When I was a college student, I took a trip during summer vacation to visit my roommate from Flowermound, Texas. As she showed me around her hometown, she repeatedly explained, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.”
Now Utahns might take issue with that statement. When it comes to the size of families and the size of houses, they’ll tell you they have the largest in the nation. Take a drive in the mountain bench neighborhoods on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, and you’ll probably believe the Utahns. Here are some enormous homes under construction in Draper, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. My in-laws’ home, which has around 5,000 square feet, is a quaint cottage compared to these mammoths.
I’m not brave enough to pick a fight with Texans, though, so I’m going to let them keep their saying and invent a new one for Utah–“Everything’s cuter in Utah.” If you love to strap giant flowers onto your baby’s head or wear color-coordinating outfits with your in-laws, Utah is the state for you. Sunday school teachers in my home state sometimes put a vase of flowers on the table, but Sunday school teachers in Utah are often mistaken for scrapbooking demonstrators.
Check out these pictures from the 4th of July pancake breakfast hosted by my in-laws’ congregation in Sandy, Utah. Handmade napkin rings. A choo-choo train for the children. Bubblegum centerpieces. You would be crazy to wear anything that wasn’t red, white or blue!
After our pancake breakfast, we headed to a party in my sister’s neighborhood in the city of Bountiful. We congregated on a patio next to a creek that runs through a ravine between their giant homes. The parents laid out food and set up a slip-and-slide and volleyball court. To my shock and horror, this party didn’t have darling napkin rings, but you’ll still believe that “Everything’s cuter in Utah” when you look at the children and teenagers.
Of course, there are cute young people in every town and every state, but there’s an extreme concentration in Utah. Why? First of all, because their moms strap giant flowers on their heads. Second, because Mormons are especially devoted to childrearing, and we are often successful in teaching our children to dress and behave appropriately. For example, these cute kids’ idea of a party is doing backflips across the lawn while Aunt Lara cheers them on.
And a few more cute Utah relatives.:
That concludes part two of my Photo Tour. Coming up next is Part Three: “In Which I Get Married for Dead People.”