Wow... I can't believe I didn't get anymore written than that one entry from last week. We were BUSY on this vacation and really didn't have the time to write anymore. We were so busy, in fact, that our boys usually got to go swimming around 10 o'clock at NIGHT! It was the only time we could squeeze things in! It's early and the kids are still asleep... so once again, I'll write until I can and then stop for a bit.
Okay... so finishing up on Sunday, May 4th: We drove down to the La Quinta Inn in Midvale and got checked in. I noticed a couple of things right from the start that bugged me a bit, but chose to secure a positive attitude anyway. For starters, the parking was not very well laid out. Secondly, I immediately noticed the area where they served the continental breakfast. It was TINY. Third, the woman who checked us in was very sweet and nice, but she didn't know how to do a lot of things and deferred to the woman who'd be working the next morning. Overall, not a great first impression. But it got a bit worse. As we got our keys, we grabbed our luggage and headed for the elevator... only to learn that there was no elevator! We had to haul all of our belongings up the stairs. After that it felt like we hiked a mile with all this stuff to get it to our room. The hotel is laid out in a very long rectangle. We checked in on one end of the rectangle and stayed in the other end. To get to the room (240) we had to pass by the first 20 or so rooms and it was an uphill walk at that. Yes, uphill... the floors gradually kept going up and up and up. We were less than impressed when we walked in. We noticed it was very small and had an interesting smell to it. Still the same, I chose to remain positive, remembering that we would only spend a short amount of time inside the hotel anyway. We'd be gone a lot.
We unpacked our things. I put everything away in the drawers since we'd be there an entire week. We hung up our church clothes and got organized. Then we headed out to go and feed the kids (as well as ourselves). By then it was nearly 3pm and our poor children had had nothing but a bagel early that morning and some small snacks aboard the flight. As we drove up the street in Midvale, Mike spotted an Arctic Circle and we all decided to go there. Mike remembered eating there when he was younger and for me, it was a totally new place to try out. We went in and ordered a bunch of food... a decision we'd later come to regret. The Golden Yukon Fries were very good... other than that I could have left the rest behind. The meal didn't sit well at all with Mike and he spent the remainder of the day in misery, at times laying on the cold, bathroom floor.
When we got done eating, we headed over to Lynn's house. When we arrived, I felt as though I had arrived home. My mom was there, as were Lynne and Rudy. Honestly, it was like coming home. All three of them are my parents, really. And while I saw my mom in November, I haven't seen Lynne or Rudy since 2003 when we had a one-hour layover in UT on the way to Hawaii. Prior to that, I hadn't seen them since I was in Hawaii in 2000 for my brother's high school graduation. We hugged each other and of course they made us feel super welcome in their home. Rachel and Maggie had arrived from Spokane the day before. William was also there and I hardly recognized him with his beard!! Shortly after we arrived, Rudy Jr. and his wife Suzy showed up. We had a wonderful dinner. There was chicken and rice and veggies, as well as the manapua and laulau my mother had brought from Hawaii. Yum! For dessert, we had strawberry shortcake with whipped cream on top. Then we just talked and talked and got caught up on things. It was so fun... and felt like old times and being at home.
Speaking of home... when we all lived in Hawaii, we lived in the same apartment building. It was a building with an open concept. It was rectangular shaped and was open in the middle, with all the apartments on the outer perimeter. At least half of us, if not the majority were LDS. We were always sitting outside. We talked, had big building barbecues, and attended church together. I grew up with their kids and so we all attended youth activities, seminary and other functions together. We were family. Anyway... Rudy has always called that apartment Zion Square because of it. So when we got together Sunday night, it was like being back in Zion Square. And although I hadn't seen them for so long, it was as though no time had passed!
We finished up our evening and then headed back to the hotel. We stopped at Wal-Mart on the way back and picked up a bunch of snacks for the next day. It was surprising to me to find such an LDS presence in the Wal-Mart, of all places. I found CTR rings being sold in the jewelry department. And the book department had a whole section dedicated to nothing but LDS books. It was neat to see that there! Then we headed off to the hotel. As we pulled into the hotel, we noticed a shady looking character over on one side of the place, between the hotel and the McDonald's. It was odd because he was just standing there, in an open area. It bothered us enough that we left and went around to the other side of the hotel to park. The place was beginning to have a weird feel to it, especially at night. We went upstairs and collapsed for the night, happy to have had a safe journey to the Salt Lake area.
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