Utah in the Spring

A good friend of mine got married on Wednesday, March 18 in Utah. I decided to make a vacation out of the trip to the wedding, and I am so glad I did. I had the best time, and it was nice to escape the dreary Winter we were having in Virginia. The whole time I was in Utah the weather was in the 60’s and 70’s. It was so nice (although I am sad for my Utah friends who feel gipped out of their Winter).

I arrived on a Saturday night and had major rental car issues. There is no need to vent on this blog, but suffice it to say, I will never use Budget as a rental car service again. If you’re reading this, believe me. Don’t. Ever. Use. Budget.

Sunday started off with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir weekly broadcast. I went to the Tabernacle on Temple Square to hear them perform live. I went with my great aunt Leah, my uncle John, and cousins Faith and Lizzie. Afterwards we ate a delicious breakfast, and then Leah and I went and visited the graves of my grandparents and great grandma.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Sunday morning crew.
The Sunday morning crew.

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That afternoon I went on a beautiful walk and then in the evening headed to my aunt Annie’s house for dinner. My brothers joined me there and we had a delicious dinner with Annie, Nick, and Emma. I know we took a picture after dinner, but I can’t seem to find it ūüė¶

Monday was a day spent with Jen, one of my best friends and former roommates. Her and I lived together for over two years. She just recently moved back to Utah, and I actually stayed with her during this trip. We spent Monday morning at the Park City Outlets. For lunch, we went to Dairy Keen in Heber. Dairy Keen is one of the best milkshake and hamburger places of all time in my opinion. Afterwards we walked around Midway and then swam in a crater in Midway. On the drive back from Midway to South Jordan, we drove through Provo Canyon, which was absolutely beautiful. I miss that drive.

Monday evening I had dinner with my brothers at one of their favorite restaurants – Buffalo Wild Wings. Some of our Kamalu cousins joined us there as well. It was so fun to see them and catch up.

This picture was taken in Midway. The bridge was actually on top of the opening to the crater where we swam.
This picture was taken in Midway. The bridge was actually on top of the opening to the crater where we swam.
Such a beautiful drive!
Such a beautiful drive!
Dinner with my brothers and some awesome cousins.
Dinner with my brothers and some awesome cousins.

Tuesday I spent the day with my Grandma Morgan down in Santaquin. We ate lunch at The Family Tree, visited the graves of my grandpa, aunt Karen, and other relatives, and we got ice cream from the Red Barn. The weather was so warm this day, and it felt like the perfect day. We ended up cutting flowers from my grandma’s house and placing them on the graves of those we visited. I was shocked flowers were even in bloom in Utah in March! We also drove by the new Payson Temple that is almost completed. It’s only about 5 miles from where my Grandma lives. We spent the remainder of the afternoon looking through old photo albums. That night I went to dinner with John’s friends and then went to Blake’s orchestra concert. Blake and the orchestra did such a great job. Their level of musicianship amazed me. Afterwards we met up with Trevor and Kayla and went to Sodalicious (my brothers loooove that place!)

At lunch at The Family Tree. They have the best scones.
At lunch at The Family Tree. They have the best scones.
Santaquin in the Spring.
Santaquin in the Spring.
Flowers for the graves.
Flowers for the graves.
At my Grandpa Morgan's grave.
At my Grandpa Morgan’s grave.
Ice cream from the Red Barn.
Ice cream from the Red Barn.
At Sodalicious after the concert.
At Sodalicious after the concert.

Wednesday was the day of the wedding. The wedding took place at the Salt Lake Temple. Anne Bailey, one of my dear life friends and missionary friends, married Spencer Vail. Anne and I are both from Virginia and both served our missions in Nauvoo, Illinois. We also started and ended our missions on the same day. A picture of us at the airport the day we came home from our missions made it into the wedding slideshow. March 18, the day of the wedding, also happened to be the day we began our missions. This was kind of a fun coincidence.

 

The beautiful couple.
The beautiful couple.
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The Salt Lake Temple built by the pioneers.
With the beautiful bride at the wedding luncheon.
With the beautiful bride at the wedding luncheon.

I flew back home on Thursday evening, but not before a trip to the temple with Jen and lunch at J Dawgs (I wish they had these in Virginia) with Trevor. I had a great time in Utah and very much appreciated visiting friends and family there.

 

Memorial Day Weekend 2014

Memorial Day Weekend went by so fast this year. I spent most of the weekend outside and enjoyed every moment. On Friday evening, the weather was so beautiful. I played tennis with a friend, and it was the perfect way to begin a great weekend.

On Saturday, a group of us headed up to Sandy Point, Maryland. Sandy Point sits along the Chesapeake Bay. The water was way warmer than I expected it to be, and the sun was out all day. It was a fun day.

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Sandy Point Group Photo

On Sunday evening, my mom, KJ, and I headed to the Capitol for the Memorial Day Concert. I wanted to make sure I did something this weekend to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, and this was the perfect activity. Sitting near us were two veterans. It was amazing to observe them and their reverence for this holiday – it was inspiring. My favorite part of the evening was when everyone at the concert sang God Bless America as part of the finale. I couldn’t help but feel in my soul that this truly is a sacred land.

At the concert
At the concert
Beautiful U.S. Capitol
Beautiful U.S. Capitol

On Monday afternoon, I went over to my parents’ house. We went walking on some trails nearby and then had a BBQ. The food was delicious and afterwards we roasted s’mores in the backyard. The BBQ was the perfect way to end a great weekend.

Backyard s'mores prep
Backyard s’mores prep

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#AwkwardPhoto courtesy of Blake
#AwkwardPhoto courtesy of Blake

Simple Spring Moments

On Sunday evening, I went with my parents to Lake Fairfax. It was a beautiful night, and it was fun to have time to spend with just my parents. They are THE best.

Mom and Dad

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to use my lunch break to take a walk. I walked down to the U.S. Bontanic Garden and they were having a hydrangea exhibit. Hydrangeas are probably one of my most favorite flower, so this was a nice surpise.

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 2

Hydrangea 3

Two of my favorite guys are graduating from medical school (graduation is today in fact). Last Friday was their last day working in the hospital before graduation, so we went out to dinner to celebrate. We headed to BJ’s.¬†For dessert we ordered six pizookies – one of each of BJ’s flavors. Delicious!

Med School Celebration

Spring Has Sprung

This weekend it feels like spring has officially started. This was one cold winter, and I am glad spring is finally here. I love going on walks (it’s probably my favorite pastime), and Saturday morning I went walking down by the river. The scenery was beautiful. Then that night, my mom and I went walking in DC.

Mom and Meg

I love when the fountains are on.
I love when the fountains are on.

But the real reason it feels like spring has started isn’t necessarily because of warmer weather, but because this weekend was General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (of which I am a member). Twice a year we “gather” as a church to listen to the prophet, apostles, and other church leaders speak. I put the word “gather” in quotes because while we don’t all go to the same location to participate in General Conference, the conference is broadcast all throughout the world for all to participate in.

I saw an article going around on Facebook comparing General Conference talks to TED talks, which I think is a great comparison. Two of my favorite talks from General Conference include this one on what it means to be truly grateful and this one on love and kindness. General Conference is twice a year – the first weekend in April and the first weekend in October. To me, April General Conference always marks the start of spring.