Jun 19, 2013

Park City, Utah

It feels like forever ago that we went to Park City. May, perhaps? Yes, May. That's it. Well, I finally got my photos off my camera and started fooling around in Lightroom. I watched this tutorial on how to add a "matte" effect to your photos. This warms them up, makes them a bit flatter and gives a distinct look that I thought would help these photos since most were taken in broad daylight (i.e. crappy conditions). I tried to go subtle on this technique because (1) I'm not good at it and (2) if I want my photos to look like they've been Instagrammed, I'd just use my phone. The result: meh. But I refuse to re-edit.

So about Utah. I planned to go to Blend Retreat and Brandon wanted to come too (not to the retreat, but to Utah) since he's never been to Park City. It was a great way for me to catch up with some friends and enjoy a weekend away with my husband. Best of both worlds.

Salt Lake City, UT-9-2

Is it just me or are the people in Utah extremely nice? We called it Mormon hospitality. Since we were visiting during the "thaw" season, the place was pretty deserted and it was a nice change of pace. Granted, a lot of the shops and restaurants closed early, if open at all, but at least we could drive around the outskirts of town.

Salt Lake City, UT-10-2

Err, sort of. The first day, that's what we did though. Just got in the car and drove around. We found some great hiking trails, campsites, and lookouts in and around Park City and the slopes. Eventually, the temps dropped, so we opted to go to downtown and see what we could see.

Salt Lake City, UT-2-2

Salt Lake City, UT-7-2

The museum of Park City was free that day and we had fun learning about the history of the place. It used to be a "party town" with drinking, gambling, and girls, girls, girls. Now it's far from that with ritzy million dollar ski chalets and upscale shopping.

Salt Lake City, UT-19

We had dinner at Riverhorse, which is one of the more formal restaurants in Utah, except I wore flip flops and no one batted an eye. That's why I love this place. Other reasons: live acoustic music and the food featured below.

Riverhorse, Park City

Top to bottom, left to right: blueberry cobbler, watermelon palate cleanser, veggie potstickers, and fried chicken with gravy and kale biscuits. Yes, tasted as good as it looked.

Salt Lake City, UT-5-2

I told you they were friendly here.

The next day, we ventured out some more, driving along back roads, Zillowing house costs, and napping in the car (just me).

Lunch time rolled around and we turned to Yelp, which lead us to a small drug store in Kamas, Utah. You read that right, a drug store. Actually a really old, hole in the wall drug store. It reminded me of home.

Salt Lake City, UT-12-2

Salt Lake City, UT-14-2

And tasted like home too. Homemade fries like my mom used to make, burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and ketchup and a Diet Coke. Pretty much what I'd choose for the last meal of my life. They offered to serve this with Utah Fry Sauce (combo of mayo + ketchup), but mayo makes me gag and I passed. No offense, Utah.

On Saturday, we ventured into Salt Lake City and visited Antelope Island State Park...which is, you guessed it, right in the middle of Salt Lake. It was raining all morning and being an outdoor activity, no one was on the island. Perfect.

Salt Lake City, UT-18

(The view looking from Antelope Island and towards Salt Lake City.)

Salt Lake City, UT-9

Salt Lake City, UT-8

We stopped by a little ranch on the island where early settlers lived and worked. We toured their house, barns, and rode one of their bulls.

Salt Lake City, UT-6

Salt Lake City, UT-2

Salt Lake City, UT-4

Salt Lake City, UT

(This is my favorite use of the "matte effect". This is also Brandon's favorite use of his "please stop" face. Cowlicks are hot.)

Salt Lake City, UT-16

Salt Lake City, UT-17

I love recapping trips. It's fun to read back over them and remember the little things. For instance, I never want to forget what it's like to check into the wrong resort (Hyatt? Hilton? Why is this so hard?). Actually, scratch that. We checked into the wrong Marriott on our wedding night. No, we were not drunk...except on love and pure exhaustion.

And I will certainly remember this trip as the one when Brandon and I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to open the gas tank on our rental car (future reference, on Chevy Cruzes you have to push it in for it to pop open). The 7-11 guy had a good laugh, as did we.

Thanks for the memories, Utah!


LodgingHyatt Escala Resort
Attractions | Park City Museum | Antelope Island State Park
Food | Riverhorse, Park City | Hi-Mountain Drug Store, Kamas


  1. It makes me sad that I've never been out West. LOVE the pic of you on the bull!

  2. Beautiful pictures my friend! I think they turned out great! :D
    Now, tell me more about this matte effect ;)

  3. This looks like such a fun place to visit!

  4. Oh my gosh, I zillow houses EVERYWHERE I go. It's an addiction, really. I think your pics turned out great. Looks like a fun getaway and you n the bull is just so darn cute! :)

  5. It's a little hard to describe and my photos don't do it justice, but it adds a little grain and makes your photos look like they were printed in a magazine. Check out the link above - it's actually easy to do with curves, but like with most effects only works for the right photo...I loved playing with it though! Also, Ashley from (Never)Home Maker has a similar tutorial using Photoshop...but I can't seem to find it!

  6. Go West, Young Lady! Haven't you been told? California's full of whiskey, (rich men), and gold.

  7. I'm addicted to Zillow and can spend hours just plugging in random cities and seeing what different houses look like. My favorites are Mount Pleasant, Savannah, and Cape Cod. I wish Southern Living's Parade of Homes would come out to the West!


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