THE FIX: The Sandy Amphitheater—celebrating its 10th anniversary season—offers a surprisingly solid lineup of warm-weather open-air entertainment, particularly for those who like their music on the mellow side. In 2009, headliners include Marc Cohn (June 20), ABBA tribute act Arrival (July 22), Clint Black (July 30), Air Supply (July 31) and the Manhattan Transfer (Sept. 12). And, if you pre-purchase your concessions with your ticket, you can get up to 25 percent off of your at-the-venue meal. That’s a picnic worth checking out no matter your home base.
THE PICKLE: Exploring the native wildlife of Madagascar requires more vacation time—and money—than you’ve got handy.
THE FIX: Hogle Zoo’s newest exhibit, Madagascar!, isn’t a tie-in to an animated movie. It’s an opportunity to experience some of the rare critters who call the Indian Ocean island—which boasts 5 percent of the world’s animal species—their home. In fact, more than 75 percent of its native species are found only there. Catch a glimpse of the rare lemur-eating fossa, or hear what a hissing cockroach sounds like. Check out the tiny, spiny tenrec (a hedgehog cousin), or tree boas. The Tropical Gardens that housed the rare white alligator for the last couple of seasons has become an island forest—and you can visit without having to get inoculated.
2600 Sunnyside Avenue (840 South), 801- 582-1631, HogleZoo.org
THE PICKLE: Rain douses your plans for barbecued brats.
THE FIX: Hungry friends are coming over to lunch on your barbecue of brats and steaks, but it’s a downpour outside. If you don’t want to cancel, then try this Italian sausage casserole dish instead: Boil the pricked brats in water to get rid of the fat. Fry some onions until tender with garlic, add a couple of tins of chopped-up tomatoes, oregano, a pinch of brown sugar, then toss in the whole sausages and let it cook into a rich, savory casserole for 45 minutes. Served with pasta or mashed potatoes. It’s the perfect group nosh.
|THE PICKLE: Despite your best intentions, you haven’t been granted magical wishes or developed a mutant ability to fly.
THE FIX: Yes, you can fly, poor silly, suburban Daedalus! Your wings are of the gliding kind, however, and believe it or not, the Point of the Mountain along Interstate 15 offers ideal conditions for paragliding and hang-gliding. And luckily, a variety of schools offer classes ranging from tandem flights with skilled instructors to full certification courses. Utah’s Cloud 9 company even boasts the nation’s largest paragliding facility where classes range from intro lessons that get you off the ground from as low as $95 up to costlier full P2 pilot certification courses that get you set to fly solo and free as a bird for up to $1,195. Various schools offer classes and gear; check out:
ParaGliders.com, BirdmanAcademy.net, HangGlide-utah.com, WingsOverWasatch.com
THE PICKLE: Twilight cocktails will leave you hungover mañana.
THE FIX: After a night sitting out and drinking with neighbors on the porch, the only answer to your pounding head the following day is usually the hair of the dog. But forgo that Bloody Mary and try a bowl of menudo instead. Stumble over to La Frontera and order the tripe, hominy and chile delight. Like any good stew, menudo provides a restorative bite to kick-start your morning. Its fierce, rich, red broth blasts out the cobwebs of the previous night’s booze abuse and leaves you bright, if somewhat flushed, and ready to start the day. La Frontera Café, multiple locations.
THE PICKLE: You wake up downtown in the belly of another inversion, craving fresh air.
THE FIX: Head up to Little Cottonwood Canyon to Tanners Flat. This perfect campground runs up alongside the thundering waterfalls of the currently snow-melt-plumped waters of Little Cottonwood Creek. At 7,200 feet, the air doesn’t get much more crystal-clear than this. After your picnic lunch, take a nap with the roar of the falls in your ears. This time, at least, you can sleep comfortably knowing the air you breathe is as pure as it gets.
Tanners Flat Campground, 4.15 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, reservations 877-444-6777, www.Recreation.Gov
THE PICKLE: Your kids yearn for farm life.
THE FIX: A trip to the zoo can be an expensive proposition for a family with numerous kids in tow. It can also test your patience when it comes to coping with the crowds. So, if your kids are pining for an animal to pet, look southwards and head up Interstate 15 to Barnyard Buddies at the Gardner Village in West Jordan. There, for just a couple of bucks, your animal-affection-starved little lovelies can mingle with and stroke rabbits, pigs, donkeys and llamas to their hearts’ content. And the pony ride is only $3.
Gardner Village Barnyard Buddies, 1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan 801-455-5679
|THE PICKLE: You’ve come to the (correct) conclusion that nothing is better than a summertime organic heirloom tomato.
THE FIX: Kenyon Organics has you covered. This Sugarhouse-based outfit has dozens of organic heirloom tomato plants for you to take home and plant in your own garden. Among the heirloom tomato plants that Cory and Carolyn Kenyon raise with love and care are Legend, Black Cherry, Chocolate Cherry, Stupice, Bear Creek, Red Pear, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Hawaiian Pineapple (yes, it’s a tomato), Old German, San Marzano, Super Snow and Earl of Edgecomb, just to name a few.
To place an order or request a catalog, phone 801-699-7540 or e-mail KenyonOrganics@comcast.net. KenyonOrganics.blogspot.com.
THE PICKLE: Baby, you were born to run … but you got no wheels.
The Fix: A 2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider convertible from Steve Harris Imports. This droptop will have the wind wafting through your locks post haste with its 4.3-liter 503 horsepower V-8 engine and race-tuned suspension. Sixty mph in 3.4 seconds? You bet. And there’s an iPod touch pre-installed too. Base price: $233,297 with all the options and the $3,000 gas guzzler tax. But, hey, you just gotta have the 6-speed F1-style paddle-shift manual transmission, right? It’s well worth the extra $11,137. Lots of color options besides Ferrari Red—such as Daytona Black, Blue Tour de France, Gray Gun Metal Metallic and Yellow Modena. You’re going to turn some heads on the Legacy Highway.
Steve Harris Imports, 808 S. Main, 801-521-0340, FerrariSales.com
|THE PICKLE: You can’t wait for winter to come back, so you can go skiing. Plus you really dig the blues.
THE FIX: Go skiing. Snowbird is planning to stay open weekends—Fridays through Sundays—through at least June 14. Access to top-of-mountain snow comes via the Tram Even after the resorts close there are plenty of summertime activities at the ski resorts, from a mountain coaster at Park City to a zip line and climbing walls at Snowbird. Many resorts keep chairlifts open for sightseeing rides. Better still, abandon all the gadgets and go for a walk through the wildflowers at resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. Whatever you do in the mountains, the temperature should drop about 10 degrees compared to the valley. Also, don’t miss The Snowbird Rock & Blues Festival (July 24-26) at the Snowbird Renaissance Center. It promises a stunner lineup from Coco Montoya and Alejandro Escovedo to the legendary Steve Earle—a master in the art of bittersweet, boozy/bluesy ballads of despair and self-destruction. (Day passes go on sale June 12 at SnowBirdRC.org)
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird.com