Y’all. The SNAP! Conference was AH-MAY-ZING and my little Utah vacation was fantastic! I had such a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I learned so much new stuff about blogging that it was like drinking from a fire hose. I’m still trying to process and collect what I learned – including that my mind is WAY more scattered than most bloggers.
This was my first trip to Utah, though, so I really had no idea what to expect. I absolutely fell in love with this state. Honestly, I’d love to go back sometime and take a little Utah vacation with my family. If you’ve never been to Utah, here are some things that I learned while I was there.
Five Things You Should Know Before Your Utah Vacation
1. Utah is ridiculously gorgeous. Seriously. As we were flying into Salt Lake City, I was chatting with some friends on the plane. I turned to look out the window and a sound like, “OH EM GEE LOOK LOOK MOUNTAINS SNOW GAH!” came out of my mouth. It was super spastic and all of the Utah residents around me busted out laughing. I’m a Texas girl, so me getting to see mountains was like a kid in a candy shop.
Driving down the interstate from Salt Lake to Lehi for the conference, I just couldn’t quit saying how much I loved it. I’m pretty sure my friends Beckie, Melissa and Jamie were so glad to get out of the car once we arrived. The conference was at Thanksgiving Point and took place during their annual tulip festival. So, we literally had gorgeous scenery from the top of the sky down to the ground.
As we were driving back to the airport on Sunday, there were scads of paragliders drifting around the mountains as a group of race cyclists passed them on the road below. It was seriously a moment that needs to be in some Utah vacation guide.
2. The altitude is FOR. REAL. As a Texas girl who is used living around 500 feet above sea level, the change to 5,000 feet in Lehi really got to me. The first two days there, I felt like I couldn’t possibly drink enough water. I’m sure the other bloggers who didn’t know me just thought I was weird, but I really wanted to just dive into the giant punchbowl of ice water that was in each conference room.
Once I felt like I wasn’t going to die of dehydration, my feet, hands and face started to swell. By day 3 of the conference, my cute flats and heels I had taken on the trip would no longer fit onto my feet and my wedding band was leaving a red mark around my finger. Thank goodness I had taken my pair of Chucks with me on the trip, because I would have otherwise been barefoot.
It turns out that high altitudes effect people in different ways. I’ve only been to the mountains once in my life many years ago (a youth group ski trip to Colorado when I was in middle school), so I didn’t even think about how the altitude might affect me. I’m a beach vacation girl! I’ll have to remember this when I go back to Utah so I can be more prepared.
3. Utah does Mexican food WAY different than Texas does it. Apparently everyone in the state is obsessed with this chain of restaurants called Cafe Rio. If you aren’t in the western states that have Cafe Rio, think Chipotle with cheese and better sauces. We actually went twice, and I got the same thing both times – a Sweet Pork Barbacoa burrito and a Mexican Coke. It was phenomenal.
We don’t have a Cafe Rio anywhere in Texas (I’d drive several hours for one of these burritos, y’all), so I looked online to see if I could find a copycat recipe. This one from Cooking Classy looks great, so I think I’ll give it a try. I’ll just make my burrito “enchilada style,” per Cafe Rio and add some sauce and cheese on the top.
4. Utahns love them some fry sauce. What is fry sauce you ask? Yeah, I had no idea either. Some of the Utah bloggers kidnapped us at midnight, stuffed about 8 of us into a Nissan Altima, and drove us to a fast food joint called JCWs. There, they bought a few tins of cheese covered french fries (I seriously think all fast food in Utah must be served in round, foil tins) and a metric ton of fry sauce.
Fry sauce is a Utah thing. The “ultimate fry sauce” that we ate seemed like a combination of mayonaise, ketchup and something with a tiny kick (maybe hot sauce or bbq sauce). I tried one or two fries, as much as I could handle at midnight when I was exhausted. It was pretty good, but I’m not sure I could eat it very often. But, if you are on a Utah vacation, you might should try it so that a local doesn’t kidnap you, too!
5. My friends that live inside my computer are “real” friends. Okay, maybe this one isn’t Utah centric. As a member of the blogging community for a little over five years now, I’ve really gotten to know many of the girls who are in my DIY/Home Decor niche. We text, email, chat and talk on the phone. Many of them I have met at various conferences and events over the years or when I visited their hometown and they visited mine. However, there were many I consider dear friends who I had never actually met.
I didn’t take my big camera with me to SNAP and my phone spent about 75% of its time there being nearly out of battery…so, I don’t have a million pictures to share with you. This was the first time I was able to FINALLY meet some of my favorite gals – Brittany, Sandra, Mandi, Brooke, Shelly, Jen, Wendy, and Ana. I also met two new gals that I’m seriously in love with – Heidi and Rayan – and got to hang with tons of old friends (too many to name, but you know who you are).
Okay, I do have a picture. We’re so pretty.
Back row: Mandi, Heather, Me, and Sandra
Front row: Brittany, Stacey, and Brooke
Going to SNAP in Utah was an awesome experience. Even more awesome was that my kids were so excited to see me when I got home. Zack was really excited about the swag I brought back for them, and even wrote me a thank you note before he went to bed. Two year old Emma just kept saying, “You’re my mama!” and touching my face.
I was really happy to see their little faces, too.