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Entering the city.. in an uber, on the way to our hotel..

 

One Fall season, my ex boyfriend (who I’ll call “Mr. X”) and I embarked on a trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Overall, it was a lovely trip! We came away from our adventures with so many new memories to look back on and reminisce about. 

But, while the trip may have ended on a high note, it certainly didn’t begin that way…

Today, I’m writing about Salt Lake City, the 1st leg of that Pacific Northwest trip I took with “Mr. X”… I wish I could share stories about what an incredible time I had there. I’m sure I could make up some phony baloney garbage… “Top 10 things to do in the Pacific Northwest”… blah, blah, blah.

But, if I only wrote about the “good” and not the “bad” or the “ugly”… it wouldn’t be “Real Girl Review”.

Seattle, the 2nd leg of my Pacific Northwest trip was far more successful. Salt Lake City pales in comparison. You can read about my adventures in Seattle here!

“I went to Salt Lake City and the Mormons tried to convert me, but when I found they forbade tea and tobacco, I thought it was no religion for me…”

Bertrand Russell

What is Salt Lake City Known For?

When you think of Salt Lake City, you probably think of Mormons, Mountains, and Quirky Liquor Laws… And you’d be right, it is definitely all of that. But, the city is also so much more.

Leaving for Salt Lake City

A few weeks before leaving for SLC, I’d been in the hospital for an infection. But, I was on medication so I figured I should be fine on my trip. It was starting to subside.

Little did I know, that would lead to a Lupus flare up. It was brewing in my body and would rear its ugly head after my arrival. 

The Flight

Getting settled into my flight. Because of my Lupus, I’m autoimmune. I’ve been wearing masks long before COVID-19.

We flew out of Boston Logan Airport with Delta Airlines. I got cozy with some movies, had some breakfast, and relaxed during my flight. 

One of my favorite things when I’m flying is being able to look out my window. One of the reasons I always get the window seat. 😉 The sight of the mountains in the distance is breathtaking.

Arriving

Hello, Salt Lake City!

We flew into Salt Lake City International Airport. My mom loves Moose. As I was passing a souvenir shop, I got her a Moose keychain and some “Moose poop” candies.. LOL.. obviously not real.. (just chocolate).

Driving through the city from the airport, we noticed right away that the air was super dry. It also smelled very smokey. Evidently there was a big fire nearby that had been going on for days. 

That, in combination with the high altitude gave me a bit of a headache. Wasn’t a great start to an already not so great situation. 

But the mountains were gorgeous…

Where We Stayed: Hilton Salt Lake City Center, Downtown

Can you see the Mountains in the distance?

Check in was easy.. lobby seemed nice.. Then, we got to the room. A whole different story. Was a bit disappointed at the interior. The rooms on Hilton’s website seemed much newer, more modern and sleek. The room we had was very old and outdated. We ended up switching rooms halfway through our stay.

However, I did like that our room had views of the Temple and the Wasatch Mountains. We had a balcony so it was nice to walk out to get a better look at the city. 

The hotel was also conveniently located in the center of things, hence “Hilton Salt Lake City Center”. 😉

  • The Hotel Lounge

Throughout the day, we’d grab snacks at the lounge. Our status with Hilton gave us access for complimentary breakfast, drinks (alcohol extra), and hors d’oeuvres throughout the day. 

FUN FACT:

Where did founders of popular dating apps, Tinder & Bumble go first to get the word out? Universities with Mormons.

In the Mormon community, 29 is considered old to be single. At that age, they’re already expected to be married with families of their own.

Who better to target for a dating app?

My “Adventures” in Salt Lake City

Despite not feeling my best, I did manage to get myself out of bed to do a few things in the city…

Mr. X and my thing used to be going to comedy shows wherever we traveled. We had been to well over 10 together internationally in the almost 3 years we were together. It was always fun. I’m glad I was able to get myself to do this.

When I booked the tickets online before our trip, I’d gotten them for their Ogden location. Wasn’t until we arrived at the Salt Lake City Wise Guys that I realized my error. They were nice though and let us watch the show there instead.

Pumped for the show!

The show was a lot of fun! We ordered some beers and relaxed. They had a pretty good lineup and we laughed a lot! Some of the jokes we laugh about long after our trip.

Must be a popular place, they were a packed house!
  • Dinner

After the show, we grabbed California Pizza Kitchen next door at a great outdoor plaza called, The Gateway. Has shops, restaurants, and cool hangout spots.

Visiting the Temple is one of SLC’s most popular attractions regardless of ones religion.

I can see why. Everything about Temple Square is beautiful. The architecture of the buildings, the gardens, the walking paths.. so quaint. There’s so much history there.

For your trip to SLC, you can explore what Temple Square is all about here.

  • Dinner

Afterward, we watched the sunset while having dinner at Garden Restaurant which overlooks Temple Square with picturesque views.

Cheersing to the most beautiful sunset!

Very casual, laid back place. You cannot purchase alcohol here. The food was okay.. nothing to write home about. I was more impressed by the view.

If you want a more upscale option, you can go to The Roof Restaurant, which is right across the way. We couldn’t get a reservation, they were booked.

Whatever restaurant you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the views at sunset!

 
FUN FACT:

Salt Lake City has some quirky liquor laws. One such law is that you have to order food with your drink at a restaurant, even if you’re seated at the bar.

Talk about a luxe shopping experience.. The fact that it was literally right below my hotel, I could see everything and was instantly intrigued.

But, since I don’t like spending time shopping while on trips, I decided to just stroll through after exploring Temple Square.. not that I would have the energy to shop honestly. 

It’s an open air shopping center with gorgeous views of the city, a water fountain, simulated creek, sculptures, upscale shops, and restaurants. What’s not to love?

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  • Visited a friend

The main reason we went to SLC on our Northwest trip, was so I could visit a friend I don’t see too often. We were headed in that direction. It was perfect timing. So, even though I wasn’t feeling my best, I was going to see her.

We planned a girls day at a spa called Richelle’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t put us down for the right time and we couldn’t get our treatment.

Don’t even get me started sister… Let’s just say the lady was a see you next Tuesday. Mistakes happen. What I didn’t appreciate was how the situation was handled after the flub up.

So, we drove around for an hour looking for a nail place last minute for mani pedis instead… I was exhausted from our efforts and gave in to a place that was willing to stay open, I paid extra. Evidently places close super early.. something to do with the Mormon religion.

Not the best nail job I’ve had, but they did a decent job.

Was The Trip a Success or Not a Success?

Guess it depends on who you ask…

For me, it was a somewhat successful trip based on the things we were able to do in our short time there (3 days).

However, it could have went a lot better without my flare up. I felt exhausted the whole time. It took serious strength (mental & physical) to get myself out of bed.

One of Mr. X’s favorite things to do was take pictures of me while I was sleeping… This is the flare up kicking my butt.

With my flare up, I spent most of the time ordering room service and watching Ozark…

Salmon
Ribs

Netflixin’ and Chillin’ might sound relaxing for some. Not when you have a flare up! I also don’t like being forced to rest in bed, especially on fun trips. Resting was the only thing that allowed me to recharge for the next thing though.

I look back now and I’m like how was I smiling in the photos… I felt horrible.. I think I was trying to fake it till I made it.. 😉

Mr. X on the other hand, might tell you he thought it was a successful trip. He got to enjoy himself and said that it was a nice time. I ended up feeling guilty like Mr. X was missing out so I told him to go ahead and venture out in the city without me.

I had been to Salt Lake City once before this trip. I had overall, positive impressions of the city from what I experienced of it, which I might do a blog on another time.

He sent me these photos while I was in bed… I was like, “Thanks, that made me feel great about what I missed”… LOL

Mr. X’s camera roll…

State Capitol Building
Mr. X walking in the middle of the street to take pictures like the dork that he is..
world-famous Tabernacle Choir
Not sure where this is.. Do you know? LOL
FUN FACT:

49% of Salt Lake City is Mormon. Believe it or not, that’s the lowest it’s been since the 1930s.

Mark Twain in Salt Lake City

I’m a Mark Twain fan because I appreciate good humor and I love his humor… Oh, and because he’s an ENFP like me. 😉

In his 1871 book, “Roughing It”, which is part non fiction, part fiction… He writes about his first encounters with Utah, including Salt Lake City, Mormons, & Polygamy.

Quite a fair bit of it sounds controversial but it’s meant to be funny.. A lot of it is fictional. You might appreciate it. 😉

Mark Twain, a Anti-Polygamy Reformers’ Nightmare:

“Our stay in Salt Lake City amounted to only two days, and therefore we had no time to make the customary inquisition into the workings of polygamy and get up the usual statistics and deductions preparatory to calling the attention of the nation at large once more to the matter.”

On walking the streets of Salt Lake City:

“We walked about the streets some, afterward, and glanced in at shops and stores; and there was a fascination in surreptitiously staring at every creature we took to be a Mormon. This was fairy-land to us, to all intents and purposes — a land of enchantment, and goblins, and awful mystery. We felt a curiosity to ask every child how many mothers it had, and if it could tell them apart; and we experienced a thrill every time a dwelling-house door opened and shut as we passed.”

You find Bibles in your hotel rooms everywhere else in the world, why not The Book of Mormon in Salt Lake City..

And now, for my favorite part…

Real Girl Reviews

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Ellesco MyAir Face Mask Kit

Love, love, love MyAir face masks. Cannot rave about them enough. No this is not sponsored or affiliated.

Due to my low immunity w/ Lupus, wearing masks has been my standard when traveling. I've been wearing them long before COVID.

This Ellesco MyAir Kit travels with me on every trip. I wear them on planes, trains, etc. Since wearing them, I've been sick significantly less. They're great for people who don't have immunity issues too. Planes can be so germy!

Hilton, Salt Lake City Center, Downtown

This was tricky... I wanted to rate it 3.5, but no such RGR Rating exists.

Pros:

  • Room had balcony and nice view.
  • Hotel had lounge for loyalty members. Grabbing snacks or drinks when we wanted was convenient.
  • Very conveniently located in the center of city's highlights.
  • They have room service which I remember being pretty good.

Cons:

  • Room was outdated, not what we expected from modern, sleek interior photos listed on website. Had to move halfway through stay.

Overall, I'd say this hotel is great if you want to be in the center of things, but not if you're looking for a luxurious stay.

Comedy Show, Wise Guys

We went to a show with several acts in the lineup. It was a good time, decent atmosphere.

The staff was very friendly. I'd unknowingly purchased tickets for a different location & they let me go to the show in SLC.

They serve food & drinks. You can view their menu here.

The Gateway

This is an outdoor plaza with dining, shops, & entertainment. We went to California Pizza Kitchen  here after the Comedy Show, which is right next door.

I liked the vibe, they had cool seating areas. 

Temple Square

I can see why this is the most popular attraction in Salt Lake City. The area is lovely to walk around and take photos. Even if you're not religious, you can appreciate the history, architecture, & gardens throughout.

There are also various upscale and casual dining options for you to choose from.

You can check out what to explore at Temple Square here

Garden Restaurant, Temple Square

After exploring Temple Square, we came to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to admire the architecture and stained glass. Then, found Garden Restaurant for dinner.

I think for a casual dining option, this place was great. It had a nice garden atmosphere with and a retractable glass roof which was interesting to watch open up while dining.

I ordered the steak, which was decent. I don't recall it being the best I've ever had or anything.. Also, you couldn't order alcohol which was literally a buzz kill, LOL. But, the views of the Temple were gorgeous. We came at sunset which was amazing. That alone made the stop worth it.

You can view their menu here.

For a more upscale option, The Roof Restaurant is right across the way. 

City Creek Center

In terms of a shopping environment, this was next level. If I was the "shopping while on vacation" type, I easily could have spent hours here. It's a nice atmosphere with their open-air style, water fountain, simulated creek, artwork & sculptures throughout. It was almost like walking through a park. Almost. 😉

Although, honestly.. if you take your 5 yr old, they probably wouldn't know the difference. Mommy & Daddy get to go shopping, they think you took them to the park. It's a win, win.

Richelle's Day Spa

A big, fat 1 star rating. My very 1st, hopefully, my last.

Honestly, think I would have rated higher even if I had received a crappy spa treatment. At least I experienced something. 

I'm giving them a 1 based on the way they handled the situation. I'm not naming names. But, this particular individual was very rude to me & tried to blame me for an error they had made with my appointment, even refusing to apologize or make it right.

I get it, mistakes happen. It's the way you handle it that makes the difference between a great customer experience and a bad one. This was the "bad" in "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly". 

Because we scheduled that appointment weeks in advance and didn't have another plan since I wasn't in town long, just had the day with my friend, we drove around for an hour to find a nail salon open during Mormon closing hours (which is quite early). I ended up having to pay extra to a nail salon so they would stay open for us.

Plan Your Trip

Get My Salt Lake City Google Maps Itinerary Here!

You can also copy, print, share, or download it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures in Salt Lake City and get inspiration for your own trip! But I also hope through my Lupus Warrior stories, you feel more inspired to be who you are.

Have you ever been on a trip heading toward disaster that you tried to salvage? Comment below! I’d love to hear it.

FACT CHECK:

Real Girl Review strongly values truth and strives for accuracy. If you read something that doesn’t sound right, feel free to contact me and I will investigate the facts and make changes as I deem necessary. Posts are updated regularly.

Always keep it real…

1 Comment

  1. Awww…you really did look like you were having a swell time. Never been to SLC and my curiosity is piqued too. It’s definitely a unique city with its religion. I’m loving that salmon big time. Lol.

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