Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Park City and why every couple should go away alone together on occasion

Social media and I have just not been gelling lately. I have maxed myself out about ten times over this summer, and this week is no better as I am finally (and truly!) settling into the house for good (putting the suitcases away) while simultaneously getting everyone ready for school. I wish that meant nothing more than going shoe/backpack/lunch box/supply shopping and attending an open house or two, but things are a little more complicated than that around here. 

There is a sudden opening for Elizabeth in the gifted program at the same school Will is going to be attending for the same program, which sounds perfectly fantastic to me, but Elizabeth is NOT happy/excited about it since it's been two years of getting comfortable at the other school already. I can feel her pain, but I can also see the big picture, so after going back and forth with the program people, they are letting me/us have a few days to think about it and also take her to the open house before deciding. (They originally said they needed an immediate answer since school starts next Tuesday.) And there's poor Rachael who is fully expecting her pre-school to be at the school where Elizabeth will be going, only she won't be if she goes into the gifted program at this other school. (Why can't OUR school have the gifted program? Waaah!) And then do I put Rachael into kindgarten next year at that other school since it's open enrollment? But then neither of the little girls will go to school with the people in our neighborhood. (Oh agony of a decision! Someone help me make it!)

Then there is Kate who finally got her schedule, only it didn't include Honors English even though we had a very specific conversation with her counselor about it in the spring. So now we/she are in the process of filling out an application and writing an essay so we can hopefully get that ironed out as well before next Tuesday. And I always adore the after school extracurriculars puzzle piecing--figuring out what to do when, trying to coordinate carpools for everything, getting everyone signed up and ready to go. I'm definitely not complaining about any of this--these are all good dilemmas to have--it's just been crazy busy starting with everything leading up to the move and just about every second since. 

Which is why a little alone time with Brandon for two and half days up in Park City last weekend was about the best thing that has happened to me in a year. Honestly! I finally feel like myself again, and that's saying a lot considering how equally thrashed and wound up I was feeling as we drove away. By the time we were coming home I was a new woman. 

It's so hard to get things ready for someone else to take over for Mom, but it is always, always worth it. Rachael is totally old enough now that we should be doing this twice a year if we can find a way to swing it. Kaylie has been our college co-ed of choice the last two times we've done this since moving here two years ago. Love that girl. She is our life saver in a foreign land without family. 

The beauty of this *vacation* (only kid-free trips can be labeled true vacations, because as every parent knows, a family "vacation" is a whole lotta work for mom and dad, fun as it is . . .) was that it was less than an hour drive, and for a ridiculously cheap price (thanks to Travel Zoo), we stayed nights (with two three course meals included) at a totally nice resort in Deer Valley just next to Park City. Other than the best massage I've ever had in my life (ask for Ashley), and some of the best food I've ever had in my life (the trip quickly and uncontrollably morphed into a wannabe foodie tour), we didn't spend any money at all. Okay, fine, that all added up, but compared to a trip to some exotic place with airfare included, this trip was nothing! 

The entire two and half days consisted of eating, sleeping, eating, hot tubbing, eating, massage, eating, window shopping, eating, reading, eating, eating, and eating. We are usually much more active when we go away alone together (last time was paragliding and hiking in the Tetons almost a year ago for my 40th birthday), but we were both so stinkin' exhausted from the happenings of the spring/summer that we could hardly rouse ourselves to do much more than find the next best restaurant. 

Following are a few pics of the most effectively rejuvenating weekend of the year. . .

We spent most of our "active" time walking up and down Main Street in the historical district:
This kid was so cute and really good!
Park City is known for it's skiing, of course, but it is so beautiful and worthwhile to visit in the summer:
Used to be a mining town:
Just cute:
Double cute (minus the Rolex clock face--that's kind of obnoxious):
The Java Cow may sell the best ice cream I've ever had in my life. (Lots of "bests" this weekend . . .)
We came back on Day 2 to experience another round of Almond Joyous (quite phenomenal if you're an Almond Joy fan), but--tragedy of tragedies!-- it was all gone. These were the next three contenders on my list of bests, Wowie Cowie coming in a close second to Almond Joyous:
Check out the air ducts--so clever! And there was 2002 winter Olympics paraphenalia all over the room I was sitting in (you can see some on the far right wall). There's a lot of Olympic stuff everywhere as you can imagine:
Charming atmosphere, marginal food at this place. The only disappointing meal of the trip:
Triple . . .
and quadruple cute:
This one is just plain pretty. St. Mary's Cathedral. You'd be surprised how not Mormon Salt Lake and Park City are. They definitely don't fit the stereotype I think many people have of Utah. While I don't mind living in "Happy Valley," it's also fun to go just a little bit north and feel like I'm in a totally different place:
That's a wedding shoot going on down there on the right:
This would be a picture of the best breakfast I've ever had in my entire life at the 5 star restaurant associated with the famous Stein Eriksen lodge across the street from where we were staying. It's a Norwegian potato and bacon pancake with poached egg, jarlsberg cheese sauce, and cranberries. (If you have to know: $16 and worth every penny. I didn't eat lunch.) My mouth is watering this very minute: 
Same place around 11pm for the best dessert of my life. (I'm not exaggerating here, folks.) They were both out of control, but the one in back is called "chocolate hazlenut crunch" and consisted of mascarpone cream, milk chocolate custard, carmelized hazelnuts, coffee ice, and (wait for it . . .) NUTELLA GELATO. Need I say more?
We spent most of that "active" time on Main Street going from one cool art gallery to the next. Here are a few favs:
 (Fish lamps are only a mere $600 a piece. Ha!)
So cool! Old book and album covers as well as game boards under resin and . . . something else I don't remember. Can you imagine how fun that would be to go around shopping for this stuff? And I totally played that game on the far right upper corner as a kid. Anyone remember what it was called?

Just as we were about to head back to our hotel around 8pm on our last night, we happened to walk by the ski lift and heard a couple asking if they could ride for free since it was their anniversary. The teenager working there said Sure! which made me laugh for some reason. That got his attention so he offered US a free ride. It was getting kind of dark, but we thought what the heck and hopped on. About 5 minutes into the 40 minute round trip lift ride, the rain and serious wind started. We were freezing and SOAKED by the time we got back, but we still had to walk all the way up the hill in the rain to our car in our shorts and sandals. We were laughing so hard, and glad to be just minutes away from the hot tub at the hotel. After the hot tub we ate a late dinner, only to come back around midnight to a raging party (complete with Karaoke) going on in the adjacent room. After calling the front desk and having them knock on the door to tell them to cool it, and the occupants doing no such thing, and us complaining about it again when things didn't let up, and receiving the explanation from the front desk that the only thing for them to do at that point was to either call the police or move us to another room, I found myself dragging myself across an outdoor courtyard in a robe and stocking feet at 3am. (Still not sure why calling the police wasn't the best option . . .) Soooooo on the next and last day of our already too short vacation, we were a wee bit tired. I had a hard time getting back to sleep at 3am as I conjured up in my mind the nice little letter I would write and slip under their door the next morning, as well as an announcement to tape to the front of their door for everyone passing by to see. (You bet I did both.) 

This is a very long explanation as to why (after checking out and getting a voucher to come back for free another time--yay!) we found ourselves with pillows, sleeping, under these beautiful trees at an old park somewhere in town:
It was after we woke up that I realized we didn't have a single picture of us on our little getaway, so I had Brandon take this one:
And then used the auto timer setting for this one:
One last fantastic meal up in the Canyons area on "ski beach" where a concert was getting ready to play. (All local, organic, sustainable farm food, yada yada . . . it was tasty.)
Such a fun atmosphere. I'm going to miss summer:

One last lift ride down the mountain:
Re-reading this it sounds just as delightful as it really was. Again, not terribly expensive or too long, a pain in the neck to arrange, various hitches along the way (2am karaoke being one), but worth every penny, every hassle, every minute. Get on Groupon, or Travelzoo, and plan your little getaway today. It's probably the best thing you can do for yourself as well as your marriage.

I really hope it's not another year before we get away like this again.

**As a side note, other than 2 separate one-nighters, we didn't take a single trip away alone together for the first twelve years of our marriage because of finances and babies/nursing. We hardly even went out on weekend dates for that matter! I know a lot of people are in the same boat, so I'm certainly not trying to rub salt in any wounds, but I kind of wish we had tried a little harder to do something at least once a year during those years when we so needed it . . . I think it would have been possible if I had put my mind to it. 

**Another side note: we're on a diet now.

1 comment:

  1. Love your pics! You are still just as beautiful as when growing up. Love your comments; they are so true!


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