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Park City, Utah

Date: March 4-11, 2006
Trip Leader: John Kelly
Trip Assistant: Cheryl Bliss

The Park City, Utah trip was off and running on Saturday, March 4 with 33 participants. With the pre-trip injury bug hitting the group, our contingent of non-skiers had unexpectedly grown. Our flight to Utah was delayed a little bit due to high winds, so we got to Salt Lake City later then expected. We hooked up with Peggy and Al who had flown in from Maryland and with all our luggage intact we headed to the Radisson in Park City! At the Radisson we found our last trip member, Randy who had flown in from Oregon. The lift tickets were waiting for us at the hotel and with some minor sorting (we were a little bleary eyed due to it being 4:30AM EST/2:30MST in the morning!) we were able to get them distributed to everyone so those die-hards could hit the slopes first thing in the morning.

Sunday morning dawned to a beautiful sunny day! A surprising number of people hit the slopes eager to try out the different resorts in the area, though The Canyons seemed to be the resort of choice, the rest of us waved to them as we caught the tail end of breakfast. While the skiers were off trying out the Canyons and Park City, some non-skiers were checking out historic Park City. The walk to town seemed much longer then the walk back as it was all up hill to town. The main street in historic Park City had lots of art galleries, shops and all kinds of restaurants. It also had some museums and other landmarks like the old Jail and a statue of Ron’s owl Hedwig from the Harry Potter movies. Winson, Maribeth and Heidi quickly found the best Mango Margarita around. Later in the afternoon, we had a welcome happy hour from the hotel. Jill gave us an overview of Park City, the hotel amenities (breakfast buffet with eggs and waffles cooked to order, free hot cider, free cookie and hot chocolate delivered to your room, two hot tubs, an indoor/outdoor pool all open from 7AM to 11PM and the ski areas, Park City, Deer Valley and The Canyons)! Yes, this is a ski trip! Some people did do more then eat and drink their way through the trip.

With the shuttle stop right outside our door, it was very convenient to get to/from the slopes. As the week got going, we all got into our routines. Stuffed ourselves at breakfast, hit the road for skiing or sightseeing, soak in the hot tub before dinner and then out to enjoy dinner at the numerous outstanding restaurants! Though I think a couple of people even hit the hot tub before skiing! There was another awesome routine that we didn’t have much control over. Nice fresh snow! It started on Monday and we got it on and off the rest of the whole week! Knee-deep power became the norm! The area was big enough to have a lot of choices but small enough to run into other club members as you were skiing. OK, not literally run into, but see each other in the lodges and on the slopes. Actually, it felt like the entire club was at Park City on Tuesday. The skiing was so good locally that many were not tempted to go travel farther away. Some said it was the best they ever had!! Ralph and Cheryl took lessons at Deer Valley and thoroughly enjoyed them. Others enjoyed the free mountain tours the resorts offered. I think we had almost every combination of skiing amounts. Most people took at least one day off, others like Laura and Steve planned to ski 6 days and did, and others like Maria kept adding ski days and also skied all 6! The friendly snowboarder versus skier battle lost a member when Randy injured his knee snowboarding and had to go home early. Latest word is that he should be back on the slopes next year!

Wednesday ended up being the day to go to Alta. Melissa, Jimmy, and Wayne headed over there and came to our club Happy Hour raving about all the fresh snow to be had there too. And speaking of the club Happy Hour, it was a big success! All but four people made it. Chris, Bill, Al and Peggy had gone to Alta for the day as well, and then headed to Salt Lake City for dinner. With the bar right next door we all settled down to eating the hot appetizers, drinking and sharing stories of the trip to date. That is, until Carol, Christine and MaryBeth got us started on Skiing Pictionary, which ended up being pretty hilarious. It was very interesting to see people’s creative sides at work. The hotel was nice and didn’t boot us out of the room, so we kept playing until we ran out of ideas. The snowboard versus skiing battle lines were kept alive when Rick and Randy started a rumor that Len was joining the dark-side. Jasmine was a recent convert to the dark-side of snowboarding and kept Pete company on the slopes.

The more adventurous sight-seers rented a car for the week so they really got to get around. Heidi, Winson and Maribeth drove through a gorgeous national park while trying to find Sundance. They even saw a moose! The outlet malls were a popular destination for those limited to the local shuttles. Dianne, Peggy and Dora went to them several times and found some really good deals. For all of his “I Hate Shopping” talk, Winston spent the most time at the outlets! Salt Lake City was also a high-light for non-skiers from Temple Square, Aquarium, University of Utah, shopping, to having lunch at Squatters Pub. In addition, the time-share talks ended up being very appealing as people garnered some very nice freebies ($100!). The Westgate timeshare proved too tempting for Christine, Carolyn, Carol and MaryBeth and they actually purchased one!

Apre-ski was fantastic at Park City. There were so many restaurants to choose from that we all felt really sorry for another club that got a meal package at the hotel. The list was just tremendous! There were all types of restaurants from the “fancy” seafood buffet at Deer Park, to Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, and buffalo burgers and the Brew Pub on Main Street to the simple Mexican restaurant frequented by the locals. There were lots of spas in Park City. More then one person enjoyed a nice massage while on the trip. Some people even want to rename the club the Holmdel Ski and Spa Club. Christine, Carolyn, Carol and MaryBeth did struggle to find a good happy hour location. There were lots of bars, but none of them happening enough for them. I think everyone was in the hot tub drinking! The Olympic venues were also an attractive sight to take in and try out. After the Bob-sled orientation Peggy decided to be the official photographer, while Bill, Chris and Al did their runs. Flying down the track at over 80MPH, they had the third fastest time of the day! Others tried slower pursuits like sleigh-rides and snow-shoeing.

Friday was the last club coordinated event and was a sleigh ride and dinner. A small group of us headed far out of town to a family run farm where the event was held. Unfortunately the warmer temperatures from earlier in the week had deserted us so it was pretty brisk. Away from all the town lights, the stars were really amazing! The highlight of the evening was the entertainment (and the homemade brownies!) It was provided by a gentleman who was an old time cowboy. He told stories about growing up out west and sang us traditional cowboy songs. It was truly a unique experience. Our shuttle driver was in a bit of a rush to get us home so the ride got a little exciting. Only when we commented that we thought we were going as fast as Chris and Bill on their bob-sled run did he slow it down.

Saturday morning we boarded the bus to start our trip back home. The week went much too fast for me. Not only was the location great, but the trip members were as well. Thanks to all of you for making this such a fun trip!


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