Well, I am back in Massachusetts sitting on my couch in my cozy flannel jammies staring off into space and thinking. I have so much to tell you. I need blank blogging rectangle after blank blogging rectangle to catch you up on all that has been happening. But I am going to take a deep breath and slow down and start by finishing telling you about my Utah trip.
So Tuesday morning my friends and I all headed to Park City. I have been there before but never without kids :) The morning was beautiful....mountains, blue sky.....all the necessities. We arrived on Main Street in Park City just in time to have breakfast at The Eating Establishment. Traveling with these friends of mine is all about eating. It always has been and always will be. We are on a constant quest for perfect food. The Eating Establishment was very close to perfect. I never thought I would be the type to use the words amazing and omlette together but I simply must. My omlette was amazing!
When we were done with our breakfast we started walking down Main Street and going in shops. Each store front was different. I loved all that there was for my senses to take in. I love wandering through shops and galleries. I saw so many paintings I longed to own. It always amazes me that there are people out there who can so perfectly capture the longings of life in a painting. I loved that when I came out of the shops I could look up and admire the extremely close mountains. We continued our trend of taking way too many silly pictures as we walked and shopped. We stopped and ate another amazing meal for late lunch at a restaurant on Main Street called Zoom.....we shared salads and appetizers.
It was about four in the afternoon and we decided it was time to head back to Salt Lake City but as we were driving down Main Street I spied something on the left that made me shriek.....a chair lift taking people up the mountain. I HAD to know about that. Everyone noticed that Jennifer had perked up and actually taken an interest in something so they stopped the car and let me get out. They all waited while I went to ask questions and gather information to my hearts content about the possibility of riding this chair lift. I was so happy to discover it was only $11.00. But I was so sad that the afternoon thunder clouds were gathering on the mountain. I was in for this adventure no matter the weather because I am unrealistic in every way. But I knew thunder clouds would not interest the friends. We ended up not being able to go due to rain and I was ever so sad but all my nice friends promised to come back the next day.
The next day was packed full. And it was my fault. Never invite me to your vacation :) I wanted to go on a hike and Alyson and Shannon signed up to go with me. We decided on a hike just above the University of Utah called The Living Room. It had some good reviews and I needed a view. We left the hotel at 7:30 am and got to the hike at about 8:15. The trail was not marked, at all, but I had brought some directions from an article I found on the computer and after a few minor turn arounds we were soon on our way up the canyon. It was a steady climb and when we finally found shade Alyson and Shannon sat and ate while I finished the hike on my own. I had to know what was at the end. When I got there I was so pleased with myself for finishing. The whole Salt Lake Valley was spread out before my eyes. The reason the hike is called The Living Room is because there is tons of big rocks laying around at the end of the hike that people use to make couches and chairs that you can sit in. I found the perfectly crafted rock chair and sat in it. I felt the breeze as I sat there thinking about oh so many things. There was not a soul there except me. You see, I keep searching for a view that will help me to understand what is wrong with me. So, there I sat, staring at an amazing view in Utah, once again asking myself all kinds of questions and searching for answers. I could not help but think how truly amazing the view would be at night with all the lights of the city. I got a few more insights into my quest to figure me out, I noticed where there had been a fire at some time, marveled at the green growth coming up from the burnt ground, and carefully chose a rock for my rock jar. And then hustled to catch up with Alyson and Shannon.
After we got back to the hotel I got out of hiking clothes quickly and Julie and I headed to the Conference Center for a tour. Julie has never been there before. The building is so inspiring. I could spend hours admiring all the art inside and the views from the roof. But we still had to fit Park City, the Distribution Center and the Desert Bookstore into our day :)
Finally, three o'clock in the afternoon found Kristy, Jennifer, Julie, Alyson and Kristy's son Nate heading back up to Park City. I was so looking forward to my ride on the chair lift. When we got there we decided to do the alpine slide and the alpine coaster. Which meant slow chair lift ride and then speed :) All my dreams were coming true. So for $25.00 we got three fun things. I felt pretty blessed :)
First, was the slide. You get to ride the chair lift up. I have never been on a chair lift before. It looked very dreamy. All of us fit on one chair lift. As we were heading up you could see wildlife below. There were these enormous prairie dog looking things that were everywhere. One was even resting his paws on the edge of the slide looking at it expectantly....so cute. It was so peaceful, and slow, and beautiful. When we got to the top we grabbed our sleds for our ride down the slide and got in line. The wait was not too long and I chose a fast track for the way down. Julie was in the track next to me and I am sad to report she beat me down the mountain. You have a brake and you can control how fast you go. I thought several times that I was winning but I didn't. It was super fun. I loved how later on I saw an employee of Park City coming down on a sled with his weed eater with him. Would that not be a great perk to your weed eating job at Park City? :)
After the Alpine Sled it was Alpine Coaster time. The Alpine Coaster is single little cars that you sit in. When you get in the coaster pulls you and your little car all the way up the mountain, it takes about 6 or 7 minutes to get to the top. You are all by yourself, seat belted into this car, it is quiet, and you are admiring the scenery as you are being pulled up the mountain. When you get to the top you put your hands on these two levers on the side that control your speed. The further forward you push them the faster you go, when you pull back you slow down.
When I was waiting in line for the coaster this guy came off the ride and confidently declared loudly to all of us, "push those levers all the way down and never brake there is no other way" so I did just that and it was so thrilling. You are in this car, basically all alone on the track (since they try to keep a huge distance between you and the person in front of you) it is so quiet except for the part where you are screaming your guts out. It went so fast. I LOVED it. There were tons of corners to bank on. It was beautiful and exhilarating. I wanted to go again the minute I got off. But there were the small details of time and money so I had to face reality and be content with once. I am so grateful to my kind friends who indulged me way too much in Park City.
I will post the rest of my pictures on a blog by themselves in the morning and I put a ton of them on Facebook too.
It truly was a fun trip. I am so grateful for timeless friends who continue to be oh so patient with me and loving to me as there is not much else they can do as I attempt to figure things out on my own. It was a sorely needed break. Now I am home for a week and then heading off to Oregon to get pampered by my parents. Another needed break. I told my dad as long as he cooks me steak for every meal I will listen quietly to all his lectures he is readying for me :) So Saturday I am off on my alone hike and next week is beach. And I need to tell you about Tatiana's trip to Oregon and Madeline's mission call and oh so much more. I guess we are destined to be best friends :)