(Before going deep with this post, you might need to revisit my original blog post about Tacos Don Joaquin, the taco shop in Provo and Springville that I am only more and more convinced serves the best tacos in all of the United States)
When I was in Utah I didn't just go up the canyon for wedding events. I also hung out around Kristen and Cory's house with Scout.
And went for car rides with Kristen
Thursday I went up to Salt Lake to take Grandma to lunch. I had been thinking about Crown Burger, which I haven't even been to much, and when I suggested burgers to her Grandma said "No, we get Mexican." True. No messing with tradition. So we had Cafe Rio and then started looking for some ice cream, a Wendy's was sighted. I could barely keep up with Grandma when we got there.
Did you know Grandma had never even heard of a Frosty before? She liked it.
Back up to Kristen and Cory's, tried out my tried and true Zeiss 35mm f/2 on the new camera for the first time.
I gave Rachel the option of making other faces, this was her choice.
(They grow up so fast)
They were having Parade of Homes in the neighborhood, this Scout was keeping everyone crossing the street safe.
If you were wondering where we were heading together, it was the Springville Don Joaquin's.
There had been a lot of discussion over whether or not everyone would get their own soda bottle and who would or wouldn't finish their drink (or even barely start it). By the end of the day, there would be a nearly full Sprite bottle and a nearly full Fanta bottle in the fridge at home.
Not my photo, or my tacos, I stole this picture from Cory's Instagram because it turned out so crazy beautiful. The top two tacos are the Don Joaquin Secret Taco that might be called a "B.I.P." (still not sure about that). They make a taco, then top it with melty quesadilla cheese, and turn it face down on the flat top. The cheese turns crispy on one side, all melty on the other side. It's awesome.
I had it in my mind that my schedule was such that I could eat at a Don Joaquin every night I was in Utah, so I made the goal. While I had been out of Utah Kristen and Cory had become regulars at the place and Cory had struck up a solid friendship with the owner, Ricardo. He'd told Ricardo all about me and introduced us that night. It was a little bit of an "Oh, ok" "Nice to meet you" meeting. Not the instant full-blown best friendship I would've hoped for.
Friday the kids hosted a one-day summer camp at the house.
It was a good time to escape back up to Salt Lake. I had my Crown Burger. I went to Jessica's new house. She fed her dogs pastrami.
And then, later that night, after Round One of the Gordon/Merkley affair, I met up with old pals at my favorite place in the United States: the Provo Don Joaquin, inside the warehouse that says "Salon Eclipse" on it, down by the train tracks.
Christina and Dave were in the house. As a fellow former missionary to Mexico, I was definitely hoping Dave would give Don Joaquin a thumbs up. (He did. I am beginning to think I'm not wrong about this place being the dopest).
Also there that night? Temporary Utahn Emily. Bet you weren't expecting to see her in this post! It was the best.
Jared and Eve came down (if was after their wedding reception that I first ate at Don Joaquin's) as well as the Beans.
The night's tacos (they put pineapple on my chorizo taco, too). I had eaten too much at the wedding party to go hard on the tacos, but I did all right.
Just the family-friendly scene inside the warehouse that night. Fog from a fog machine inside the night club that shares the warehouse would occasionally escape into the room that night. It was fun.
Erin came down too! I don't know if you follow her on Instagram but her house has the best-looking floors and fixtures.
What's a Doriloco? Something to come back and find out later.
Now these aren't two more tacos I ate Friday night but two tacos I ate Saturday night. I was coming down late from the reception and wondering if Don Joaquin would even be open or if I could even eat another bite after all the reception food but I drove by and the Open sign was still on so I went in. Ricardo recognized me and I recognized him and the kitchen was all cleaned up for the night but he had his cook make me two steak tacos and we hung out and talked for half an hour. I learned about Ricardo and Tacos Don Joaquin until my brain was about to burst. I went home so excited to tell Cory and Kristen about it that I couldn't sleep and woke up real early to tell them as soon as they came downstairs. So one year in to my Don Joaquin obsession and I'm friends with the owner. I'm doing ok. Next stop: Either a taquero internship or becoming an investor.
Sunday evening I dropped Cory off at the airport and then went over to Duke and Teresa's for a second dinner. Grandma was there Skyping with her far-away grandchildren and Rachel was there with her new husband. ("New" because they had been married for just a few weeks. No one has been replaced. Yet.)
After that I went to Liberty Park where Lauren had organized a Sunday evening picnic.
The picnic was full of people I knew, like Sara (NY Lexia's sister) and Dana, with whom I ate an Umami Burger in LA a few years ago.
And over on the blanket? Amber formerly of New York and, Holy Smokes, Natalie from London Study abroad 15 years ago.
Dana, Sara and I ventured over the hill...
To the weekly raging hippie drum circle.
I call this sequence "Hullahooping with Hot Dog"
Sara and me.
Just a couple more dancers.
Back up over the hill again to the calmer side.
Listen, if you ever need an engagement photo taken a week or two before your wedding, just let me know. I'm your guy.
And that was my trip to Utah! As usual, it was great, and driving through the canyons with my windows down smelling all the trees and things didn't make me miss watching rats on the subway tracks at all.
Ok and if you got all the way to the bottom and now you feel like you need to take a look at that original Tacos Don Joaquin post from my old blog you can do that down here without scrolling all the way back up. Nice and Easy!
And also, isn't it weird I didn't take any pictures of Cory or Blake while I was out there? I don't know how that happened. They were there! Cory and I even saw San Andreas together.