Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Most American Long Weekend of the Year

We live only an hour, at most, away from Snowbird Resort, but then again, we live about an hour away from anywhere worth going away. So, when we go to Snowbird for the weekend, my husband and I have sort of a tug-of-war between us over “we did go out of town” (he)  – “we didn’t go out of town” (me). Truth is … he is right: when we get up there, no matter how close to home it is, geographically, the air is cleaner and cooler, the pace is slower, the legs are lazier, the food is delicious, everything is a splurge, so it does feel like we are completely disconnected and on vacation.

We escaped to Snowbird this past long weekend, for July 4th. It was definitely not your “traditional” July 4th weekend, but it was a success, for us, nonetheless. As we were driving up there, we saw signs that fireworks were forbidden in the canyon - so that tells you that it was not going to be your regular Independence Day celebration up there.

We checked in, uneventfully, and then we headed out to dinner. The air was crisp and fresh, but not as cool as we had hoped for. The Valley floor temps were in the high 90’s, and Snowbird was not far off from that!  The air was fresher, though.

For dinner, we went to El Chanate, the first night. Every time I go to resorts around us, like Snowbird, Deer Valley and Park City, it puzzles me how I bump into very poor customer service everywhere – and I cannot, for the life of me, explain how these people stay in business! Our first night there was no exception: long waits, empty glasses, cold food, longer wait for  a bill … But all these could not damper our mood – improved significantly by the gorgeous mountain views, and watching deer graze on the slopes around us, and feeding the squirrels who were begging for tortilla chips on our patio.

This was July 4th: Mexican food, served very painfully slow, and no fireworks – due to dry weather and being in the canyon. 

On July 5th, I finally had my "patriotic" hotdog in my patriotic (USA) shirt. Best foot long I had in a while, with giant pickle slices and mustard.

The next day, we went exploring: the mountain trails, the grounds and other restaurants. 

Aspen and rock - it's all that peaks of the mountains Utah is all about!
We had a blast, bad (occasional) service, millions of kids and all! We saw deer only 5-6 feet away while exploring a close by trail, woodchuck mommas and their babies, bees and birds, we slid above snow covered peaks, eagles, pine trees and aspens in our chair lift. We had the best foot long hotdog (what’s more “American” than that, right?!) and relaxed by the pool, in total and complete abandon. The day felt like 48 hours long! 

The wild flowers were amazing! A feast for the eyes, and for the bees, flies and ants, just the same ...

We ate, we napped, we watched TV, we ate things we don’t normally eat (smoked salmon on pancakes, anyone?!), we saw gorgeous landscape and we people watched till silly! We are so lucky and so blessed to afford this, and to be able to drive just 60 minutes away from our front yard, to wash our retinas, be wowed and breathe clean air. 

All these guys were feet away from our hotel - so friendly and curious - were we trespassing their land?! Or just sharing?!

Nothing says "lazy weekend" to me than laying by a pool - this time, with mountains and pines all around ...

One of my favorite pastimes is to take the chair lift to the top of the mountain. The views from Hidden Peak were breathtaking. There was a breeze in the air, and there was not one bead of sweat on my forehead! We slid by rock, snow, mountain lakes and streams and the occasional eagle ...

My breakfast at The Atrium, one morning: smoked salmon, pancakes, fruit, raspberry, cheese crepes and seasoned potatoes ...

More food: a glass of white zin, black cod on a fried rice cake and French Vanilla creme brulee with fresh berries

Back home, growing up, we always only dreamed about “those Americans” who work long hours all year round, to only to run away for the weekend and recharge. It’s what the movies showed us.
Well, now, I live it: this is truly a great county, and dreams of long weekends filled with battery recharging activities and vistas really do come true!
I hope everyone had a safe, happy, relaxing and full July Fourth Weekend!
Here’s to an American summer! 
Please click picture to see the whole album from this trip. 

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