I’ve been trying to decide whether to visit my family in Utah before summer ends.
It’s not that I don’t want to go.
It’s just that I have to “weigh” (pun intended) my decision carefully because when I land in Utah, every good habit I’ve worked hard to develop suddenly starts playing a game of hide-and-seek.
It’s the craziest thing, like my good sense goes on vacation and I’m a helpless victim trapped in a smorgasbord of deliciousness.
And I must eat.
I eat things I would never eat in my day-to-day life, and it wreaks havoc on my health goals.
If you asked me to tell you the best bakeries in Washington, D.C. area, I would be stumped.
If you asked me about Utah bakeries, my mouth would start to water just thinking of them.
Sara posed for a photo in front of a cute bakery in downtown Salt Lake City, and that photo went viral in my family, prompting everyone to go there and mimic Sara’s pose.
After all that posing, how could we not go inside and at least look at their display of yumminess?
A baking celebrity in our family recommended we try the French toast.
I can’t remember the last time I even thought about eating French toast.
But, that wasn’t just any French toast.
It was some lemon-filled, blueberry-topped bundle of melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Hands down best indulgence.
If it had only stopped there.
Family dinners in Utah carry their own set of challenges.
You can never expect to find anything close to a vegetable unless it’s some form of butter-soaked, cheese-ladened potato dish.
And fruit? That’s what goes in Jello salads and hides under layers of whipped cream.
And can I just insert here that it’s a tradition in Doug’s family to have “treat drawers?”
These are deep drawers filled with candy in every kitchen.
As if that’s not enough, there are jars and dishes of candy everywhere.
Remember, Doug’s dad is the man who can’t fall asleep without a piece of chocolate in his mouth. (Yes, he has false teeth.)
And a trip to my hometown absolutely means Mexican food and a dinner at La Casita, a Main Street fixture for like 50 years.
My friend’s sister was a waitress there when I was growing up, and she said Robert Redford even dined there.
Oh yeah, it’s where famous people like Robert Redford and my family go.
Louie, the Mexican that owns the restaurant, greets everyone by saying, “Hello Mexicans! How many tonight?”
One entire wall of the restaurant is covered with old Polaroid pictures of some of the regulars, including one of my parents about 30 years ago.
We also used to have four or five local fast food drive-ins where we could get fries and fry sauce, fried pickles, greasy tacos, malts, shakes and fish and chips and every kind of soft drink concoction imaginable.
Now, most of them have closed. But, my family isn’t opposed to driving a few miles for a good milk shake.
I’m not a milk shake lover so that’s normally not a temptation for me.
Notice I said “normally.”
As I was standing at the counter with everyone ordering their favorite flavors, the clerk asked what kind I wanted.
While shaking my head “no,” I suddenly started stammering out something about an Oreo shake.
Wait a minute, I thought, I don’t even want the darn milkshake. But there I was with everyone ordering and suddenly I was searching through the list of flavors and forcing myself to pick one like if I didn’t everybody else might win the lottery and be billionaires and there I’d be with nothing but a bulging stomach full of Louie’s chips and salsa and all that yeasty French toast.
See what I mean about a weighty dilemma?
Still, I made a reservation.
And, once again, I’ll go there determined not to cave to the eating pressure, knowing full well Sara will introduce me to the latest food truck craze and there will be fruit salads that are really desserts; and Louie will call me a Mexican as he leads us to our table and hands us bowls of chips and salsa.
Heaven help me.