The End Is Never Quite Like The Beginning

Into the city we drove, but not without a search for the one stop on this trip that we'd been planning for more than a month in advance: lunch at the dreamy tex-mex fast food joint, Cafe Rio.  This improved love-child of Baja Fresh and Cold Stone Creamery is filled with containers of bright colored treats behind glass and smiling employees shouting urgent commands at you: "Red or Green?!", "Pinto or Black?!", "Indigestion or heartburn?!"  I think they aim to give you an involuntary twitch by the time you reach the register.  They ask.  so.  fast.

After Cafe Rio, we rolled our bodies back to the Caliber and somehow managed to putter our poor, now-vastly-overweight car back to the hotel.  After shimmying up to the desk and checking in, we holed ourselves in the room for the rest of the day, too bloated to go anywhere and too full to want dinner.  But there would always be tomorrow.

Antelope Island had been on my radar for a long time before this trip, years actually.  You see, my family (due to free, magical pass-riding with my dad's airline employer - which seems farther away with each time I hit "checkout" on Expedia) spent a number of February school-vacations skiing Alta and Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake. And there was always that darn island lurking in the distance.  And it was always February.

So this year, I was determined to make the pilgrimage.  It was outstanding, for two central reasons.  First of all, there are 500-700 american bison roaming around, stopping traffic and generally showing visitors their um, best side.

Which is huge, by the way.

Second, there is a beach, which is composed 70/30 or so of the most beautiful white sand (formed like tiny pearls around the fecal matter of brine shrimp) and heaps of molted shells left by brine flies.  If you have a choice, step on the fly shells - they're a lot softer.  The lake is between 4 and 28% salinity depending on the season and rainfall (for reference, the ocean is 3%), so apart from some algae and birds that feed on the previous two species, it's just me, you, and some veeerrry floaty water.  You can even sunbathe in the lake if you like - it's easy as pie.  Which we did.  And it was excellent, but you'll need a shower afterwards - like right now - or you'll stink like an evaporating city pool.

We hiked in the foothills of the Wasatch range, went to the Hogle Zoo, saw the Lion King 3D (I'll tell you about my Lion King life phase some other time... it is way too extensive to slide in here), and went to a Brazilian churrascaria to cap off our western vacation.  There's nothing like 9 types of meat and those little cheesy donuts to really say, "it's time to go back to oatmeal and vegetables".

And that was it.  Just an airport whirlwind and we were home.  Plus a 5.5-hour car ride, then we were really home - just where we started, only a little less pale.  I assume this is Nature's peace offering for the six months of winter she's about to hurl our way.

Thanks, but the gifts better keep coming.

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