Sunday, August 2, 2009

Who knew?

Saturday Joel planned a little family outing. We went on a tour to weird/random places that are in Salt Lake that you'd never think would be there. It was a lot of fun! Here's what we did (I've linked to websites that give more info about each place).

Summum Temple
First we drove by the Summum Temple. Who knew this was in the middle of Salt Lake?! It's this pyramid thing sitting off the freeway (type in Summum Temple, Salt Lake, UT in GoogleMaps to get a street view and see what's around it). It's not very tall, which must be why I've never noticed it before. Apparently you can get a tour, but you have to schedule to do a ceremony with them first and drink some honey wine. You can read more about the religion by clicking on the link above. I guess they do a lot with mummification.

Next we drove by "Hobbitville." I hadn't heard of it until about a year ago, but there's some Utah folklore about there being a town full of little houses for little people in the middle of Salt Lake and if you ever tried to drive into it the people there would throw rocks at you and slash your tires. Turns out it's actually some sort of bird sanctuary (or at least it used to be) and the little houses were for the birds (I think bigger birds like ostrich and/or emu). There's also a rumor that the people who own it are very private people who don't like the idea of "big brother" watching them. There are a bunch of signs around the place about no trespassing. Don't worry, we didn't. We just drove by and even though we couldn't see anything really it was fun to see where it was located (which actually happens to be right across from Westminster College in an area I've been a couple times... who knew?). We got video while driving by, but you can't really see anything. I did find this link with pictures from inside. I don't see the little houses, but I guess they're there if you really get a good look inside (though I'd never venture in... check out all the signs and surveillance). You can also see a little bit from google maps. It's near 13th East and Allen Street in S.L.

East High (not part of tour)
This wasn't actually part of our tour, but I took a picture of East High (from High School Musical) as we drove past because 1-I figure it's kind of a fun landmark in Salt Lake now, 2- my neices in Chile are obsessed and 3- it's located between Hobbit Town and Gilgal Gardens.

Gilgal Gardens
Next we went to Gilgal Gardens. Really cool! It's behind the Chuck-A-Rama near Trolley Square and is surrounded by houses and businesses, so you'd never know it was there. It's a little garden that was once the backyard of a man named Thomas Child. He was a Mormon bishop and a business man who loved masonry. He designed a bunch of sculptures that had to do with Mormonism. It's a small garden (it was his backyard afterall), but it's well worth your time to check it out. It's just very interesting the different things he did and what they mean. It's very peaceful too, especially considering its location. I loved listening to the birds chirp.

The Sphinx with Joseph Smith's face on it is the most famous sculpture in the garden.

This is Thomas Child. I really liked this sculpture.

There were over 70 scriptures carved into rock around the garden.

If you go be sure to grab a brochure as you walk in so you can read all about each part of the garden. It really was a cool place and who knew it even existed?!

Salt Lake Cemetery (aka: Cemetery of the Prophets)
Our last stop wasn't necessarily a "who knew" place, but it was still really cool and we've been wanting to go there for awhile now. It was the Salt Lake cemetery where most of the prophets are buried. We used this map to find each gravesite (thanks to the owner of this blog for creating and sharing it). What a peaceful place! And beautiful! It was really neat to see where the prophets were buried and to see all of the different headstones there. I've never seen such a variety before. It was really neat. Randomly, Joel found the headstone of Thomas Child (the man who built Gilgal Gardens). How he happened to spot that one out of the thousands there I don't know, but I thought that was cool.

If you ever have a chance to go, do so. I would like to go without children someday (Kaylee was a little restless by this point) and just walk around. It was so peaceful.

Thanks, Joel for planning such a fun and intersting outing! I really had a great time!

P.S. There's another must see "who knew" place in Utah (though not in S.L.). It's a Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork (click the link to see the picture). It's a fun place to visit, especially for one of their festivals (my sister, Paige, loves the Festival of Colors). It sort of reminds me of Aladdin's palace and it's right in the middle of Spanish Fork. I didn't know about it till I was in college and was taken there for the Llama Festival on a date. Here's there official site.


Mike & Aubrey Janowicz said...

sounds like fun! I hadn't heard of most of those places!

Brown Family said...

How cool to see so many "who knew" places! it makes me wonder what we have around here that I don't know about!

Kurtis and Iva said...

Thats awesome that you were able to visit so many random places. What a fun idea!

Sara Ann said...

Awesome! I love going on random field trips in my own town!