We were supposed to be going home on Saturday but due to the volcanic ash cloud we instead spent another weekend in Utah. With wonderful weather and a lovely place to stay, it could have been worse. The children even had some friends to play with - Shelby, Sophie and Maggie are neighbours of Gale and George, and they were soon firm friends. They also loved Gale's little dog, Dita, and the in-ground trampoline.
On saturday we returned to the Gateway shopping centre in Salt Lake where Gwen, Ceri and Roderic looked round the planetarium, and Hari and I took the Trax to downtown in search of more shops. We didn't find any apart from the new flagship Deseret Book store - the entire downtown area is being renovated and was just a huge construction site.
We went to church with George and Gale in the morning, to a huge ward where getting up out of your pew after Sunday School meant losing your seat for Sacrament meeting. The teachers and speakers were excellent, and since it ended at 12 we got home in time to have lunch at a normal time. I made cottage pie, followed by apple crumble and custard which I created from scratch. It came out well, but not a patch on Ambrosia. In the afternoon I walked Ceri to the nearest park where there was also a covered picnic area which was being set up for a birthday party. We left before the party started.
On Monday morning Roderic and I went to the Salt Lake Temple. It was huge, and very confusing, but it was overall a wonderful experience. Especially as we went to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard afterwards, and back to the Deseret Book store where we found my book on the shelf - the first time I'd seen it actually up for sale.
In the afternoon we packed and headed back to Chad and Wendy Smith's home in Draper, to give Gale and George some peace and quiet and allow Gale to prepare for a presentation she was giving in Texas. Chad is a former missionary companion of Roderic's, and his home (which I may have mentioned before) is to die for, with a view of the entire Salt Lake Basin from the back, and the Draper Temple from the front. Their basement (which became our temporary home) has about the same square footage as our entire house, and includes an open-plan lounge/diner and kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and that amazing view. I joked that if we were stuck for any length of time I would apply for a job as Wendy's nanny in return for being allowed to live in the basement.
Being stuck out here has left Roderic a little behind with work, so he is trying to fit in five or six hours a day. This left little time for doing anything much on Monday except going to Wal-mart to buy a new suitcase - two of our cases have done more service than expected and are showing the signs of exhaustion. In the evening, however, we did go for a curry with Chad and Wendy to see how American curry measures up to English curry. It was very good, but it was also very different. The clue perhaps came when we were ordering and I asked for a Chicken Korma for the children. I was asked whether I wanted it "mild, medium or hot". In Britain, a Korma is, by definition, a mild curry.