time Abe said to me, “Asking me to go grocery shopping with you is like asking me to go to hell.” If that doesn’t capture how much he hates grocery stores, I don’t know what does! But luckily it was 2-to-1 with Matt in the picture, and Matt and I went off to explore with shared enthusiasm.
It turns out that this grocery store actually has a cooking school on the second level and they had a class that very evening! I was THRILLED – what a fun thing to do! I really enjoy cooking but am not that great at it, plus the course was based on using herbs and spices – something I know nothing about.
Later that evening I returned and joined about 10 others for the class. it was really neat – there was a newlywed couple, a mother and daughter duo, an older married couple, and one other single girl. We spent the first half of the class learning about the differences between fresh and dried spices. Chef Adalberto was from Cuba and absolutely hilarious – he made the class that much more fun. “There’s a time and place for dried herbs,” he said, “the least amount of the time!”
After the group lesson we broke into smaller groups and each helped cook part of the menu for the evening. Fresh herb dressings to go on spring salads, smoke paprika chicken and garbanzo salad, and a marinated fruit salad with sorbet!
I even learned how to supreme and orange, which is like cutting it up grapefruit style – which I was terrible at!
The best part of the evening was eating, of course! Tyler was Chef Adalberto’s assistant and it was his last day because he was returning to school for vocal performance. He serenaded us over dessert with an opera song!
Talk about dinner and a show! They were both absolutely charming and I had a total blast on my single-gal night out!
Day two off in SLC we made the mistake of going to check out the Great Salt Lake AGAIN. You think we would have learned our lesson from our first visit, but nope! This time Abe, Matt and I ventured to Antelope Island, a state park that promised a great beach for lake swimming. When we arrived we were just thrillllled to hear from a family, “You’re in for one disgusting treat! There are a foot of flies out there!” Not deterred, we braved the sand barefoot. I’m not sure which was a worse choice, deciding to go out to the water in the first place or going out barefoot.
We returned disgusted as promised, they were accurate with the foot of flies comment, and with sore feet. What a bust! On the plus side, I acquired one more stamp for the Park Passport. Naturally, I forgot it again and this one was on a post-it!
That evening we continued to be tourists and went to the Tabernacle Choir Rehearsal at the Tabernacle in Temple Square. The organs and the choir were equally impressive!
Friday and Saturday were both busy work days for us, so we didn’t do too much adventuring after that, which was fine by me. I’ll be honest, Salt Lake has been fun to visit, but after two trips I’ve decided it’s not somewhere I’m dying to go back to – ESPECIALLY if you’re talking about the Great Salt Lake!
Sunday we took off to Boulder, Colorado, which I’ll blog about in the next Touristy Tuesday!