Park City and Utah Olympic Park

9 February 2016

RootsTech 2016. It’s over. How did that happen? Well, on Saturday night, I could easily have told you how that occurred. Being an Ambassador is a great honour but a great way of exhausting yourself over the course of three days! Having decided not to opt for the ‘get out of Salt Lake City quick’ flight, me and CiCoNO had a day to spare at the end of our trip. What to do? Well, the answer came much earlier in the week when good friends of mine, Andrea Harding and Mr Andrea (Matthew) Harding suggested that they might hire a car and head out of the City, and invited us to go with them. “Oh yes please!” was our collective reply!

Something resembling a plan was hatched on Saturday evening (before our visit to Harmons Grocery Store for our food purchases) over hot chocolates for three – it transpires Mr Andrea doesn’t partake in such things.

Thank goodness, the alarm did not go off until 8am. EIGHT IN THE MORNING…. You have no idea what a luxury this is when I have been up at 6am for three days in a row! Our chariot awaited at 10am and off we trekked out of the City in a rather large automobile. The weather was just amazing and the sights en route were clear as crystal (unlike the polluted City I wrote about previously).

Our first visit was to Park City – a ski resort near to Salt Lake City. Having found a suitable place to leave our hefty automobile, we found Main Street and did the usual tourist things; took lots of photographs, visited all the nick-nack shops and generally marvelled at the surroundings. We even managed (within minutes) to notice the Family Tree Center. Comment from me: “There is no way that will be open on a Sunday!” How wrong was I? It was open and we were welcomed with open arms, especially as we were ‘foreign’. Sister Oojimiflop wanted to extol the virtues of FamilySearch and all its wonderful functions and I think she was a little disappointed to find that we knew about most of them already.

Onward and upward, and then downward to take in all the shopping possibilities. A few purchases made by all (none will be mentioned to avoid spoiling the surprises) and then a ‘light lunch’ – haha! I certainly don’t think that one of those exists in the USA.

Where to next? Well, it would be crazy to have come all this way and not to visit the Utah Olympic Park. What a spectacle! The ski jumps are even bigger in reality than they appear on the television and, although I have been down the Calgary Olympic bobsleigh run in a bobsleigh, the idea of going down the run on a luge or skeleton just seems a little bit bonkers!

The photograph opportunities are endless and although a few moments are captured here, there are several dozen other snaps for the ‘album’. This trip really has been quite momentous. Would I come back to RootsTech again? Definitely, yes…. But I would do it very differently to the way I did it this year. Lessons learnt; fly to Vegas and then fly back to SLC (or indeed, take the direct flight to SLC which we were reliably informed by our taxi driver in SLC who was from Sheffield, will be in place in May!), take a mask to avoid the effects of the pollution, try to avoid falling over on the ice and prepare (better) for your research in the Family History Library.

Now, CiCoNO and I are headed back to the homeland. Ten days has quite honestly flown by. Back to the day job …. Like we ever stopped!

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