Monday, April 28, 2014

Salt Lake City and The Mormon Temple: Exploration

The view from our campsite in Salt Lake City
My mom suggested that we visit the Mormon Temple while we were here in Salt Lake.  I was on the fence about it.  How cool could it be?  Would it be worth the drive?  Maybe we should skip it and do other cool things - like hiking or going to the actual Salt Lake or looking for elk or something.

But...  while this is our trip, I also know that there are people who are living sort of vicariously through us and who want to see certain things they might never get to see themselves.  We've done lots of hiking already in all sorts of places and we camped with elk and I went to the Dead Sea when I was twelve...  so maybe the Temple was the sort of new and exhilarating experience we really needed today.

So we went.

The city is truly picturesque:  clean with wide walkable streets and low stress driving, 19th Century creative architecture and large iron street lamps with all the charm of gaslights.  

We parked in the secret bat cave parking garage that exits the middle of a busy street to an underground world of white lines, elevators, and meters.

The way to Temple Square was sort of through a shopping mall plaza.

I was a little worried we wouldn't be allowed on the square at all, since we aren't Mormon, but we found everything accessible to the public barring the inside of the Temple itself.

The grounds were a cacophony of color.

There were flowers everywhere, sublime sculptures, and a menagerie of fountains.

The Temple itself stood high above the promenade, towering over everything, stalwart and white, a gold angel trumpeting on the steeple.

Next to the Temple was the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall.  We were allowed to enter the Tabernacle, home of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The choir wasn't there at the time, but we learned that their Thursday night rehearsals are open to the public and I made a mental note that I wanted to try to go.

We chose not to go into the Assembly Hall.  I'm not sure if it was open to the public or not.  We were sort of ready to go, but I took a few pictures of the Hall itself.

The kids hung out around the Assembly Hall fountain while I got my photo fix.

Then we started on our way back to the car.

The shortest way was through a mall.

Fountains everywhere.  Salt Lake City loves fountains.

On the way home we stopped at a vegan bakery and everyone got something yummy.

A rare treat for Jonah.

This was once shaped like a rabbit...

That night, as the temperatures dipped below freezing, we made good use of the propane heater.

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