Tuesday, August 16, 2011

From "Family Town" to "Everything Town"

Interesting fact: Did you know that tiramisu is made with … lemons instead of coffee in some Utah County restaurants?! For those who don’t get it, just google “coffee forbidden Utah” and find out.

We are so lucky to be so close to Park City for so many reasons. Not just because it’s a picturesque place to visit, with breathtaking mountains and beautiful architecture, but it’s our breath of fresh air. Literally and figuratively!

We go to Park City for The World Market. We go there for the Whole Foods store. We go there for The Eating Establishment restaurant and Squatters' IPA. We go there for good bagels. We go every summer for Park Silly Sunday Market, and every fall for The Parade of (vacation) Homes.

But most of all, we go there to escape into a sense of normalcy! It’s our chance to remind ourselves we still live in the US of A, and not on a patriarchal estate, somewhere, on a remote island where God locked us up and threw the key away.

In our very guarded, very securely, ever so carefully and morally tightly packed ‘Family County’ we feel like suffocating some days. After tripping on strollers everywhere in our town, after dining next to “The Smiths, family of 23”, of which adults are always outnumbered, every Friday night, no matter what restaurant we pick, after weeks and months of frowns when we order wine in a restaurant and a parade of several waiters in one order because the 16 year old, nor the 18 year old, nor their parent waiters know how to make a ‘non-virgin’ margarita, it’s nice to go “out” (literally) and … have choices!

Funny how our lives change. As the old cliché goes, you don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone. Ordering a drink, being in an adult place, like a bar, and feeling that comfortable unwinding kind of feeling at the end of a long week, where you congregate with other adults and hash out the stress gone by, used to be commonplace a year and a half ago, in another state. Not anymore. Now, it’s a treat that you have to travel to the next city to get.

This past weekend, we got away for an impromptu couple of hours to the said Mecca of Park City. We ate at Bandit’s Barbecue and I re-discovered another long time culinary love of mine that I don’t order but maybe once a year: fried pickles, baby! And here I was thinking that I left them buried into the Ol’ South! Not so.

We also took the chairlift across Main Street and beyond – more than an hour of peace, quiet, fresh pine and sap fragrances, and lots of fresh air. That was such a recharging experience, too! There is something overwhelmingly serene and therapeutic about being forced to just sit, with nowhere to go, and just be. Just breathe and watch and listen. And wonder. That’s what a chairlift does.

But as beautiful as the nature was, and always is, our most favorite part was just to connect with “other” kinds of people. Less judgy, perhaps, and more accepting (or completely ignorant!) of their neighbors. We enjoyed seeing the big, wide, crazy world out there, first hand, past the borders of our subdivision and small city life: colorful people and street décor, no reservations young artists of all sorts of media, we loved enjoying the exotic smells of street foods, like Thai and Peruvian, loved even seeing the oddities, like super fancy mobile restrooms (not the kind you think!), funky art like necklaces made of bent spoons and forks, and spoiled rotten puppies, as well as people eating out on the sidewalks on small patios and decks, taking in the mountain dim sun!

Most importantly, we loved just feeling like ourselves again. With freedom to talk however we want, and order without any nervousness that they might be out of … adult beverages on a weekend, freedom to even shop, on a Sunday …Freedom to move about without tripping on 2 year olds. We forgot there for a minute we’re in the same state. We forgot we’re not on vacation yet. And the ever so joyful and acute feeling of letting go and enjoying the moment was one last plus for which Park City will always be our get-out-and-breathe little getaway! Till next time, world …we’re back on the estate. *Sigh*

For pictures from this midday adventure, click the “last chair”.

Coming back from the mountain on the chairlift - last chair floating by us ...

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