The Full Utah Experience

My family’s road trip through the night to Utah for my cousin Keith’s wedding left us rumpled and unwashed, but in generally good spirits. We freshened up as best we could in a gas station restroom, ate a good breakfast of McDonald’s pancakes, and then drove on and on, through Idaho and into Utah.

We couldn’t get into our rental until 3 pm, so we stopped in Ogden to run some errands. First, Walmart. Jenny and Mom went inside to buy some snacks and paper cups.

“Do you want to take a walk around the parking lot with me?” I asked Amy, after a few minutes of boring van waiting.


So we climbed out, just in time to see Mom and Jenny coming back. Mom marched up to the back of the van and flung open the hatch. Crash! A giant banana box, perched precariously on top of garment bags and backpacks and pillows, fell face down on the blacktop. A pair of shoes, a large dishcloth, a box of granola bars, a small metal teapot, and every other random item that we’d thrown into the van at the last minute went skittering across the parking lot.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so so sorry!” said a stranger who was standing in the area. Where had this stranger come from, and why was she apologizing?

“Well, um, here’s some granola bars,” said Mom, picking up a box of them and handing them to the stranger. “And, let’s see.” She peeked into a paper bag. “Bananas! Do you want a banana?”

“Thank you!” said the stranger, taking the food. “I’m so sorry! The shelter doesn’t feed us on weekends.”

“It’s no problem, we had plenty of food.”

“Thank you so much!” she said again.

“What’s going on? We asked mom as we scooped up the remaining fallen items, and placed the banana box carefully back into the van.

“She wanted some food, and I thought, ‘well, we have plenty of food in the back of the van,’ so I came back to get some for her,” said Mom.

When everything was successfully placed back where it belonged, Mom and Jenny went back inside to buy snacks and paper cups, and Amy and I finally took our walk around the parking lot.

After the Walmart excursion we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, my first time in that famous establishment. I saw one of the employees through the window and immediately thought, “that guy looks Mormon.” Then, “that’s a little odd.” And then, “oh wait, we’re in Utah. He probably is Mormon.”

Then we went inside and everyone looked Mormon.

We also visited a large thrift store called Savers, another chain which I’d heard a lot about but had never been in. I could have spent a lot of time in there. I’m telling you, Utah thrift stores have modest Mormon girl dresses like nothing I’d ever seen before.

When we finally got back to the van, Dad said, “what took you so long? We’re gonna be a half hour late.”

“Late for what?” I asked.

“Late for…the earliest we could have gotten into our rental.”

So we drove away to our rental, and presently the scenery outside the windows became lovelier and lovelier. And then, we arrived!

The relatives were gathered, all my moms siblings and many of their spouses and children. All my brothers and sisters came. And my Grandpa, who is almost 101.

We unpacked, showered, dressed, chilled with our relatives, and then headed to the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was held at the same ranch as the wedding was, a breathtaking location which I’ll discuss in more detail tomorrow.

Our rental was less than ten minutes from the ranch, and was beyond lovely. Deer wandered through our yard multiple times a day. It had beautiful log beams, and large open spaces full of couches. It was slightly lacking in the bedroom department, however. My choices ended up being either to A. sleep in the living room, or B. sleep on a mattress on the floor of my parent’s closet.

I chose the closet, since I knew I would hardly get any sleep in the living room, the way people like to stay up late and get up early nowadays. Unfortunately, the closet opened, not into the bedroom, but into the bathroom, which my whole family was sharing.

So in the morning, I had to knock on the door before I left my little closet bedroom. But it worked out fine.

The wedding wasn’t until 4 pm Saturday afternoon, so on Saturday morning my siblings, some of my cousins, and two of my uncles went on a hike that Ben had found using his magical Ben powers. It was just…beyond breathtaking. Utah in the fall. Who knew?

Unfortunately I’m having picture-uploading issues at the moment, and I need to go to bed. So the photos of the hike will have to wait until tomorrow.


2 responses to “The Full Utah Experience

  1. Pingback: Utah in the fall. Who knew? | The Girl in the Red Rubber Boots

  2. I think I’d choose the living room over the closet, if I had to knock on the door before I could get out!!! I’m a morning person, anyway, so it really wouldn’t have mattered if someone woke me up at 6:30. But that’s just MY opinion, I guess 😉


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