The first thing on my list was to go walk the Harvard campus and visit the museums there. I felt like such an imposter walking through the campus. There were college students everywhere, so I really blended right in, sans a backpack. But it’s Harvard, you know, the place where all the studies and smart people and high IQ and stuff come from? I felt like everyone knew I wasn’t actually enrolled there.
So Boston had a ridiculous winter. People were telling me around 110 inches. Meanwhile in Utah, it only snowed three times, which is awful for our water supply. The entire city of Boston was on lock down and buried under snow. Apparently the last of the snow only melted a couple weeks before we got there. A lot of spring flowers were just starting to come up, even though it was basically May. All the trees were in bloom though, so it was very pretty!
The next day was the reason for our whole trip: A visit to Ai Wei Wei’s @Large exhibit at Alcatraz Island. For those who don’t know, Ai Wei Wei is a contemporary Chinese artist and activist. He has been a political activist for many years in regards to human rights and democracy for China. He was banned from leaving China in 2011 after he was arrested for tax evasion, among other alleged crimes, so this entire Alcatraz show was put together by other people he communicated with.
Alright, after my hiatus of blogging, I will try this again. We’ve done so many fun things this year and I want to remember them all! First off, a trip to San Francisco this past February. California holds so many memories for me. Yes, there are the family trips that I loved, when we went to Disneyland and Seaworld, but it is also the state that I have traveled to most often without my family. Two high school Music Department trips, where we smoked everyone in competitions for choir, orchestra, and band; one Disneyland trip with my best friend and her brother’s family; a trip with Colton’s family for a week-long stay at the beach; and the most recent, a college trip with my Murals class. I’d already graduated this past December but the trip was set for the end of February, so it was nice to see all my classmates again in a non-school setting.
We spent a beautiful weekend in the Tetons for Valentine’s. The weather was supposed to be beautiful, everyone else seemed to be going somewhere south, and we’d heard reports that the Yellowstone bears were coming out of hibernation.
Christmas Day is basically the best day of the year. The day after Christmas is probably the worst. You’ve already played with your toys, watched 10 of your new movies, and eaten yourself sick from treats. So instead of moping around the house, we took a drive out to Antelope Island for the sunset. Not only was it beautiful, but saw a few critters we were not expecting to see.
We were staying at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Definitely one of the poshier places I’ve ever stayed. When we left Salt Lake that morning, it was snowing on the mountains. Arriving in Arizona and seeing flowers still in bloom and palm trees swaying was a little unexpected. The resort itself had a sprawling green golf course, and the air was scented with some unidentifiable plant I spent days trying to find. (I literally walked around the hotel and smelled every leaf I could and couldn’t figure it out.)
Colton and I made a quick stop at the Parowan Gap. Petroglyphs line the 600-ft tall cliffs, some estimated to be at least a thousand years old. It’s such a bizarre natural feature. The landscape all around the Gap is virtually flat, and all of a sudden the rocks just jut out of the ground. Then beyond that it’s completely flat again. Look at the satellite view of the map below. There’s literally NOTHING around. Oh except the Little Salt Lake. Never heard of it? Me either. Colton’s dad, who grew up in Parowan, told us that you used to be able to find old arrow heads all around the area.
Colton and I left our rainfly off because it was such a warm evening. I haven’t been desert camping in such a long time. Mountain camping is fun, but it’s so cold all the time. It was amazing to be able to look at the stars through my tent and only need my sleeping bag for warmth. It was amazing to wake up in the morning and not shiver even once, and get out of my sleeping bag to the same temperature of air. I woke up a while before everyone else and I just walked around our little campsite and marveled at the little details of the desert.
King’s Peak has been on my bucket list for a while. We’ve been trying to do it for a couple years, so this year we finally just said, “Let’s put it on the calendar and make it happen!” Little did I know what I’d signed up for.