October 9, 2009, Friday. This morning, waking up before the sun – because we’re nestled in the foothills with the mountains looming over us to the east, not because we’re getting up early – we decided that we would rest on our laurels and have a day with no errands. I mean, look at what we’ve accomplished in nine days: sold our house, drove 2,500 miles across the country, found an apartment, practically furnished said apartment, and got me actively on the job hunting trail! We deserve a day o’ fun.
So we went to Antelope Island, a state park about seventeen miles north of SLC. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake (15 miles long and 5 miles across, 44 miles of shoreline and mountains rising more than 2,000 feet above the lake. There’s a small marina, if you’re brave enough to put your boat in the lake which ranges from two to eight times as salty as the ocean, a visitors’ center, campsites, hiking and biking trails, and a historic ranch that’s extremely interesting to explore. There are American bison on the island (put there in the late 1800s), pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep (introduced in the 1990s), bobcats, coyotes, mule deer and a plethora of birds and smaller mammals. We saw plenty of bison up close and personal and one coyote in the distance slinking around the salt flats but none of the other large mammals. I can report that Becky was largely uninterested in the bison. I’m not sure she understood what they were.
After the island … beer! At Squatter’s! And then off to the self-storage place (which is not that far from Squatter’s – and that’s not why we picked that one, by the way) for a table, a bureau, a bookcase and a desk chair. We are very close to being furnished – although the guest bedroom is a disaster, all unpacked boxes and bags – which is great. But I think we’ll spend some time at the self-storage units and try to organize them somewhat. The movers put furniture in one, and boxes in the other, but some of the boxes are caving in, and we’re afraid that some of the furniture may have suffered somewhat during the trek across country and subsequent stacking. We’ll see.
We went grocery shopping on the way home, something I really hate to do with H as he is not organized and keeps crisscrossing the store haphazardly and wandering off by himself so that it takes twice as long to do the shopping because I have to keep finding him. And, gotta tell you, we’re not so impressed with the big grocery store chain in town, Albertson’s. There’s not nearly as good a selection of items as I would have thought (or am used to) and some things seemed expensive for what we got. Maybe I need to find an Albertson’s in a swankier neighborhood than the one we hit tonight, or maybe I need to explore some of the other local chains (Smith’s, Dan’s). I know there are some specialty markets that I want to check out – Italian, Greek, Mexican – but I do not want to have to go to six different grocery stores just to do the week’s shopping. I’ll keep you posted – I know you’re fascinated.
The best part of the grocery shopping (aside from cooking our very first meal with our own dishes in our new apartment) was that H picked up ingredients for huevos rancheros and, since he is the breakfast chef of the household, looks like I’ll only be on dish patrol in the morning!