Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Provo: Food, Football, Fun

Ryan and I visited Provo this weekend and had a wonderful time. The girls stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Carlson and also had a wonderful time. We'll see if we can get some pictures of their weekend on here in a future post. In the meantime, here's some highlights from our Utah getaway.

I'll start this posting with a confession: Before this trip, Ryan and I had never eaten at Cafe Rio. Yes, that's right. Shocking, I know. Honestly, we're not sure if Cafe Rio existed when we were at BYU. Furthermore, when we were in college, we were financially strapped and rarely ate out. If we did eat out, we went to Los Hermanos wearing our "free drink" T-shirts. We loved Los Hermanos and, most of all, our free Brisa de Mora Negras. So it was only under intense peer pressure that we stopped in at Cafe Rio in Provo. We waited in a line that went out the restaurant's door and asked the guy in front of us what we should order. He said he'd been to Cafe Rio "over 100 times" and gave us some good suggestions. In the end, we were very impressed with our dinners (Ryan: steak enchilada, Laura: Pork Barbacoa Salad). The food was super flavorful and SO fresh.

The next night, we went to our old favorite: Los Hermanos. Both of us packed our old Los Hermanos "free drink" T-shirts in our suitcases, but not wanting to look like old school fools, we called Los Hermanos before we donned our shirts. Ryan's phone conversation with the girl at Los Hermanos went like this:

Ryan: Hi, do you still honor the "free drink" Los Hermanos T-shirts?
Girl: Do you mean the "eternal coupon?" [I can't even type it without laughing.]
Ryan: Uh, yes, I guess so.
Girl: Yes we do!

Ryan and I laughed for a good while after that. Only in Provo would it be called "the eternal coupon." So, we went to Los Hermanos and enjoyed our free Brisas and dinner. It was only after finishing and seriously contemplating our dinners that we reluctantly decided that .... we liked Cafe Rio better. I feel bad saying it, like I'm letting down an old, faithful friend. But, we couldn't deny that Cafe Rio was much more flavorful and fresh. Nevertheless, when we want a free drink, we know where we'll be going... eternally.

We did do more than eat, I promise. Below, we're at the BYU football game. It was so beautiful and HOT! We had to go back to our hotel at halftime to change into cooler clothes.

Here's a shout out to my sister Julie, former BYU band member and horn player. Horns Rule!

After the game, we went to Brick Oven. Does Cosmo the Cougar always go to Brick Oven after football games? We seemed to be the only people surprised to see him. In our college days we weren't post game Brick Oven regulars. We probably went home after games and ate Hamburger Helper. We took advantage of our Cosmo celebrity sighting and took this picture.

We spent a lot of our time walking around campus. We visited the new JFSB for the first time. It replaced the SFLC building from our college days. I won't say what everyone REALLY called that building. Those of you who were there already know. It would be hard to call the new JFSB any gross name. It was so beautiful, well planned, and spacious. We also walked through the buildings we once worked in. My JSB was exactly the same as far as I could tell. Ryan's Testing Center was mostly the same with some technological updates. We like the huge flat screen that told which tests were being offered, what late fees were being charged, and what the average testing time was for each test. "Yes, I love technology." We tried three times to visit the new Hinckley Visitor's Center. Unfortunately, we kept getting there after hours. Regardless, we were very impressed with the exterior alone.

We walked through Helaman Halls and my old dorm. We took the following picture standing in front of my dorm window. What a great view I had! The mountains, the Y , the Cannon Center, the grassy meadow (NCMO Meadow? After dark it was anyway.) And now, the Hinckley Building is in view too. I was interested to discover a new Cannon Center being built behind the old one. That probably explains why the old Cannon Center hasn't changed at all since I was a freshman.

We spent a little bit of time in Salt Lake visiting Temple Square. We saw the newly refurbished Tabernacle and listened to the "acoustical demonstration" there. I'd never heard this done before and was most impressed by the pin drop from the podium. We heard it perfectly from our seats in the far back. Back at our car, we discovered someone had left a pass along card under our windshield wiper. This was amusing, but made even better because this well-intentioned person had stamped "I Love You" across the picture of Christ on the card.

Overall, we had a great weekend. We love BYU and love any time we get to spend there.


Tara and Jon said...

That sounds like so much fun! Jon and I had our first date at Cafe Rio and stop by as many times as we can every time we are in Utah. We'll never get sick of it!

Tara and Jon said...

That sounds like so much fun! Jon and I had our first date at Cafe Rio and stop by as many times as we can every time we are in Utah. We'll never get sick of it!

theamazingjohnsons said...

Oh I am homesick now! Well, mostly I am just hungry for all those places that you can only find in Utah. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Betsy said...

Wow, that was a great view from your window! I believe we had a view of the parking lot and other dorm, which I can't remember the name of right now! Pork salad is my favorite, and yes they did have it while we were there! I even found a recipe for the pork and tomatillo dressing that is awesome!

Derek, Mari, and Colin said...

Wow, what a trip down memory lane. I am impressed that you went for no other reason other than to get away. You two are true blue!!

And I had forgotten that Ryan worked in the testing center. I think I saw him there a few times, but I try to block that entire building from my memory . . .

Julie said...

Thank you for the horn section photo -- so thoughtful! Your passalong card story and the eternal coupon story are too funny.

Is that the Hinckley building peeking out in the picture you took from your dorm room window?

Julie said...

BTW, your hair looks fab, especially in the stadium pic!