Yellowstone Tour (Day 6 of 7) : Is this Gringotts?? (Great Salt Lake, Utah Capitol, Vegas)

I know the title says that this is Day 6 of 7, but this will be my last entry for our Yellowstone tour.  Day 7 consisted of several hours of us on the road back to Los Angeles, so there really isn’t much for me to talk about.  Day 6 was the last day that our tour took us to see different sights.

We spent a good part of this morning exploring the beautiful Salt Lake City.  We actually arrived here the day before, but aside from Temple Square, we didn’t get to see much of the city.  This morning, our first stop was the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere.  If you recall the tale of the miracle of the seagulls (which I mentioned in my previous entry), this was supposedly where the seagulls spit out the crickets when they saved the city.

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It was a little chilly that morning, but nothing compared to the cold we faced in the past few days.  

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Look how red my hair is because of the sun!  Seeing these pictures makes me want to lighten my hair again.  Hmmm… maybe when summer comes around …

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Hi Daddy!  (He stayed up on the viewing deck because the rocks near the lake were a little slippery)

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The lake was lovely but you can really smell the salt water (it was not pleasant)

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Paparazzi shot from my dad XD

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As we walked around, we found a couple of dead birds rotting on the shore.  Some of them have decomposed so much that there was nothing but feathers left.  I’m not sure what killed them, but it was gross.  Don’t worry, I didn’t take any pictures.  It wasn’t a pleasant sight so we decided to go back up the viewing deck where my dad was.

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After this, Tim took us to see the Utah State Capitol:

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It’s a beautiful Corinthian style building and it’s one of the most prominent landmarks in Utah

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It’s located on Capitol Hill and it serves as the house of government for the state

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There are four of these marble lions guarding the east and west entrances to the Capitol.  They are named after what the city considered honorable virtues – Fortitude, Integrity, Honor and Patience.  I’m not sure which virtue we’re posing with here in the photo, but he looks quite majestic, doesn’t he?

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Tim waiting for us on the second floor balcony

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Inside the Capitol, you will find several images of beehives.  Utah is known as the “Beehive State”.   Tim told us that the people in the Capitol work hard and cooperate with each other to make the city operate seamlessly – similar to how bees behave inside their hives.

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Going up to the 2nd floor to meet Tim.  Look at the details on these steps

When we reached the second floor, I was blown away by how magnificent the place was

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Look at that!  I felt like I was in a scene from Harry Potter.  This could easily be Gringotts Wizarding Bank!  The dome structure is beautiful and those paintings on the ceiling and the walls are just divine!

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Check out those pillars!

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View of the dome and chandelier from underneath

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Stairs leading to the Supreme Court

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There were four of these huge bronze statues inside the Capitol.  They all depict an adult mentoring a young child on different topics.  This one is for Arts & Education

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And this one is  Science & Technology.  We weren’t able to take photos of the other two, but they were Immigration &  Settlement and Land & Community

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Daddy posing in front of the House of Representatives

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Random flower on the walls.  I’m assuming that this is the Sego Lily – the state flower of Utah – but I could be wrong.

Tim was walking around and updating everyone on time.  We remembered that it was our last day with him so we asked to take a picture:

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Thank you for making this tour very informative and fun for us Tim!  We really enjoyed ourselves.

After this we headed outside to admire the Capitol grounds

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Beehive statue in front of the Capitol

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After exploring the area and taking a few photos, it was time for us to get back on the bus

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Our next destination was Vegas, which was about 500 miles away.  This meant sitting in the bus for hours once again. Just like the previous days, I passed the time by listening to music while staring out the window

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When my view changed from the one above to the one below, I got pretty excited

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That tall while building is the Stratosphere tower, which is where we stayed during our Grand Canyon Tour (by the same company) back in 2011

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When you start seeing billboards like this, you know you’re in Vegas.

A closer look:

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After a couple more minutes, we made it to our stop for the evening : Circus Circus!

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You might remember that this was where we first met Tim when our tour began 6 days ago 😀

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I mentioned in a previous entry that my uncle used to take us here a lot back when Ezra and I were younger.  We have lots of great memories of this place so I was very excited to hear that this would be our home for the evening.

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After dropping us off, Tim told us that we were free for the night.  He informed us that he would be conducting a city tour of Vegas later that evening (for an additional fee), but we decided to skip it since it was the same tour that we went on in 2011.  Instead, we arranged to meet up with some family members in the area.  My cousin and her family lives in Vegas, so we set a dinner date with them.  My uncle loves Vegas, and he knew that we would be there that evening, so he drove from California to join us.

John and Ate Zsa Zsa made dinner reservations at a Japanese restaurant, called Koji.  When we got there, they were still on the way so we decided to pass the time by playing with some of the machines nearby.

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Here’s a picture of my uncle teaching my dad how to play poker on one of the machines:

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Look at me listening so intently

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I wanted to get in on the action too

Eventually my dad decided to just let me have the machine

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Learning from the master XD  My dad gave me a dollar to play with, and I managed to make a profit of 5 cents by the time Ate Zsa Zsa and her family arrived, lol.

After saying greeting everyone, we made our way to the restaurant:

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It was really nice to see CJ and Mckayla again 😀

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Cutie Mckayla’s all grown up!

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And CJ’s as handsome as ever 😀

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Obligatory group shot (minus my uncle who took the shot)

We spent the evening enjoying a wonderful dinner and catching up with everyone.  It was really nice to see them all again, but soon it was time for the kids to get ready for bed.  The night was still young when we said goodbye to Ate Zsa Zsa and her family, so we decided to go have some fun back in Circus Circus.  My aunt and uncle used to play games for us here when we were younger and win all kinds of plushies for Ezra and me, so we wanted to try to win a few for ourselves that evening

We picked this horse racing game to start with:

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And Ezra won!

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Weeee~

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Congrats Ez!

Of course that just fueled my competitive side so we picked another game to play.  After several attempts, I finally managed to win this little flog plushie:

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We tried our luck at a few more games after this but we didn’t win anything else 😦

Eventually we decided that we’ll just go back to playing with the machines and hope that we’ll have better luck there:

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Ezra and I had fun trying out the games, but it seems as though our luck had completely run out that evening. 😦  My aunt fared better though, she walked away with $40 more than she started out with.

By midnight, we decided to call it a night and head back to our rooms.  We said goodnight to my aunt and uncle, and thanked them for the wonderful time.

On our way back to our room, we spotted this:

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The date that day was May 12, which is my parents’ wedding anniversary (well, I suppose it would be May 13 when this was taken since it was after midnight…)  Ezra and I joked that they should go up there and renew their vows or something, but they settled for taking a picture under the sign instead.

Aside from my celebrating my parent’s anniversary, we were also celebrating Mother’s Day that day 😀  Here’s a photo that I took of Ezra and my mom in our room earlier that afternoon:

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Ezra insists she’s still a baby, lol

Overall, I’d say that this was a wonderful way to wrap up our tour.  Seeing our relatives and having control over our evening was a very nice treat after having to adhere to a strict schedule over the past 6 days.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this tour a lot, but after 6 days on the road, it was nice to know that we were finally going “home” tomorrow.

Again, I won’t be making an entry for Day 7 since we spent most of it on the road back to Los Angeles.  We did stop at an outlet mall for about 3 hours to go shopping though.  I ended up buying new running shoes and a small leather bag.  After that it was a non-stop drive to LA.  Ninang picked us up at the same supermarket where she dropped us off a week earlier, and we grabbed some dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant nearby before we went home to shower and rest.

During our tour, I saved a few of the places we stopped at on the Maps app on my phone.  As you can see, we sort of travelled in a circle over several states.

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I had a terrific time on this trip.  I also had fun writing these blog entries and reliving the wonderful memories we created last May.  I’m kind of embarrassed that it took me this long to blog about it, but last semester was really busy for me.  My schedule’s a little more flexible these days, which is why I’m making the best of it before summer comes again and I’m flooded with more entries to write.  I’ve still got a several of them lined up so it’s time to get busy.  While I did have fun writing this, I’m also relieved that I finally got this 7-day tour out of the way.  Now I can start working on my entries about the 5 glorious days we spend in Hawaii 😀 Keep an eye out for that!

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9 thoughts on “Yellowstone Tour (Day 6 of 7) : Is this Gringotts?? (Great Salt Lake, Utah Capitol, Vegas)

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