I love holidays. And I always want to get the most out of a day off of work. When I have a “bonus” day, I like to be sure I use my time wisely. I hate sleeping in, puttering around the house, running errands and basically pittling the day away. Some find this to be a very enjoyable way to spend the holiday, but not me. I like to feel like I got every ounce of fun out of the day. Thankfully, my wife and children put up with me.
So when Pioneer Day came this week, I was anxious to get the most out of the day. For those of my vast reading audience who are not from Utah, Pioneer Day occurs in Utah every 24th of July to celebrate the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. With Independence Day just three weeks before, it’s fun to have yet another holiday in July. Of course, not every business in Utah is closed or offers the day off to employees. I’ve been fortunate to work for companies who have offered it, at least as a floating holiday.
Pioneer Day 2008 started out by getting up early and loading the kids in the car. We were on the road by about 7:45, which is really early for us. The rest of our day went like this:
- Eat breakfast of Sausage McMuffins purchased at the drive-through of McDonald’s.
- Hike to the top of Ensign Peak to see a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley (fun, despite the vertical climb and the constant complaints of my oldest – why should he complain, he wasn’t the one carrying the baby!)
- Watch the Pioneer Day parade at the northern entrance to Liberty Park (although we didn’t have the best seats, the kids enjoyed seeing the floats and hearing the bands.)
- Eat orange creamscicles while walking through the vendor food booths and smelling all the delicious ethnic foods (the pioneer day celebration includes pioneers from all nations!)
- Play in the Liberty Park water playground and the Seven Canyons fountain.
- Enjoy lunch at Chin WahChinese Restaurant in Sandy (Parley loves Chinese food; Lily hates it, so we got to deal with the two extremes).
- Watch a movie at the dollar theater – “Nim’s Island” starring Jodie Foster as a agoraphobic writer who travels across the world to help a young girl on a remote island. It was fairly cute and Robin and I enjoyed Jodie Foster’s comedic performance, recalling her classic roles in “Maverick” and “Freaky Friday” (the original version, not the Lindsey Lohan remake…)
- Drive to Snowbird to walk around and play by the stream (by this time everyone was getting tired but I wasn’t done having fun yet, so they grumpily humored me. It was about 20 degrees cooler up there, so that was good.)
- Eat hamburgers hot off the BBQ with fresh tomatos.
- View a church video about the pioneers while eating Double Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream.
- Light off a $10 pack of fireworks in the back yard before putting the kids to bed.
- Watch “Fool’s Gold” DVD with Robin, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew Mcconaughey (I admit, I slept through some of this due to the busy nature of the day.)
Anyway, it was a great, exhausting day. Unfortunately, I had to go back to work the next day. Oh well, we had a great time.
Next up, Labor Day…
Here are a few pictures from our hike to Ensign Peak.