Normally New Years is one of my least favorite holidays. For a long time it was fun but I’ve found it frustrating because it is a very couply holiday and one where I increasingly seemed to get left out. See post New Years Eve Sucks)
Not this year!
This year my friend and former mission companion Julia Graves came for a visit and it was such a treat. I rarely have visitors that are here just to see me. My family comes a lot but they have their own house and sometimes I hardly see them because of their work responsibilities and other family things.
Regardless, they aren’t here just to see me and for me to be host and show them around.That hardly ever happens despite my very comfortable guest room! (It’s ready for anyone to come on over!). So it was so great to have Julia here for a visit and to have fun and reminisce.
She arrived on the 30th and we went to lunch and then got settled in and she was kind enough to join me for our SLOW (Salt Lake Open Water) end of year banquet. We spent a fair amount of time in the car and had a lot of fun talking with each other.
Then the 31st we went to Blue Plate Diner in SLC and had a yummy breakfast.
And then I had gotten a room for New Years at my favorite hotel- the City Center Marriott in Salt Lake. It is the place I went when I quit my job in 2007 and so it has always had a special significance (one of the best days of my life!). I also went there for my Eat Pray Love weekend in 2012.
It’s a lovely hotel with great linens and fluffy robes for all the guests. They have yummy room service and an amazing pool! It is one of my favorite places in the world.
I also successfully parallel parked twice! Pretty impressive right?
Then we went to Copper Common- the sister restaurant of my favorite place Copper Onion and it was very yummy!
After that we spent a bit of time at Temple Square and listening to music and enjoying the lights of the city (there was a lot going on this year with eveslc.com). It was the most walking I’ve done since the knee injury which was good. I felt it the next few days but it was a start. There was a faux light fireworks display but we were so cold we decided to head home and watch the New York ball drop (what a letdown that was. They didn’t even show the countdown!). But we had a great time with the hot tub and pool and just enjoying the hotel.
We rang in the New Year with gusto a little early and then crashed! It was great.
New Years Day we went to breakfast at the hotel and then went to the new Living Aquarium in Draper. I’ve been wanting to go and it was really fun! My knee was hurting from pushing it the previous day so I used my cane and it helped a lot.
The aquarium was easy to work around with lots of animals and fun exhibits. My favorite was the penguins.
We spent about 3 hours at the aquarium, and I have a membership now so if you want to go call me up and let’s go! Your kids will LOVE it!
After the aquarium my parents and grandma came over and we had fajitas and Mexican food together. They got to hear all about our memories from the mission. It is so strange to think it will be 10 years in March since I came home from my mission. Being with Julia made it feel like yesterday.
Today was the final day of the trip and we went to Bake 360 for breakfast (their new cafe is so delish!). Then we did some shopping and tried to go to 2 different art museums but they were both closed! (Art was not on our side!).
So we went to the Leonardo. They have one of those plastic body exhibits and those creepy me out so we just went to the regular exhibits and it was fun. I thought it was an art museum but it’s actually science and math based.
Julia wanted to go to Chick-fila since they don’t have them in Nevada so we finished off the day eating some chicken and ended up visiting my Grandma in some extra time.
It was just a great trip and time with a friend. I am so lucky to have wonderful friends in my life and playing host was a blast. I loved reminiscing about our mission and all the years since. Julia is also single and we have very similar personalities and are both still active in the church. Our faith is very important to us and sharing it with the Hoosiers has given us a bond that will last forever. I just had the most lovely time.
Definitely my best New Years Eve ever! A great way to start 2015!