We had this brilliant idea to go to Salt Lake City the day after Thanksgiving and to stay in a hotel right by the new downtown mall.
Then we remembered it was Black Friday. But we went anyway.
Getting ready took most of the morning, as things do with kids. When we were all finally packed we were on our way to Salt Lake City. We checked in to our hotel downtown, parked the car, and started pulling stuff out. That’s when John said, “Where’s the suitcase?” and our conversation went something like:
“I don’t know, didn’t you pack it in the car?”
“No, I thought you did.”
“No, I thought YOU did.”
And so we checked ourselves out of the hotel and transformed our overnight plans into a short daytrip.
We began at the Leonardo, a science and creative arts and technology museum.
Our first stop was the creative studio. Carissa, Wes, and I each made something out of clay. (Elizabeth played on the beanbag.)
Wes and Dad made a train. I made a turtle. Carissa made…I’m not sure what it is.
Next we went upstairs where the kids played in the pixel station.
Next was the green screen room. The kids could stand in front of the green screen and see themselves on a TV with a weather map behind them. They thought that was neat, but even neater was holding up a green piece of fabric and making themselves disappear on the TV. Cool science!
The kids spent a lot of time in the Motion Capture room, where they could dance to music in their bare feet. A motion sensor could pick up one person’s structure and while you dance, you can see your skeleton move with you on the TV screen. Carissa was too little for the motion sensor to detect her, but it worked for Wes. (P.S. Do you notice how he’s pulling the same dance move in the picture below as in the picture above from the green room?)
The kids loved dancing in this room, especially Elizabeth. Good thing the place wasn’t busy.
Even I got to rock it out with my kids.
John helped the kids make a stop-action film in the room near the dancing room, but I guess I didn’t take any pictures. They also used a paintbrush to touch a computer screen and create art.
By now it was 5 pm and kids (namely me) were getting hungry. We took the Trax train back to the City Creek Mall and walked around to find a place to eat. Turns out that on Black Friday, at a new mall, on the night Temple Square turns on its Christmas lights, restaurants are pretty busy around 5:30 pm. We went to four different places but all had an hour wait. We went to the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and got this picture:
I thought that might be the closest we’d get to the lights, but we decided to take a quick stroll through them before heading back towards our car. At least it was above freezing, which was especially nice since I left our kids’ hats and gloves and my scarf in our car back at the hotel parking lot.
It was about 6:30 pm. We thought we would go back to the hotel and end up at a drive-through somewhere. This was a little disappointing since we had been looking forward to a sit-down restaurant (which we haven’t done in a long while). Just as we were headed back through the mall towards our car John pointed out a Brazilian steakhouse. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask, so for the fifth time I asked what the wait was, and for the first time I got a “You can come right in” reply. Hallelujah!
It was a Brazilian churrasco-style menu where they serve yummy fresh-grilled meat at your table, and you can get additional sides from the salad bar. We were hungry, and the children were tired. It was pricey but we didn’t care. We weren’t paying for a hotel anymore, so why not?
And it was delicious. The filet Mignon, grilled pineapple, garlic mashed potatoes, cheesy bread, caramelized bananas, fresh Parmesan… Yep, it was a tasty dinner. Carissa made it through the whole dinner happily, but progressively more tiredly.
Elizabeth fell asleep in the stroller not too long after we sat down. Wes ate a little and then crawled into my lap and fell asleep around 7:45 pm. We enjoyed our peaceful dinner.