August 29, 2007

Off to Salt Lake City

19 August 2007. We left our house at 3am. After dropping us off, my sister and Zack headed home. My husband and I did curbside check-in and passed the security checkpoint. When we finally boarded the plane, we were seated at the third row from the exit in the economy class. I was busily texting my mom and two sisters that we were already on board the plane when the flight attendant suddenly went up to us and told us that we needed to move. We, meaning me, my husband and the woman sitting by the window. "Move where?" I wondered, yet we all promptly stood up and followed the flight attendant.

He led my husband and I to the FIRST ROW OF THE FIRST CLASS section! Turns out some woman booked two first class seats for herself and her two kids, and ended up wanting three separate seats for the three of them. Her decision worked to our advantage. The nice flight attendant was so attentive, especially after I said, "what a pleasant surprise! It happens to be my birthday tomorrow!".

Ok, I know some people get upgraded at the drop of a hat. Has that ever happened to my husband and me? NO. So to have it happen to us at the start of our vacation really made us giddy. Who knew they were so pampered in first class? We were both napping when they served breakfast. Did they rudely wake us up? No. When I finally woke up, the same flight attendant cheerfully greeted me and asked what I wanted for breakfast. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of airline food, but this time, I nearly finished it.


By the time we got to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, the flight attendant even asked me how we'll celebrate my birthday, wished me well and essentially, acted like such a good Boy Scout.

Arriving in Salt Lake City was straightforward. Waiting for the luggage and the car rental took forever. Had lunch at La Frontera (recommended by a local).

We also dropped by Wal-Mart to buy water, coolant, fruits and a cooler. Then we headed to Arches National Park, about a 4-hour drive from SLC. We wanted to sign up for the Fiery Furnace ranger-led hike, but weren't sure if we'd make it. Guess what?

We got there at 6pm. The Visitors Center closes at 6:30pm. What joy! What luck! We managed to sign up for next day's 4pm hike - the day of my birthday! After the Visitors Center, we had enough time to check out most of the sights, although we didn't go on the trails yet. That's another story.

Here are some pictures.

View from the Visitors Center

Park Avenue

Delicate Arch

Skyline Arch