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Utah–Day 1: "Salt Lake City"

10:30am – Approach Salt Lake City from south over Utah Lake by Provo. Immediate presence of mountains makes everything look tiny and toy-like.  Downtown's cluster of skyscrapers look like a set from an urban spin-off of Mister Roger's Neighborhood. The airport seems improbably dinky as we pass it. Maybe it's just a regional one. Nope. We turn back southward over the marshlands of the Great Salt Lake on our final approach. Ahhh, the vacation begins!

11:00 – Pick up rental car.  Ooo! We're in the Emerald club so everything's all set to go for us. Cool!  Awww. It's a Chevy Cobalt. Not so cool.

11:15 – Off to the hotel to see about early check-in (and, if so, a little nap). Okay. Let's see. Hotel Monaco: 15 West 200 South Street.  Huh?  Is that an address or coordinates? 

11:25 – So it should be around here somewhere... Wait.  How come we're looking for 200 West 15 South Street? Wasn't it 200 South 15 West Street? Or... Okay right. 15 West 200 South Street. Wait.  There is no 15 West St. on the map. Oh right. 15 West is the number. 200 South is the street. This town is whacked!

11:35 – There it is. On the right. Oh god. Looks like valet parking only. Let's just pull in over to the side. We're just checking to see if we can get in our room early.  Christ, here they come.  Hi.  No.  We don't need it parked.  We're just seeing if we can check in early.  Can't we just leave it here for the moment? The key? You want the key? Um. We're awfully early. We might not even be unloading yet. I see. So you'll just hold the key for us? Whatever.

11:37 – At hotel desk. Hello. We have a reservation. We know we're quite early. We were just wondering if you might have a room ready. Queen deluxe, yes. You'll check with house cleaning? Great.  Thanks...

11:42 – The only ready queen deluxes are facing south? Is that toward the mountains? Oh. I see. Toward the construction across the alley. No. You're right. That doesn't sound very appealing. What about on the north side? Sure. Check with house cleaning again...

11:47 – “There's one north-facing deluxe ready on the second floor?  Can you see the mountains from the second floor? I see. Just reflected in the windows of the bank across the street. No, that's not exactly what I meant. Okay, we'll come back later. When do you expect to have something ready? Right. House cleaning...”

11:52 – Go grab lunch. Downtown sure seems deserted. Is Thursday the Mormon Sabbath?

12:35pm – Head to REI to rent skis. Now, where the hell is 3285 East 3300 South Street?!

12:50 – Call REI to get directions. “Hello, REI?  Is your store still located on 3300 South Street. Yes? Okay are you east of 15, or?... It's just four blocks west to 15? Really? Is it easy to see 'cuz we just got off 15 and went for quite a ways and didn't see... Where are we? Um, 3300 South. I'm not sure of where exactly... We got off of 15 and headed west... Huh? To 15? No, we were on 15... Oh! You're four blocks west of 215! I see. By the Wendy's. Got it?”

1:10 – Arrive at REI for ski rental. “Shoe size? 9.”

1:15 – Try size 27 ski boots.

1:20 – Finally get them on. Way too small.

1:22 – Try size 27.5 ski boot.

1:27 – Finally get them on. Seem smaller than last pair.

1:29 – Try size 28.

1:33 – Finally get them on. (Getting faster with buckles.) Still way too small. Suspect these have all just been the same pair of boots.

1:35 – Try size 28.5.

1:37 – Okay. Fine. Can live with this for a few days. (Remember to buy toenail clippers.)

1:45 – Set out for Park City for an afternoon of free skiing at the posh Deer Valley Ski Resort.


Next: Deer Valley