Here Comes the Sun – J. A. Bove

Now that the Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, I thought it appropriate to mention my most recent vacation, which coincidentally was at the Sundance Resort.  I had to admit going in, I didn’t know all that much about the location. Sure I knew it was in Utah, and yes, I was aware that this was a Robert Redford baby, but beyond that, I didn’t really know much else about the resort. Granted, I’m a Floridian, and my children are not skiers, so it’s not a place in where you would immediately think to spend your winter vacation. Well, I’m glad I was open to the idea, because this is a place you need to visit.

Let me first take a step back. When I told my family and friends that I planned on traveling to Utah for my winter break, the first question I was asked was, “Oh, do you ski?” The answer to that question was no, well, not really. The immediate follow-up was, ‘Then why in the world are you going to Utah in December?” Let me explain. My family and I like to go away to some chilly resort every winter, because we’re snow chasers. Many may think this is a crazy pastime, but I grew up in the northeast, and the one thing I truly do miss while living here in Florida is the change of seasons. Give me a week in the snow and I’m cured. The bonus of course being that you do get to leave the twenty-degree weather for the warm sunshine of good old Tampa bay.

Getting there was easy enough. We landed in Salt Lake City, (beautiful view of mountain tops on the flight in) rented a truck, and within an hour’s drive were at the resort. As we pulled up to the establishment, I’ll never forget my daughter’s first reaction as she said, “So this is what’s considered a 5 star hotel in Utah?” Good luck to her future husband. Yes, it is, and it was majestic. You pull into the lodge to check in and from there you drive to your cabin. Funny thing, the bellhop just so happened to grab the two smallest bags in the truck and said follow him. Well, three stories of climbing twisting steps through the snow and lugging a fifty-pound bag later, I made it to the room. Either I’m really out of shape, or the altitude got to me, because I was winded. Let’s go with the altitude. For the record, I’m sure they would have grabbed the big bag, I was just feeling a little adventurous.

When we entered the room, I admit, I was impressed. They placed us in a beautiful log cabin with a view of the Timpanogos Mountains. We even had a stream flowing right below our balcony. The scenery was amazing. It certainly was a far cry from beaches and palm trees. The only thing I found odd was that in order to get to the second floor, you had to exit your room to the common area, or climb a ladder attached to the wall, which led to the loft upstairs. Well, my children loved that, but I decided to stay down below. The other thing I found odd, but really cool, was that the floor appeared to be heated. Heated floors, what? I know, I don’t get it, but I truly appreciated it after a spell outside.

As far as activities were concerned, you can pretty much imagine what was available.  Now I know I said my family doesn’t ski, but I do, or did when I lived up north. It was quite the humorous experience watching them learn. I’m not sure if they would do it again, but I would in a heartbeat. Coming from the east, I could not believe the texture of the snow. I’ve always heard that the snow out west was great to ski in, because it’s like powder. Well, to my surprise, it really was. You can’t even make a snowball out of this stuff. I digress, we also went tubing, hiking, and score, I found a recreation center in Provo called the Provo Beach Resort, which is a must attend. They offered indoor golf, bowling, rope climbing, video games, surfing, and much, much more. We spent hours (and a small fortune) but had a blast.

Back to the resort. The food was excellent. There was a restaurant on the premises called The Foundry Grill. Very generous portions and one heck of a Sunday brunch. At night, the wife and I would escape to the Owl Bar, very cool atmosphere. They actually brought over the bar used by Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall Gang from Thermopolis, WY. For the record, the people of Utah couldn’t have been nicer and of course, the scenery was magnificent.

The question remains, would I go back. This is a tough one to answer. I personally never like to visit the same place twice. When you only get two weeks off a year and you love to travel there are only so many places in the world you can visit. Life’s too short, so I guess the short answer is no. Would I recommend it to family and friends … absolutely! This was a very affordable trip and totally worth the visit. You’ve done good Mr. Redford, you’ve done good. Go visit Sundance; you’ll be glad you did.

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