Coasting with Culture: Crossing the Tetons

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Once we left Yellowstone Bear World, it was off to Wyoming to ride another Mountain coaster, but before we got there we had to cross through the Teton’s. Here are some pics from right before we got into Wyoming.

I’ll bet you’ll never guess what this field is…

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Look at that view!

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I just had to zoom in on the mountains. It was awesome.

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Thanks Gary for taking this pic of me 🙂

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Sign at the place we stopped to take pictures. Seems like we followed a good portion of that trail as well.

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This building almost felt like a step back in time.

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So close to Wyoming!

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Next up Wyoming!

Coasting With Culture: Yellowstone Bear World

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After the rest stop, we made our destination in Idaho, Yellowstone Bear World. Part drive through park, part kiddie rides, and part petting zoo makes for a great spot for families of young ones in the area.

First up when you get there is the drive through wildlife park. There are deer, elk, and of course bears galore. All the animals seemed happy, well fed, and the park is well maintained.

We’ve made it!

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Baby!

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White Elk

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Bears

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Once the drive through part finished, we headed through the gift shop into park. We decided to ride the kiddie coaster to get it done and then we spent some time with the animals in the petting zoo.

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While everyone else will tell you this ride was not evil, it is evil. It’s a spinning roller coaster, and while looking tame, when two adults are placed with two super skinny 7-10 year olds, the weight was not distributed properly and we spun WAY too much for my liking. (*insert getting old joke here*)

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Baby Bears that were born in January.

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Moose? Where’s the Moose? Turns out we didn’t have to look too far for him.

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Next we went into the Petting Zoo. Here’s a picture of me showing what it’d be like stacked up against a grizzly. Wouldn’t stand a chance.

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This chicken is not in the mood for any of your shenanigans.

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We decided we wanted to get some selfies with the animals. Here’s Gary trying to get a selfie with the pig. Not sure it worked out.

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I had better luck getting a selfie with this deer. She was super happy, and friendly.

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She licked me for at least 5 minutes and wanted more!

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She then realized that Gary was just as tasty, and spent a good amount of time checking him out as well.

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After that, Gary took what has to be an awesome group selfie with the deer.

Which I tried sharing from the Coasting with Culture FB page, but it didn’t work, so check out the post here.

Next up, random pictures as we crossed Idaho into Wyoming.

Coasting with Culture: Idaho Rest Stop

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Yep, I had to break these posts apart again. This one is about a rest stop in Idaho. I know what you’re thinking, a rest stop is that interesting? When you are driving in Idaho, and you see a sign that says National Geologic Site at a rest stop you stop and check it out.

While the rest stop itself needed some TLC, the whole reason why we stopped was pretty amazing. It turns out that there is a lava flow field in Idaho. Who knew there had been at some point a volcano in the area?

Check out this website for a little more about the area.

Starting off our day we ended up in Idaho.

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And then we ended up here. The rest stop itself again was bad, but lava trails! So that totally made up for the rest stop bathrooms.

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Walking around the trails:

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Our tour guide taking a selfie

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Can anyone spot the typo?

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Coasting with Culture: Temple Square

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After a little break in Brigham City, it was time to head into Downtown Salt Lake City and check out Temple Square. Temple Square is a 10 acre block in downtown Salt Lake City owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m not going to get all historical or religious on you, but here’s the link to the Temple Square Website so you can learn more. I will say Temple Square is beautiful and relaxing and all the flowers smelled amazing.

So onto the photos!

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Nope, not the musical, just the actual Book of Mormon

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Inside the North Side visitors center

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Inside the tabernacle

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Click on the picture. It’s a video clip of the organist playing.
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Inside Assembly Hall
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Some of the pretty flowers

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We even saw a bride and groom taking their wedding photos!

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Salt Lake Temple

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Artsy shot of the Temple

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Brittany and Andrew standing on one of the photo op spots!

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Inside the Beehive House

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The Joseph Smith Memorial Building

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After Temple Square we decided to eat at Bruges Waffles and Frites. It has been featured on The Food Network, so we decided to try it. It was absolutely delicious!

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Saw this on the way out of town. With our new appreciation of the railways from earlier in the day, I had to take the pic.

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Next up is Idaho and Wyoming!

Coasting with Culture: Brigham City

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Coasting with Culture: Brigham City

After we finished with the Golden Spike Historic site, we were hungry. We ended up driving into Brigham City for lunch.

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This was a cool theater sign, and it was showing current movies.

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We ended up choosing a place to eat called Idle Isle Cafe, which according to the menu is the 3rd oldest restaurant in Utah. It was a place that had small town charm, and for the most part the food was OK. Would I have liked it to be a little warmer, and some things not dry yes, but overall it was good. (also never realized fry sauce is thing out here).

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After lunch we decided to walk around town a little bit.

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Apparently, around there if you want to cross the street and feel safe doing so, you hold the flag with you. Gary just picked up the flag so we could see what the sign said, and we had cars stopped both ways, so we crossed the street.

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I found another library! How I wish some of them would have been open so I could have checked them out!

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Next up we drove into downtown Salt Lake City to visit Temple Square.

Coasting with Culture: Day 1 Golden Spike National Historic Site Part 2

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So after we were done watching the reenactment it was time to head onwards to the east trail that one of the employees told us about. She said the views were breathtaking and she was absolutely right.

Once we found the turn-off for the East trail (the West trail was closed due to cows crossing the roadway or so we were told).

But as we drove along we got to see views like this:

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And this:

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A little bit of history about the Chinese Arch:

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Again, the views were just awesome to look at. The clouds in the sky having shadows on the mountains, where the lake used to be, just everything looked beautiful. It was also just calming to be standing around looking at everything as well.

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Here you can see Gary taking a picture from the bottom of the arch to the top, where the rest of the group was standing.

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The only wild animal we really saw on the trip. (And by wild I mean out in nature, because we did see wild animals at Yellowstone Bear World).

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Here looks to be some sort of nest around the arch.

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After the arch, we continued on the trail. This rock to us looked like a T-Rex head.

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Next up was the Big Fill Trail. This was a walking trail. We didn’t complete the trail as we weren’t prepared for walking, but we all walked a little ways, and saw some nice views. (Gary, Andrew, and Brittany walked the furthest so they saw the most of the trail.)

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Next up is a smaller post of lunch in downtown Brigham City!

Coasting with Culture: Day 1 Golden Spike National Historic Site Part 1

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Golden Spike National Historic Site is being broken up into two posts, one at the visitor’s center where they hold the reenactments of the union of the transcontinental railroad and the other post is the little driving and walking tours around the area. Here’s the website to the site if you ever want to make a trip out there.

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The sign greets you with bright colors, and it really stands out as the whole location is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But for the middle of nowhere, the views are absolutely stunning. Once we got to the Visitor’s Center we see the location is called Promontory and is 4,905 feet above sea level.

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Here’s where the east meets west. Not knowing when I took the picture, if you see closely the railroad ties are two different sizes because each railroad company used different ones.

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Here’s the Jupiter which came from the Central Pacific Railroad, the Jupiter is wood powered steam engine.

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Both of these engines are replicas of the ones that participated in the big day, but the detail and the color of both engines was fabulous.

The plaque about Engine 119.

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Engine 119 is a coal powered steam engine, and you could tell the difference by the color of the steam output.

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They also had a reenactment of the whole ceremony that took place in 1869 showing the last ceremonial spikes being driven into the ground.

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Don’t worry, members of our group like to have fun, we call this where east meets west 😉

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Lastly, a picture with the reenactors.

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Next up: The rest of the Golden Spike National Historic Site and the Chinese Arches, and the Big Fill Trail, and lunch in Brigham City.

Coasting with Culture: Arrival Day

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Arrival Day:

The day started off with an extremely early flight out to Salt Lake City via Denver. So being there super early I did get to see this awesome sunrise.

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Then, after boarding the plane and before takeoff a rainbow appeared. I like to think that was my gram telling me to have a good trip, which I did.

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The flight was slightly delayed due to some mechanical issues, I’m not surprised as it seems like almost every flight I get on has an issue of some sort, but I wasn’t delayed too long and had plenty of time to make my connection in Denver, which also included a breakfast break.

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The flight from Denver to Salt Lake City was gorgeous. Most of the flight was through the mountains. I tried to read because it’s what I like to do on flights, but I spent most of the flight just staring out the window.

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Once I arrived, I met up with the rest of the group and then it was off to Park City to get our first Alpine Coaster of the trip. On the way over we saw the ski jumps used when the Olympics were in Salt Lake City.

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Also being the nerd I am, I spotted libraries throughout the trip. This was the first i saw.
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Arriving at Park City, we made our way to the ticket booth, and got ready to ride. What a fun mountain coaster and a great way to start the trip.

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Yes, I made the height requirement, 😛
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After Park City, we headed towards Snowbird resort to try their mountain coaster. We didn’t know at the time, that they had a major snowfall, about a week before we came, so instead of opening their summer activities they were still skiing!

So we may not have ridden a coaster there, but we got to play with snow and saw some awesome views on the way down the mountain.

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Boo, no mountain coaster!
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Snowball!
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Next up, tourmaster Gary found us a kiddie credit that had been SBNO (Standing But Not Operating) for a while, and it was now operating again. They allowed adults to ride, so our “mystery” stop of the trip was to Seven Peaks Fun Center in Lehi, Utah. It was your standard center, having arcade games, outdoor rides, and a mini bowling area.

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To round out our day, we noticed there was an In-N-Out burger on the way back to the hotel. Being an East Coaster, I’ve not had the pleasure of enjoying In-N-Out before. So it was decided our “no chain meals” vow could be broken for this.

My verdict? I loved it. (The chains I have near me are Shake Shack, and Five Guys). I cannot say which I love more, because at any moment each has something I like (and the fact that In-N-Out is only out West, I have to go to Shake Shack or Five Guys.)

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With that, ends our arrival day to Salt Lake City. Next up on our tour was Golden Spike National Historical Site, lunch in Brigham City, and wandering around Temple Square.

Tackling the TBR Pile 06

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Hello all, I know it’s just under a month since my last post. I spent a few of those weeks under the weather (allergies turned sinus/upper respiratory stuff). But I still have books and I’m here to share them.

So let’s take a look at what’s on my pile. (I’ve also added a few not pictured.)

 

What I'm reading 4-13-17 What I'm reading 4-13-17

First off,

I finished Carrie Fisher’s Shockaholic.  I enjoyed it. I need to get my hands on her other autobiographies.

I also finished Cavemice: Don’t Wake the Dinosaur! by Geronimo Stilton. (Cute book and series for kids, loved that certain words were colored and different sizes. Seems like it would be a great book for reading out loud.)

Next is Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal, I didn’t finish it, but I saw it as a daily deal in my ebook alerts one day, so I purchased it and will come back to it some day.

Now on to everything else!

  1. Judgmental Maps by Trent Gillaspie (looked fun and not pictured)
  2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (wanted to read for a while, finally borrowed it)
  3. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss (saw this returned at the library after Dr. Seuss’s birthday. I had never seen it before so I checked it out)
  4. A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima (trying to be more diverse, one of the characters in this manga/graphic novel is deaf and bullied.)
  5. Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene (Would you believe I’ve never read a Nancy Drew story? I’m fixing that).
  6. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (It sounded interesting when I read the back cover)
  7. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer (Again sounded interesting)
  8. Echoes of Sherlock Holmes by Various (Had this one out for a while, still need to finish it)
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis et. al. (Gearing up for the new movie to come out.)
  10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (I started it, but I can’t get into it. Yet I keep hearing rave reviews for it. Does it get better? This one I’ll have to end up re-getting out because there are holds on it.)
  11. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  12. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne idea by J.K Rowling (I know I need to purchase this because I have all the other Harry Potter books, but it was sitting there waiting to be shelved so it ended up coming home with me.)
  13. The Daily Show: Oral History (I’m not reading it yet, my parents are)
  14. A cookbook based on foods of the farmers market, its in the kitchen right now, I’ll get the name of it for my next post.
  15. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  16. Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka
  17. It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

So that’s my pile. It keeps growing. I have a bunch of books due on Monday, but I’ll probably end up renewing most. I will get these read. I just need to stop taking more out.

That’s what I’m tackling right now. What are you reading?

 

PS- This past week was National Library Week, so do me a favor go out and support your library!

What I’ve Been Reading

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I figured I shouldn’t update my tackling the TBR pile post because it hasn’t changed since last week. But I can say I have eliminated a lot on the digital pile as those books were due later today.

I successfully read all the Magic Tree House books on the list, I only have to renew the Meg Cabot book and the Judy Blume eBook.

I also read Jacky Ha-Ha today as well so that can go back to the library. I renewed my other book that was due tomorrow.

I’m glad this was a lazy weekend of reading and not doing much. While I don’t feel super productive, I am glad I did finish a lot of the books I borrowed. Once I’m done with all my books, I’ll end up working on these massive book piles I have in the house. 🙂

I’ve also upped my book list by 10 to 35 this year. I know I can do more, but I’ll keep upping it by 10 until I don’t feel comfortable with the tally.

So how many books do you think I can read this year?

GoodReads Challenge