this actually exists!

On Cleaning Up My Potty Mouth in Salt Lake City

My sister and her husband moved from Portland, Oregon to Salt Lake City, Utah about six years ago. To be honest, I still haven’t forgiven them.

(Sadly, this was Brock’s only visit to Portland to see his Aunt Mel, before they up and abandoned all hope of living anywhere nearly this cool again.)

Utah seems to be the only state somehow untouched by U.S. law. Like, how is it the only state where there are legal loopholes for polygamous marriages? And how is it legal to have students attending public schools granted released time during school hours to get LDS education on the LDS seminary campuses that seem to be conveniently located on all the public school campuses (when every other state is fighting to the death for separation of church and state)? And how is it illegal to order alcohol without having food already on the table? There’s no, “Can I start you off with a glass of wine?” No beer on tap that’s over 3.2% alcohol content? Obviously I could go on and on.

So I will.

Because, as if these things aren’t bad enough, I came across this list of Dumb Ass Laws in Utah. (Yes, I added the ass for emphasis. And fortunately I’m not in Utah right now, because if I was, I would likely be arrested. According to this list, it is illegal for women to swear! HOW IS THAT LEGISLATABLE?!)


As I said, my sister lives there. And for those of you who don’t know me, I’m kind of close to my sister. (Okay, really close. Like, we’re pretty much the same person, just living in different states–and it will remain that way for as long as she lives in Utah.)

I recently went out to watch my sister’s kids while she and her husband were in Ethiopia. These little faces that the two of them made together are my favorite excuses to visit to this nonsensical place.

After many visits to Salt Lake City without ever actually going to the Great Salt Lake, I finally decided it was time to explore the place where the city got its name from. In the middle of the Great Salt Lake is a lovely little place called Antelope Island.  The kids and I headed to Antelope Island in search of antelope. Seemed reasonable. Many hours (and wrong turns) later, we had no antelope sightings to report. We did, however, sight buffalo, tens of thousands of birds, tens of thousands of dead birds (literally), cattle, and this crazy beautiful (salty) scenery.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that we didn’t find antelope on Antelope Island. That would’ve made too much sense for Salt Lake City. But, as I’ve learned before, a place doesn’t need to make sense to be thoroughly enjoyed. Being with my sister and her family is enough to keep my heart and face happy.

So I suppose it’s a lot of bit because of my sister…


…and a little bit because of this view, that I am drawn back to Utah again and again.

According to Utah law, a husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence. Looks like I either need to clean up my potty mouth, or marry a man (or many!) before visiting my sister again.


Ella’s House of Nightmares

It takes a lot to scare me.

I usually credit my maiden name for my sense of fearlessness. Growing up with the last name Kruger, I felt like it was my duty to be the one doing the scaring. It just didn’t make sense for me to be scared.

I love scary movies, haunted houses, ghost stories, and the like. In fact, I tried to start creepy clown collection in college, but the idea was quickly vetoed by my roommate who kept a dream journal, and didn’t want to have it turn into a script for Killer Klown Part 2.

It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that I thought I had closed my eyes and gone to my happy place when I discovered Ella’s Deli and Ice Cream Parlor in Madison, Wisconsin a couple weeks ago.

The locals refer to Ella’s Deli as “Ella’s House of Nightmares”.

Anything that has shown up in your nightmares, is most likely able to be found somewhere in the restaurant. Visa versa, anything in Ella’s that has not yet shown up in your nightmares, will tonight. I mean, just look at this stuff.

Apparently some people have nightmares about the game “This little piggy went to market” and singing bananas.

It’s almost adorable how Ella doesn’t realize she’s a freak. Kind of like Willow, circa Seasons One and Two (What?? You don’t have Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan blogs bookmarked? Get on that!). There’s just something endearing about an unassuming freak.

I should mention something about the food, seeing that Ella’s is, after all, an eatery.

Ella boasts a twelve page dessert menu. THAT’S TWELVE PAGES OF POTENTIAL SUGAR HIGHS Y’ALL!! Talk about a nightmare. But, as all nightmares are, it’s unavoidable. Therefore, I recommend going with one of their in-house flavors of ice cream or sorbet, as this was the only part of the actual dining worth writing about.

As it turns out, you really don’t have to be a Kruger to enjoy the ridicu-fest that is Ella’s House of Nightmares. Check it out for yourself! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Mwahahahah…)


I’ve been adventuring in Wisconsin this weekend (more on that later). I just had to push pause on the activities to share this with y’all.

As is often the case, I got quite lost while in search of my destination this afternoon. (Yes, even in this age of the fancy phone, I still get lost on a regular basis.)

Getting lost was possibly the best part of my day! Look what I stumbled upon. THIS ACTUALLY EXISTS!


Like, someone ACTUALLY lives here! I know this because I heard music playing inside. It must’ve been too loud for them to hear me knock at the door, hoping to ask them if they were looking for a roommate with a 5-year-old son. Since they didn’t answer the door, I just kept walking around their house (I know, not at all creepy-stalkerish. What do they expect with yard decor like this though??)

This accidental detour is by far the greatest one I’ve encountered (with the exception of the time my sister and I didn’t realize we were lost until hitting the Mexico border). I didn’t have anyone in the car to share the experience with this time, so I needed to stop and quickly blog it. 🙂