Mountainside Marriott and Why Sunroofs and the Backcountry Do Not Mix

Whilst in Park City, my kids and I stayed at the Mountainside Marriott. PCMR Marketing Director Krista Parry arranged our lodging, initially giving me the choice to stay at Silver Star, the most gorgeous slope-side condominium I have ever stayed in.

This was also the place where Bode became a man over Spring Break.

Or at least a non-woosy baby.

But this time, I requested the slope-wide Marriott for one simple reason: the water. My kids delighted in splashing around the pool and I opted for the multiple whirlpool spas with waterfalls that seemed to spill out of the boulders.

For a weekend of pampering, I’d highly recommend the Silver Star. For an extended stay in Park City, the Marriott Mountainside is where it is at with a spa, fitness center and activity center with crafts and outings all day long.

But the intimidating life-sized chess and checkers game?

Bode says he’ll stick with the Wii and XBox in the game room.

For our final morning in Park City, our friends Dave and Rebecca took us to Squatter’s for breakfast and invited us on a casual hike up Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway. This backcountry road connects Park City to Big Cottonwood Canyon and the Salt Lake Valley, boasting epic views like this one.

The Lincoln MKT served me well during the laborious 9-hour drive from Denver. I loved the sattelite radio, push-button start, voice-activated navigation system, pull-down shades for the kids and cooled seats in this seven-passenger vehicle. But I felt like we hadn’t really enjoyed it yet. This drive was to be our chance.

I opened the sunroof for the first time, cranked up the tunes and we wound around vertiginous mountain passages cram-packed with aspen and oak splendor. The kids reached toward the sky dancing and singing in their seats and all was right in the world with our glorious luxury vehicle.

Until we hit the gravel road.

Here’s a little tip: an open sunroof and dusty gravel do not mix. I’m just sayin’.

Upon reaching the apex of Guardsman Pass, we hopped out to begin our hike. Rebecca assured me it was a short 1-miler to a pretty lake and that she had done it with her two small children.

What she failed to mention? At one point, the trail was a straight and steep shot down to the lake.

I wore flip flops and a skirt.

It was not pretty.

Fortunately, the lake was.

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