Memorable Moments in Salt Lake City

To finish off my whole RootsTech / Salt Lake City trip I wanted to share a few of my memorable moments with you. Now there was so many, so I’ve had to think this through and not write a whole books-worth, and hopefully this is a ”copeable” list.

Now these are in no particular order, and they are all equally memorable for their own reasons, so sit back and I hope you enjoy my memorable moments.

First up RootsTech! Now how could I not include is this on my list? I mean it was RootsTech that got me to travel on a plane for over 24 hours to get there. And was it worth it? Hell Yeah. I expected an awesome experience, and trust me it was even better! And I’ll be back.

Welcome to RootsTech

you couldn’t miss the big WELCOME TO ROOTSTECH sign


Secondly I got to see snow while I was in Salt Lake City – isn’t that exciting! Trust me, for someone that has only ever seen snow twice in their life, and has never ever seen snow falling before – it REALLY REALLY was exciting. So to add to the excitement of first morning of RootsTech, it snowed! How cool it that!!

snow in Salt Lake City

Day 1 of RootsTech and I got to see my first ever snowfall

snow in Salt Lake City

me rugged up before heading in to the Salt Palace conference centre for Day 3 of RootsTech

my footprints in the snow

I didn’t make a snowman, but I did get a pic of my footprints in the snow

standing in the snow

boots were to go, when walking in the snow

I had to include this one. I was lucky enough to be invited to Thomas MacEntee’s party, and got to meet a heap of amazing people, including Dick Eastman (author of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter), and the lovely Bobbi King (his amazing book reviewer). Now we all knew that Dick had a presence about him, and this photo just proves that!

Bobbi King, Dick Eastman & Helen Smith

Bobbi King, Dick Eastman & Helen Smith

Another person I had the pleasure of meeting was Schelly Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe blog. Now while I’ve never had any experience in researching Jewish genealogy, I had certainly heard of Schelly. When she asked me my name, and I told her “Alona” she said it was such a good Hebrew name, and that is meant “oak tree”, meaning that it has good roots. Now I have only ever seen my name in a baby name book once. So to have someone tell me what it meant just like that was not only very cool, but it blew me away, and was definitely a memorable moment.

Chris Mueller & Schelly Dardashti

Chris Mueller & Schelly Dardashti

Now I will admit I didn’t have in mind to do any research while in Salt Lake City (I know, sacrilege isn’t it) … but it’s simply that I’m not currently really doing any research of my own. Anyway after a wander through the 5 levels of the building one afternoon getting a feel for what was where, on the day we flew out, I had a few spare hours – so decided to give it a go. So now I can honestly say that I did do some research at the Family History Library. And while I didn’t find anything conclusive, I did get some leads.

Family History Library in Salt Lake City

the entrance to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City

me scrolling through microfilms at the Family History Library

me scrolling through microfilms at the Family History Library

the listing of what's where at the Family History Library made it very useful to know what floor to go to

the listing of what’s where at the Family History Library made it very useful to know what floor to go to

this is just one of the MANY, MANY isles of microfilms at the Family History Library

this is just one of the MANY, MANY isles of microfilms at the Family History Library

Another memorable moment of the whole trip was being interviewed by the wonderful Jill Ball, who not only was one of the RootsTech Official Bloggers, but seemed to become the RootsTech interviewer too. And what a wonderful job she did interviewing everyone too. For some reason Jill asked if I wished to be interviewed (I’m sitll not sure why), but she did and I agreed to it. You can see all of Jill’s video¬† interviews here, which include the two she did with me. This videos are conducted right in the middle of the exhibition hall, but they are in a glass booth, so much of the regular sound is omitted.

Jill Ball about to interview Alan Phillips (when he gets there) & Alona Tester at RootsTech

Ok, maybe not a memorable moment as such, but this is good for those who visit Salt Lake City to know. The Trax is their train (or tram) system, and it works incredibly well. If you catch it within a certain radius of the city centre, the travel is free – lucky for me our hotel was within that range. So it was a case of walking out of the hotel, over the road, then wait for the train. Then three stops later get off in the city centre. The journey took about 5 minutes, and we never had to wait long for a train. It was an impressive system, and made getting around the city very easy.

the Trax train in Salt Lake CIty

the Trax train in Salt Lake CIty

OK, so this was memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. The weather was cold ranging from about -6C to 10C for the week I was there, but I was prepared for it having taken my winter woollies. Now what I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that all of their buildings (hotels, shops, conference centre) seem to be heated to about 22C. So when you dress in 5 layers and walk inside suddenly you need to take off the gloves and the big jacket as you roast while you’re inside. Note, you will need to put them back on afterwards though as the air had that icy feel to i


You can read my earlier RootsTech posts here:
A Day in Salt Lake City
Next Stop Hollywood??
Genealogy Royalty and the Autograph Book
Conference Bling from RootsTech 2013

One Response to “Memorable Moments in Salt Lake City”

  1. So pleased you enjoyed the experience Alona. You certainly appeared to be making the most if yiur time in Salt Lake City.

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