It's hard to sleep when you're excited and looking forward to getting up and getting going in the morning! At 5:30 am local time I found myself wide awake, head churning with ideas for genealogy research in the Family History Library.
Had a very nice buffet breakfast at our hotel - courtesy of the free buffet breakfast included in the RootsTech special deal on rooms. Then my husband and I headed to The Gateway Mall to do a bit of shopping. There is a free tram you can take for part of downtown Salt Lake City, so we got on at Arena Station (not far from our hotel) and off at the next stop, Planetarium. That lets you off near the south end of the Mall which is an outdoor mall. It's very big and is two storeys of shops and stores.
There was a dusting of snow on the ground, and it was cool but for us it was almost balmy! Canada is much colder where we live and there is a great deal more snow. I can't do much walking even with my cane but for most people it is quite do-able. I knew I could not walk far but really wanted to get to three stores (one being the Apple Store, something we don't have anywhere near where we live) After seeing the distances involved I figured I'd be lucky to make it to one.
I was so thrilled to find out that all three of the stores I wanted to get to were side by side! I told my husband it was pretty nice of the city to move those stores just for me.... After our brief shop, we took the tram back to our hotel and had lunch. To my surprise it was excellent! I don't usually like hotel food very much.
Then the real fun began. Off we went to the Family History Library. Even though it is quite close (2 blocks), I simply could not walk anymore and we set off in a taxi. Up to the US/Canada Microfilm room and we picked our readers. There were lots of empty ones, even readers for left-handed people and for the disabled. Even though I have physical challenges I can use a regular reader so did not need to take one that others might need more.
The films are for the most part, self-serve, so you just need to have your film numbers written down and off you go to the drawers (row after row after row) and get the ones you want. You're allowed a maximum of 5 at any one time. We had good luck, as both hubby and I found records in the Heir & Devisee Committe microfilms (I'll blog about those records in a future post) which are unindexed. Then the tweets started coming - there were several bloggers and Twitter folks in the library and we were trying to find each other.
I was lucky enough to catch up with fellow official RootsTech blogger Joan who is @Luxegen on Twitter, also presenter Schelly Talalay Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe. (See my interview with Schelly)
Later I met fellow genealogist Marie who is also active on Twitter. She flew all the way from Scotland for RootsTech! We also met a cousin of my husband's through his Facey line. We've chatted with Diana on email but never met her before. Library staff allowed us to sit in the Orientation Room to visit. Later tonight a few of us are heading out for a casual dinner and of course - genealogy chit-chat!
Tomorrow should be exciting as many bloggers are arriving. I suspect our hotel will be buzzing with genealogists and bloggers by noon. One more day to research then RootsTech! I'm getting more excited about it as it draws nearer. I'll attend as many workshops as I can and I'll tweet and blog as much as possible. Some of the workshops are going to be freely available online for those who can't be there so I'll give you details on that later.