We both enjoyed driving through the mountains and the farmland. While driving through the Yakima Valley and Southern Idaho I couldn't help but notice just how much land was planted in corn. I don't know if there is more corn now than there used to be or if I just notice it more. I suspect there actually is more corn now, possibly a consequence of the push for biodiesel. Neither Linda or I were inclined to drive straight through to Salt Lake. We stopped in Boise on Friday evening, then drove the rest of the way on Saturday. We arrived at our motel in Salt Lake at about three in the afternoon, just in time for Linda to get to Deseret Book to buy her traditional bag of assorted bulk candy before the afternoon session of conference let out. We then had dinner with Melanie Ward and watched the Priesthood Session at her house.
We stayed at the Econo Lodge, located just seven blocks west of Temple Square. We used Salt Lake's light rail system a few times and found it fairly convenient. The only significant downside we experienced with the public transportation was the very strange guy sitting across from us on our final trip. He looked like he was trying to sleep but was waking from a very bad dream several times a minute. His eyes were closed the whole time but he kept yelling out the occasional obscenity and waving his arms. I was very glad he stayed on the train when we got off. I'm not really sure how he would have known when to get off. I guess I would like public transportation better if it were a little less public.
|The view of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from the Balcony|
We had tickets to the Sunday morning session. Since the Tabernacle Choir broadcast takes place just before the morning session we were supposed to be in our seats by 9:00 am. I was nervous about being late so we ended up in our seats at 8:30 am. As we were getting ready to walk to the light rail stop Sunday morning, we found out that the motel provided a courtesy van to drive people to conference. I had planned on a half hour to get to the conference center (waiting for a train, etc) and instead it only took five minutes. The down side to getting there that early was sitting for three and a half hours. The up side was getting to watch the Tabernacle Choir rehearse for an entire hour before their performance began. They are so amazing. Such a large choir and yet you can understand every word. They truly do sing with one voice. It was lovely to be there. I enjoyed the actual conference as well, but found myself watching the big screens rather than the actual speaker. Its such a big building and the speakers are so far away. They all looked so very small from our view point in the balcony section. It was easier to watch the big screen where you could see the expression on their faces as they spoke. My favorite part of watching conference in person was getting to sit next to Linda and sharing the experience with her.
|VooDoo Donuts in Portland has a growing fan base|
We walked around Temple Square after the morning session ended. It had changed quite a bit since the last time I was there. I saw two things that reminded me of my daughter Rachel. I saw one of the sister missionaries on Temple Square wearing a pair of Doc Martin boots (definitely Rachel's sense of style). Then Linda and I came upon some visitors from the Portland area who had brought down a box of VooDoo Donuts for their between session snack. The girl in the middle in the photo is enjoying a bacon maple bar.
There is a nice park area and a reflecting pool where the street used to be between Temple Square and the Hotel Utah. We went to the Joseph Smith Building (formerly the Hotel Utah) to watch the Sunday afternoon session. That is a pretty comfortable place to watch the conference. There was no need to be there so early and there was obviously less of a crowd to negotiate at the end of the session. By the time the afternoon session ended, Linda was running on fumes. We took the train back to the motel and hit the trail for home.