Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mesa, az or salt lake city?

yesterday, aaron and i ventured to mesa, a whole 20 minutes away, to visit the arizona temple. we were hoping that since we didn't exactly know where we were going, we would be lead by the angel moroni statue that is atop the mormon temples. well, we forgot that the mesa temple is actually more like the roman pantheon than like most mormon temples, and there is no angel moroni. but we did find the temple, thanks to the spacious grasslands in front of the visitors center.

what do you think: Greek/Roman classicism, or Mayan/Aztec flare?

when we got out of the car, we notice that the sidewalks were bordered by strings of lights, still unlit. then we saw that the trees had lights, and then that almost everything we passed was covered in lights. we got really excited to come back when it was dark to see the light show, when suddenly, as if some friendly old senior missionary in the visitors center could hear our thoughts, the lights flicked on!

we thought we were transported back to temple square in salt lake city, where the lights are a holiday attraction. some of the pluses about mesa, however, are: it is warm, there are still flowers in bloom, they have orange trees covered in lights, and they have purple lights. we did think, however, that the amount of flashy lights somewhat detracted from the brilliance of the temple, which isn't much of a problem at salt lake. still, it was a great surprise to discover that our night would be more exciting than just walking once around the temple grounds.
not super impressive in daylight, i know, but my camera died when nighttime came. we also saw a sign that said "live performances nightly 7:00." we decided to wander around to try to find some food, then come back to see the lights in the night, as well as watch the mysterious live performance.

wander we did. first, past a shady mexican yerberia that we thought might be a restaurant. next, to pete's fish and chips, but they only took cash and though there was a wells fargo right next door, neither of us had our bank cards on us. so we wandered a bit further, to downtown mesa, and found a nice little mexican restaurant to get fish tacos and enchilladas.

once we were fully satiated, we walked--and elongatedly ran--back to the temple to see the show. we were a bit early, so we walked through the display of nativities they had set up in the visitor's center. when we got outside, the brass quintet of old men was just setting up and getting ready to start. they played a few jolly christmas tunes, then we got a little bit tired of the brassy, humpty dumpty sound (don't get me wrong, brass players, i had dreams of playing the trombone in my youth), so we headed home, full and happy from the many surprises we found in mesa.

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