Thursday, September 30, 2010

La Caille, Little America and Lion King

After spending a couple months in England we had grown so accustomed to weekend excursions, so when we came home, probably in an attempt to acclimate ourselves to regular life, we've had a couple of fun outings.  First, after the Beat Beethoven 5K, we had an afternoon visit to Park City where we did a little shopping and a little buying and tried some famous shakes from the legendary Granny's Drive-In in Heber.
It was nice, but the big plans happened the next weekend.

Three semi-unrelated short stories:

  • We went to a bridal show at the ultra-deluxe La Caille last summer, and they gave us a gift certificate good for $50 toward dinner on a future visit.  We put it off all winter and spring and said we would use it for an anniversary outing of some sort in the summer or fall.
  • The day we were married we stayed at Salt Lake City's Little America Hotel, and enjoyed the honeymoon package of chocolate-dipped strawberries, bubbly and a souvenir key engraved with our names and our wedding date.  Of course, as we flew to California early the next morning, we didn't have long to enjoy the amenities, atmosphere or area of the hotel, so we thought we should come back at a later date to spend a little more time and explore.
  • When I heard The Lion King was coming to Salt Lake City I decided it was time to finally see it, having read about it and seen pictures from it and listened to the recording a thousand times, so in the spring I bought two tickets for several months later (of course you have to buy tickets six months in advance...  but at least then when the time comes to see it you don't have to put up much cash).  Though Julie suspected that I had bought tickets, I didn't actually break the news until mid-August as an anniversary surprise.  She was really tipped off when I wasn't insisting that we see it in London, where it was heavily advertised.
Of course, we were in England for our actual anniversary, and we did have a really wonderful time in Windermere, but now we had all these other plans, some of which had practically already been paid for!  So we decided to celebrate our first anniversary again, locally this time.  Luckily the tickets I bought happened to be just days after we came back to town, but imagine our surprise when we learned the gift certificate had expired at the end of July!  I called and explained that we were out of the country but were really looking forward to visiting their ever so fine restaurant, and the fellow on the phone told me if we made a reservation for a day within the week he would approve our use of the almost two-months expired coupon (now THAT is customer service, and a good thing too, because we would have just gone elsewhere otherwise).  Everything was falling into place, and we even had a discounted rate for our two nights in Little America.

On Friday then, we packed up a honeymoon basket of treats and bubbly and headed up to La Caille in Sandy.  The help was distractingly scantily-clad, but the atmosphere was luxe and interesting and the food was delicious, though obviously a little overpriced.  (As I said, without such a hefty coupon, we both agreed we probably wouldn't have gone).  We felt like it was a little too fancy a place to take photos, but if you do get a chance to go there for whatever reason, even for an event or a bridal show, it really is a charming location.  We went to the hotel, and this time took advantage of the flat-screen TV, the balcony with north view and the indoor/outdoor pool.
On Saturday, after a little detective work, we bought lunch at our well-loved traveling Chinese restaurant, The Chow Truck, then did some shopping (Gateway, Sam's Club, and the infamous NPS), took an afternoon swim in the ground-level outdoor pool and then had another dinner at Meditrina, a small tapas restaurant on West Temple (again, with a coupon--we know how to eat out).  It was also quite delicious (though again, a little expensive), and good to eat tapas style and finally understand the joke in The IT Crowd about it.

Then it was time for our evening at the theatre!  After all these years, it was nice to finally be in the audience in front of The Lion King, but I'm afraid to say I wasn't blown away like I thought I would be.  (Mini-review:  It's a fantastic movie, and it fits together so nicely, but on stage it seems a little overwhelmed by its creativity and artistry and comes across as a little pretentious, like one Julie Taymor was showing off her puppetry/mixed-media expertise and aesthetic the whole time, while seemingly ignoring the sets and backgrounds.  The music seemed a little more disjointed in style, going from lush Hans Zimmer orchestrations to funky Lebo M African chants to ultra-pop/rock Elton John a little abruptly at times.)  I did like it, and was quite amazed with the opening of "Circle of Life," I just didn't love it like I thought I would.  It wasn't magical in the way some of the other Disney stage ventures have been.  The African vibe just isn't my thing, I guess.  We suspected it might have been a little more impressive in a larger, more permanent venue, like in New York or in London, where they would have the scope to really spread out and get the idea of the expanse of the setting.  Anyway, it was good to be in the theater again, and I am glad to check The Lion King off my list.

One more night in our lovely hotel room, and the next morning we were back home.
 Look!  It's Big Ben!  Sort of.
 So there are a couple of our weekend excursions.  The weekends since and in the future include a lot of wedding receptions, General Conference and who knows, maybe even grabbing a redbox and a carton of ice cream and staying in.


  1. Sounds like you guys are still having the big fun despite having to return home! Alos, Grannys has been closed for some years so count yourselves lucky that it was reopened for you!

  2. You are the cutest. We love you two.

  3. (That last comment was Julie. Though I like our life too.)