On Thursday night, the boys and I hoped on a plane to go check out Peter’s (and possibly Andrew’s) new school, the University of Utah and get the boy’s their new Utah licenses as they transition to being Utahns. As a BYU alumnus, some part of me still hurts that they picked the U, but it turns out this trip would sway my opinion. We arrived in Salt Lake City, and it was HOT. In fact, the whole west is hot these days, and dry, but it seemed brutally hot as we got in our pick-up truck and headed to the Marriott on the University of Utah campus. One nice thing about Salt Lake is that the airport isn’t 700 miles away from the city like it is in Denver, its actually quite accessible. The new airport in Salt Lake is also quite nice. It was fun to see the changes and we had some food before grabbing our car and heading to the hotel.
Getting things done! Today was all about getting Peter and Andrew through the DMV process. I have never been so prepared for anything in my life. Forms were printed out, double checked, triple checked. All the necessary paperwork from the VA, utilities, banks, etc was filled out and neatly bundled. We arrived at the DMV by the fairgrounds and got in line, got our number, and Andrew went first. Flawless. Everything went well and he took his test, passed, and got his photo taken. Peter came next. Paperwork was flawless. Forms filled to the line. Then came the vision test. Peter didn’t have his glasses. He couldn’t pass the vision screen. Not at all. The guy behind the counter was dismayed at how bad he did. Failure! No license for you! What are we supposed to do now at eight o’clock in the morning at the Utah fairgrounds? Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and we went to a glasses shop in downtown Salt Lake. Right as it opened at nine o’clock the incredibly nice lady heard our situation and graciously gave Peter some sample contact lenses that were his prescription. Rushing back to the DMV, getting stuck behind a train, navigating the mystery back streets by the freeway, we were able to get back and Peter was able to pass the eye exam. He then took 6 months on the written portion because he was so scared to fail, but in the end, he passed. Mission accomplished.
From there, we went back to the University of Utah and toured around. Wow! What a cool campus. Lots of great buildings, resources, things to do! All close to downtown Salt Lake and nestled against the mountains. It was cool to see and experience. I had never been on the campus before, and it was a lot cooler than I thought. A lot of money and resources have been poured into that school over the last five years and it really shows.
After that, we had to partake of some of the indulgences of Utah. We went to a soda shop, where we imbibed enough sugar for a year. Sugared up, we headed to the gun range and shot handguns, Ar-15s, and the boys even got to shoot a fully automatic rifle. We then went ax throwing, which was a lot of fun. I was the master of the one-handed throw and Peter the two-handed master. After ax throwing, we had dinner at a cool little restaurant in the city where Andrew remarked that the salad was amazing. First time I have ever heard that!
Worn out from a day of fun and food and touring, we headed back to the hotel. Peter and I went running (well I ran, he hiked) up the Living Room to watch the sun set. The trail is right next to his dorm, and it was a great little hike. The view over the city was amazing and the breeze welcomed. It was a great way to end the day.
On Saturday, we got up and headed for breakfast at a little breakfast shop in town. We then did one more quick tour of the University campus and got some stuff at the store. From there, we went to the zoo and enjoyed the sites of the zoo, the unusual people at the zoo, and even enjoyed a little train ride. Not the biggest zoo in the world, but still pretty cool. The highlight for Peter was getting to pet and feed a Rhino. It was staggering to see him next to such a large animal. After the zoo, we grabbed some lunch and then headed up the canyon for a drive. It was a beautiful drive up the canyon and nice just to be out in the mountains. It’s amazing how close everything is in Utah. In Colorado, it would take 2 hours to get up somewhere in the mountains, but everything is more accessible here. From the canyon, we drove to the airport and headed home. A quick flight to Denver and then a long slog back to Colorado Springs. A great trip. Peter even got new contacts.