Genealogy Santa Granted My Wish – BYU Conference Recap (Part 1)

BYU Family History Conference Bucket List

In July, I ventured to Provo, Utah to participate as a speaker for the 49th Annual Conference on Family History & Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Last December I had asked the Genealogy Santa to grant that wish for me, and it was granted. The first thing I needed to do was fly to Salt Lake from Houston, Texas and then migrate to the BYU Campus.

Flying with my in-laws
Without planning, my in-laws and I flew on the same plane in the same row!

On my way out to the BYU, I flew on Delta. I’m falling in love with traveling on Delta. In February, Andy and I flew Delta to RootsTech, and it was such a smooth ride I tweeted about it after we landed! In July, their pilots took off and landed with ease once again. I don’t travel well because my stomach is very upset with motion sickness. A smooth ride is so appreciated. So good job Delta I will be flying with you again soon. (Unfortunately, I did not get paid to say any of that. I’d really enjoy some free airline miles.)

Flying Delta - Smooth Ride
Thanks Delta for a smooth ride!

Once I landed in Salt Lake City, I needed to make my way to Provo, Utah. I was a little confused when exiting the airport and walking to the Metro station. Thankfully an airport employee, or two, kept pointing me in the right direction. For the most part, the airport had a great signage, but there was a point when the signage failed me, and I needed a compassionate person to keep me going in the right direction. (By the way, did I mention I was traveling solo. I have grown accustomed to relying on my husband to get me from point A to point B in these situations. This little gal was going on this Bucket List adventure by her self! Yikes.)

Once I found the entry to the metro station (also known as, the TRAX), I hit another speed bump.
The kiosk was confusing about what I needed to purchase to reach my ultimate destination of Provo. Apparently, you need to buy only a FrontRunner pass, and this gives you access that day to any other bus or short rail lines you may use. That wasn’t clear on the kiosk display. I guess I paid a “stupid tax.” In the end, I was on my way for a very affordable price.

Riding the UTA FrontRunner
Finally on the FrontRunner headed to Provo!

The Utah Transit Authority service was clean and safe. The three services I used had helpful people eager to guide me along the way. Although I had an app and directions on my phone,  one man ensured that I knew got on and off the FrontRunner at the correct locations. Though he could have ignored me, I’m glad for the assistance.

Along the way, so many people asked me where I was going and about my new “Family History Fanatics” shirts. They ask what classes I would be teaching at the family history conference, and everyone seemed to enjoy telling me their discoveries or who was the genealogists in their clan.

Provo Center Bus Station
Check out those mountains! Waiting to catch a bus never had such a great view.

On my final stretch to the BYU campus, I was on a bus. During a pleasant conversation with the bus driver, I mentioned how thirsty Utah was making me. A passenger offered me a water bottle, even though she probably should have kept it for her daughter who was in a stroller. Thanks, Super Mom whose name I didn’t receive!  Another angel of mercy asked when was the last time I’d eaten. I had mentioned that I don’t travel well when I eat before hand (even though Delta did a great job that day). When I said I had not eaten for about six hours, the angel gave me an apple and granola bar! Oh, my, goodness! Such a sweet gesture from a stranger.

I’m not saying anyone will always receive apples and water from friendly people in Utah, but I was so thankful for the kindness of strangers.  Having made the venture from Salt Lake City to Utah via the UTA, I would recommend that service to anyone in the future who will be attending the BYU Family History Conference from out of state. This route saved me from renting a car, which makes the frugal heart of mine every so happy.

Coming Soon… BYU Recap Part 2 –  Meeting Genealogy Buddies in Provo

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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