Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Utah 2010

Melanie and I spent my spring break in Utah, visiting family. Believe it or not, we have no pictures to show for it. That’s probably OK. Utah wasn’t looking so great this time around. When we went to Utah last May, I was smitten by Utah’s beauty. This time around, we went too early in the year for anything to be green. But it wasn’t very snowy, either, so everything just looked blah. It was nice to see the mountains. I’ve always loved the look of snow-capped mountain peaks, and Utah still has those. But driving around, everything else seemed dingy and dilapidated in comparison to what I remember. I think it was just the wrong time of the year to be charmed.

Still, the trip itself was overall great. We spent a lot of time with family, and most of it was pretty low-key, which was nice. We have traditionally overplanned our time in Utah, leaving us feeling hurried and exhausted. This time was quite manageable, though we always had something going on. That’s perfect, in my book. I feel bad about not visiting a couple of friends whom I would have loved to see. I was never quite sure when to work that out, and it just ended up slipping away from me. It’s like I wish I could have spent two weeks in Utah, just to do it all without feeling frazzled, and yet psychologically speaking, it would be hard to be there for two weeks. That’s the tricky part of it all. Were it not for kids, it would work a lot more easily. But seeing Eddie and Peter enjoying their grandparents so extensively is part of what made this trip so great, so what can you do? The predicament seems to be this: you can either do it all, and end up hating a lot of it, or you can not do it all, and love everything you do. We’ve usually done the former. This time we did the latter. It was the right choice.

Food wise, we did well. That’s always something I love about visiting Utah. Not just that I get to revisit some of my favorite eateries, but that I usually get to do so on someone else’s dollar. On our second night in Utah, Melanie had organized a Chinese food dinner party of sorts at her parents’ house, and we went a little overboard on how much food we ordered. It was nice to eat very good Chinese food again. Since moving out of Utah, we haven’t found anything beyond decent Chinese (and Mexican) food. (Other people we’ve met from Utah say the exact same thing, even before we tell them that we feel this way. Evidently, the South does not specialize in Chinese or Mexican cuisine.) Very good is better than decent, so we were quite pleased. We also hit some local faves: Café Rio, Grinders 13, Blue Iguana, and Litza’s Pizza. Not too shabby, given that we were only in town for a week. I should mention, though, that I have to take back something I said in a previous post. I was wrong to suggest that in Utah, all Mexican food utilizes cheddar cheese. This is not true. Blue Iguana indeed uses some kind of white cheese, and now that I’ve been there again, I realize that this is what they’ve always used. As I visualize food from other Mexican restaurants in Utah, I’m now realizing that many of them did indeed use white cheese. But the important point still remains that, outside of Utah, the white cheese we’ve encountered in Mexican restaurants tastes like Velveeta or American cheese. It isn’t that great, and the difference is extremely noticeable. That is what led me to the hasty presumption that Utah must have used cheddar in everything. I was wrong. But the cheeses aren’t the same, and Utah is the one getting it right. I’ll leave it at that.

Enough for today. Adios for now.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to hear from you and to read that you had a good visit. I loved having you here...we all did... and I've missed you terribly already