I decided to write with more pictures and less words to showcase my top ten pictures from traveling to snowy Park City, Utah. Hoping you will enjoy the refreshing photos of the outdoors and their quick captions. These photos are in no particular order.
This is a view I enjoyed from the eyes of one of my snowboarders. I didn’t take the lift to the top of the mountain thus I enjoyed this simple yet beautiful view. I smiled big knowing my people were enjoying their time on the mountain living the snowboarder life.
The best decorated and tasty sugar cookie with fabulous hot cocoa from the chocolate shop in town. A quaint little stop to snack, get warm and socialize after a day outside. This captures the sweetness of my trip.
The path through the trees when I was snow shoeing or snow walking as one of my teen travelers called it. These trees were amazing and the picture doesn’t even capture their beauty. The Aspens are the state tree and a fun fact is they have a dusty coating on them that is like a powder which can be used as a natural sunscreen. Just a fun fact I learned.
The path to nowhere as it looks. The simplicity of this photo is what I like about it. The grey skies before a snow fall.
The sunrise over the white barn. A barn we passed each day where you can see cross country skiers in the pasture at all hours during the day. A fun spot to remember.
A night picture from my balcony on a snowy weekday. The ice dagger hanging from above. The light shining on pathway illuminating the fresh powdered covered walkway. I hear the wind howling through the photo like it was today. A snowy memory.
Haynes Ranch. Founded in 1932. Pure bliss via a snowmobile. This photo shows the blue skies and the gateway to 40,000 acres of land and wildlife. Yes we saw moose.
This view was so amazing in person. A view from the ranch we snowmobiled. The blue skies were so welcoming after days of grey skies.
Fresh powder. Bright sun. Beautiful trees. That is all. Simply amazing and breathtaking.
The snow tracks. The blue skies. The sun shine. It was only 1 degree in this photo. Frigid cold yet I was still enjoying the outdoors.
It’s hard to pic just 10 photos but it’s great to have a picture post to look back on.
It’s the end of 2022. I spent way too many days out in the cold this year, but somehow I booked a year end vacation in the tundra. Cold for me. Snow for me. The destination was selected. Park City, Utah in the chilly month of December.
A few hours by plane gets me to the powdery land of snow-filled adventures. Time to play in this winter wonderland and document all my favorite spots. The picture below captures the frigid temps that I am about to endure.
The crazy began with packing. How many layers would be needed? Do I pack the big puffy jacket or lug it through the airport. Do I have enough heat packs? The list of doubt goes on and on. I guess you will read on and find out how I fared on this spectacular adventure. Just two bags. Ready to go on Southwest. Just two bags was important. I need one just for extra layers.
We didn’t get too far into the trip before chaos erupted. A lost bag. Tears for hours for the one with the missing bag. Big ugly tears of loss. Fear of the unknown. Regrets galore. It was awful. The tale of the white suitcase will not be forgotten anytime soon. Reunited 48 hours later with a lesson learned along the way is the best way to sum up this unexpected fiasco. A lot of help from those along the way.
After a long trek, food was a much needed requirement. Before actually reaching Park City, we hit a notable dive from the Guy Fieri TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives… called the red Iguana. A tiny hole in the wall known for their mole sauces. I was definitely excited to try their sample mole plate after watching a documentary on how mole sauce is made and the variations. Not to mention the chocolate involved. A neat pit stop to check off the foodie list. Killer nachos was my choice for the day and it didn’t disappoint.
The photo below gives a little snapshot of each of these sauces for those unfamiliar with mole and with curious minds. Ignore the prices. Focus on the descriptions.
A short drive from Salt Lake City to the final destination of Park City, Utah. Gorgeous mountain views. Snow-capped mountain tops. Cool crisp air. All were welcoming signs that we had arrived. More posts will follow in the coming days covering food, adventures and whatever else doesn’t hit the cutting room floor. I hope you enjoy the winter adventures through my eyes. For me, I may be in a winter wonderland one week and basking in sunshine in Florida the next week. You just never know which way the wind will blow me.
For now you are getting the wintertime snowy adventures, while next time you may see more sunshine. Either way travel documents many life experiences. The dagger-like icicles are a nice reminder by my window each morning. Should the air warm up those daggers may fall and cause some injuries. I’ll be treading with caution in the days ahead.
Stay tuned as I explore this winter wonderland in the days ahead. While I’m packed and ready for the cold I am hearing of the storm of the century hitting every other part of the US and it seems I may end up being in the warmer climate during this trip. What an irony.
Today I am flying across country. From one cold front to another. Snow coverings to celebrate a white Christmas this year and frigid temps that call for warm blankets and toasty fires on the home front with my puppies. A welcome I gladly await but sadly have postponed it thanks to Southwest Airlines and their poor service.
I had been magically flying just above the clouds somewhere on the way to Denver, Colorado. It was a peaceful time of reflection. I was thinking of all the people I have in my life that are amazing yet missing those who aren’t with me this holiday season. As I was flying high I felt the presence of those I miss this year. It was almost like the clouds had names of loved ones gone too soon. At this point in the day there was a calm in the air. Not a worry in the world and I was looking forward to being home.
After landing in Denver, the trip home became a little more complex. Staffing shortages for Southwest Airlines were spiraling out of control for days and today things were supposed to be back on track. That was false. Insanity was lurking everywhere. Crying people everywhere. Cops patrolling gates which is not normal. Emotional outbursts at counters. Lines for days at every Southwest counter yet no supervisors in sight and guess what corporate is closed for the holiday!
The backlog and staff shortages caused rippling effects across the county but Denver was one of the most hard hit. The airline swears it was not poor planning on their part rather storm related issues but I beg to disagree. Plane after plane delayed or cancelled waiting on flight attendants to show up to staff a flight or pilots running out of time due to long delays and federal regulations. I have never seen planes sitting at a gate for hours waiting for staff to load the hundreds of people waiting to get on the plane. Most gates had no attendants either because all those who showed up for work didn’t appreciate the hounding of those waiting for a human to give an update.
Fast forward: many hours sitting and being shuffled gate to gate only to watch planes sit idle or get unloaded due to no staff, incomplete flight crew, or in my case over time limit pilots. It was pure insanity and I was in the midst of it. Then finally we load onto a plane at 8:45 pm and sit for over and hour. Babies crying. People getting anxious of why the plane hasn’t moved. The list goes on and on. Then they take us off the plane because the pilots are under the federal guidelines but their union contracts says they can’t fly. Oh the crowd went wild. Anger was written on many faces while tears well up in the eyes of tired and hungry kids. No hand out of water or blankets for those forced to sleep in the airport. No hotel voucher. Nothing. Just a long line to wait to be rebooked on the computers they kept crashing due to overload of resources. An absolute shit show. The picture above shows the length of every line at every Southwest kiosk. The wait was hours long.
Most rebook options were 2 days out at best, but my case was 12/31 some 6 days later with no access to my bag and no accommodations. Sounds amazing right?
That means you are stranded with no access to bags. Many in tears due to holiday gifts being in their checked bags. No options. Many just stuck. Some elderly couples were in disarray not knowing how to operate the internet swiftly or an app. It was unsettling to watch as folks crumbled around me. A young couple had tickets to Disneyland for first time with young kids and they wouldn’t get that money back or get the experience they had planned.
I have never experienced such chaos in an airport. Southwest had people stranded for days. My inconvenience seemed minimal in comparison to those traveling with small children or even animals. I heard so many kids crying that just wanted to see Grandma or Grandpa for Christmas. It was awful. Now flip the script to other airlines. They are still flying and the chaos seems mild in comparison despite other airlines taking all the rebooks from Southwest’s incompetence.
In my case it cost me another $1,500 to get home and I had to split up with my child to even make that happen. I had to spent the night in an airport and I had no luggage or hygiene items. By the time I got off my cancelled flight no food places were open. Stores were closed for even water. I will definitely rethink my carryon accessories in the future to prepare for airport Armageddon. When I finally boarded my Delta flight Santa had delivered goodies to all their passengers. Mini stockings full of candy. What a treat and what amazing service. Southwest didn’t even give a bottle a water or blanket to those stranded. What an irony.
Signing off a little sleep deprived. A little annoyed. Most definitely disappointed in Southwest Airlines customer service. 4 hours to wait by phone. An app that crashed. Terminals frozen at the airport. Disconnects on phone and so on. Delta will get my money in the future even if it’s more expensive. Delta even gave out mini stocking goody bags to its passengers on my rebooked flight. So crazy.
I will pick up this with the how to get my bags from Southwest in the coming days.
I had a small window of time to do a lot. Would I get it all in? Should I try to fit it all in? Do I focus on the need to’s or want to’s? I just said fuck it, and rolled with the punches.
I started out solo by car. I was pretty excited so I got up extra early. I totally miscalculated my arrival time as I changed time zones. Oops! First diversion in place unintentionally.
Visited a military installation. That was not a new experience, but something I hadn’t done in 10 years or so. Brief visit was good for me. Grabbed a coffee and snack with a buddy. Did some apartment shopping in the town I was visiting. Interesting to see old vs. new and how one mile one way you get one quality of life and the other way is completely different. Hence the purpose of shopping around.
Took a scenic route to visit the big city by car. Did some walking. Then some window shopping. Popped into a cozy bar for some punch in bucket and some good ole boy music. Not planned and not my normal environment, but in the end the lack of planning was good and so was the the punch bucket. I guess I sucked it from the bucket.
Time to kill before a dinner reservation. Time to sneak into a tattoo shop to get small piece of art to commemorate the 24 hour stint with my buddy. One for me two for the other. Inked up in no time. Feeling a little tired but time to fuel up to endure the time clock.
Refueling station (aka meal time) was again unplanned but a unique experience nonetheless. A supper club with 3 floors and a roof top. We sat on the main floor but could observe everyone coming and going from the main door. This of course made for good people watching while the food was prepped. Smash burger and turkey pastrami sammie for the win. Not five star but maybe a three for the food quality, but the substance was enough to level up in the time category.
Just when I thought I packed in enough we booked tickets to the hockey game. What are we thinking? Already pooped but we made it. A win for the home team and some great drunk people watching. An unexpected/unplanned adventure that exceeded my expectations.
A quick trip to the hotel to crash. Just a few hours to spare for rest. I didn’t want to get up. It was so early the coffee wasn’t even done brewing in the lobby. Such a tragedy. My route back home involved a plane. Solo again. A full flight. A mask which I almost forgot about. I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing over what I just did in a short 24 hour period.
The year of 2022 has brought so much new to me. New ways to look at life. New experiences. New adventures that lack my normal plan– gram style. There are some days where I think life is an absolute shit storm while other days I think are just amazing as they can be.
Sometimes I write to have memories for later. Sometimes I write for therapy. Today I write to say today is a gift and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Take 24 hours and spin it your way. Lose the worry of tomorrow and be present in today.
Tomorrow may look different for you. You never know. Therefore embracing what is today is a true gift. My 24 hours with my buddy was a gift. One I will treasure for years to come. 24 hours. Your gift. Spend those hours your way. Enjoy!
I lived a tiny life for four days. What does this mean exactly? I opted for accommodations in a tiny home vs a hotel for my last summer adventure
How did it go? It was an experience and I’m excited I gave it a go. So much to get annoyed about when living small. Many things you just don’t think about. Like a closet. Like bathroom counter space. Like multiple seats for conversing while eating. Just little things.
First was the arrival. The suitcases. There were three of us traveling which means three decent-sized suitcases. We learned fast that we couldn’t all be sprawled out at the same time. Our solution was to store the bags in the the car and only open up when it was shower time and tuck wherever we could.
The tiny home was super cute. From decorations to natural lighting to appliances. How practical were they in reality? The fridge worked of course but its door swung open in a way in which you had to slide into the bathroom to retrieve anything. It was funny but thankfully we only used it to keep water cold as we were on the go a lot. There was a kitchen table with 4 stools. You could really only use two but the table was a storage area for us on top and shoe cubby below. Looked good but space was not functioning for us as designed.
Cutest little cozy couch area under the loft set up with a nice tv. It was comfy and fit just right. A great use of space as it was a pullout allowing for the the extra sleeping space. The big but was when you pulled it out it took away the floor space for the suitcases and they had no light so at night it was an oddly dark space. One solution created another problem. Surely this kept us on our toes, but we managed and maneuvered and it was all good in the end.
The loft was by far my favorite place. It had a sky light that was amazing to peek through by day or night. It lad long windows on each side of the bed to see the fruit tree on one side or the green grassy yard on the other. The bed was comfy and there was a tv squeezed in as well. I didn’t need the tv as I enjoyed the rest and relaxation in what I called my treehouse space as I felt I was sleeping in the trees.
I was writing this blog in my peaceful loft space to capture the spirit of the post. The overcast skies were rolling in. The drops of the rain from the trees hit my sky light. What a peaceful sound. The ambience of this place I will remember. I definitely find inspiration to write in many places. Some I write about others I don’t.
Some things I didn’t mention above. The floors were an epoxy finish. Great little detail that made it fashionable just like the vintage fridge and microwave did. The bathroom and shower were small but I’d say the shower was bigger than most hotels and for cleanliness and quality it gets a thumbs up from me.
A few funnies to note. The label maker signs. Don’t take the extra toilet paper. Ha I wouldn’t but I’d assume somebody did in the past. This is a window not a door sign on the sliding glass door on the backside of the kitchen. It was clearly purposeless for me as there was no access outside but as a window it brightened up the place immensely. The sign just added a funny side to it as clearly somebody must have been using it in the past.
When and if you try out a tiny space like me think about things before you go. Pack light. Storage is minimal. Think tiny. Consider the tiny home dimensions. The one I stayed at was narrow. Being narrow limited certain things. Not sure I would go back to this place but it was a fantastic first try at something new. Emphasis on the trying something new, opting for different and enjoying the experience despite any challenges.
Tiny life is fun for a short stint but I think I prefer to live larger. I miss my high ceilings for sure.