Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City

We’re back after our long vacation and I have so many photos and memories from our vacation to share with you that I don’t even know where to start. So, I’m going to take a few days to get them all organized. In the meantime, I thought I’d share photos from today’s in-city vacation.


It’s Pioneer Day here in Utah. Or rather, July 24th was Pioneer Day, but Utahns can’t celebrate anything on Sunday, so the whole state got Monday the 25th off to sit around and appreciate how awesome the pioneers were for thinking they could build a city in the middle of the desert next to the largest salt lake in the nation.


The history of this state is a big deal around here. I took a solid four years of Utah History during my K-12 journey and I learned and re-learned all the names of the settlers and counties and people who used to churn butter. I try every now and then to impart some of this knowledge on my husband, but he’s not that interested.

He was, however, interested in the local pioneer park and we’ve meant to stop in and take a look around ever since we moved to Utah. Since we don’t live far and today was the official state celebration of pioneerhood, we seized the chance and headed to This is the Place Park.


The park is named for the phrase that Brigham Young is said to have pronounced upon the arrival of the Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake valley. It’s home to a number of recreated cabins, old-fashioned businesses, and those wooden sidewalks that every western-themed tourist trap has. There’s even rock candy and sarsaparilla in the general store.


I used to come to the park with school groups when I was little, but there wasn’t any real pull to come back for a visit, so I haven’t been in years. It was fun to take Eva there and rediscover the park as though I’d never been there before. We even put her in a little bonnet, so our Utah girl could really get into the spirit. I know she won’t remember the visit, but on some level I feel like it’s important for her to know these things about the place where she was born.


Kyle is from Ohio, I’m from California, and Eva is from Utah. If we move somewhere else and try to put down roots, where will her home be? Which part of the country (or the world) will be the place she comes back to when the rest of the planet gets too crazy. For Kyle, it’s the suburban familiarity of the Akron neighborhoods he grew up in. For me, it’s the vineyards and quiet houses in Napa where my grandparents live. Right now, Eva’s happy place is in her room, where the fish mobile and stuffed giraffes live. But later…


All of the decisions that we make about Eva feel a little weighty sometimes, but when I think about big decisions that could completely alter her life (like picking a city to serve as a background for her childhood), I actually get a bit dizzy. There are so many lovely places that we’ve lived and I feel like each would have so much to offer her. Perhaps we’ll just roam the country like gypsies one day.

Until then, we’re going to give our little pioneer the full Utah treatment, even if she’s too young to remember it.

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  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    I think it's really cool that there's so much history where you live. I know that there's "history" everywhere, but it looks like it's more fun in Utah from your pictures. I like Eva's bonnet. What a perfect accessory for the day. 🙂

    July 27, 2011 at 1:27 am
  • Reply Sara

    I've lived in eight different places and I'm barely twenty. I think that moving around a lot has taught me a lot, because you get to know more about the world, than staying in one place. It also has been hard because moving and leaving behind friends isn't something that you want to do every couple of years.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:32 am
  • Reply Andalasia

    Please tell me where you got Eva's bonnet – it is so cute & she looks adorable in it!
    I'm interested in where my 9 month old daughter will think of as home as I am from England, my husband is from France, but we live in Montreal. I love the fact that she is growing up with three different cultures & two different languages.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply Carly

    I actually have a bag full of bonnets that my mother made for me when I was a baby and this is one of those. There was a little red dress that went with it, but we couldn't find it.

    I haven't been putting her in bonnets because I thought they were sort of old-fashioned, but I have to admit that I think she's pretty cute!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm
  • Reply Andalasia

    Aw, how lovely to have things made by your Mom. I love the bonnet look!

    July 31, 2011 at 10:30 pm
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