Sunday, December 8, 2013

Deer Valley - oh my!


William and I spent the weekend in Deer Valley, which is just up the road from Park City, Utah. I am embarrassed to say that though I've now lived in Utah for almost two years, and lived in this state from 1986-1992 when I was in college, and have visited Utah more times than I can count, I've never been to Deer Valley. Like, seriously, I've never even driven past it. In fact, I wasn't exactly sure where it was.

So on our quest to explore and try new things, we headed off to the Chateaux. On the day that we left, the Wasatch mountain got its first wicked snowstorm of the year. The snow was falling so heavily that we opted to leave the cars at home and drive the Escalade-- heavy duty all wheel drive. Thank goodness we did. Half way up Parley's Canyon and the drive became treacherous. Yay for solid vehicles because we made it to our destination.

And when we arrived, it literally took my breath away. It took me a moment before I could take it in and find my voice. My heart pounded and I was awestruck.

I looked at William with a huge smile. "I love being up here with you already!" I said. Actually, I think I squealed. I know, this is so hokey, right? Ok, whatever. Guilty.
Exterior

We found our hotel and pulled into a heated parking garage and valet service. The lobby was spectacular. Enormous windows overlooking the Deer Valley ski resort, big huge fireplaces, overstuffed leather chairs, huge wooden beams and stone walls. It was everything an ultra swanky luxurious mountain property should be.
 
It was opening ski weekend at Deer Valley and a few really dedicated skiers were already on the slopes, despite the fact that it was crazy snowing and it was cold. We were fine watching them and enjoying having a few drinks snuggled up on comfy couches listening to a very good band and watching football games.
 
 
Interior
Interior
We went up to our room to put our stuff away and take a short break. It was my dream room. Cozy, intimate, and comfortable. We turned on the fireplace, opened up the drapes and watched the snow, and counted ourselves lucky to be there.
 
Rooms & Suites
 
Back to the bar, we ordered delicious food, had a few more drinks, and retired early for the night to watch more football in our room and cozy up in front of our fireplace. Watching the snow come down in such peace and breathtaking beauty while the storm raged outside was spectacular. I slept like a baby knowing I was safe from all the bad elements life can offer up. Well, at least that moment, I felt very safe and protected in every way. Peaceful and joyful are words that come to mind.
 
Exterior
 
In the morning, we turned back on the fireplace, took our time showering and getting dressed, and then exploring the property across the street - the Stein Erikson Lodge-- a hotel I'd heard about in almost whispered tones -- since I was in college. This was the lodge that all the fashionable and really successful people went to. Clearly, at that time in my life, the Lodge was so out of my league that I didn't dare even step foot near those hallowed doors. This time was a whole new reality and I felt perfectly at home parking the Escalade with valet in their heated parking garage and walking around the lodge like we belonged there.
 
 
 
The Stein Erikson Ski Shop had the most beautiful ski clothes I have ever seen. I can't even think of a close second-- not at Banff, Canada or Mammoth or Veil or Heavenly or... well, anywhere. This was just crazy cool and beautiful stuff. Of course, the coats that William and I were eyeing were $1,980 and $3,000 respectively. Tempting, but we passed. You know- a couple ski coats or a week in the Carribean over spring break? Easy decision. Ok, maybe not an easy decision because I would love to have purchased that silver puffy ski jacket from a European manufacturer that I could never pronounce.
 
After way too much coffee, we drove into Park City for breakfast, then drove around looking at houses at Jeremy Ranch, and then headed to the airport, where I dropped William off for his week in Seattle visiting his oldest daughter, a bank manager, and her husband, who are having the first baby in several more months. 
 
After dropping bidding adieu, it was back to my girls. "We miss you so much when you're gone, Mommy," Morgan said. My heart melted. My love bubble. I never want to leave it. I'm so lucky, so blessed.
 
Siena decided that the three of us needed to go to lunch- somewhere they wait on us so we can just sit and chat and put our phones away. We are quite limited in the part of Utah in which we live. First, there really are no good restaurants- they are all chains. Not even good chains. We're talking Applebees (gag). Second, it was a Sunday and the few decent places we like to eat are closed. So we ended up at one of the worse restaurants on the planet, if you ask me: Olive Garden. Our lunch was - you guessed it -- perfectly gagworthy. It reminded me why I never ever never go there. The last time I went was, like, five years ago. I can't imagine ever going back. That said, we played many rounds of tic tac toe and talked a lot, so I really don't remember who truly awful the food was.
 
Tomorrow, my mother is going under the knife and I'm taking her and staying with her the first night before we come home on Tuesday. My mom has been an incredibly amazing caregiver to me these past two years (well, she's been terrific her whole life to me) so I am honored to be able to pay just a bit back. I hope I'll do a good job.
 
To health, love, joy and beauty. It's what the Christmas season is all about, no?