My four seasons in Utah
This time last year I was about to fly to Utah for the second time since the beginning of the year. In total over the course of 2016, I took five trips there. In part because I had a lot of flyer miles. In part because I was freelance designing and could work from anywhere. In part because I missed my Utah friends. And in big part because my boyfriend, now fiancé, goes to school at BYU-Provo.
My dad at one point asked why I even lived in Nashville since it seemed like I was barely here. Sometimes I wondered too. It was so hard to leave Utah each time. It felt like home. And then I'd land back in Nashville, and I'd feel at home here too. I'd get back to my routine and continue on. Until the next trip.
I experienced each season of Utah. And I loved each part. Here's a little photo journal of those trips.
Winter was harsh. But magical. We went to see the Ice Castles, saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearse in the actual tabernacle (one of my favorite things now — free on Thursday nights), visited my four favorite places in Salt Lake City, spent a lot of time in Provo and ate a lot of Waffle House, took a tour of the Provo City Center temple before it was dedicated, Matt went skiing, I went snowboarding, and Matt ended up in the emergency room that resulted in knee surgery later #tornminiscusproblems, saw our friend AP from Nashville, spent time with Britt & Scott, Chloe & Markus, Makenzye & Peter, celebrated Matt's birthday, celebrated Valentine's Day and went backyard zip-lining at my friend Sheri's in Logan.
It was a pretty epic winter. And Utah is so magical to me in wintertime covered in snow with the mountains in the distance. I loved snowboarding — being from Los Angeles, it takes awhile to get anywhere that has snow. But from Provo, it's like the equivalent of me wanting to go swimming in the ocean. It's just there and it's convenient. And you can do it any time! I hadn't snowboarded in a couple years and it felt fantastic to get more and more comfortable as the night went on. That moment when Matt and I were taking the last run of the night and I saw him go off a ledge instead of turn to the right was a little scary (I didn't know that he had already hurt his knee before that, but that was definitely the final straw), but spending four hours in the emergency room after was kind of fun mostly because it ended with a huge burrito at a late-night taco place.
Spring was brighter. Flowers were blooming, the sky was so blue.
This wasn't a planned trip. It was one of those last-minute "I'm going to do this! I'm going to surprise Matt!" trips and it would have been so perfect iffff I didn't miss my initial flight.
Yep. I was that person.
I tend to get the really early 6am flights. Which means I need to be there at about 5am. In Los Angeles I've been conditioned to be there two hours early, but Nashville is a smaller airport, and it seems like at 5am on a Friday there wouldn't be a lot of people there. WRONG. This was also soon after the tragedy in Brussels so security was a lot more detailed. So typically I would need to get there an hour early, because usually it takes about 15 minutes to get to my gate. And who wants to get up any earlier than they need to?
Not this time. It took me an hour to get through security. I ran to my gate. Only to be told that the gate had already closed. And then I heard over the speaker that a Madeline Kleinman had left their bag at security. Yes. I left my backpack with my laptop and wallet at security because I was in such a rush to get to my gate. So I guess it was a blessing that I didn't get on my flight. But then I didn't get on the next flight.
So when I finally got on a 3pm flight, I was pretty disappointed. After I wasn't able to get on the next flight, I had to call Matt and tell him the surprise. And that he now had to pick me up at the airport that night.
It was April Fool's day. The joke was supposed to be on Matt, but it was on me.
By the time I got to Salt Lake City, I had been at an airport/on an airplane for 15 hours. So this happy reunion I had imagined in seeing Matt after a couple months was soured by my bad mood.
Luckily the rest of the trip wasn't reflected in those initial moments. We went to a little concert that night, and were able to attend General Conference together.
In addition to conference, we experienced the sweet feasting at JDawgs in Provo, visited Britt in all her pregnancy glow (the picture below is my first photo of me & their future-born son Kalai #imanauntie) and biked to Utah Lake.
I also feel like we can mark different seasons of our relationship by Matt's hair. At this point, it's almost a curly blond afro.
Sweet summer. While spring was an awakening, summer was fully alive and active. I just wanted to be outside and soak in sunshine. This time Matt was actually in Nashville and I was stopping by to drive through on my way back to Nashville from Los Angeles. It was well worth the stop though. As already noted in previous posts, I saw the Bonneville Salt Flats, Bridal Veil Falls, and the World's Largest Watermelon! More importantly, i had the opportunity to meet little Kalai for the first time and spend a lot of time with him and Britt.
I wasn't really planning on a trip in the fall either. I had just started a new job in July and was worried about time off. But then it worked out that I could take a couple days and I had some miles and there I was — off to Utah again!
The more times I go there the more relaxed it is. No pressure to do everything all in one trip. Another sunrise flight, and this time I was on time. No running to the gate and leaving things at security. #lessonlearned
Matt and I made a visit to the bike shop he works and volunteers at — Provo Bicycle Collective. Someone needed help, so I encouraged him to help him for ten minutes and then an hour later I was helping to clean up the shop haha. It was really cool to see Matt in his element doing what he loves. We also visited the Provo temple right at sunset. BEST TIME EVER. It's absolutely a beautiful place to watch the sunset from.
On a sunny Sunday, we took a drive up the Alpine Loop — just a couple weeks prior it had been filled with trees with brilliant tree leaf colors, but unfortunately most of those leaves had already fallen. It didn't matter though because it was still incredible, AND I got to see Chloe and her husband Markus. Chloe is PREGNANT! So it was really really exciting to be able to give her a big hug and see her barely appearing stomach for the first time.
Since it was around Halloween, we also had a pumpkin carving night! Matt impressed us all with his intricate carving of Tennessee. I opted for something simple because I learned a couple years ago that what starts out as a cool fun idea turns into sore hands and arms and a lot of work trying to get something carved for hours.
Matt and I also made a creation of vanilla ice cream + chocolate waffles = waffle ice cream. It was actually super yummy.
Another super yummy thing — Matt treated me to a fancy dinner at Communal that included a charcuterie board! Everything was seriously so delicious. We felt very refined.
Until next time Utah!