Monday, December 21, 2009

A Grand Time and a New Tradition

Thanks for all of the hugs on Friday.  I felt better putting it all out there and I knew you all would have kind words for me.  Even though I got more upsetting news on Saturday, I decided that it doesn't matter and I'm just going to focus on my family and not let toxic people ruin our holiday.

I found the cure for the Christmas Holiday blahs. Christmas Spirit is residing in Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel!

One of the benefits of following people and businesses from your state on Twitter is that you learn all of the fun goings on.  I knew that Grand America had a lovely brunch on Sunday's but once I found out that they were having their 1st Annual Grand Gingerbread Village AND a Teddy Bear Suite with story time.  I knew we had to do this and that we would be making it a yearly tradition.

this little girl got lots of attention....

Let me tell you a little bit about the much delicious food.  Lunch time items like cornish game hen and blackened fish in a sauce, quiche, mussels, shrimp and crab legs. An assortment of breads with the best croissant I've ever had.  A juice/smoothie bar, sushi station, a crepe station, an omelet station and (wait for it) a CHEESE STATION.  As if that wasn't enough....they have a short (as in low to the ground)  buffet station for the children filled with all of their favorites....mac and cheese, corn dogs, chicken strips and potatoes.

I wanted to give the DESSERT station it's own paragraph because it was the best selection of desserts ever.  I can never pass up Bread Pudding and it didn't disappoint. Calvin was kind enough to share his Hazelnut Parfait with me and it was the perfect creamy dessert.  As you can see from the picture...Mallory loved the Cherries Jubilee served in a pure chocolate cup.

The staff was so attentive, from the moment we pulled up in front of the building to leave our car with the valet...someone was always helpful and friendly.  The doorman even took us inside to help us find out what time the Teddy Bear Suite opened.  One of the gentlemen running the show kept coming over to ask the kids how they were doing and Alex shared a piece of his pancake with him.  I almost forgot to mention a band playing Christmas music that came over and asked if our kids had any requests.

that wheel really turned...and look at the stained glass windows.

We were so excited to walk around and experience this beautiful hotel.  It has an amazing classy elegance with cute little shops and amazing decor. Mallory was enthralled by the Santa-lires (chandeliers)  There were, I think 12 houses...each made by a pastry chef in the area (the kids ran through so fast that I couldn't take much time to really verify that) and they were amazing.

This one was my favorite.....

Next stop!  The 23rd floor to see the Teddy Bear Suite.  All of the bears (over 300 of them) were donated by local companies in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The bears were everywhere...even in the bathrooms!


We are all ready for Christmas...packages wrapped, some cookies (by Bobbi) baked and now we will just relax, watch Christmas Movies with homemade Marshmallows and enjoy this precious time with the kids. The Young and The Relentless will be on a blog break for the next few days. I won't be blogging...just visiting. Also, working on a monthly theme for the new year. I'll announce it on Friday.

*In other news* I have my first appointment to get started on the hCG diet protocol on Wednesday. If you want to see me shrink in the next two months...then run over to my fitness blog and follow me.


  1. What an amazing place!

    I hope you all have a wonderful few days leading up to Christmas and the most fabulous Christmas day!

    Love to you all!

  2. I thought about doing this this year... how fun!!! It sounds like you had a fabulous time with your family and I LOVE it!!! Enjoy your break and holiday... :)xo- "Food Finery"

  3. I love Grand America. I used to work right across the street and my boss would take me there for special occasions. It's such an elegant place. The Teddy Bear Suite sounds fun too.

    I just love your new header - what a great picture of you and the kids.

  4. Fabulous! I need to be better about checking out the fun things to do in our area {though I'm convinced there aren't many ;)} Maybe I'll just move to Utah. Hubs said it's beautiful. Glad you're feeling better. Enjoy these last few days before Christmas!!!

  5. LOVE your new header-pic! And what a beautiful sofa, btw!

    Sounds like a great visit. The gingerbread houses are amazing. It's a good thing I don't have access to an omelet and cheese and dessert bar. Oh my, the damage I'd do.

  6. What a great day! I love the picture of you with the kiddos at the top of your blog. :)

  7. Sounds like a magical day! Yay, JDRF! For the record, I prefer JDRF to ADA if a person is inclined to contribute to a diabetes charity. :-)

  8. Sounds magical....your blog is great. It has been such a blessing to meet you in blogland...You have enriched my life. Blessings to you and yours....Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with many blessings.
    Grammy Girlfriend

  9. Wow, look at all that. What a great time you had.

  10. Wow - the brunch sounded wonderful. And those gingerbread houses are absolutely amazing!!!

  11. That sounds GREAT! How do you keep up with all these dang blogs! This one, cooking, fitness?! :)

  12. That looks like a blast. Great idea to follow local businesses.

  13. What a wonderful place to spend the day!

  14. That sounds wonderful!! Wish they had something like that here in TX!!

    Looks like you got your Mac fixed too???


  15. What a great tradition to start with the family, I wish they had something like that here too.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy!

  16. That is amazing Connie! I have never been there, but I am going now! I love that picture of you and the kids. Adorable! I am glad you had a good ending to a bad week.


  17. What a beautiful place and a wonderful new tradition!!! Gosh I lived closer, I would love to go and see those houses. We are off to the Liquor Store today to see their amazing holiday train display (the kids stand on beer cases to see it, sounds so classy I know)....the second year for us so I guess that makes a tradition :) It will be Little Connie's first time though.

    I am sorry to read you had a rough Friday :( Big Hugs from us over at Raising Z and we hope you have a wonderful holiday!!! Enjoy every minute. Merry Christmas :)

    PS. I love the new blog header, what a great photo!!

  18. Its fun activities like this that make me wish I lived in a larger more metro area!

    That pic of M, eating that dessert is just priceless! And, the gingerbread houses, I bet were just amazing!

    Overall, looks like a fantastic way to spend a day with the family!!!

  19. I'm glad you're having a better week. I heard about that Susan Powell woman, it's heartbreaking when the husband is involved.

    wishing you a wonderful day

  20. I'm glad you're having a better week. I heard about that Susan Powell woman, it's heartbreaking when the husband is involved.

    wishing you a wonderful day

  21. That looks like so much fun! And the idea of the teddy bear suite...what fun!

  22. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  23. I love that picture of Calvin & the kids. How sweet of your son to share his pancake! What a wonderful boy, he has certainly gotten the spirit of the season, so even if you are feeling down in the dumps, you have not let it affect your kids and you are a wonderful mom!
    Thanks for sharing with us what looks like a very special family day and what seems to be the beginning of a fabulous new tradition.
    Merry Christmas and a new year filled with health, happiness and lots of love!!


I love you. You are my best friend! Your hair looks fantastic today!