Friday, October 7, 2011

LDS General Conference Trip to Salt Lake City. Sept 30 to Oct 2, 2011

We had requested conference tickets from our local church leaders months ago. We waited. We called. We waited. We finally gave up. Doran and Kayty were scheduled to work. Then, on Tuesday, we were called, letting us know we did indeed get tickets. (they are free, but much desired, so they are rare)We picked up the tickets Wednesday, reserved a rental car (our cars certainly would not make it there and back), and left early Thursday morning. We arrived in Riverton, Utah ten hours later and stayed with wonderful Rollin, Sharynn and their fantabulous 7 of 8 children (brother in law, sister, and is serving a church mission in South Carolina). It was a wonderful trip and we so enjoyed all the conference talks. Great fun, great learning, and great memories.
Nate used my camera to "capture the true elements of our trip". Here, dad is snacking on a potato chip...a snack that I DID NOT procure for him. He was unsatisfied with his pumpkin seeds, roasted peanuts, apples, banana, etc and went for Nate's "trip crap" of chips, pretzels, brownies, and Nutty bars. 

Self Portrait

Self "foot" portrait

Dee has a very hard time...a very, very hard time...passing by a rock shop. I stayed in the car. Nate purchased some lovely amethyst gifts for Jessica. I observed many "fossils" leaving the shop, canes and walkers in tote. 

Apparently, this is a reflection foot portrait. I have no class as I have no appreciation for this type of photography. 

This is the ONLY picture we took of anything that remotely resembled or was tied to my sister and her hubby and family. I Am A Pig. They provided awesome beds, warm showers, and love and fun. Too many "bests" to mention, but I won't ever forget my sweet nephew, Ben...scored a goal, just for Aunt Suzzy, at his soccer game...and then, when the group went out for shakes, he brought me back his...with my very own taste his. It was strawberry. It was awesome. Especially with a dark eyed four year old, full of life and excitement, with a big smile from ear to ear, eager to share and make someone else happy. But, I bet Benny does that all the time!

Our tour of the LDS Church history museum. They really did like it...honest!

Dee by a handcart used by the pioneers. Can you imagine? All your belongings carried in this. I don't think my stuff for this weekend would have fit in this. 

Dee by the Brigham Young exhibit. I have always felt Dee and Brigham had so much in common. They both have a  "tell it like it is" manner. They both are craftsmen, and love to work in wood, etc. Both have great visions. He is Brigham, except for the 29 wives...

On Temple Square by the Tabernacle. 

The Salt Lake Temple. Awesome. Always. 

This is a model in the Visitors Center that shows all that is in the temple. I have been in the lower rooms, but I never even knew of the upper meeting room. It is even more beautiful inside. 

This is the look of a mother who has been trying to reach her  daughter in Phoenix to wake her up...and she won't answer the phone. She finally did!

Inside the Beehive House (residence of Brigham Young and family)

View from the observation deck of the Church Office Building. We had to go through metal detectors and be escorted up. I guess there have been successful jumps with parachutes, even just back in April of this year. 

By the Salt Lake Temple Doors. Lots of brides are pictured here. Notice I am in a long sleeved shirt. It was soooo warm that I was dying! I thought Utah was cool. Not this weekend. 88 degrees. 

My photographer son captures some random house. 

At the Church Office Building, the guide told us about Antelope Island, and Nate wanted to go. It was further than she had indicated, but we finally got to the right road. As we drove, Nate saw the thistles I had seen last year in a Halloween craft, and Dad had brought me four from Ohio. We had to run to a WalMart to get scissors, and we broke them after two bags, but now have PLENTY of thistles for spiders. 

Antelope Island

Bison live on Antelope Island. 

Of course, Dee LOVED the rocks of Antelope Island.

Every time I had an awesome picture of him, he would bend over to pick up another rock. Not. My. Fault. 

Stinky flowers of Antelope Island. (they are the yellow...not the person in red!)

It was our first time to actually touch the Great Salt Lake. I took pics of Nate like he was a two year old. First Step. First Splash. 

First Skipping of Rock. 

First walk up to ankle...and above ankle...and back to shore...

Nate amuses himself as we drive with a pretzel chain creation. 

As we visit Dad's friend, Angelo, who was home from Saudi Arabia ONLY this weekend, Nate tastes a crab apple. Funny, he looks the same way when he eats my cooking. Hmmmmmm......

Jeff Smith, his wife Mardene, and his granddaughter. This is the guy that taught my hubby about the church when he was 18 years old. Gave us the world. Gave us eternity. Thank you Jeff!

In line early Saturday morning at the Conference Center. 

They open the doors an hour ahead of start time, and we were able to be at the rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Awesome. I have always wanted to be a member of this choir. I was in heaven. 

Dad pictured at the edge of the balcony we were sitting in. Yep, a balcony. Yep, the "totally terrified of heights" girl held on and endured.

I am sitting far as I that seat. 

Years ago, we had all the kids...and seats on the floor level...and we witnessed a broadcast of "Music and The Spoken Word" before a Sunday Morning Conference session. I remember it being quiet, looking to my left, and seeing every single one of my six children, head back in the seat, mouth open, asleep. I didn't complain. They were quiet. That was a miracle. 

After morning Conference, we headed up to Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta and Snowbird Ski Resorts) to see Fall. The colors on the mountain were all of my favorites. This picture doesn't do nature justice. 

The builders of the Salt Lake Temple retrieved the granite for the temple from this very canyon. I informed Dee that Adam had a prayer rock from this canyon, but Grace and Joshy did not. Nate went down to a creek and got dad a river rock of granite. Dad got more. Hopefully, they will turn in to two prayer rocks. 

The guys had tickets to Priesthood Session of General Conference, which is for the men ages 12 and up. It was wasteful to take me all the way back to Sharynn's, so I walked around, shopped at Deseret Book Ladies' Night, and just sat, and read. Nothing better in the world that sitting, reading your new Relief Society History book, with the Salt Lake Temple to your right, a bunch of Tongan elders getting pictures taken in front of you, the Tabernacle to your left, and off a little distant, the Visitors' Center, with the Christus statue illuminated in evening light. 

Meanwhile, this is what Priesthood Session looks like. Note the floor level...all black /blue/brown/grey suit coats or white shirts. 

Sunday Morning Session of Conference. We attended choir practice, Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. I sang with them, and pretended. 

Rest Hymn. Again, in the balcony. I am pushed back in my seat. Far.

Nate had to get home for work Monday. So, we left out the side door, got to our car very quickly in the parking garage below the Church Office Building, got on the freeway, and arrived home 10 hours later. The only Fall Nate witnessed, and the coolest weather on the entire trip, was in Flagstaff Arizona...50 degrees. He had the audacity to say, "Wow. Fall. All we needed to do was to come here." My "seat" still holds a grudge...

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