Last weekend, Mark was going stir crazy being at home. And with summer drawing to a close, he was adamant that he wanted to get in some time outdoors with the kids. I gave him my blessing to take the kids and go off to explore, but being the loving husband that he is, he insisted that I come with them. I have to say, I was less than enthusiastic, but I decided to “take one for the team” and join in.
Our first stop was to Starbucks so that Mark could butter me up with a nice Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte. It worked. After that, it was just a matter of deciding where to go. Mark suggested we head up to Park City, known mostly for its winter sports season and its annual Sundance Film Festival. And while it is beautiful up there, I couldn’t think of anything we could do with two small kids in tow other than shopping for overpriced bricabrac in their upscale stores.
Still, we decided to go ahead, and what followed was an amazing adventure that I would not have traded for anything. As we drove along, Mark spied one of the known ski resorts, called Canyons Resort. He whipped a U-ie so fast, our heads spun, and he drove us right up to one of the ski lifts and hustled us inside.
The first lift was free and took us up over the main roads to the resort itself. Once we disembarked, there were restaurants, hotels, outdoor entertainments and more. There were a few shops where you could buy or rent bikes or other equipment, and there was just a lot of space to run around.
Of course, to get up into the canyon itself would require another big lift. This time, it was an enclosed Gondola, where you could sit and spend about 10 minutes flying through some BEAUTIFUL scenery way up high. The kids LOVED it. I can’t tell you how many times they screamed and shouted in glee as we whizzed through the air. A note to the parents: kids are free if they are under 4… but adults cost $18 each for this part of the trip!
Now, I’m not really a heights kind of girl. I am especially not keen on being trapped in a small space high above deep ravines in the mountains. But the magic of kids is that they kind of make you forget your fears because they are so. damn. fearless. To them, this was a HUGE adventure – a theme park ride that they hadn’t expected, and they were THRILLED.
Once at the top, the views were just stunning. You can only imagine. And even though this is a place meant for winter, there is plenty to do during the sunshine of summer. There were several different hikes you could do. Some were steep and for the hardcore. Some were best with mountain bikes, and we were able to spy several seasoned pros doing jumps and tricks off of the bike ramps set up along the trails. Some were fairly flat and easy-going. Some were miles long, and some not. We had a nice map to guide us, and after asking around, we realized that for us one of the easy trails was probably best. With two small kids and a heavily pregnant lady, short and not too steep were the main criteria.
But even though the trail was fairly simple, it did NOT disappoint. The air was loaded with nature’s perfume, and I felt high every time I breathed in. We saw every kind of flower and plant, explaining the dangerous beauty of each one to the boys as we went. We saw and heard animals of every shape and size.
And have I mentioned the views???
I can’t even tell you how beautiful it was up in those mountains. The kids were so happy and amazed. They held on to one another for dear life, keeping each other safe, while talking constantly about how much fun they were having.
Instilling an appreciation for nature is one of our top priorities for these boys. Also high on the list is being active and outgoing. Sometimes I’m out of my element in this. Mark is much more about being outside and having fun, whereas I am the worrywart, constantly thinking about what might go wrong and how they might get hurt. Thankfully we balance each other well, with Mark letting them take calculated risks and me keeping a hawk eye on them and swooping in at the first sign of trouble.
I am so grateful we moved here, to a section of the world where we can get out and be together as a family in the most natural settings in the world. I look forward to the seasonal delights that Utah has to offer, and I know that as the kids get older, I won’t be able to contain them… they will want to do bigger and better things, exploring further and higher and more dangerous places.
But for now, I embrace the beauty that surrounds us and hope to impart a love of the world in each of my beautiful kids. After all, who could ever resist scenery like this?