One of my goals for this year was to see Janice. The best way to do that was to fly to Utah, where she lives, and spend a long weekend with her. The first time I went there (June 2012) was magical. She made me a rainbow cake, we stepped foot in four different states, saw the Grand Tetons, stayed at a cowboy ranch overnight, and I even wrote the word “magic” in stones in the salt flats. That trip was all about introducing me to her new area and taking adventures.

This trip, though, was about reconnecting and just having fun. We decided not to take any trips, to stay in the area, and let the wind guide us. We had a really great time. Have you ever been to Utah? The mountains are really incredible. Seeing the sunset in the valley is very beautiful. I didn’t remember to take many pictures of the scenery, but it’s gorgeous.

I arrived late on Thursday. We immediately drove to Taco Bell, so Janice could finally try the Doritos Locos Taco. Gale, the employee, served the first order he made all by himself, and Janice high-fived him. Then we went to The Chocolate. I had the most delicious sweet potato dessert, topped with vanilla bean ice cream, and she got her favorite slice of cake. The place was super cute. There were three different rooms, and the seating was all unique lounge chairs and sofas, making you feel like you were in a house.

In the morning, Janice had to take a test for nursing school (which she did really well on!), and then we went to 9th and 9th. One of Janice’s friends had told her about a great gift shop, Cahoots, located in that area. So we went there, and we weren’t disappointed! I got some things for friends and had a good time looking at all the clever trinkets, greeting cards, books, and toys.

We weren’t sure where to go next, but we figured it out when we drove by a raw chocolate cafe, The Chocolate Conspiracy. The employees were very friendly and informative, and I sat on a darling yellow couch while I ate my raspberry chocolate bark. After that, we went across the street to Chanon Thai, where we continued to stuff our faces.

You can see a lot of cool graffiti while you’re driving on highways near the city. I wasn’t able to get my camera out quick enough to document the humongous graffiti rock, but I did capture this building!

Later that night, we went to a bar that we could walk to from Janice’s house, called The Break. There was a hip hop show that night, and they had really good sweet potato fries.

The next day, we drove north to visit her parents, Candace and Joe. They are wonderfully wacky people and I’ve adopted Candace as my new mom. After playing with Hershey, the fun and sweet poodle, we got lunch at Costa Vida. Then we stopped at the Halloween store and had a blast. I got so much stuff and we tried on everything.

We stopped for custard and water ice at Zeppe’s on the way home, and I held my new rainbow wand out of the window.

Candace and I worked on sewing our knitted projects together for a collaborative yarnbomb (more later!), and we relaxed until it was time for dinner at Goodwood, a steakhouse. Now, you may have noticed at this point, that the majority of what we did involved eating. I barely ate anything at dinner because I think my body was confused as to why I had been stuffing myself full on repeat since I flew in.

Janice and I drove separately to 25th Street, a very lovely strip in North Ogden. This was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. It was night, and we just wanted to find a bar. It’s very difficult to find a place you can just drink at in Utah, because they have laws where you have to order food if you want to drink at restaurants. (Weird, right?!) I’m actually really glad we had to search, though, because it was such a beautiful street.

We walked beneath twinkle lights, and I spotted some guerrilla art, where someone had written “the more you know” facts on pieces of paper and stuck them every few feet. I learned a lot of new trivia! There were sidewalk chalk drawings on the ground, Halloween decorations everywhere, and most importantly … the piano.

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited. I was thrilled to see this painted piano, just sitting on the corner of the street. The combination of the interactive street art, stained keys, and fact that pianos are my favorite instrument sent me over the edge. I was squealing. I played piano for seven years when I was younger, and at this point all I remember is the right hand part of the beginning to “Fur Elise”. Regardless, I was in love.

We finally found a bar that we could go into, called The Historic. There was a no-nonsense lady named Tracy running the cash-only bar with dollar bills taped up to the ceiling, walls, and fans. She told us that she had markers and we could write what we wanted on our dollar bills and tape them up wherever we’d like. “It’s kind of like a ‘leave your mark’ thing”, she said. So we did. Here were my two:

The next day, we woke up and had a delicious homemade breakfast of waffles and sausage, watched weird food shows, and installed the yarnbomb. Then it was time for me to pack up my stuff and head to the airport. I’m very glad I got to see Janice, Candace, Joe, and Hershey. I had a wonderful time.