The foodie in me - a.k.a. Our Second Anniversary

Ok, so recently I have heard a lot of people make fun of people who post pictures of food on social media.  "Why do I care what you had for breakfast?" "Why would I want to see a picture of your ugly doughnut?" they say. So I want to let those people know, this will feature no ordinary food pictures.  These will be pictures of a food EXPERIENCE.  Because that is what this weekend was for Andrew and myself while celebrating our second anniversary.  It was 24 hours of luxuriously stuffing our faces. The only reason I have pictures at all is because my boss was hoping that I would have a spare second to take some product shots in the bathroom.  So armed with my handy Canon 5d Mark iii, I was able to document the most relaxing and delicious second anniversary weekend I could have ever hoped for.

This one's for you, Dad, because I know you're the one who follows my blog more than anyone else!

The Grand America Courtyard

We went all out and stayed at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City - one of only a handful of 5-star hotels in the area.  I had never stayed there, but my husband spent about a month living there in high school, so he knew all of the ins and outs. One thing that he insisted on, was having their infamous brunch. I looked online and found a great deal on their website, where if you book over the phone you can get a premium package where you receive free parking, and a $100 credit to use anywhere in the Grand. There are quite a few restaurants and shops there, so it really is a fantastic deal.  It worked out well that the brunch was $50/person, so we were able to both eat there for free.

My favorite little shop inside of the Grand America - La Bonne Vie

When we checked in, we told the concierge that we were staying for our anniversary. Before we even made it up to our room, they have a valet at our door with a cake and card for us from their bakery La Bonne Vie. We had been starving ourselves all day in anticipation of stuffing our faces that night, so the cake was the perfect surprise at the moment to make us less hangry.  It really made us feel special too.

Our vanilla & strawberry anniversary cake, courtesy of the Grand

Stuffing my face 

The packaging at La Bonne Vie is gorgeous

After eating our cake, we settled in before dinner.  I have to make one comment about the rooms, I felt like I was staying in a fancy grandma's house back in the 90s. The decor felt rich and expensive, but so incredibly dated - you can kind of get a feel for it in the picture of me happily eating my cake.  The bathrooms were beautiful on the other hand, and made of real marble. It still felt special to get away, we really felt like we were taking a break from real life.

Before dinner, we opened up our presents for each other. Andrew really wanted to keep up with the anniversary gift theme each year (last year we got paper mache masks in Venice for the paper anniversary), so when I gave him a bag full of his favorite things, he informed me that I still needed to get him something cotton. I wanted to get a picture of him in his new cotton tie from J Crew, so I had him pose next to the window. He's such a good looking man, I really am so blessed to have him as my husband!

After opening presents, we walked a couple of blocks to the Melting Pot where I had made a reservation. It was what has become a typical rainy May day in Utah, so I'm glad I had an excuse to  use my Kate Spade umbrella for the second time that Andrew bought me for my birthday back in August.

I had really been looking forward to this dinner, because this was our first time eating at the Melting Pot, and I found out that they do an awesome anniversary package that I was surprising Andrew with. I was so happy with how we were treated, they really went above and beyond at the restaurant to make us feel special!  When we first walked in, they had a sign that said "Happy second anniversary to the Sturgells", and we were immediately seating in their "lovers lane" section where we were given a quiet, isolated booth. 


Waiting for us on the table to take home, was 3 red roses. I kept joking with Andrew that I had to buy myself flowers because he didn't get me any. Don't think he isn't an awesome husband, I told him recently that expensive cut flowers make me sad when they they die, so I told him to just get me a gift or a living plant instead if he wants to do anything.

The anniversary package usually comes with a bottle of champagne or sparkling fruit juice, but since Andrew doesn't drink anything carbonated, they were nice enough to switch it out with their signature lemonade for each of us.

The first course was the cheese course. We ordered the spinach & artichoke cheese dip at the suggestion of the waitress, along with the italian meat plate.

The second course was really interesting.  They brought each of us an uncooked meat platter of our choice, along with 6 dipping sauces, vegetables, and a bot of beef broth to cook it all in.  We then each placed the meat on our skewers, let it cook for about 3 minutes, and then inhaled it.  I didn't know that boiled meat could taste so good!  I loved the teriyaki beef and the black pepper sirloin. Andrew loved the mushroom sacchetti and the orange duck. I think we ate a salad somewhere in there too as part of the package, but we were so focused on eating as much fondue as we could that we mostly ignored them.

The last and final part of the 4-course meal was a little plate of dipped strawberries, and the most important part of the meal, the chocolate fondue.  I was really excited to see one of the flaming fondues in action, so we ordered the smore's fondue.  It was amazing.

I wish I could say that we went back to our room feeling perfectly satisfied.  Honestly though, we had both stuffed ourselves to the point where we were feeling guilty about the starving children in Africa, and in desperate need of a Tums.  It was worth it though!

The next morning, the sun decided to grace us with its presence again as we headed to brunch at the Grand America.  I was glad I got to take a walk in the courtyard and take some pictures of the beautiful flowers.  I would seriously pay someone to let me take their wedding pictures there, it is an absolutely breathtaking venue!

I didn't know what to expect for the brunch, and I was very pleasantly surprised. We were given the grand tour - it began in the first room, where there was a table arrayed with italian meats, french cheeses, and delicious grilled vegetables.  In the next room they had a live band, along with a table full of Indian food, a massive dessert table, a room off to the side with hot meats, salads, and breads, and vegetables, and a small table in the corner covered with chocolate dipped truffles and cheesecake on a stick.  It doesn't end there... in the next room, they had a crepe station, an omlette station with other breakfast foods, and a seafood station with fresh sushi.  Last but not least, there was a table with varying juices, including fresh squeezed orange juice.

Needless to say, we visited every table and tried just about everything in true Jenessa & Andrew fashion.  It reminded me a lot of our cruises, where we were determined to try absolutely everything on the menu.

We finished off our brunch with some of the prettiest desserts I have ever seen, including a plateful of cakes covered in edible 24k gold flakes. Yes, they were as delicious as they look!

Not the best picture ever, but the only one we have of us together!

As a wonderful end to the feasting, we were given the loveliest bottle of sparkling pink lemonade at checkout. We were really given the best 5-star treatment this weekend. Thanks Grand America and the Melting Pot, SLC for making it so special!


  1. Jenessa - thank you so much for creating this post. You and Andrew are such a wonderful, awesome couple! Happy Anniversary. Love, Dad

  2. Happy Anniversary! What beautiful photos and a sweet story.

  3. Yummers! I wish you could plan my next anniversary! That looks like fun!





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My name is Jenessa. I am a full-time graphic designer, with a photography business on the side living in Utah County. As a photographer, I have experience doing:

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