Stuart Johnson, Deseret News archives
The BYU block \"Y\" painted on the mountain East of Provo.

Last week I took the inaugural Frontier airline flight out of Provo to Denver.

It was a odd experience. I drove around a field of cows, parked my car in a tiny lot, passed through the shortest security line of my life and one hour later I was in Denver.

Along with some 90-something friends of one distinction or another, I spent the day in Denver's touristy hot spots. We started at the Denver Aquarium, ran to Coors Field for a tour of the Rockies' home crib and ended at Larimer Square for socializing and a taste of downtown.

Around 6 p.m. we boarded our plane again and a little over an hour later we arrived back in Provo. I got into my car and rolled the windows down for some fresh air. Then I had to promptly roll them back up because a hasty swarm of mosquitoes came for my blood the minute my flesh was exposed to the Utah Lake air.

So, we’ve got some work to do.

On the way home I was thinking what I would tell someone in Denver to do should he or she want to take the same flight to Provo. What could someone do in the same amount of time here in my town?

First, I’d send them up Center Street toward the Provo Bakery for a Bavarian Cream doughnut. I think any excursion is better if it starts with a doughnut. These Bavarians are made fresh in the morning, topped with thick chocolate frosting and infused with cream. The first bite is just doughnut and the second bite is too. On the third bite the cream is unleashed and the fusion of doughnut, chocolate and soft cream is desirable to the taste buds.

Then I’d tell our visitors they should probably work off the calories it takes to enjoy such a delight. They’d be sent eastward and north a bit to "Y" Mountain to hike the Y. Of course, only mountain goats and over-achievers should ever hike that path. It’s steep, rocky and unforgiving. The view from the top, though, is very lovely. Hikers can see the cemetery to the south and the Provo LDS Temple to the north and all the things NuSkin built in between.

While visiting Denver the one thing I wanted more than any was a nap. All that flying and running around? I just wanted 15 minutes to close my eyes and catch that Rocky Mountain High John Denver always sang about.

So I’d tell our guests to take their tired, hiked-out bodies to The Shops at Riverwoods. Recently, the whole scene has been remodeled and now there are pedestrian-friendly streets and lots of bench seating. I’d tell them to grab a bench, sprawl out and listen to whoever happens to be serenading from the entertainment gazebo.

For lunch we’d head to Slab Pizza because it’s where I take all my visiting friends. I’d make them eat the Buffalo Wing and Pulled Pork Slabs. There is no ordering “Hawaiian” at a joint like that.

Then a trip to the Bean Museum, the green-carpeted prize of the BYU Science Department. It’s wall-to-wall stuffed animals including fish and spiders and, my personal favorite, a very freaky section dedicated to wild baboons.

We’d end the day at Provo Town Square in the heart of downtown just so our visitors could observe the people of Provo. How friendly! How modest! How fit! Maybe a band from our phenomenal music scene would be playing. Maybe they’d buy a CD or two to take home. We are the home of the Neon Trees, you know, which makes us all five minutes away from fame.

After a quick spray of repellent, I’d send our friends back down Center Street westward towards the airport. As a parting gift I’d offer them a Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcake to remember us by.

By the way, writing this column has inspired me to start my own Provo touring company.

Excuse me, I’ve got to check on Le Bus rental prices.

C. Jane Kendrick writes for She lives in Provo with her husband and two children.