Blake Snow

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Tagged utah

Which is better: Museum of Curiosity or Living Planet Aquarium?

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

Locals and tourists only—Metropolitan Utah welcomed two large museums this year: The re-located and significantly expanded Living Planet Aquarium and the all-new Museum of Natural Curiosity. Although both have their heart in the right place, only one is worth your family’s time and money.

To find out, I tapped the most imaginative minds I could find: my kids. Within a four day period last month, my wife and I took the children to both museums for the first time. Upon visiting, we didn’t coax, herd, or otherwise rush them to any exhibits. Rather, we let them set the pace and decide the order of exhibits. Here’s how it went.  Continue reading…

This is something: My greatest hike yet

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Since moving to the Western United States 11 years ago, I’ve hiked many majestic trails. All are proof the area is still very wild and as breathtaking as ever.

Last week, I hiked the most impressive trail of them all: The Narrows, which I was unable to do the first time I visited Zion. In short, The Narrows is like a taller and deeper Little Wild Horse Canyon — my second favorite hike — with a river running through it. It’s so beautiful, I think it’s all I’ll do next time I visit Zion. I need that canyon in my life.

Readers: What’s the best hike you’ve ever been on?

With exception to rap, new music is abnormally good this year

2013 might be to the ’10s what 1991 was to the ’90s — a monstrous year for name brand music.

Phoenix already released their 4-star keeper. Vampire Weekend releases their third album next week to rave reviews (and another really great song). An all analog Daft Punk album follows a week later, which is also garnering favorable reviews and has a catchy summer single.

Then, Empire of the Sun, makers of one of my favorite albums of 2008, releases their second album in June. The first single is good stuff (and shot, by the way, in Bryce Canyon, Utah). And if the first five months are any indication, even more good vibes could crop up in the second half of the year.

As someone who likes to sing, dance, and play air guitar, I’m excited by the prospects. Calendar years are more memorable with good music.

See, I told you Provo is magic

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Just watching this reminds me of Turk Malloy’s comment, “I think you’d dig Provo. You could do well there.”

It’s been 10 years since I moved to Provo. After seeing it from almost every angle, it still stops me in its tracks. This short video is no different.

I think that’s what happens when you find a place you truly fall in love with, wherever that may be.

Now flying: To and from Provo

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Thanks to Frontier’s new route “with service to Provo,” Lindsey and I haven’t had to use Salt Lake Airport—nor make the 80 minute round trip drive to it—at all this summer. Since June, the savvy airliner has been flying into my backyard. A quick 50-minute connection to Denver, and we’re off.

While I normally prefer flying direct, the connection actually takes less time than driving to and enduring Salt Lake security lines. I can show up to Provo Regional Airport 30 minutes before departure and still make it to my gate with more than 20 minutes to spare. Security takes less than five minutes, if that. Admittedly, with two flights I’m still exposed to more cancelation, but so far, so good. As a bonus, the flight is significantly cheaper.

What’s more, the route is operating at 90% capacity, enough to justify a westbound flight to either Vegas or LA, officials say. Party on, Provo.

No more rooting for Utah, you twisted Mountain West fans

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If there’s one thing I don’t like about BYU fans, it’s that some of them actually cheer for Utah when the latter are playing abroad “because it’s good for the Mountain West Conference.”

Sickos. (Didn’t anyone teach them that the enemy of my enemy is my friend?)

Thankfully, this lame behavior by Cougar fans should finally die as Utah this week became the newest member of the PAC-10 conference. So from now on, I expect Cougar Nation to root for the everlasting demise of the Utes.

In other words: Go, Washington. Go, Washington State. Go, Oregon. Go, Oregon State. Go, Cal. Go, Stanford. Go, USC. Go, UCLA. Go, Arizona. Go, Arizona State. Go, Colorado.

But most of all, go, BYU!

Behold, the best $1.33 you’ll ever spend on a public golf course hole

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I like golf, but I don’t like paying expensive green fees. So unless I get a freebie, it’s all public courses for me. And the “best value” I’ve ever played is Hobble Creek in Springville, Utah, which is $12 for nine holes or $24 for 18 (weekday walking). As you can see, it’s crazy green, physically attractive, and very well maintained. A must play for locals and visitors alike. What’s your favorite public golf course?

7 things I don’t miss about Georgia

Carrollton, GeorgiaHer Southeastern beauty may be unmatched, but Georgia has her share of irritants.

I moved to Utah from Georgia six years ago in pursuit of a degree from BYU (Go Cougars!). I came for the education (okay, not really), but stayed for the girl. It’s a place I call home and a state in which I’m happy to reside.

Earlier this month, Lindsey and I took a trip back to Georgia to see the family — something we hadn’t done in almost three years. Despite the laughs, good company, and unrivaled hospitality, I quickly recognized some things I don’t miss about Georgia. Here are seven of them: Continue reading…

I frackin’ love summer.

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Earlier this morning, I drove to the store to get gas for Lindsey — she was running late and still getting ready for an upcoming appointment with the girls. I walk outside, and I’m greeted with the warm blanket and smell of liberty that is summer weather. I love it.

Last weekend, I helped chaperone a youth camp in Eden, Utah for 10 boys and nine girls (a deflated tubeing ride pictured). Notice the contrast of the bluish lake, the rolling green hills, the snow-caped mountains, and clear sky in the background. Beautiful, not to mention the 85 degree weather the group enjoyed that day.

So if I had to rank my favorite seasons, they would be as follows: 1) Summer, by a long shot; 2) Fall; 3) Spring; and 4) Winter, a very distant fourth (I say “boo” to you, cold weather). What’s your favorite time of the year?

Yamato, my new favorite restaurant

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Locals only: A colleague took me to lunch last month to Yamato in Orem. It was my first time. From the outside, the place looks like a dump — definitly not a somewhere you’d want to eat, unless you like that fake soy-chicken garbage that cheap Chinese restaurants serve.

To my surprise, however, the inside is not only immaculate, but the decor “feels” authentic, and the atmosphere is soothing. More importantly, the Japanese cuisine is some of the finest I’ve ever had at a price that makes me wonder how the shop stays in business — it’s more than reasonable. Ask for the Orem lunch, which comes with soup, salad, 5-6 delicious dumplings, steamed rice, and succulent teriyaki chicken. Sushi is thankfully optional.

So for any Utah natives looking for any new place to eat, look no further. Yamato is Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. That didn’t make any sense… suffice it to say the place is really good. Thanks, Eliot!

Because three cops are better than one


I could be wrong, but I believe Utah is one of the safest states in the nation.

So safe, in fact, that fellow coppers quickly get bored with their uneventful professions and back each other up on routine traffic violations, as depicted above (taken from my living room window).

I see this regularly; 2-3 patrol cars for every one perpetrator. Here’s an idea, Utah — reduce the number of cops and cut taxes! Yeah, I just went there.

Snow Family terrorizes Southern Utah

Lindsey, Sadie, Maddie, and I took a three hour drive to Moab, Utah the day after Thanksgiving to do a little casual site seeing. In between Sadie’s public disturbances, we managed to take some pictures of the beautiful red rock country.

Arches National Park

Here’s Lindsey and Maddie about two thirds into the three mile Delicate Arch hike. Unfortunately for six week old Maddie, this is one of the few pictures of her as she opted for sleep in lieu of curiosity.

Continue reading…