Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Utah and the bloggy girls rocked!!

I'm back from a wonderful and fun week in Utah, meeting some of the most fantastic adoption bloggy gals you could imagine. I know I'm the last to post, but I have a few good excuses: First, my camera wasn't cooperating all the time so I had to nick all the other girl's pictures; Second, I was much too tired to post earlier but after a long shower and a good nap, I'm feeling somewhat normal; and Third, now that everyone else posted I can fill you in on the nitty gritty especially since M3 revealed the truth about me, in video no less, letting the world know that I'm the instigator of bad behavior. Yesterday, Tuesday morning, I awoke around 6 am MST and had a fun day before flying out on the 11:30 PM MST red eye to Newark, finally arriving in Atlanta today, Wednesday morning at 10:30 am EST, so the fact that I'm posting at all today is amazing.

So, here's the week in excruciating detail. Last Wednesday I arrived in SLC just before midnight and was met at the airport by Kim & her husband Lee who were kind enough to pick me up at such a crazy hour. After a great night's sleep at their home (thanks Madison for allowing me to use your room), I finally got to meet the girls before we all headed up to Park City. I was then clued into and taught some of the local lingo so that I wouldn't sound like a complete outsider and I also learned about Wingers Creamy Amazing Sauce and how good it is on fries. We saw some of the local sights and then spent the night at the Park Plaza in a lovely 2 bedroom/3 bath top floor condo (Thanks for the condo David, it was wonderful!!). The girls had a blast checking out all the rooms, playing in the pool and trying on the bathrobes that were provided in the Master bedroom.

Friday was a big day which started with Lee giving us all a great tour of the area along with a mini history lesson. The mountains & canyons were amazing and beautiful, I can see why people would want to live there. We then went to the This is the Place Heritage Park which is a site not to be missed. The girls learned how to print newspapers and also how to make rag dolls. I was sorry that not all the buildings were open, but it was all very interesting.

Kim and family then brought me over to Lisa's adorable home where I along with my luggage were dropped off and I said good-bye to the girls until I would see them again on Tuesday. I met the voices from the phone, Lisa, Donna and M3 and we all chatted like long lost friends, not people meeting for the first time. It's been decided that Lisa is the hostess with the mostess because she laid out the welcome mat, treats and goodies to make us all feel so welcome in her home. The four of us then headed out for a mini tour of Salt Lake City and then up to Park City where we saw the Olympic Training Center, ate a wonderful lunch at Wasatch Brew Pub, I kissed a moose and we got to check out the goods of some of the artists who were setting up for the Arts Festival which started the following day.

The next morning started with a real treat, Lisa's Mom Sunny came over and made pannekaken (Norwegian pancakes) which we topped with butter, homemade jams, sour cream and powdered sugar.

Tiffany arrived just as we were finishing up so Sunny made another batch and we all ate and chatted until the last of the group, Julie arrived. M3 then passed out adorable t-shirts with all of our little one's names on them. Can you imagine this group getting together again and all of our children wearing their little shirts!! Yes, M3 knows the secret name (and I know she won't talk because I know where she lives!!) but until referral, the rest of you only get what you can see in the picture.

After gaining strength from our wonderful breakfast, we headed out to go shopping, hitting a massive scrap book store where the scrap book people of the group ogled and drooled over all the crafty items. It was time for lunch and we all loved the place that Lisa suggested, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill where we all had the best salads ever. After some more shopping at Gardner Village, I think we went back to Lisa's for a rest before heading out for more shopping at The Gateway and dinner at Thaifoon.

Just because we had three fabulous meals already, that didn't stop us from digging into the Blotkake (Norwegian cream cake) which Sunny made for us. It was awesome and reminded me so much of the Italian whipped cream cakes that I had every birthday growing up. Stuffed and tired, we all sat on Lisa's porch and watched as a rain and lightning show passed through the area.

Sunday morning brought us all down to the 4014th broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Watching the production and listening to the choir was wonderful and we all got silly and really felt the spirit of the music when they did a traditional spiritual, Ride the Chariot. A few more songs like that and they may have had a nice little group of converts.

After the broadcast let out, we all had to say farewell to M3 as she had a plane to catch...We missed her when she left!! The rest of us, of course had to make our way to the ladies room which was the cleanest restroom I've ever seen in my life. To top it off, I was blown away by the number of stalls in this one restroom and being the sad weirdo I am, I had to count them. So, if you're wondering there are 42 stalls in just that one ladies room! I wish other venues would take a gander at that bathroom and figure out how to keep that line of cross legged ladies moving along. Sorry, no pictures of the ladies room, I was already getting weird looks just walking along counting the stalls

Coming out of the Conference center there were Missionaries who would take you on a language of your choice tour of Temple Square. We passed on the guided tour and just took a nice little walk around checking out a few of the buildings. The outside of the Temple was so pretty and the gardens were in full bloom and absolutely beautiful. I would love to go back someday when the choir is back in the Tabernacle, I bet that's a great experience.

Next we hit a small, funky coffee shop where we grabbed lunch and I had a great Brie and green apple pannini, which I know I'll be recreating at home. Next we headed up to Snowbird where we took the aerial tram ride up 11,000 feet. The views from the top were spectacular, but I'm not sure where that little blond kewpie doll came from!

As if seeing two of SLC best sights wasn't enough, we then headed to Antelope Island State Park, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. This is where the story that Julie didn't want to tell is let out of the bag. The island is home to a roaming herd of approx. 600 bison and when we were driving along, we came upon a large heard. They were amazing to watch as they crossed the road right in front of us. Donna took a great video and hopefully she'll post it. Anyhow, we went to the end of the road, turned around and when we got back to the heard we stopped at the side of the road again to watch them.

Well, there was a group of younger guys, probably late teens/early 20's who had left their cars and were walking up to part of the heard. Julie sticks her head out of the car window and yells to the guys, "Dude, hey don't do that". They kept going closer to the heard and she then yells out, "Dude, do you value your life?" Well the guys let her know that they're trying to get some of the heard to turn around so that they can get a better picture. So she then yells to them "Dude, what's your email address? We have some great pictures and we'll email them to you." Well, Donna, Lisa and I could not stop laughing she was so funny! Poor Julie, we picked on her the rest of the time together. The guys were such idiots and Julie was worried about them, but it was too funny!!

After such a busy day, we decided that salads on Lisa's back porch would suit us fine for dinner so we headed to the grocery for all the ingredients. We all participated in the making of the salad which was delicious with grilled bbq chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro, lettuce, jicama and a ranch bbq dressing. We laughed so hard over the days events, the neighbors must have wondered what was going on.

Monday brought more shopping followed by lunch at Rio Grande Restaurant. After that we all were pretty well wiped out so we sort of spent a quiet afternoon at Lisa's until she had to go to work. Tiffany joined Julie, Donna and I then the three of us dropped Donna off at the airport for her flight home. Our little group was dwindling away. Julie, Tiffany and I went to dinner at Noodles & Co followed by some wonderful frozen custard. Then it was back to Lisa's so that Julie and I could pack and get some sleep, so that was good bye to Tiffany. I'm hoping that since Tiffany and I are only one day apart with our LIDs, that maybe we'll be in China together.

Tuesday morning, it was our farewell breakfast with Lisa, out on her deck. Then Julie brought me to meet back up with Kim and family and I bid her farewell and a safe flight home. Kim, Madison, Grace and I went back to Temple Square and went to a movie about the life and legacy of Joseph Smith. Then we had a lovely lunch at The Garden Restaurant where we had a spectacular view of the Temple. We wandered around the Square for a short while checking out the reflecting pool and a few fountains. Both Grace and I were ready for a nap, so we headed back to Kim's home where Grace did sleep and I chatted with Kim. Kim made a tasty dinner and then she and Lee took me to the airport.

Going home, Lisa was able to book for me, the best steerage class seat available. M3 thought she had leg room, well check out what I had, leg room galore and a window to boot...Not too shabby.

It was great meeting the girls but I was so happy to return home as I missed Eammon so much. A few people emailed or left comments asking what the house would look like after I'd been away for a week and Stacy wanted an after picture of this freezer, wondering what it would look like and how much of the food would remain. Well, Eammon did great and I was surprised beyond words when I came home. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge and see what a lucky gal I am.


  1. Awesome detail!!!! How did you remember all of those names? Notice I left out all of the specifics and let the pictures talk for themselves? It's because I'm lame and couldn't remember all the names of places we went. I'm going to print out your awesome writeup and save it.

    Such a fun trip, such great girls. See you at the next one (with kidlet!). :-)

  2. Welcome back! Sounds like a great trip. And whatta guy! I tried to zoom in on your t-shirt pic but still couldn't make out the name. I think maybe 4 letters? It's driving me crazy!

  3. Wow! Looks like you had some serious fun and can I borrow Eammon for my house too?

  4. Wow! What a fabulous trip! How wonderful you were able to meet up with such fantastic bloggy friends!

  5. What a great post! I loved hearing each and every detail of your trip! I'm SO glad you had a great time!

    If you decide to do another one of these please let me know. I'd love to join you! How 'bout a trip to Toronto?

    Thanks for sharing Julie's story. Too funny! She'll make a great Mom for sure!

    Thanks for sharing your great trip with us!

  6. Lisa, I'm glad you told the buffalo story!! Dude, do you value your life?? I'm still cracking up over that...guess you really had to be there though. I think the sight of Julie hanging half way out the car window as she's yelling at them is part of the fun. I sure wish I had my video going! Don't worry Julie, we still love you!

    Donna :)

  7. That was a great recap. I haven't posted about the weekend yet. Maybe I'll just copy and paste. Just kidding! See you in China.


  8. I am so glad you can rememeber such detail.... I live here and probablly cannot recount all the names!!! I am so glad y'all came and had a great time!!! It was so much fun meeting up with these long lost friends....I am missing you already!!!

    Eammon did an amazing job cleaning and eating!!! He is a keeper!!! Cheerio mate!!!


  9. Now that's some detail with pictures no less. You must be tired now just doing that post. Glad you all had such a great time.

  10. sounds like you had an awesome time. Utah looks beautiful.

    Please, oh please, email me the brie & apple pannini recipe (or let me know if there was more on it than that). It sounds devine. I loooove Brie.


  11. Sounds like so much fun!!!! Great pictures too!

  12. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Dude! I do value stupid teenager's lives!

  13. I don't know if you will even see this but I had to post here because I had a feeling I had seen and heard about you and your daughter before so I looked through all your old post and Yep I had heard about you. Donna and I are good friends and she told me all about you a while back. It is such a small world... Gotta love the adoption community..



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