The Perfect Girls' Weekend
Things did not go according to plan. We were supposed to visit friends in Portugal. Instead, my two little girls and I ended up in Park City, Utah. Why? Well,why not? After all it meets travel criteria number one. It’s a direct flight.
I’d spent 24 hours in Park City two years earlier on assignment. The mountains are breathtaking, the light serene, the weather perfect and dry (unlike New York’s humidity and freak flash storms this summer). The clincher, however, was the hotel-- so far and above hotels my colleagues and I usually stay at that moments after check-in we spontaneously emailed one another pictures of our rooms with such professional observations as, “Can you believe this?!?! There’s a Jacuzzi on the balcony,” and “I’m in love with this bed.”
That same magic worked on my daughter who entered the room, ran to the balcony and turned as if in a trance, “This place is amazing." And because ski-season is months away, the price was incredibly reasonable. Criteria number two.
Unlike other vacations I did no research and made no plans. Going against every molecule of organizational DNA in my body, I pried my fingers from the guidebook leaving it on a pile of popular fiction near the check-out line. We traveled light carrying a few recommendations, a sense of adventure, and two new raspberry-colored carry-ons for which my kids were to be solely responsible.
Over the course of four days, my two little girls and I bought belly-dancing skirts, cow-shaped cookies and crystal “diamonds” as big as our fists. We slept in, swam late, and screamed our way down the mountains on the alpine slide. We tossed out the rules to miniature golf – because hey, if the goal is to get a low score, why not stop the ball if it rolls away from the hole. Even so, my older daughter didn’t flinch when she golfed an 11 on a par 3 hole. And later I barely cringed during bath-time when the bubbles cascaded over the top of the Jacuzzi – who knew body lotion was so sudsy?
There were no alarm clocks. No schedules and best of all no To-Do lists. Why race to the 2002 Olympic Park in the indigo Toyota we named Senor Blue when we're perfectly happy watching a movie about chimps going into space? The balcony door was open, the mountains in plain view and for the three of us laying side-by-side that definitely counted as the Great Outdoors.Continued on the next page