We are creatures of habit, even if we prefer to call them traditions. Tradition dictates that during Presidents’ Day weekend, we join our ski-loving friends in Deer Valley for a weekend of skiing. To be sure, our family can best be described as 2 non-skiers, 1 reluctant skier, and 1 enthusiastic skier. The enthusiastic skier (the 17 year old boy) has now skied a total of 1 weekend a year for the past 5 years and tackled his first black diamond slope on Sunday with control and skill. See below:
Despite the 1 in 4 skiing enthusiast ratio in our family, we thoroughly enjoy the weekend. Deer Valley is the Nordstrom of ski resorts, with excellent customer service and friendly staff (not to mention good skiing). Park City has a cute and fun downtown to walk around (we are particularly partial to the Park City Jewelers.) 🙂 Our contribution is to cook dinner (this year it was cioppino one night and make-your-own-pizza one night). Most importantly, we love spending time with our friends. We have known them for over 25 years, and we appreciate the relatively quiet time over the holiday weekend to re-connect and form new memories together.
Washington, DC area locals know that every four years in January, it is best to leave town, no matter who has been elected president. Downtown DC is shut down for security reasons, traffic is even more horrible than usual, and the kids get a day off of school. We fled town for Deer Valley at the invitation of some friends.
Locals in Deer Valley tend to flee to other destinations because this is the first weekend of Sundance. But if you can find a place to stay (and thanks to our friends, we did), the slopes are empty. In addition, Friday saw an additional 4-6 inches of snow, and the conditions were perfect for skiing. (I say this as if I have knowledge and expertise, but I am merely parroting those who do.) Our friends are expert skiers, but they were gracious enough to keep the kids company and ski at their more rudimentary level.
Neither Jim nor I ski so we spent the days grocery shopping and cooking meals and walking through Park City. Marcus had spotted the actor who plays Turk on “Luke Cage” at the Salt Lake City airport baggage claim while Jim and I caught part of the Women’s March in Park City and spotted the actress, Olivia Wilde, on the streets right after the march ended. Park City is a cute town with interesting art galleries, jewelry stores and bookstores. Many of the art galleries had been converted into theaters for Sundance, but there were still enough to make for interesting window shopping. And thanks to Sundance, the people-watching was especially fascinating.
And just to put things in perspective, when we mentioned to the Park City locals that we were fleeing DC because of the inauguration, the typical reaction we received was, “Oh, right, that’s this weekend.” Proving yet again that the center of power is economic and not political.
Thanks to our wonderful friends, the weekend was perfect and filled with the 3 Fs—friendship, fun, and food.
We have some very lovely friends who invited us for a second year to join them at Deer Valley for Presidents’ Day weekend. Neither Jim nor I ski (growing up in Kansas means you don’t have a lot of mountains nearby), but the kids enjoyed it last year when they tried it.
We started off the trip by bumping into Congressman John Lewis in the airport. He had given a very inspirational talk at our kids’ school a year or two ago, and Jim took this opportunity to have our son meet him (in addition to having heard him) and get a photo together. Congressman Lewis is a genuine civil rights hero, and we very much respect his principled and non-violent stand on civil rights.
with Congressman John Lewis
I think of the Deer Valley ski resort as the Nordstrom of ski resorts. The staff there from top to bottom is extremely service-oriented and friendly. We must have been asked half a dozen times whether we’d been helped while we were waiting for the kids’ ski instructor.
And the scenery is beautiful.
Both kids picked back up where they left off skiing last year. By the end of the first day of skiing, our son was skiing on the green runs (this would be his 4th time out on skis), and our daughter was skiing the blue runs with reasonable confidence. This improvement and the kids’ ski styles are completely consistent with their personalities. Our daughter skis cautiously with good form—her one desire being not to get herself killed as she goes down the slope. Our son, not having much of a frontal lobe at his age, zips down the slopes unafraid of speed, falling, or ledges. Fortunately, we came back with two whole and undamaged kids (their efforts notwithstanding).
What better way to spend Presidents’ Day weekend than with a little bit of history and a lot of fun!