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Friday, February 6, 2009

Thunder Snow

I'm tempted to call it a night and go to bed. Mom and I are exhausted, but we've had a really great time in Park City so far.

Mom and Dad picked me up at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday morning to head to the airport. The flight into Denver was smooth, and didn't seem to last long because I watched a movie on my iPod. We had a short layover in Denver on our way to Salt Lake City, but we almost missed the flight. Neither one of us were paying attention, as we sat in a group of chairs that served five different gates. Mom elbowed me about 20 minutes before our flight time, and said that she thought our flight already boarded. We both looked at each other and popped up, grabbed our stuff, and as we walked aboard, the pilot asked us if there was anyone else behind us. Yep, we were the last ones to board. At least they didn't have to call for us over the airport intercom...

We got into Salt Lake a little early, and rented our car for the 30 minute drive to Park City. The snowy landscape increased considerably as we ascended into the mountains. After a stop at the Visitor Center, we checked into our hotel, Newpark Resort. Our room is really, really nice. I was quite impressed. By this point, we were starving, so we went over to Whole Foods to eat dinner and grocery shop. It wasn't long after that we came back and climbed into bed.

I guess we're still a little jet lagged, because both of us woke up at 5 a.m. this morning. Mom looked out the window and realized that it was snowing heavily---about four inches overnight. We ate breakfast, watched GMA, and then left to go have coffee at Starbucks. I had my quiet time over a sub-par London Fog. What's up with that? Ever since Starbucks officially put it on the menu, the recipe changed. Anyway, while we were at the Bucks, it snowed another couple of inches.

At about 9:30, we caught the free tourist bus to the historic district of Park City and shopped at the cute little storefronts for a couple of hours. It was pretty much a ghost town...evidently no one gets up before noon up here. We stopped and had lunch at a local cafe, and then shopped a little while longer. Early afternoon led us to the Java Cow, a coffeeshop where we spent several hours reading while we watched the snow fall. It was fabulously relaxing.

Around four-ish, we caught the bus back to Newpark and met two older men from Pennsylvania. They were headed to the same place we were, Utah Olympic Park. The men were nice enough, but forgettable. When we got back to Newpark, we got in the car and drove the couple of miles up the mountain to the Park. Mom and I paid for the tour, and while we were waiting, the two gentlemen walked in with two more gentlemen in tow. We all kind of laughed, and made small talk. One of the men asked us if they could have a ride back down the mountain, and asked what kind of car we were driving. Mom and I kind of looked at each other and changed the subject. Ya right, buddy.

The tour began, and we climbed aboard the tour bus to shuttle us to the ski jumps to watch the freestyle aerials. Up on the mountain, there was a ton of snow--more than I've ever seen in my entire life...combined. It was snowing hard at this point, with flakes sticking to my eyelashes and little piles collecting on my shoulders. It looked like powdered sugar. Light and fluffy.

The tour guide led us back to the bus after watching the skiers for a little while, and drove us up to the Olympic bobsled course. We watched as the bobsled made it's way all the way down the course in less than a minute. If we'd have ponied up $200 each, we could've had a 60-second thrill too.

We got back on the bus, and headed up even farther on the mountain...7800 feet to be exact. Our guide led us out onto a platform, and we peered down at a ski slope that disappeared into the fog. The slope is the length of one-and-a-half football fields. I don't know if it was the altitude or the thoughts of going down that slope on skis, but it made me feel lightheaded.

Finally, we got back on the bus and gingerly made our way down the mountain. When the bus pulled up, Mom and I high-tailed it to the parking lot, reminding ourselves not to look back and make eye contact with the men.

Dinnertime was approaching, and we were both starving. We stumbled upon a place called "Chinese Kitchen" in Kimball Junction, and walked in. Something caught the corner of my eye, and I did a double-take as I realized those four men were at the restaurant eating! Mom realized it at the same time, but it was too late for us to turn back. We both got the giggles as we were seated, and a few minutes later, one of the gentleman came over to say hi to us. What are the odds that we ran into them again???

After a delicious dinner, Mom and I came back to the room to go for a swim. The indoor pool is connected to the outdoor pool and hot tub, and so we experienced swimming in 20 degree weather. It was crisp. You know how you can feel the movement of the water as it laps and bubbles in a pool? I'm still feeling that now, and it's driving me toward bed.

I just checked the weather a few minutes ago, and tomorrow they're predicting Thunder Snow. You heard right. Thunder Snow. Cool.


Blogger Rhonda said...

I'm jealous but glad you are having a good time! I am happy to see upper 60's in Nashville today thouigh :) Good thing those men weren't any creepier. It sounds crazy, but I have ALWAYS wanted to see thunder snow!! Take video with sound if you can!!!

9:16 AM


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