Road Trip to Salt Lake City, Utah

This was Quinn and mine's first time seeing General Conference live in Salt Lake City Utah! What an adventure!

Quinn and his parents drove down a bit earlier, and I stayed behind at home for a couple days because I had some teaching commitments at the university, but I joined them via a two hour direct flight from Vancouver to Salt Lake City, where they picked me up late Friday morning.

From there we did some sight-seeing around Temple Square, ate lunch at the Lionhouse Pantry (I think we all gained like five pounds from this trip. SO many buns, butter, and desserts. Yay! I love bread!) We watched some of the new Meet the Mormon films in the Legacy Theatre at the Joseph Memorial Building, and watched the brand new First Vision short film at the Church History Museum. I fell in love with a lap harp at the museum gift shop for no reason (other then it is EPIC), and Quinn had to hardily convince me (beg me) not to buy it. He is such a good husband, watching out for our finances because his wife likes to buy things like lap harps haha.

We were very fortunate to have the most lovely hosts from the Johnson's, who had served a mission in the Vancouver area. They treated us like kings and queens by making us the biggest, most delicious breakfasts every morning. These breakfasts were my favourite cuisine of the whole trip (think french toast, hashbrowns, german pancakes, sausages, homemade raspberry jam, and omelettes EVERY morning! Seriously, they were amazing.

Friday evening after touring around downtown Salt Lake City, Utah we headed down to Provo, Utah to spend time with our good friend Brian! All of us had dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then after while Quinn's parents and the Johnson's did a session in the Provo city-centre temple, the three of us took some lovely shots of it, and then headed to an improv show. The show was great, complimented by some nitro-ice cream at a nifty chain of ice cream parlours in Provo, and of course, we wouldn't be us if we didn't end the night with some board games. It was great catching up with Brian, and the day was jam-packed and tons of fun.

Saturday we watched the morning session of conference at the Johnson's, complimented by their amazing breakfast, and then drove to the nearest train station, to take the rails into downtown Salt Lake City to see the afternoon session live (eek! for the first time!) at the conference centre. On the freeway heading to the train station we got into a car accident. We were rear-ended and Quinn's parent's back-end of their car got completely ruined. Thankfully all parties involved were okay, although we were all a bit sore and grumpy that afternoon as to be expected. 

We arrived at the conference centre late due to the accident, but there was still massive lines at all gates to get into the centre. We walked past the anti-mormon protestors, lined up at one of the gates, and waited. And waited. Thankfully it was sunny, and we didn't have to stand in the rain. By the time we got to the front of the line, we had to go through an airport security type set-up where you walk through a scanner, and you hand over your bags and they get checked, and you put all your electronics into a bucket. Not thinking about it, or expecting such security measures, one of the volunteers found my camera in my purse and said I could not take it into the centre, so I had to leave the entrance and walk over to a different gate where the security bag and item check-in area was. I checked in my camera, and then had to go back to the other gate and go through security once more. During all of this mayhem, someone else in our party had to check in a bag because it was too big (no bags allowed in the conference centre), and by the time we were all in, we were all separated and got seated in different sections. Luckily, I at least found Quinn and we got to sit together. To say the least, the whole journey of getting there was overwhelming, tiring, and I definitely was thinking this is so not worth it. 

When we sat down in our seats, the session had already begun and they were just starting the sustaining of the prophet and apostles. When I saw how many saints were sitting in this one place, and then lifting their hands up to sustain the prophet, my stress melted away and I was overcome with the spirit. I felt a bit teary, and was so impressed to see so many saints in one place gathered to hear the voice of the Lord through his prophets and apostles. It was really touching. I live in an area where there isn't that many members. I was the only member going to my high school for awhile. To see, right before my eyes, so many people committed to the gospel was awe inspiring. Jeffery R. Holland's talk that session also got me good. Overall, I ended up having absolutely lovely conference experience and felt the spirit.

The men had tickets to priesthood session that night, so Sherry and I did a little more exploring around Temple Square while they were gone. This included a trip to the mall, where I bought a lot of books at Desert Book Store (for ladies night! How fun!), we ran into Brandon!!! (who was also down in Salt lake City for conference, visited the Beehive House, and went to some of the visitor centres on Temple Square.

The following day I learned from my mistakes and didn't pack as much stuff to take with me to the Sunday afternoon session, which we were lucky enough to have tickets for too! This did mean however, that I didn't get to take my camera with me, so there is no photographic evidence from that day of our trip. Lucky for us, the following day we were able to spend the entire Monday playing tourist. We visited Welfare Square, then headed back to Temple Square to watch all of the new Meet the Mormon movies, check out the Joseph Smith Memorial building, spent some time in the Church History museum - WHICH WAS AMAZING. Now I am a little biased, as I love libraries, but this is definitely something you should pop into if you plan on going in the area. We ended the day with eating at The Garden restaurant, which had the most lovely ambiance, and is another repeat-worthy dining experience.

Before heading back home via the road, we were also fortunate enough to do a temple session in the Salt Lake City temple! Best of all, Quinn and I were asked to be the witness couple for our first time. This was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me.

All in all this trip was a quickie, but a goodie! Thanks so much to my wonderful in-laws for taking us on this mini-vacation, and we all loved being able to see General Conference live for the first time (can you believe we all had never been!?).

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