St. George, Utah was named after George A. Smith, an apostle to Brigham Young. Originally it was a settlement of around 300 Latter-day Saint families who grew cotton for the Utah territory during the Civil War, and eventually became the site of the first LDS temple in Utah, and the winter home of Brigham Young during the later years of his life.
While we were in St. George we decided to visit a few of the historical sites, including the temple, Brigham Young's winter home, and the St. George historical tabernacle. It was the perfect way to spend a blazing hot Sunday afternoon. Both Caitlin and I loved St. George, and of all the places in Utah I've been, I think I could actually live there. BUT - I don't think I would ever actually want to live in St. George, but it seems like a really nice place.
The temple there is so big and white. Surprisingly white. Like really, really white. We've never been inside this temple, but we love the outside. We spent a few minutes on the grounds and in the visitors center - and the weather was simply perfect for a stroll around the temple.
We had fun posing all over the place. Caitlin on the stairs.
Me sliding down the banister.
Since most of our pictures are alone or at arms length, we decided to set the camera on a timer to get a full body shot of us. :)
We also visited Brigham Young's home. It had this ugly green paint all over the deck (as you can see from the fencing on the handrail) and we were curious why they would paint anything that hideous shade of green. Luckily the sister missionary who gave us our tour (Sister Kestler from Salem, Oregon) knew the answer! She said that the Saints ordered paint for the temple from New York City and when the hundreds of gallons of paint arrived it was green! They didn't want to waste any paint so they used it to paint their homes and furniture. Because of this, St. George received the nickname of Green Valley.
We also toured the tabernacle which was really cool inside. There were spiral staircases leading up to the balcony, and beautiful chandeliers with S and G metal decorations on it. It was all pretty cool. The senior missionary couple that gave us our tour let us play around in the tabernacle after we finished so we went to the pulpit and downstairs to the art exhibit about Christ's life. It was pretty neat to see.
We also went around to a couple of the statues on the same block as the tabernacle and snapped a few pictures. They had some unique art including a bicycle made out of scrap metal (including silverware) and half of a moose.
There was also a water park right next to the tabernacle. Had we been dressed more appropriately we would've loved to get wet in the fountains since it was sooooooooo hot outside. But instead we just walked around and watched the little kids frolic in the stream and fountains while their parents lounged in the shade. Clearly we aren't ready for kids since we wanted to be in the fountains with them rather than hanging with the oldies on the sidelines. :)
Behind us there are two frogs (a prince and princess) that shot water out of their mouths... and we think some other holes in the statues, but we're not exactly sure where those ones were.
There was also a man-made waterfall and river that you could splash in. It smelled slightly like chlorine so we're thinking the water may circulate through the river and fountains. It was a pretty sweet outdoor (free) water park. Maybe next time we go down we will bring our bathing suits and frolic with the children. Maybe we'll have to bring one of our nieces or nephews so we don't seem too out of place. :)