When Mike travels for work and it’s somewhere cool, I go along. I’m the ride along buddy. I’m there to plan all the fun stuff to do when he’s done working, find the good restaurants, figure out the logistics, and be the arm candy when he has events. Ha. You laughed at that right? He spends the days working. I spend the days running around like a crazed woman exploring the cities. At night he gets to hear all about whatever I found and sometimes he gets to go on a quick tour of where I spent my day. Fun times. When Mike registered for a conference in Park City, Utah of course I went. I’ve never been to Utah! I booked my flight, booked a rental car and started planning.Here’s where it gets fun. I don’t sleep much on vacations. I suck out every second I can for sightseeing and friend making and food tasting. I can sleep when I get home. I plan and plan and plan and go and go and go. I have options for the options. I even pre-program the GPS. So here’s how it went and what we did the first couple days.
Day 1: Arrive. Get lost in a shady section of Salt Lake City. Wonder aloud why the GPS doesn’t have an “avoid ghetto” setting. Got to resort (resort! yes!) and found out it had a full kitchen. Discovered how expensive food is at the hotel. Located local grocery store. Got snacks and breakfasts and a case of water and coffee. Yes. Mornings here begin with coffee for sure. Located a few restaurants nearby that were recommended on Yelp (I am a total believer in recommendations). Realize we’re not on our own time zone but our brains say it’s bedtime so we crashed early.
Day 2: Mike heads to his conference. You can imagine the fun he had (not exactly blog worthy). Jen (that’s me) goes on a yarn crawl. I was knitting a Hitchhiker scarf and decided that it was only appropriate to take this with me and knit a little bit at each shop. Geeky as heck, right? Five local yarn shops in one day. At each yarn shop I found a lovely ball of squishy goodness that was destined to return to Pennsylvania and be stashed away for years because these things are precious. Yep. You do it too? Good. I call them “Trophy Yarns”. So because this is partly a knitting blog, we’re gonna get into some detail here.
Stop 1: Blazing Needles Salt Lake City, UT. Oh my glory this place. They have a wall of Malabrigo. A WALL OF MALABRIGO. And the knit girls at the shop? Faahhhhhbulous. They sold me all the things. I procured a fine ball of Malabrigo sock yarn in Ravelry Red (gorgeous) and two balls of Shibui. This is new to me. They’re a glorious shade of red wine. And I pet all the Woolfolk. Oh so soft. I could have stayed at this shop all day. Highly recommend. Don’t miss. Plan to sit and knit. It’s cozy and friendly and knitworthy.
Stop 2: Knittin’ Pretty West Jordan, UT. Oh this place was sweet! Cozy and colorful. They have these mismatched couches and poofy seats and gosh darnit every spot was taken by a friendly knitter. It’s what you want in a knit shop! People that come shop the yarn and stay and knit a while! I discovered Wonderland Yarns here. Got two big skeins. One in super pale gray, one in vivid pink.
Stop 3: Kamille’s Yarn Shop in Gardner’s Village, West Jordan UT. The lower level was a Halloween store and it was super Halloween-ie. Not your normal costumes and masks. But those ones that are hand made and detailed and unique. Gorgeous! I managed to get out of this yarn shop with some notions and small goodies. They scale back their yarn offerings during Halloween because the whole shopping village converts to Halloween Town. Very festive!
Stop 4: Unraveled Sheep, Sandy UT. Knitting celebrities shop here. For reals. Like real knitwear designers and writers and knitters. It was such an unassuming shop but oh the things they had. I left with a gradient kit in beautiful shades of teal from Wonderland Yarns (which will go so well with the pale gray I got at Knittin’ Pretty for a project yet to be determined) and a ball of Greenworks Fiber in a greenish bluish color called Hawaii. I learned there is no such thing as “local yarn” in Utah. There are local dyers but not local wool.
Stop 5: Wasatch & Wool in Park City UT. YOU NEED TO GO HERE. It’s cozy and upscale and quaint and contemporary all in one shop. I ran down the street to the Italian restaurant and put in a dinner order for me and Mike and then dashed back to sit and knit for a little while at knit night at Wasach. I was absolutely excited to see that they carry Stitch Sprouts. I am casual knitty friends with the owner of Stitch Sprouts and had no idea they were distributing outside of PA. Here I am in a cute shop in Utah and there it is – Yellowstone. Oh. Home. Love it. I left Wasach with a new project bag and a skein of Alexandra’s yarn in a jewel toned rainbow type variegated. It’s beautiful. True trophy yarn.
Day 3: Mike had a half day of work at a client’s office. I had a half day of adventuring. I spent it wandering the streets of Salt Lake City near the Mormon Tabernacle. I went in for an organ concert. I people watched. I wandered through town. I decided that every city would be much better off being laid out like a grid with logic. This thing in the northeast where I can see where I’m trying to get to but can’t get there because of the twisty turny roads makes me nuts. In Salt Lake we had none of that. Bravo to the city planners of the west. So when I picked Mike up, we did a little city touring together. It’s interesting to be somewhere different than home. You really can get some perspective on your own culture as well as learn about others. Good stuff. We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory after doing some shopping and wandering. I have this thing I do when I’m out and about and I make friends. Just momentary friends (we call them beach friends, you know, the kind you meet at the beach then leave at the beach). I casually mentioned to our server that we were heading north the next day to do a three state whirlwind tour of Utah, Wyoming and Idaho and the following day we were driving south to Moab to see Arches National Park. I asked the server what he recommended we should not miss. The local thing. It was like he had been waiting for someone to ask. He said we should follow Mirror Lake Highway and stop to see Mirror Lake. It’s a lake that on a calm day is a mirror. OK, got it, adding this to the list. He looked at us like he needed us to know this place was just “that” special. He then shared his prized suggestion of what to see in Moab and phrased it more like an expectation. Hike the trail in Negro Bill Canyon. Wait, wait, wait, hike the WHAT WHO WHERE trail???? Yep. So politically incorrect. He used the other N word because it’s what the locals call the trail. The Nigga Bill Trail. It was a bit of a shock. He said there is a huge natural bridge at the end of the trail that is a hidden treasure and you can’t drive to it. You have to hike to it and it’s worth the time. More to come. So go get a drink, take a bathroom break, and come back for Day 4 and 5. Because we’re about to get tired.