Vice President Al Gore, wife Tipper, and two of their daughters arrived in Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a short vacation.

Gore was met at the Utah Air National Guard facilities by Gov. Mike Leavitt, House Speaker Mel Brown, Senate President Lane Beattie and other legislative and city leaders.Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell joked with Gore that it was tough getting an airplane flight to San Antonio, where the University of Utah's men's basketball team is in the Final Four NCAA tournament, and maybe they could borrow Air Force 2. Gore joked back they could take his plane, which carries the vice presidential seal, as long as he didn't know about it.

Actually, arranging travel to San Antonio for some of the state's top officers has been difficult. Beattie says he's going on the private plane of a longtime friend. Brown says he may or may not go, depending on air travel and his schedule. Leavitt's plans are still to be finalized, but he apparently will go Monday to attend that night's championship game.

Now there's an optimist - scheduling a trip now when the U. hasn't won its Saturday semi-final game against No. 1 ranked North Carolina.