Sep 092014
 

‘OPA’ is a lover’s Greek Word for expressing joy, but also flexible enough to use anytime you just feel like saying hi, hey, or oops.
Greek Festival Salt Lake City #RetireForTheFunOfIt
The Greek Festival in Salt Lake City is a three day event that celebrates their culture, traditions, and heritage, but we go for the Greek food and dancing.  We joined over 50,000 people that attended their 39th annual celebration of being Philhellenes – lovers of all things Greek!
Greek Dancers #festival #RetireForTheFunOfIt
Are you old enough to remember the movie, Zorba the Greek? Naturally this is a popular favorite and I can’t help but hum along when they perform this dance.
Greek Traditional Dance #RetireForTheFunOfIt
Each dance tells a story passed down through generations about ancient wars, courtship, or physical prowess.  The ancient Zembekikos dance, involves trying not to knock over a glass set on the floor. If the dancer succeeds, he can drink what wasn’t spilled from the glass.
Greek Traditional Dance #RetireForTheFunOfIt
The Mihanikos, tells a story about how the dancer remembers his youth and love of sponge diving off the Aegean Island Kalymnos. It begins with a fast, high-spirited beat and then slows down as the dancer needs a cane. The sponge divers became crippled due to the “bends disease” from years of diving, and is retold in this dancers story.
Greek Hellenic Museum #RetireForTheFunOfIt
The Hellenic Cultural Museum has gathered its people’s life stories in photos, clothing and many personal artifacts. Greek immigrants came to Salt Lake City in the early 1900’s when mining and railroading were booming industries.

Young sons were sent off to America, where there were plenty of jobs. The hope was for their sons to make enough money, so they could return in a few years. The mining casualties tell a tragic story of families still living in Greece and unable to personally bury their sons.
Greek Coffee #RetireForTheFunOfIt
Greek coffee is an artistic production in itself. In a briki pot, he adds 2 teaspoons of Greek (or Turkish) coffee, a cup of water and then stirs in 2 teaspoons of sugar.

He explained how the coffee is slowly heated up until the surface starts to tremble. Once it starts foaming, he lifts the briki slightly from the heat until the foam settles and then is put back on the fire to let it start foaming again.

He said this step is very important to getting a good cup of coffee. He advised us to sip the coffee slowly to enjoy the robust flavor. Considering how hot this drink is, sipping is the only safe way to enjoy it. Drinking the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup is really gross and not advised.


I found a Zumba coin scarf in their shopping center and felt this justified eating a Baklava dessert.  We learned more about the Greek faith from the guides inside the church. This stained glass window depicting the resurrection was colorfully striking in the afternoon sun.  

Using a fun greeting like Opa brings an unexpected smile. Do you have a favorite greeting?

Sep 042014
 

It may be called “Oktoberfest,” but this 200 year old celebration always starts before October in Utah since beer and snowy weather just aren’t a party mix.
Oktoberfest #RetireForTheFunOfIt

Oktoberfest has inspired imitation around the world of what began as a wedding celebration in Munich, Bavaria, on October 12th, 1810.
SnowBird Alphorn Oktoberfest

Our weather in Utah can be very unpredictable, so we begin Oktoberfest in late August. To hold true to tradition, the festival held since 1973 ends on the first weekend of October.
SnowBird Oktoberfest Tram

At the Snowbird Ski Resort, you can hear the Alphorns echoing from the top of the mountain. Or ride with them on the tram and watch the Salzburg Echo Polka Band “on top of the world.”
SnowBird Alphorns Oktoberfest

SnowBird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest draws over 60,000 people and this year’s festival was almost cancelled, rather than be a beer-free event. The state liquor board caused quite an uproar when they decided that alcohol licenses were meant for non-profit, charitable events, and not for attractions aimed at turning a profit.

In case you live under a rock, you may not be aware of Utah’s unique liquor laws.  Supporters vigorously insisted that the festival isn’t just about beer, but celebrates food, folk dancing and many other family activities. The board backed down and allowed the alcohol license by declaring the festival “a valuable community event.”


Our grandkids get to try the alpine slide, mountain flyer, and rope course, while we shop in Der Marktplatz and watch yo-yo man do his tricks. Then we finish the day eating some authentic Bavarian bratwurst, sauerkraut and apple strudel.

SnowBird Oktoberfest Song
The beer keg was ceremoniously tapped and the Oktoberfest tradition lives on for another year.

View From Top of the World #RetireForTheFunOfit

Our grandsons are enjoying the view from Hidden Peak above the Snowbird Ski Resort. That’s Salt Lake City in the background and in winter, our little downhill skiers have only a ten minute ride to one of the world class ski resorts.   Can you tell why we love living here?

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