Postprandial Stroll: Pounding the Pavement in Salt Lake City

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The Minion and I had a total blast in Salt Lake City. Not only were our clients complete dolls and ideal business-folk who made our work easier and told us the best places to check out on the tourist side, but this old town appealed to our mutual delight in architectural weirdness and we spent much of our time wandering the perfectly straight, majorly wide avenues, snapping pictures of all of the fantastic buildings that we found. This is the state legislature.

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Former city hall.

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A GIANT CHURCH. Well, the corporate office for the Church that seems to own most of the city.

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The former Hotel Utah, which is incredible inside and out.

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The Public Library, which reminds me of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in its construction.

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You can go up on the roof and see the mountains.

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“New” City Hall.

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The old Union Pacific Railway station, which is now part of the Gateway Mall.

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And let’s not forget the Tabernacle, inside and out.

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And the Mormon Temple itself, the highlight of the city.

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Which also looks spectacular at night.

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And stuff doesn’t need to be old in the city to look nice. All the malls for example have water features in them. This is in the City Creek Mall after dark. It’s a great place to walk around and see pretty things!

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Evening Tipple: Drinks at the Haye Loft

If you’re ever toodling around Long Boat Key in Florida you may pass an old restaurant hidden behind a mess of palm trees on the one road on and off the island. This is Euphemia Haye. Feel free to make a reservation and enjoy sumptuous dining on the ground floor, but the real fun is to be found upstairs.

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In the Haye Loft, the bar above Euphemia Haye, you’ll find (at least four nights out of seven) a dashing older gentleman with a suave moustache mixing drinks and cracking jokes behind the counter. This is my uncle Eric. Go and tell him I say hi! Eric’s been a fixture behind the bar at the Haye Loft since its inception, and people come from all over to chat with him and sample his excellent cocktails and top shelf liquors. Here’s a nice rum with a delightful colour (not that I had any, but my dad said it was delicious).

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After finding out that the Pie’s favourite cocktail was the White Russian, Eric made him up a Smith and Kearns, which might be his new favourite.

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While you’re tippling away, avail yourself of the bar menu and give the hummus a try – it’s worth the experience.

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The Caesar salad is made up daily and bursts with flavour.

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And our unanimous favourite snack (which we never thought we would like) was the fried green tomatoes in a roasted red pepper sauce. It’s weird and not what you expect, but so good.

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If you still have room after all of that, go next door to the Dessert Bar. All these puppies are made fresh daily and differ depending on the season and the whims of the kitchen.

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The fruit crumbles shown here are the perennial favourite, though we preferred the berry crumble over the top-rated apple.

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If you’re in town, stop by and say hi!

Day Tripper: Greensboro Science Center

Now that I’m back and unpacked from all my trips I’m going to give you a one-post summary of the highlights of each trip. First: Greensboro, North Carolina. I didn’t much enjoy Greensboro. The downtown was pretty lifeless save for a few eccentric old buildings and the suburban area where we were staying was just a series of box stores and low-end chain restaurants. But our clients were lovely, and when we finished up with them a day ahead of schedule they suggested we check out the Greensboro Science Center on our extra day. So we did.

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This place is a combination of museum, aquarium, and zoo, and it’s all arranged in a very haphazard fashion, but I think that it is very appealing to the young folks who have short attention spans.

We got to cozy up to some otters.

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Then we visited some dinosaur bones.

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And a fully functioning TWO-HEADED TURTLE. One half was eating and the other half was scratching its face when I first found them.

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In the zoo there was also a collection of domesticated livestock from around the world. This Silkie Chicken had some fancy pants. It name was CLUCK NORRIS.

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But the real highlight was hanging out with this family of gibbons: an older male (in this picture), a female with a small baby, and an adolescent male.

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Here’s the teenager showing off a bit.

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So if you’ve got an afternoon free, and you’re in the area, I recommend checking it out. They also have a sky walk adventure thing that looks terrifying but also fun if you’re into that stuff.

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Sweet Endings

We ended up finishing our work with our smart-as-whips clients a day ahead of schedule, so the Minion and I celebrated with dinner at the Green Valley Grill. We’d had a take-out lunch from there on Monday and thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to taste their dinner menu before we left. For dessert I picked this chocolate cheesecake, which came with a house-made banana salted caramel ice cream. I picked it because of the Pie’s Banana Rule (“everything is better with a banana”), and I was not disappointed.

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Also, anyone know what kind of trees these are? They were at the GVG and I’ve been seeing them in various places around town.

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I’d assume that they were fake trees but they seem to be growing out of the soil so I’m confused …

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Uber Fun

After having some truly awful experiences with cabs and cab drivers in this city, the Minion and I took the advice of our clients and tried Uber for the first time. And now it’s our favourite thing! In Greensboro at least, all of our drivers were retired gentlemen with some great stories and some lovely and clean cars who told us all sorts of things about the town, including the fact that it plays host to EIGHT colleges. That’s nuts. What’s also nuts is that most of the state has been under tornado warnings for the past couple days, but yesterday afternoon, after a giant but brief thunderstorm with pouring rain, the sun came out!

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After we’d finished off our work for today we headed out as soon as we could to try to absorb some vitamin D after four days of miserable rain. While we waited for our third Uber of the day we admired the ornamental kale that appears to be growing outside most hotels in this town.

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And we finally headed downtown! Despite there being no tornadoes nearby it was still plenty windy and the downtown area is full of tall buildings that create some hefty wind tunnels. They did have some pretty architecture though:

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And a Woolworth’s, like when I was a kid!

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And some weird stuff!

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And some railroad tracks!

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And some other stuff I didn’t put in here but you can see in my Flickr pics if you select from the menu at the left.

Finding Some Charm

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Still poking around in suburbia, but we’re starting to take some enjoyment out of the little things we are seeing. For instance, this gorgeous old cab out in front of a trendy hotel in our ‘hood.

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That and the already-blooming magnolia tree. I want a magnolia tree. It would never survive an Ottawa winter.

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Dinner at Ruby Tuesday, which wasn’t much to write home about, but I did have this drink: apple fizz. With a bit of moderation on my part I’d make it at home. It’s basically a bit of apple cider, some Sprite, and some apple pieces. It could be quite refreshing, with some tweaks!

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Livin’ in America

Greensboro feels like a very American place to be. Everyone seems to drive enormous cars. Don’t see a lot of pedestrians – and in fact there aren’t that many sidewalks.

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We ate at an Applebee’s in the pouring rain. Been craving some sweets so I had the Salted Caramel Shorty Shake, a truly delightful wee concoction.

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And then a banana pudding/banana cheesecake thing. With Cracker Jack. It was good but I’m not sure I’d eat it again.

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Tomorrow we’re going to try to venture to downtown Greensboro to see if there’s things to be seen aside from suburban America. Hopefully it won’t disappoint!