I’m in Salt Lake City this week for a convention. As usual on a business trip, I tack on a few extra days to enjoy the locale. Highlights of the pre-convention fun include downtown, Temple Square, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and hiking the Wasatch National Forest.
I rented a car from a new vendor on Travelocity, Advantage, because they had the lowest rates for a compact. Even arriving on the 0’dark:30 flight from SFO, they said they were out of compacts and tried hard to upsell an SUV. When that failed, they stuck me in a dirty, dented mini-van. In theory that’s a free upgrade…
The first day, yesterday, we just walked around downtown getting oriented. From our Marriott Residence Inn (Residence Inn: Spacious suites with all the comforts of home. Reserve yours today.), its a couple blocks to the Macaroni Grill, the Salt Palace Convention Center and the Temple Square which we visited in that order.
In walkabout I find Salt Lake reminds me of Denver when I was growing up — dry air, gardens, a few interesting places not too crowded and close to the hills. Salt Lake is a spawl though, with its own brown cloud.
Tucked in the temple gardens its hard to notice. A huge wall separates the Temple Sqaure from the downtown streets. Inside are several buildings of interest, including of course the Temple. It is open only to members but many other sights are available for guests.
The visitor’s center houses exhibits on the 40 years it took to build the temple. As the greeter pointed towards the “Family Values” exhibit, I steeled myself to be told women belong in the home, and vowed not to make a scene even though I strongly disagree. Instead the message seemed to be that kids are important and the target audience is men being encouraged to spend quality time with their families.
By sheer luck we enter the Mormon Tabernacle (famous for the choir) just as they are doing a demonstration of the acoustics. Amazing that we can clearly hear the pin drop at the front which is 170′ from us standing in the back! Even better, the Thurs night choir practice is open to the public — I’ll be back for sure as just the demo tape brings a tear to my eye it is so beautiful.
That’s it for yesterday. On to today…