Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


Sunday and Rainday

The sky stretched unspotted blue above us, finding its only boundary in the craggy mountains that rise up to meet it and encircle all of Salt Lake City in a breathtaking delineation. Standing only a few blocks away from Temple Square, Sarah, Lauren, and I entered the large building with even larger letters announcing GATEWAY. Inside, we could only stop and gaze, dumbfounded. We had been transported back one and a half centuries, and found ourselves suddenly only a few years after the Civil War, standing in a cavernous room, elegant and regal, but with not another soul in sight. This room used to be a train station, functioning as a vital stop in the transcontinental railroad. I could just see the brave young men off to the side, hoping to try their luck in a California mine; a large bustling immigrant family planning on joining the sturdy farmers in Montana; and the elegant young ladies off to have a mini adventure.
Leaving this room by the opposite side, we suddenly found ourselves once again with a ceiling of pristine blue, in an atmosphere of sunshine and laughter, and with a sound and sight that nearly brought us to tears. (What can I say? We’re girls through and through!)
Before us stretched stone stairs leading down into a gorgeous plaza on which—all the same level as the rest of the ground floor, mind you—was a vast expanse of jets shooting up water to the exact rhythm and emotion of triumphant music serenading hundreds of people from loudspeakers. After watching the spectacle in unabashed delight, we promptly tore off our shoes and tiptoed through the “fountain” not knowing when the jets would randomly and unexpectedly shoot water at us. What fun that was!
We spent the next several hours exploring nearly every store in that outdoor mall called Gateway, which was built for the occasion of the 2002 Winter Olympics. We stopped at a delightful little shoppe called “Ben’s Cookies” which originated in England and had the most heavenly, delectable, tasty orange milk chocolate cookies we had ever tasted.
We all had to get matching purple headbands and of course honored Starbucks with our presence. Nearly every half hour, though, we scurried back to the fountain to watch the spectacular water show, which occurs on the hour and half past the hour.
Finally, after exhausting ourselves soaking up the local color, people watching, shopping, and dancing in the fountain, we ate at Tucanos Brazilian Grill, a delightful restaurant which is quite unique. Lauren sampled sushi (for those interested to know, she reported that it tasted decidedly of raw fish) and quail egg and I tasted palm heart (Sarah wasn’t as adventurous with her food (= ).

While in the restaurant, our splendid view of the mountains quickly faded as clouds completely hid them from our view, the sky grew dark, rain began to pound, thunder commenced rumbling, and lightening lit up the general mist. Finishing our dinner, we ran through the rain and the now-deserted mall, gave one last longing look at the fountain, and re-entered the train station dripping wet. Sarah unsuccessfully attempted to teach Lauren and I the polka because the huge room was just beckoning us to dance. However, because Lauren and I seem to have two left feet, she ended up dancing the polka alone while we capered around the room.
It was time to go, though, and we walked down the road to catch a Trax train, which—stop by stop—had us to the end of the line within thirty minutes. By then, the mountains had reemerged, the sun and come out, and the air smelled fresh and invigorating, so we walked the few blocks “home” to our hotel, stopping to pick wild flowers. We got to our room tired, happy, wet, content, and reinvigorated for classes the next day: the perfect conclusion to our one precious day to explore SLC.

Visit Sarah's site for another perspective in her blog, and make sure and click on her "albums" to see all of our pictures!


  1. Looks like you made the most of your 1 day off!! Did you buy the hats? :-) Still missing you...5 days and counting!! Sniff..Sniff....
    P.S. Jonah finished school today!! :-)

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  3. Luv you Mom! You're so sweet. =) Yah for Jonah! You have to give him a big smooch on the cheek for me.
    Abby--I love my commenters, and I especially love hearing that the blog is a blessing to you. Thanks for following, also--I checked out your blog this morning when I noticed you were following. It looks gorgeous, and Lauren and I look forward to seeing future additions.


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