Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter vacation

 We have stumbled into a tradition of taking a short vacation in December.  It has turned into our chance to slow down just a bit and get into the holiday spirit.

We had a couple of hotel nights on a gift certificate and that helped us choose our destination - Salt Lake City!

I had been here a few years ago for a conference.  My mom had traveled along and she had the chance to really take in the city.  It was always a place that I wanted to visit and actually see more than the hotel and the airport.

We splurged on a night at the Grand America Hotel.  If there ever was a place that made me think of Eloise, it is this place!

My previous visit happened in the fall and the hotel was beautifully decorated and the city was gorgeous.  This visit - with Christmas decorations and holiday lights - was simply magical.
 We arrived early in the morning - thanks to a 6 a.m. flight and the time difference.  It did mean that we had a 4 a.m. wake up call, but that was ok, I was already awake with a little stomach bug.  Needless to say, we said some prayers and made it through the direct flight from Kansas City to Salt Lake City.

By nightfall, I was feeling much better and finally getting into the Christmas spirit.  I can attribute this to the lights...they were everywhere and so classic and elegant!
 An outdoor tree in the courtyard was a brilliant focal point.
The interior of the hotel was beautifully decorated.  The window displays around the hotel each had a different  holiday theme.  The hotel sponsors a window viewing experience and the chance to earn a cookie by visiting each window and answering a question.  We learned that the viewing of the windows is a family tradition for many in the area.
 Did I mention the beautiful trees and floral arrangements?  There was so much to see and so much to help us feel like the holidays were here.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to a rain shower that had settled in.  I convinced my husband to make the walk from our hotel to the convention center to hear the Morman Tabernacle Choir during the Music and Spoken Word taping.  It was a really beautiful 30 minute session where the audience was directed to be completely silent.  The music was beautiful and the message was so inspiring.  I loved the reminder from the season to "fear not." You can read the message now and a year from now, see the whole service.

More from our adventures soon!

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