Masthead header

first impressions revisited

Alright, some of you may have actually watched the slideshow I made of our first visit here to SLC back in April, but I’m thinking that, counting my parents, I had an audience of 4, so I decided to go back and individually post some of the images included in that and provide a little commentary (which you love so dearly, Internet, I know) based on what we’ve discovered since the first impression we had of the city. Which was, incidentally, the same visit we came to sign a lease on an apartment. So good thing we liked it! (I’m telling you, sight unseen is the way to move. Nothing like livin’ on the edge. :) )

01bFlying at just before sunrise is SO much better. Totally pulled the I’ve-got-the-camera-so-I-get-the-window-seat there AND back!


02bTalk about FIRST IMPRESSIONS…. Man oh man alive!


03bNew license plate! (Utah, not such a good idea to give CHOICES, because of course Jamie and I had to debate the pros and cons of each one in the DMV. In the end, I won with the most colorful one!)


04bJamie’s new alma mater. This stadium was built especially for the 2002 Olympics, so it is niiice. With all the mountains surrounding it, I might actually want to attend a football game or two this fall.)


05bSo maybe you’ve noticed I have this thing for tulips?




09bGotta love that big blue sky.


10bSeriously, the mountains are so close you can reach out and touch them. Well, almost.


11bDon’t think the Utah sunsets need any more explanation…


13b…..because there are pedestrians EVERYWHERE! And bikes. And scooters. Plenty of sidewalks and even bike lanes. Awesome.


14bYou might be thinking to yourself, “My, what a lovely temple that is!” But nooo, this ain’t no temple. This is just a MEETING HALL. Built with the leftover chips of granite they used to build the real thing. The LEFTOVERS.


20bOne day, I will own one of these and park it in my yard. And you will be jealous.


25bHow can something be so happy and colorful and yet SO DARN CREEPY all at the same time? Man, and I thought Southerners had some interesting “yard art.”


26bA. Dor. A. Ble.


27bThere are many things to love about this image, but the awesome horse notwithstanding, take a lookie at the store window in the background. Pretty much my style frontwards and backwards and every which way. Loveeeee it.


28bLittle did we know that during our first visit, we happened to be in town the very same weekend as SLC’s twice-yearly conference, for which Mormons travel from far and wide to hear the President, Prophet, Revelator, and Seer (and yes, he is all these things, apparently) speak. There were Mormons EVERYWHERE, but there were also some protestors too. I guess they were Christians, but of the very fundamentalist yell-in-your-face sort. All the Mormons just filed right on past them, hardly noticed them I don’t think. Anyway, what’s been really interesting is finding out how much more diverse this city is than we expected it to be. I mean, obviously, the Mormons have the majority, and as a whole, Utah is an extremely conservative state. But downtown there is the whole other population of liberals and activists and whatnot. Like today, on a Sunday morning, probably 2/3 of the city was in one of the hundreds of temples around here worshipping, while outside a bunch of streets were blocked off for a huge gay pride parade. In Salt Lake City! Crazy, huh? There is a huge spectrum of beliefs and cultures and lifestyles and politics… way more so than we imagined. It’s made for some very interesting experiences thus far.


30bSnowstorms in April result in this.


31bAnd I kid you not when I say that almost every single day of the week, at any given time of the day, there is a wedding party being photographed in front of the temple. Sometimes two or three at a time! (They have to do all their pictures outside because non-Mormons, i.e. most photographers, aren’t allowed inside the temple.) Talk about a venue in high demand! Even last night, as we were walking home through the square, we watched a guy propose to a girl (with all their family around them) right smack in front of the temple. It is the place to BE.


34bIt’s our house!


35bEverybody bikes, which means they have some of the sweetest bikes I’ve seen.


42bThis, my friends, is the public library. How awesome is this? It’s 6 stories high and has a coffee shop and little stores at the bottom, and a MILLION places to hide away and read, and all the outside is glass so the views are unreal. And the lightrail drops off right in front, so you can just zip on over whenever you need to get away and curl up with a good book for awhile. 


49bYup. Probably gonna need one of these someday. :)


52bAgain, something you wouldn’t expect to see in Salt Lake. AT ALL.


53bApparently the Mormons love the Beatles even though the Beatles think that love (not Joseph Smith) is all you need.


56bI love these chairs because they remind me so much of pink plastic flamingos. And because they’re awesome retro metal patio chairs, which someday I will find. That is, if I don’t come back to Knoxville and steal Carrie and Shane’s first.


59bAh, Anthropologie. I think I can get used to having you, IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and American Apparel close by for once in my life.



Robert Gibbons - As a Utah native who has moved to Virginia for law school, I look at your blog and sigh with envy. You do a great job of making me homesick.

I think we found Narnia. Or part of it, anyway.

Last week, when Dave and Debbie (my parents-in-law) were in town helping us move in and get situated, we took a day trip up to Park City, about a 30 minute drive from Salt Lake. You may have heard that this is the home of the Sundance Film Festival and Olympic Park… both excellent reasons to visit, I’d say. Olympic Park didn’t seem quite as exciting without snow, so we’ll have to go back and check it out later this year, but woooow is this place ever gorgeous. It’s so high up, even more so than Salt Lake, that you can see out forever, with the big open blue sky full of fluffy white clouds stretching all around you. I’m sure you’d have to be a batrillionaire to actually afford to live there, but it’s nice to know that it’s just a short drive away whenever we want to just get away for a bit. And I can’t WAIT for Sundance. I’ve never been to a film festival before! 

img_0002dDebbie needed a new Facebook picture. She looks so pretty here!


img_0006cDave is very detail-oriented. He’s always all about maps and brochures and atlases and whatnot. Which is good for the rest of us, because we are SO not that way and would probably have no idea where we were going or what we were doing without him!


img_0010cI like this. :)


img_0013cWho needs backdrops when you’ve got THIS???


img_0036cAll along historic Main Street, they had THE most beautiful flowers all over the place. I’ve rarely seen a place so clean and well-maintained. But I guess I would expect that if I were paying a batrillion dollars to live there.


img_0038cBright tulips + huge billowy clouds = Happy me.


img_0042cYuuuuuummmy deliciousness.


img_0045cVery nice of Debbie and Dave.


img_0048cJamie was not so much feeling the family pic action, clearly.


img_0061cI love the “Are you crazy?!” look on Debbie’s face here. :)


img_0065cI was really tempted to take home some “souvenirs”…..






img_0085cFor some reason, I just really love this one. I know it’s just a street flag, but whatever. Love it.


img_0090cGreen building, red umbrellas, blue sky. Color? Check.


img_0091cClearly this city is FULL of color.


img_0099cCan I live MY life in Park City? Okay, thanks.


img_0110cI’ve come to the conclusion that these shoes belong on my feet. Like Nutella belongs on bananas. THAT MUCH.


img_0114cWhen you run out of flower pots, sometimes you just gotta get creative.




img_0125cOkay, I know it’s not exactly San Francisco, but this makes me start singing the Full House theme song in my head. “Whatever happened to predictability… the milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?”


img_0131cOh, hi there little bumblebee.




img_0151cIn case you were wondering, this is the last tulip image. I PROMISE. Just couldn’t help myself!


img_0164cNothing more nostalgic than an old-fashioned general store.


img_0176cThis is where we almost got talked into sitting through a 4-hour sales pitch to win a free hotel stay. ALMOST being the operative word. Whew!


img_0182cYes, my friends, I ask you: “Why have just one?”


img_0193cSee what I meant about Narnia?


img_0197cI love how there’s still snow on top of the mountains. In June. Yessssss.






img_0253cJamie couldn’t get over just how happy his dad looks in this picture. I guess Utah just has that effect on people… :) I can’t wait to see my dad’s reaction when he gets out here to see this in person.


img_0260cGorgeous foreground and gorgeous background. Check and check!




img_0298cSee that green house? Yep, I’ll take that one. Wait…. how much? Crap. Guess it’ll have to wait til the day I get hired to shoot Beyonce and Jay-Z’s wedding. (They haven’t gotten married yet, have they? Hmmmm…..)



room(s) with a view

Well, first of all, my eyes are crossing backward into my brain, I’m pretty sure. I have spent so much time glued to this computer that I think Jamie might start thinking me and Mr. Mac are having an affair. I’m slowly but surely trying to navigate my way around all this social networking mess. I’m now on Twitter (yikes!) and while I’m learning just how powerful of a marketing tool it can be, that doesn’t make it any less overwhelming. Thankfully a bunch of smart computer people have developed all these sweet apps for the technologically impaired like myself, enabling us to easily sync and manage all these websites and tools. Whew! 

One good thing about having the time off that I’ve had is that I’ve been able to get so much done with my website and just working on my computer skills in general. (Did you notice the little mini-makeover this site’s gotten? Professionalism 101, Internet. I’m figuring it out. Yesss.) Still working on the icky details like my business plan, contracts, pricing, etc., but I feel a huge weight lifted just by making this much progress. 

Okay, my new comforter and curtains have still not arrived from Urban Outfitters, so still I cannot indulge you with apartment pics, BUT I can’t resist sharing a bit of the view we have from our back balcony. Because seriously, it needs no accessorizing. 

img_0356cAw, look at our lil marigolds! I’ve never had much of a green thumb, but we couldn’t resist a trip to Home Depot to get a few plants to brighten up the balcony. So cheerful!




img_0373cOh, hi there Mormon Temple. As in, THE Mormon Temple. That we can see from our balcony. Beautiful!


img_0382cLove me some late evening light.


img_0389cYep. My husband’s pretty hot. He had a brief stint at Abercrombie and Fitch. Can’t you tell? :)




img_0410cSunsets here are unreal. The days can get really hot, but with the lack of humidity, it disappears around 4:00 or 5:00 pm, usually around the time a late afternoon rain or thunderstorm rolls in. After that, the weather is PERFECT. Crisp, cool, breezy… and these crazy gorgeous sunsets.


img_0444cOhhhh yeahhhh….


img_0458cAnd everything about this reminds me why I’m the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.


So far, we’re still loving Utah. We’re a couple of blocks from the center of downtown, and a couple of blocks in the other direction from this amazing park/trail/off-leash dog area. This is why Salt Lake City is like no other. 


Tara Rhee - Morgan, I love the website makeover. Now I have even more of a reason to stalk your blog (like I needed an excuse, psh…)

megan - So I know I say this a lot, but again, beautiful pictures! We can’t wait to come to Salt Lake City to see these in person, especially the mormon temple, and of course you and Jamie! :)