Sunday, January 18, 2015

High Octane Fuel (Food & Drink While At FGS/RootsTech 2015)

It's Society Sunday
Although I came late to the game, I am an FGS Ambassador. Over the next 4 Sundays I will be posting about getting ready for FGS/RootsTech 2015. It is less than a month away - yikes! The good folks at FGS sent out some January prompts - they are all about where to eat, what to pack, and what sessions to attend. So let’s get right to it with my favorite subject - food!

Where to Eat – I have not been to Salt Lake City in the past few years so I don’t have any “must try” spots for you. I have spent a little time with Google Maps (figuring out distances from where I am staying to the Salt Palace to the various restaurants and shops within walking distance). I suggest that you meet up with others and have lunch or dinner out and please include some new genealogy friends rather than hang with the people you already know and always meet up with. Eating out is more about the company than the food but make sure you try something local (at least once during your visit). There are sandwich shops, bakeries, and some restaurants right around the Salt Palace – be willing to take a walk (always good for you) and check them out.

My only advice is that you need to remember to take a break and eat. If you are not a breakfast person, make sure you have a few snacks so you can refuel during the morning. If you are a breakfast person – get it together early enough so that you are not rushed. The same thing applies to lunch and dinner. So many times I saw researchers at the FHL or attendees at SLIG in such a hurry to get back to the library or get in a few more classes or wander through an exhibit area that they took all of 15-20 minutes to eat and went back into the fray. Please don’t be that person.

Have something healthy for breakfast – if your room has a refrigerator - great, take advantage of picking up a few items (I always buy orange juice, yogurt, fruit, almond milk, and half n half at a nearby grocery store). I am a coffee drinker so I bring Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso and Starbucks Via packets. Perhaps you are a tea drinker or a cocoa drinker – plan ahead as more than likely you will have a coffee maker/hot water maker in your room.  I have a hard time with breakfast so I usually shake up Carnation Instant Breakfast with some yogurt and almond milk. 

Have your water bottle with you throughout the day - it is a good idea. I bring along individual packets of Crystal Light Mango Green Tea and Lemonade because plain old water gets a bit boring. Whatever you do, stay hydrated. I always like to walk around outside during the lunch hour – it  gives me a bit of fresh air and exercise after spending the morning sitting and learning. If you can find a walking partner, all the better!

My preference for lunch is something light (otherwise I will definitely nod off during the afternoon sessions) so soup or a half sandwich and small salad combination works for me. I have never been to the Salt Palace so I don’t know about their food – I am sure someone will fill us in on that front. I did sign up for one FGS luncheon (although I need to check my registration to recall which one!).

On to snacks – I am a huge fan of almonds, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips and make up my own snack bags. If I plan ahead I might pick up a few bars (I am partial to Lara or Kind bars) but whatever works for you is what you should bring.

The payoff here is if I have been relatively healthy during the day – good breakfast, light lunch, healthy snacks and a bit of walking in SLC, well then I feel pretty good about having a nice dinner out and visiting with other genealogists and family historians over a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Hopefully we can meet up and talk about genealogy software, one-name studies, one-place studies, research brick-walls, all those gadgets we brought to make our library experience fun and high tech, or how we find the time to get anything else done with this obsession called family history. I enjoy Mexican, Italian, Greek, Chinese, German & Thai food so if you have any suggestions, let me know! 

What to Do - So, will I see you in Salt Lake City in February 2015? I sure hope so – many of you I know virtually and I can’t wait to meet you in person. I have not decided on the sessions I plan to attend – that is a project for next week and I will share my choices in a future blog.  Reminder that the early discount registration deadline is Friday, January 23 – if you haven’t registered yet, well what are you waiting for?

I am presenting at RootsTech on “Who Does That? – An Introduction to One-Name (surname) Studies.”  If you have thought about doing surname research (either locally, nationally or globally), have started a one-name study, or just want to learn a bit more about surnames - why not attend my session on Friday, February 13th and learn how to get started. 

Last week I sent off the informational flyers for the Guild of One-Name Studies – they will be in the FGS Society Showcase at the Exhibit Hall. Some of our Guild members will be stopping by the FGS Society Showcase to meet up with any of you who stop by, answer questions about global and/or surname research, and just visit at, what I think will be, one of the most informative booths at the Exhibit Hall (I have New York, Vermont, Nebraska & Washington, as well as Ireland, Sweden & Norway on my list for groups and societies to check out!). 

I have signed up to attend Dear Myrtle's after FGS/RootsTech 2015 dinner, so if we miss each other during the week I hope to meet you on Saturday evening.

Next Sunday – I’ll fill you in on what I pack (and what I do not to bring) to SLC. I have been to SLC before and definitely have learned some lessons. In the meantime, what tips do you have for meals and snacks (oh hopefully your room has a microwave - did I forget about popcorn late in the evening - yum!!) and where are your favorite restaurants in SLC?


  1. I love this colomn Tessa and will follow avidly cos I hope to come over 2016! (can't justify this year having just got back from San Francisco visitng family) so I love Japanese food I love Beef Terriaci (even learnt to use chopsticks) I hope you get your groceries before you come to Goons cos the nearest grocery store is all of 2/3 miles aways from the hotel. This sort of advice is so important to ensure a good visit is a great visit I will be with you guys virtually and will watch all the keynote presentations avidly and shall watch Dear Myrtles contributions which I recommend to anyone else who can't get.

  2. Lots of wonderful tips here! Thanks Tessa! See you soon :)


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