A few weeks ago, I set aside work for a week or two, and got back to taking photos of my friends and family for the fun of it. My husband's best friend lives in Utah with his wife and two little girls, and we had a great time exploring Salt Lake City with them. Also, my husband's sister, whose engagement photos are up and whose wedding photos I'll be taking, recently moved there too! And if that wasn't enough, while we were there, I ran the Salt Lake City Half Marathon with a friend (and my husband ran the full marathon!). We kept busy with outings to farms, hanging out with two small kids, hiking in the mountains, and visiting with everyone in the area. Even my husband's parents came to visit, since so many of us would be in one place at the same time.
For one of the days we were there, we celebrated the younger daughter's second birthday. Joe and I were delighted to bring presents of Legos and be along for the ride for a trip to a baby animal farm! We got to touch and even hold several kinds of babies: goat kids, chicks, ducklings, puppies, bunnies, and even calves. Back at home, birthday cake time was adorable!
We also checked out a few local attractions, including the Utah State Capitol and Utah Olympic Park. If you know me, or have even just read my "about" page, you'll know that I have a couple of degrees in government studies. I still geek out when I visit grandiose state and federal buildings, and Utah's state capitol building is one of the best I've seen yet. The skylights and all the marble were just amazing! The Olympic Park is something I was more interested in than the rest of our group, I think (I got the sense that I was dragging everyone into the mountains and they were all just playing along). We took a small tour and saw all the ski jumps and bobsled tracks Park City had to offer. Standing at the top was definitely intimidating!
Of course, Joe and I are big hikers, and in Texas our opportunities for great hikes are kind of limited. We've honestly tried to find great hikes, but without mountains and cool air, hikes here can all sort of start to run together. Utah is one of the most ideal places for hiking, with its five major national parks and hiking trails only 30 minutes from the middle of the city. We hiked Ensign Peak, which overlooks the state capital, we hiked in Big Cottonwood Canyon twice, and we went out to Antelope Island, which is really more of a peninsula that juts out into the Great Salt Lake. What views we got!
And finally, I was there to run a half marathon with my friend, and my husband Joe was there to run a full marathon by himself. This was my third half marathon, and the prep/run-up to the race didn't go exactly as I'd have liked, so we ran for probably two-thirds of the distance and walked the other part. Joe placed 87th in his division of young men, so I'll take the bragging rights that my husband did quite well, ha! The race photographers got a few really great photos, so here I am crossing the finish line!I'm #1253 on the right.