Wednesday, June 4, 2008

There's a lot to love

A friend I got to know a little bit while living in Columbus, and even more so as I have read her blog these past few months, is moving to Utah. She posted yesterday about things she's looking forward to in Utah in her attempt to remain positive about the move. I'm sure it'll be difficult seeing as how they've been in Columbus over 6 years. Joe and I loved Columbus and even though we were only there a short while we still often mention things we miss about it. But as I read Stephanie's post I started to think about it more and there really is a lot to love about Utah. In fact, coming back to Utah after being away I came to appreciate some things here that I'd really taken for granted. So here it is....and it may be a long long list, and even then it won't be exhaustive. But I'll provide pictures! And I won't even be offended if you don't read the whole thing.

1. BYU. Broad, I know. But I love BYU. If nothing else the campus is eye candy. OSU had some pretty beautiful buildings (as opposed to many of BYU's buildings built in the 70s), but nothing compares to the landscaping on BYU campus in the spring and summer (except perhaps the church's grounds downtown....or Thanksgiving Point...or the Red Butte Gardens...okay so no University campus grounds compare). Every morning this past week as I would walk across campus I just marveled at how beautiful and serene the campus can be. The university spends a lot of money so it can employ students (and help them pay for college, the church is big on self-reliance) and because they really think of BYU as a temple of learning and create an atmosphere that is really conducive to that. And so here are some photos...they are from BYU's website. I'll have to take some of my own someday.

The Joseph F. Smith Building was built about 2 years ago. The plants have grown a lot more so its even prettier than this picture shows.
I walked across this quad today to the library, which is the next photo. Do you see those amazingly beautiful mountains that are so close to the university. Its beautiful.

When I was walking in the library today I got so happy. I think maybe at least 1/2 of my happiest memories involve me in the library, usually with other people...but alas the library memories are another post.

And this last photo is how I remember BYU. Walking to class at 9am, sunshine streaming, beautiful mountains towering above me, and goregeous manicured grounds everywhere....the surroundings are so beautiful it even makes the 70s architecture okay somehow.

[note: all those BYU pictures are from their website]

2. The mountains. I really don't know what to say here except that they are stunning, majestic, and provide endless sources of entertainment and opportunities for peaceful reflection. I sincerely missed them when I was in Ohio. I have so many fond memories or barbeques, camping, and hiking in these mountains. In fact my first date with Joe was a hike and dinner in the mountains.

3. The outdoors in general. With a ton of national parks and a lot of amazing variety you can have nearly any outdoor adventure you'd like (except seeing the ocean). [photo:]4. Downtown SLC. Okay so maybe this is a multi-label and I could give you a hundred things to love about downtown. First of all, it is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been to. Second, temple square is beautiful, the Salt Lake Temple is not only iconic, it is a marvel. I can hardly believe the pioneers built it. Third, The new Salt Lake Library is killer.(I must insert a picture and I must suggest you go check it out, parking is uber cheap underneath the library--something insane like 25 cents an hour or so. They have these really cool kids readings rooms too. And just all around library awesomeness....I know libraries and bookstores are two of my very favorite things, I'm a nerd and I'm okay with that.) [photo from the library's website]

Fourth, The homes in the avenues. They are charming. The neighborhood has beautiful developed trees and this is the perfect time of year to explore the avenues. Drive there, park your car, and just walk around. And while you are at it drop by memory grove park...and do it all at 6:30 in the evening in summer time. Heavenly. Here's a picture of an avenues home that I found here. Unfortunatley already sold...not that I could afford it right now anyway...sigh...someday.

5. Okay enough about downtown. How about one of my favorite places to eat dinner. Ruth's Diner. I've always been there for dinner, but apparently they have award winning breakfast. Make sure you ask to sit on the patio and go in the evening when it starts to get dark and you'll see the trees filled with twinkle lights and the beautiful canyon scenery around you. It's stunning. And the price is right too. So take your sweetheart on a romantic but inexpensive summer date. You can read more (and see some pics) on yourheartout and their post here.

6. Color Me Mine. They had a paint your own ceramics place in a mall in Ohio but it wasn't as cool...and seemed even pricier. It is an expensive date, but it is well worth the splurge. It's fun. If you haven't been you should try it out. I suppose this isn't a Utah exclusive, but I just thought of it. [picture:]

And then there are so many restaurants I can't even tell you. As in literally, they aren't coming to me now. Well I've got two.

Oh how I mourned for Kneaders when I left...Panera does NOT compare, my coworkers in Utah misled me when I was leaving saying how Panera was oh so fabulous, but does Panera have a cranberry turkey sunflower salad? or parmesean chips? or the most mouthwatering and horribly tempting desserts ever?

And Sweet Tomatoes. All you can eat salad bar, soup bar, and random bread a little treats. I craved that low fat chili and the cheesy foccacia and the chocolate chip brownie muffin. Oh Sweet Tomatoes it is good to be back.

But mostly I just love being back in Utah because I have memories everywhere....driving past the elementary school that was rebuilt after mine burnt down in 6th grade...passing the field by Target and South Towne mall where we'd play frisbee....seeing beautiful LDS temples all over the valley...seeing Trax and remembering one of my first dates where Brooke set me up with 5 guys for one date, lol....and a thousand other memories. Really there's a lot to love wherever you go.

I, for one, am working on appreciating the beauty of the time of life I'm in and the place I'm at. I just keep thinking about how even though we are living in my grandma's and don't have our own place...and we don't really have a lot of stuff right now that is ours that we love that we picked out...and even though we are poorer than I hope we'll ever have to be again, I know that the time will come when I will look back and miss the time Joe and I had when it was just the two of us and we were struggling to make our way in this world. I will miss the freedom of our childless life, I will miss the nights of 8 hours of straight sleep, and I will miss being able to come home and snuggle up with my husband with really not that many other responsibilities that I 'should' be doing. So we're living it up and trying to love every moment of it.

7 little remarks:

Charayne said...

I am so with you about all those things in Utah. It is fun to see other places and they make you appreciate the place that you are at the moment. You really can find great things about most places. It's great just to enjoy the ride!

Ali said...

It's so true! Live in the moment. *as Oprah always says- but especially in your time of life...with no kids. You'll definitely miss it. At least that's what people keep telling Jeff and I too:) The closer it gets to us leaving Utah, the more things I find I'm going to miss about it. Pretty much I want to make an every other year trip up here to visit. There are just too many great things to do and see!

Jessie said...

I couldn't agree more, both with the things to love about Utah, and the "live in the moment you're in" bit--having kids is SUCH a blessing, and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but you have to realize (and I don't think I did before, but maybe rational people do...?) that once you decide to get pregnant, you are going to have a baby. And then once you have one, you have to start thinking about the second, how far you want them spaced, what you want the shape of your family to look like... and then continue that until you're done having kids (I guess... we're not there yet, so...). It COMPLETELY changes your life--there is no going back. Not that it's a bad thing--it's wonderful--but just realize it before you jump in. :)

Off my soap box now... when Cory's family moved out here a few years ago, they HATED Utah, which was so frustrating to me, because I love it here. So Cory and I threw a "Utah Appreciation Night" for a combined FHE one night. Not all of it went over that well, but in the end, I think everyone had a little more gratitude for the state (and even if they didn't, they learned to stop complaining around me... :), and had a bit more of that realization where they need to enjoy the time they're in. Good stuff.

Marcia said...

Well, I am most grateful that you came back to Utah!!! I missed you like crazy and was afraid of how much stuff I was going to miss out on while you were gone...but I didn't moan and complain, which I am very proud of, by the way :-). I totally agree with you about BYU campus...I remember walking on campus and realizing at the time what a fabulous chance it was to be there and to see friends almost every time I walked up from my apt. or stepped into the was great! Yes, sooooo happy to have you home!

Colby and Meredith said...

Good for you! I think we all could be a little more like that- no matter what state we live in. Thanks for the great post and the nice little reminder for us all!

J said...

1) Welcome officially back to Utah 2) Congrats on your job 3) We should all get together before Rachel leaves for D.C. 4) That's cool you put us on your list. We are going to put you on ours. 5) The end.

Tiffany said...

Anna, Thanks for all the reminders about what makes Utah so great! You have a gift for writing (and many other things!) Keep up the good work!

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