Utah: How I Love Thee (Mostly) and our Park City Family Vacation

My complicated relationship with Utah was reconfirmed during our latest visit for spring break. I wouldn’t go are far as to say it’s a love-hate dynamic but I always struggle between “I want to move back here” and “I’m so glad I got out of here,” the former attributed to the mountains and family and the later, to cultural idiosyncrasies.

But what could be better than hanging out reading books with Grandma in her beautiful, new finished basement?
Not to mention dying eggs and a fun Easter egg hunt with our darling cousins?And sneaking off to do this memorable hike on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail behind Red Butte Gardens wasn’t too bad, either.
Our spring break was about two things: Skiing at Park City Mountain Resort and family. Fortunately, we were able to combine them both by staying at Silver Star, a gorgeous three-bedroom town home at the base. The gift basket is courtesy of Resorts West. The Cheese Balls, thanks to us.
We like to keep it classy.

For four days, we hot tubbed, watched The Hobbit, grilled burgers, ate and hung out.

Ski School

That was just the indoor fun. The kids did ski school for a few days and Bode rocked his “Superstar” class.

Attempting Mary Katherine Gallagher’s “Superstar” pose

And Hadley graduated to an intermediate-advanced class. Her instructor told us she used to train the U.S. Ski Team, gave us her card and said that she “could work with her.”
Some parents would sell their soul if their kid had an iota of Olympic potential. We’re underachievers who said “that’s nice” and went back to eating our Cheese Balls.

Jamie had a stellar time on the mountain, with the exception of the day I got really ill from an allergy-induced sinus infection.

I, of course, have to get sick on every vacation.

Tubing for a Bruising

Then, there was Gorgoza Park. On our final night in Park City, Jamie’s sister and her family joined us for some fun at this adventure park outside of Park City. Our kiddos tore up the mini snowmobiles.Our 3-year-old twinnies are darling and sweet but oh-so fearful. They’re under 42-inches tall so had to tube the Lower Lanes, which is a good thing because they were sufficiently traumatized. For the first run, Ada went down with her dad without a problem while Berkley was HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Jamie’s sister Tammy soothed her fears and even Ada’s pep talk about “being brave” didn’t help. After several motivational speeches, they eventually went down with Berkley screaming the whole way.

Then came the final attempt. The staffer at the top complimented Tammy saying “Most parents just throw their kids in the tube but you handled that just right by talking it out with her.” But this time, it was Ada who decided to freak out and refuse to go down the hill. After trying to calm her down, they all loaded up and had the staffer push them down the hill with Ada screaming the whole way.

“You mean, the parents do it like this?” Tammy joked to him.

I always knew I liked her.

For Fear Factor, Edition 2 we dragged Jamie’s mom up and down The Big Hill.

She initially wasn’t very happy but unlike Ada and Berkley, Adventure Grandma didn’t cry even once.

Family Ski Day

There are few things that bring me more joy than skiing with my little family and though we hope to keep them in ski school as long as possible, I love when we can ski together. A tradition at many resorts is to throw bead necklaces in the trees as you’re passing them on the chair lift. We purchased eight necklaces from the Dollar Store prior to our trip and were so excited to try it.

The problem: Bode lost two of them before we even left the condo. We also hadn’t calculated the exact moment we would need to toss them, taking into account the velocity of the chair lift, the angle of the trees and our sheer incompetence.

Translation: We failed at physics and I think only two actually made it into the trees.

There were many, many other adventures including skiing down the Adventure Alleys designed for kids, doing the jumps at the terrain park, the alpine coaster and Flying Eagle zipline.And then my very favorite moment of the entire trip: summiting the top of the McConkey Lift. Perched at the top of the ski resort, only intermediate and advanced skiers can access it and this was our first as a family.

Bode squealed, “I’m the king of the world” as he gazed out upon the endless sea of mountains. Then as he peered over the edge as he skied and he confessed, “I’m kinda freaking out” but went on to ski it like a champ.

His wasn’t the only breakdown. The day before, Jamie had taken me down double-black expert terrain at Jupiter Bowl when I was still recovering from the plague. There are no pictures of his indiscretion, which is probably a good thing because the less evidence, the better.

Hopefully, Ada, Berkley, Bode , Grandma and I will have forgotten those freakout moments by the time we return to have the time of our lives at Park City Mountain Resort next year.

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