Friday morning we met in the hotel eating area for breakfast and 8am………and didn’t move from our spot until after 11:30am!! With no set plans it was just so comfortable and easy to sit and talk the morning away, so we did! We did actually have loose plans – we knew there was a hop on hop off bus tour and we had spied the Family History Library across the street from the temple square the night before and all wanted to pay it a visit. Since it was now time for lunch, we decided to move the chat session out of the hotel and walk across the street to an Indian Restaurant (seriously, just set us down somewhere with easy access to food and we could happily sit there all day together!) It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t wow me either – it was buffet style so we could choose what we like though so once I settled on one or two not-to-spicy items, I filled up on them.
From there we went back to the hotel and asked if the hotel shuttle was free – it was – and what felt like our own personal mini-van service took us out to the center of town again and dropped us outside the temple square. Since this was our first time there in the daylight, we wandered around a bit enjoying the gardens and architecture. For whatever reason I had put my phone away and didn’t take any photos so the gallery will be sparse today. However, I did remember to bring my prescription glasses in my purse which is rare for a daytime outing, but it paid off. As we paused while Florida mom admired the main temple architecture details (surrounded as it was at it’s base by one of what seemed to be a dozen wedding parties milling about taking photos), I noticed that among a row of small pillars half way up something was moving. After trying in vain to figure out what it was without my extra vision, and after Seattle mom said “I think it’s a bird, but I can’t see it’s head” I dug out my glasses to find a beautiful peregrine falcon grooming itself! It would tilt it’s head back to preen it’s back which is why it looked so odd at first. So while the others looked at the building details, Seattle mom and I marveled at the falcon and I gave her a quick ID lesson on the falcons in the U.S while she looked up on her phone to find that this was one of the “Famous Salt Lake City Peregrine Falcons.” Well, that was news to me, but I really happy I got to see one. Of course we spent the rest of the weekend trying to spot them again with no luck. Seattle mom thought everything that was crow sized flying in the air was a Peregrine :)
Finally we made our way to the Family History Library. The Mormons have been so thorough at documenting their own family lineage, that their efforts spread out to gather census data & compile family trees for everyone. Their library boasts the most complete set of genealogical records anywhere. Every time people visit them and spend even an hour researching our own families, we help them connect together missing links of family trees. I signed up for a free account to begin my own search and after an hour I had traced and built out my dad’s family tree back into the 1900 census and was pretty close to pulling it even further back for both his sets of parents. When I turned to my mom’s though, we could only find records of her on the 1932 census and I never found her mom or dad beyond that – even after the LDS docent attempted to help me by signing into a different system which is not free outside their library. A mystery…..it sure was fun! Other’s in our group found ship’s manifest info for family members coming in from other parts of the world. It was VERY easy to see how some folks get lost for hours in this research!
Dinner that night (yes, transported via hotel shuttle – loved them) was at an exclusive restaurant that was not easy to get into.Maryland mom succeeded after a couple of attempts to get us reservations at 6:15. It’s a good thing they were earlier! Forage is a restaurant that exclusively serves a multi-course tasting menu of items. One of my photos below is somewhat blurry shot of the dishes served to us that night. The only choice you have is either to tell them if you have dietary restrictions – they quite easily provided substitutions for those – and whether or not you will have the wine or juice pairings. Most of us chose the juice pairings (see those prices? Yeah, we didn’t want to blow out our food budget on the 2nd night!). Each course was brought out by a chef and was described to us as it was being distributed. Same with the juice pairings. We all felt as if we were experiencing a lesson in eating that night. It was so relaxed (a 2.5 hour meal), yet intellectually and gastronomically stimulating! I am not sure I have ever been so in tune with my taste buds. Worth every penny.
We contemplated a visit to the Jacuzzi, but it was too late so we met instead in one of our rooms and chatted until Midnight-ish and agreed to reconvene with the intention of taking the bus tour on Saturday. That is, if we could just leave the breakfast area….
Photo gallery below (you know the drill):