Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Park City - 2016

Last Tuesday we departed for Utah, for our second annual family ski trip (sans Walker).  We rented a condo at the base of the Park City Mountain, and got ourselves settled in before our 5 days of skiing.  Our first night allowed us to overlap with Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim and Lisa, so we all dined together and caught up....what a treat!

view from our condo
Our first morning on the slopes started off great, with a beautiful sunny sky and happy, anxious children who couldn't wait to begin ski school.  We dropped them off promptly at 8:45, and took off for our own full day of skiing.  With the help of an app, we learned that we skied 27,000 vertical feet and tackled about 25 runs.  Needless to say, we were spent at the end of the day.  A cold beer was a necessity, so we found a table, people watched and chatted with the kids about their days.  They were excited to hit the hot tub and heated pool, so after a couple of beers we went back to our condo and changed into our swimsuits.  Relaxing in the hot tub was just what this old body needed, followed up by a hot shower, warm pjs and dinner in.  The kids passed out before 8pm, and we weren't far behind them.

Snuggling after day 1 of skiing

Bennett all grown up

Day 2 was another gorgeous day.  Once again the kids were dressed and ready to go to ski school by 8:30am, if only they would accept them that early.  Steve and I decided to start our day with a black diamond, followed up by a double blue (way to warm up).  Nothing better than skiing freshly groomed runs first thing in the morning before the sun melts the snow and everybody is out.  We skied hard again, and dined at Cloud 9 on top of the mountain for lunch.  We enjoyed our soup, beer and piano in the background...all while enjoying the 48 degree weather.  We made it back to get the kids at 3pm, and found two VERY happy kids.  Today was the day .....they earned their poles!  They were ecstatic, and dying to go get them so they could try them out before ski school the following day.  After we got them, we skied a few more runs, finally going home at 4:45!  We grabbed our box of wine and sat in the hot tub for over an hour!  We stayed in once again, and hit the hay early. 

The kids final day of ski school proved to be another great day in the mid 40's.  With the help of the app, we could see which lifts the kids were doing, so we had an idea of what they were skiing.  As we suspected, Preston tackled more blues, and new terrain.  His instructor said he loved the runs through the trees, and any jumps he can find.  She nicknamed him "jumping bean."  Bennett continued to gain confidence and excel at perfecting her turns.  She got faster and faster on the runs she felt comfortable with, and looked good doing it.  While the kids were having fun, Steve and I managed to ski to the furthest point on the opposite side of the mountain.  It took us all morning to weave our way over there, but we loved trying the new runs and seeing the other side of this huge resort.  We dined at Lookout Mountain, and then began working our way back to the other side to get the kids.  That afternoon, we showered and headed to town to shop and eat dinner.  The kids each bought a new PC sweatshirt, thanks to Nene and Poppy, and we dined on some gourmet Mexican.
view from Red Pine Gondola, overlooking the Canyons Resort

Pres at the top of mtn, sent to us by his ski instructor

windy on the ski lift, but gorgeous backdrop
1st gondola ride for the kids
Day 4 came, and the kids were super excited to be skiing with us all day.  Unfortunately I led them down a terrible first ungroomed blue which was moguled up from the day before!  Steve gave me the stink eye when he saw what I got us into, but the kids didn't know how bad it was until they started down it.  Preston took off first, and bounced down half of the moguls until he wiped out and lost a ski (which thankfully hit a tree and stopped).  Thankfully, I was going down behind him and was able to retrieve his ski.  Unfortunately, poor Bennett lost control near the top and took off down the moguls too...straight down...I was scared for her because she was out of control. 

Apr├Ęs dining at Tombstone Grill
She looked scared to death and there was nothing I could do but yell for her to sit down.  She finally did a controlled wipe out, with Steve scooting down behind her slowly.  It was certainly NOT the way any of us wanted to start our day.  We were all sweating, goggles were fogged up and everyone was mad at me (I just laughed though...what can you do?).  Bennett was so shaken up with the whole fiasco, that Steve needed to talk her off the ledge.  Preston grew impatient waiting, so we took off through the woods to the bottom, and Bennett and Steve struggled down the rest of the hill.  Sadly, she wiped out again, and left a pole behind (which someone needed to bring to her)...needless to say, Steve was NOT happy with me.

view from a double blue in the Canyons
Fortunately for all of us, that was the low of the day, and it only got better.  It did take a few greens to build Bennett's confidence back up, but Pres took it all in stride and continued down whatever we led him.  It was another beautiful day, so we really wanted to pack it all in, and show the kids the other side of the mountain.  They got a kick out of riding the gondola, and did great the rest of the day.  We split up a couple of times, but otherwise had a great family day of skiing together.  We concluded our day with a ride on the Alpine Coaster (the little rollercoaster down a ski slope), time in the heated pool and hot tub, and then dinner in our condo.  Another very full day for all of us!

alpine coaster at PC resort
Our fifth and final day of skiing proved to be a little tougher on everyone.  I think after pushing the kids to double their normal vertical feet, and tackle terrain that they hadn't seen before really wore them out...more than anyone was willing to admit.  In addition, it was a cloudy and windy day, making everyone a little more cold and uncomfortable than we had been all week.  The morning was tough, with a few tears, a few wipeouts, and a few moguls, but we broke for lunch way early and that seemed to help the kids rebound.  We hit more runs after lunch, but by 3pm, we threw in the towel and headed home.  After some relaxing in the hot tub and pool, we headed up for a hot shower and dinner.  We played a couple of games of Uno, watched lots of videos of Walker (we all miss him a ton), and decided we might be better off skiing just 4 days next year.
We all had a terrific time, everyone improved, had a blast and we loved exploring a new area...but skiing hard for five days is tough.  We want to thoroughly enjoy our whole time, so a six day trip, with 2 travel days and 4 ski days, is just perfect.  We discussed bringing Walker next year too, and I don't know if he could handle 5 days of ski school/daycare.  One thing we did agree on though...we all loved the extremely short commute to PC, the town of PC and the proximity to the slopes of our current location.  If only we could sneak away a few times a year.....
So until next time, I will just dream of this beautiful view....