Saturday was the final day of Rootstech for this year. The first keynote was given by Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah. He recounted some amusing stories from his time as Governor. He told how the governor’s house had burnt down one Christmas. The Christmas tree had been put up in the lobby but the lighting was faulty and caught on fire. The house was ruined. His family’s visit to homeless shelters that Christmas were poignant as they themselves were homeless but had been helped by so many people unlike those in the homeless shelters. He showed a clip of when they found out that Utah had won the right to host the winter Olympics, everyone was jumping up and down, over seats and literally leaping around with enjoyment.
It’s a long way to Los Angeles although my United flight managed to get us there early. This was after the longest time through Melbourne security ever! People were queued out the door. Then it took forever to get through security. Passport control wasn’t too bad as I was able to go through the new (for me) automated passport aisles. Very seamless. But that had taken all the time and there was no one left in the boarding lounge, it was straight on to the plane for me and everyone else.
It was the most modern plane I’ve flown in with nearly all the controls on the tv screen in the seat backs. There was power, yay I could use my laptop and recharge it, although I think that combined with a movie and two tv shows meant I didn’t sleep. There were no window shades you had a button to make it tinted – very cool. We did have to buy our in between meal which I’m not used to.
Customs in LA took a while as it normally does but everyone was pleasant. They had automated passport screening for some of us which was good but not really any quicker as they don’t have enough kiosks. It was fine though. I ran in to Jan from New Zealand standing about 10 people in front of me in the line so we had a bit of a chat. There were queues then to drop off your bags for connecting flights then I walked to terminal 7 which took about 10 minutes. I enjoyed it after the flight. Security didn’t take too long but then my flight was delayed. I received numerous texts advising me of it which was good, I guess. The weather was gorgeous in LA, clear sunny skies, very crisp! Looking back out of the plane window as we ascended it was golden, it was magical.
We left LA just after 11 and after a bumpy approach landed in Salt Lake City. It looks so beautiful with the snow everywhere. I decided to take their rail transit in as there was a station opposite my hotel, the Radisson Downtown. After I bought my ticket, only $ 2.50 I had second thoughts, or some esp, and thought I should have gone and phoned the shuttle. I should have. I think the shuttle is so much easier with luggage or when you are on your own. The station to get off at was incorrect on the hotel’s website so I got off, realized it wasn’t right but had to wait for the next train and it was freezing! I finally reached the right spot, I could see the hotel, but then it was a half a block walk with two wheeling bags (one with my laptop, camera etc) which wasn’t much fun on uneven pavements and snow and the blocks here are huge, not the ones we’re used to. I made it in one piece and have a room on the 15th floor with an amazing view.
I went for a little walk as by that time there wasn’t any point going to the family history library plus I was pretty tired. It’s open until 9pm tomorrow so I can have a good go at it with a break for the Commonwealth participants dinner. Looking forward to some research tomorrow and meeting some people. The photos aren’t great quality as they were taken from my window, love those clouds on the mountain though.