As we set out for our day of touring the Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake, we stopped for pastries and coffee at a restaurant down the street from our hotel. The pastries were delicious and the most notable thing about the coffee was that it was serve yourself, and there was only one pot. Guess there’s not a lot of demand for coffee in Mormon central.
We entered Temple Square and checked in at a visitors’ center where we were greeted by two Valley Girls in prairie dresses.
They: Hi, how are you?
We: Fine, thanks.
They: Great. Like where’re you from?
They: Wow, neat. We have like a movie playing in like 20 minutes. Can we like show you around?
We decided to skip the Kool-Aid and just stroll the grounds.
As these photos will attest the landscaping is like perfect. Every you look there are volunteers weeding and deadheading the spent blossoms so everything looks pristine.
We found our way to the Family Search Center which houses one of the largest collections of genealogical information in the world. Most of the information is on people who lived before 1930 since the U.S. Census Bureau does not release census records until after 70 years. At the Center they’re very excited about the pending release of the 1940 census records. Susan and I did a cursory search for information on the Cobb and Clayton families and found census data for our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Before we left we had to reenact the landing of our ancestors on the shores of America. I assume the Statue of Liberty represents the dream to be fulfilled.
One of the highlights of our time at Temple Square was attending an organ recital at the Mormon Tabernacle. While we were waiting for the Tabernacle to open for the recital, we sat down on a low wall to rest and check emails. While sitting there we were approached by three young lady Mormons from China, Colombia, and Denmark. It was impossible to ignore them so we had pleasant conversation for a few minutes before they got bored with us and walked away. We did learn from these young ladies that on the next weekend over 100,000 Mormons would be attending a conference in Salt Lake. Maybe our timing is improving. We did learn a valuable lesson—if you sit down at Temple Square, you will be approached (accosted), so be warned if you ever go.
The Tabernacle auditorium was magnificient and the recital was quite enjoyable. Here’s a photo of the pipe organ at the front of the auditorium.
A visit to Temple Square wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Temple itself. Wait, you mean we can’t get in? OK, I’ll just take photos from the outside.
Poor Sister Susan looks longingly at the Temple but can’t go inside.
After leaving the Square we wandered around downtown for awhile and came across the EnergySolutions Center, home of the NBA Utah Jazz. While there I managed to guard both Karl Malone and John Stockton at the same time. It’s easy when they don’t move.
If you think Karl Malone’s hand isn’t large, just check this out.
After a delicious dinner at Bambara Restaurant (highly recommended if ever in SLC) we walked back through Temple Square at night.
Tomorrow we’re headed south to Moab and several days in southern Utah. Can’t wait to see Arches.