Saturday, March 20, 2010
From Saturday March 13 to Friday March 19, my fiance and I drove to Salt Lake City, Utah to check out the grad program at the University of Utah. Then we took a small detour driving back to Iowa to visit his brother's newborn. We ate out for every meal, and I thought surly I would gain weight!
So why didn't I?
1. Exercise. Our hotel was in downtown SLC, so we got to walk to several destinations. Also, the hotel had a fitness room, where I made sure to elliptical for at least 30 minutes each night before showering and heading to bed.
2. Small portions at restaurants. I have trouble with leaving food on my plate, so I made sure to get an additional plate, spoon on a small portion and then have the waitstaff box up the rest so I could not go overboard.
3. A trip to the grocery store. I picked up apples and a bag of carrots to munch on in between meals.
4. Subway on the road. My fiance worked at Subway in high school, and really hates it, but he was willing to eat it all through our trip so I could get a healthy meal while we were driving. (We had to drive about 34 hours total!)
5. More exercise. We stopped at Dinosaur National Monument and took an awesome 3 mile hike. We also climbed part of a mountain in Colorado before heading out to drive home.
I know you're itching to hear about this Atheist's experience in SLC... so here it is. The Mormons, or LDS (Latter Day Saints) make up about 50% of the population in SLC. Since the Olympics were held there in 2002, the city has loosened up a bit. For example, beer with an alcoholic content of greater than 3.2% can be sold at restaurants. (We tried a 3.2 beer. It sucked.) The Mormons definitely control the government, and there is not much of a separation between church and state. Their large families also put strain on the education system, since one pair of parents paying taxes does not cover the cost of sending, say 6, children to school.
We visited Temple Square, where the Tabernacle and their giant church is. The two girls who gave us our tour seemed brainwashed. It was really creepy talking to people who sincerely believed that absolutely everything in the book of Mormon is true. The girls didn't have an answer for me when I asked why none of their prophets are women, and why all of them are old white men. I hated the oppression the religion seemed to bring to the city (they finally started letting black people in in the 1980's). One woman we talked to said that there are huge amounts of anti-depressants prescribed in SLC...probably because these poor women pop out a billion kids and resent their husband/religion because of it.
There are neighborhoods that are liberal and less densly populated by LDS members. And you can find Atheists there too! So, if we end up in SLC, it'll be ok... but you better bet I'll join in anti LDS activities.