My Christmas Vacation began at 4:00 p.m. yesterday (Friday 16 December 2011). Actually, I lied. I cheated the school district by three minutes. When I turned my car on to drive out of the parking lot, my car clock said 3:57 p.m. I don't really feel like I cheated too badly though because the district already got that three minutes out of me back in the '90's.
I was supposed to head straight to Little America in Salt Lake City to meet my husband, however, there was a change of plans. A neighbor of ours asked for a ride. I tried calling other people to arrange that ride for them. No luck. They had to leave their vehicle at one hospital parking lot while they were being transferred to another hospital by ambulance. They just needed a ride from one hospital to the other to pick up their car. I couldn't say "no." As much as I wanted to be carefree and see my husband for a wonderful date night in the big city, I took a little time to help those people. I still remember being car-less until after I graduated from college. It was very difficult. So many people gave me so many rides. I try to give rides whenever possible. This was a good choice yesterday, I believe, especially under the circumstances.
Little America is a very nice hotel! My husband is the grand master of arranging Wholesome Family Recreation. It doesn't matter if we play outside in the wilderness or if we own the city for a night or two, he knows how to show me a good time. We don't have to have really nice hotels. We have camped in the rain and the cold and have learned to enjoy that side of things as well. We have stayed in plenty of cheap podunk motels. But let me tell ya, we had the loveliest room at Little America! Ahhhhh....
Because of the delay caused by my little service project, I ruined K's plans for dinner before the concert. We walked to the train station and jumped on Trax to head toward Temple Square. Of course the lights were amazing! Too bad there's no snow, but it was a mild evening as far as December is concerned. After walking around for awhile, and a surprise romantic kiss from my Sweetie under the branches of a beautifully lit tree, we headed toward the Conference Center to enjoy an evening of Christmas Music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, baritone Nathan Gunn, and actress Jane Seymour. This annual concert (last year featured David Archuleta) is first rate. I still find it unbelievable that the tickets are always free (all of the tickets for all 22,000 seats for all four performances)! There were some amazing lighting techniques used. K said, "If they would light up the organ pipes like that for General Conference I might be able to stay more focused!" They had dancers and costumes and bell ringers. They had everything. I wish I could take you all.
After the concert, we were starving. We attempted to get food at three restaurants at Temple Square, but the place was packed. We decided to just start walking south on Main Street toward our hotel and see if we could find any restaurants. We found a little Italian cafe called Michelangelo's. It looked empty. The sign on the door said they closed at 10:00 p.m. and it was 10:00 p.m. Through the glass of the door, the guy behind the counter smiled and waved us in! We ate! K had rigotoni with sausage and onions. I had spinach ravioli. The bread with oil and balsamic vinegar was divine.
While eating, K started noticing all of these people dressed as Santa walking on the sidewalk. "There goes another one!" Some of them were jogging. We were guessing all the reasons so many Santas would be walking on Main Street in Salt Lake City after 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Were they doing something like "Santas for Fitness?" Or were they just jogging to stay warm? Were they all late to the same party?
We continued walking south skipping the other Trax stations, opting to walk the rest of the way to the hotel. We continued passing many, many people dressed as Santa! At one crosswalk, we saw one group of Santas run into another group of Santas. They didn't know each other, but one of them was carrying a big boom box, and both groups of Santas merged into one group and danced (really well!) on the sidewalk. K and I were laughing--wish I had the video. Another crosswalk found us waiting with a couple of Santa People. K finally asked, "Is there some sort of Santa Party going on?" They replied, "Yes!" I commented, "We've seen MILLIONS of you guys!" The woman said, "Yes! There are millions of us!"
Back at the hotel, my darling husband produced a piece of Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake for me directly from the Cheesecake Factory! He had stopped there on his way into town. I'm tellin' ya, he's a Dreamboat, this guy of mine!
We both slept in, but as usual, I woke up first and helped myself to the amazing bath tub in our hotel room (amazing as in...you could have a dance party in there). They even provided bubble bath! Ahhh....my kind of morning. I let K sleep until ten and then we ambled over to the Breakfast Buffet. Scrumptious. We've always heard about the food at Little America, but this was our first taste. I usually eat much earlier in the morning, so I was feeling a bit ravenous,and when I took my first bite, I had another love burst for my husband and said, "Thank you for bringing me here!" Bagels with cream cheese and lox, fresh pineapple and blackberries, and crepes. There was no way to taste everything. K did have the omelette chef make something special for him. We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast while leisurely chatting in those big comfy chairs.
Just walking around the foyer of Little America is an experience, especially when everything is decked out for Christmas. We saw a huge Gingerbread creation which took fifty-five hours to complete (no camera, sorry). So festive.
We left Little America in my car to find a new-to-us outlet. Yep, we're talking Maxfield's Chocolates. I seriously don't know how my husband hears about all of these places, but we did make a purchase. We headed back to Little America so K could pick up his vehicle and we kissed goodbye until we see each other again. People always ask how we do it--this living apart thing--well, this is how we do it!
5 hours ago