On a pleasant, sunny day, we had a decent breakfast in St. George at the hotel, piled into the car (about which I was still rather annoyed, incidentally. When I booked the car online they said “Ford Focus or similar”, and I was really looking forward to a Focus. At the desk, though, they said they didn’t have any Focuses, nor any other hatchbacks, because “Europeans don’t like them”, which is a lie so massive I was feeling its gravitational pull), and sallied forth.
In the daylight the surroundings began to look interesting and majestic, in stark contrast to the vast expanse of flat outside of Vegas that I got to see before sundown the previous day. Just north of St. George is a small national park called Red Cliffs with… well, big red cliffs. Was rather pretty and we got to go back and visit a few days later. But in the meantime, once we got to Cedar and had the normal familial greetings, the lot of us piled into cars to go check out a few local beauty spots.
This became commonplace: the whole of the family was constantly eager to point out assorted things to do, spots to check out, and so forth. I don’t know if this was common friendliness, or an attempt to prevent us from thinking that small town Utah was completely boring, but either way it was appreciated (at first, anyway… eventually it had the tone of an annoying cruise activities director pestering you while you sipped a mai tai and read a book by the pool. I know they meant well but I’m here to relax). Anyway. We got to a couple of spots and managed to take a few pictures before the clouds really opened up with rain, including one instance where it was heavy enough that I had to pick up Zoe and run with everyone else. Annoying though it might have seemed I think that one will stick with me as one of those minor vacation disasters that’s hilarious in retrospect.
Unlike the nightmare Delta visited upon us. Fuck you, Delta.
But this phase of the vacation passed with plenty of activities, without incident. Dinners with the family, trips to here or there, playtime for the kids. We attended the Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show, a quick free event out on the lawn outside the theatre (a replica of the Globe Theatre in fact) to get folks warmed up for the play inside later on, which was funny. We also hit up the Pioneer Day parade.
Pioneer Day celebrates the day the Mormon settlers arrived at Salt Lake, on 7/24, and out in Utah is an even bigger deal than the fourth of July. There were sales advertised aplenty, and not just local crap: Toyota was running TV ads for their Pioneer Day sale the whole time we were there, as well as some big box appliance stores. The parade, in such a small town, wasn’t up to the normal standards of the stuff I see in Atlanta, but what they lacked in funding was made up for in enthusiasm. Half the floats were just piles of kids being pulled on trailers with tractors or pickup trucks out front. A few were musical, and/or funny, like the Dutch Oven Band (load of folks on a trailer banging on dutch ovens with spoons). And surprisingly a bunch of classic cars, like 30’s and 40’s stuff. Those were pretty awesome.
On Wednesday it all wound down, though, and on Thursday morning we made ready to set out for Zion to begin the immediate-family vacation.