January 23, 2020
Happy Thursday love! Hope you are having a great week! Oh man, so looking forward to sharing with you my latest adventure to Park City, Utah! Heads up, hope you have a little time…it is a read!
It has been a little over a week since I have been back, and I, already, want to plan my next trip! It was a quick girl’s weekend with a friend who I met on the food & wine tour to France I went on last May. While the initial plan was to ski – we changed course a couple weeks prior due to me being under the weather & the expense – we turned it into a spa weekend that included shopping, cocktails, and then some.
I arrived on Saturday, late afternoon, and was met by my friend who had snagged us a rental car. The journey from Salt Lake City to Park City was, well, a little bit of a white-knuckle drive. I give my friend props who drove, since she lives in Dallas and never sees snow! And, by white-knuckle drive, I mean mountains, low visibility, snow, some sleet, etc.
Once we made it over the mountains, things started to clear a bit. Before we knew it – a lot of catching up was happening – we were approaching our hotel. Beyond the snow-covered streets and establishments, it was so picturesque with the Christmas lights & decorations that still adorned trees, signs, etc.
We stayed at the Grand Summit Hotel which is nestled in the heart of Park City’s Resorts Canyon Village. This ski in/ski out resort has been, recently, renovated, and it was everything that you think of when it comes to accommodations. A full kitchen, dining area, family room, big screen TV, fireplace, 2 full bathrooms, closets, etc. Yeah baby!
After a long day of travel, a time change, and ONLY having eaten "brunch" - ugh, I don't even care for brunch - Versante Hearth & Bar was close, convenient, and got rave reviews. I always say, when an establishment is packed, and there is a wait, that must mean there is good food...or there is not enough places to eat in the area to accommodate all the people.
Nah, not Park City!
As I spent a few days immersing myself in the culture, I realized a few things. The first was a given - it is a WEALTHY, BOUGIE town. I mean, come on, the Sundance Film Festival comes here the last 10 days of January every year and it is a celebrity haven! The second - people are not as friendly as I would have thought. Not a huge deal but a lot of self-centeredness that goes on. Whatever (said in my best Clueless voice). And third, which is right up there with the bouginess, is what a health-conscious town this is too! That I LOVE!
Which brings me back to dinner the 1st night. I know, a little bit of a deviation there. While I can take or leave Italian - I know, pizza is not a go-to for me - there selection of appetizers, soups (excuse me, zuppa), entrees, fresh pasta, pizza, and sandwiches looked fresher than the next! It always brings a smile to my face when you can substitute pasta for gluten free or even zoodles (hello), and there was the option of a gluten free or cauliflower crust for pizza.
And, you know what, when there is cauliflower crust offered on a menu, THAT I cannot resist. It is a PIA to make, and I, always, love seeing how other establishments make it. While this one was good - I would not say fabulous - it was fresh, hearty, filled the void, and could go to bed happy!
I started with the side Caesar - "hold the croutons Dan" - and my friend and I split the "Old Town." This consisted of a spicy Italian sausage, hold the caramelized onion, red bell pepper, black olives, red sauce, chili oil, and mozzarella.
Of course, these all paired beautifully with 2 glasses of "Cline Cashmere Red Blend." FYI: Not sure you know, but Utah has some interesting liquor laws. All wine (maybe additional alcohol) can only be 5 oz pours, you are charged for tastings, restaurants include ordering food if you are going to have cocktails, and, in order to be served a 2nd drink at a bar, you must order food. 21 years old allowed in certain establishments, and last call is at 1:00 am. Again, may vary from place to place but these are the little things I picked up from menus, and from Lyft/Uber drivers.
One thing that I wish was better was my SLEEP. The three nights I was there, I tossed and turned, and looked at the clock every hour. After chatting with clients who go skiing in Denver every year, they say their sleep is horrible too – apparently, it has to do with the altitude change. Melatonin helps but then brings about so called crazy dreams. Yikes. Let’s face it, though, my sleep stinks to begin with, and I could do without the additional "craziness."
I woke up (early) Sunday to a beautiful view of the resort and THE MOUNTAIN! Although foggy most of the day, by the late afternoon/evening, it was super clear and amazing to see how different the slopes, and the town looked, from early morning to afternoon.
We started the day with coffee, duh, and then got ready to explore the town. With only being here a short amount of time – next time, at least a week – we made a game plan to tour the town on Sunday and make Monday a fitness/spa day!
Okay, let me start by saying the town of Park City is so picturesque (can I say BOUGIE again - ha!), AND filled with AMAZING boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. I could have, seriously, done a number with shopping – the cashmere sweaters, jackets, fur boots, clothes, accessories, and so much more were just fabulous! Take a peek at this coat made from FOX – yes, FOX – which was priced at $15,000. Dear future husband, I just adored this AND was told they would give it to me at a really good price.
Before I chat about the town, let me talk about the amazing breakfast at 5 Seeds. I mean, it was SO GOOD that we ended up going back on Monday! Super tough decision on what to eat BUT, I went out of my comfort zone and got the “Mushroom Quinoa Toast,” and added a poached egg.
I am not a bread fan, and this baby was thick! I only ate half, but scraped off the mushrooms, greens, and hummus that was on top. Oh, and the “truffled goat cheese” was on point too. While I could have indulged in this again, I decided to indulge in another “treat” that is not typical for me on Monday – QUICHE!
Again, I can take or leave it but my friend had it the day before and she raved about it. Small enough portion, light, and I love the fact that it came with a side salad. And, I could not resist but try out their Butternut Squash soup which was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Still dreaming about it!
After being fueled, and caffeinated, we set off to explore the town. The first stop was “Redstone Center.” Although way more commercialized, it did house Orangetheory Fitness – where I went on Monday for a workout – as well as “Salt Method,” where I tried out Halotherapy. More about this in a few. Besides that, it was your typical HomeGoods, Best Buy, yada, yada, yada.
From there, we made it to “Main Street” Park City, and I think I fell in love! Errmmyygooosshh, it was fantastic! I know, I already gave you a paragraph on how AWESOME it was, but I am still dreaming about it. Plus, it was so nice to see the Christmas décor still up, which made it even dreamier. And, no, it did not feel like too much! It made the town that much more charming and made the colorful houses that sat on the forever mountains that much more quaint.
And by no means were these places quaint; they were so “Fit4Janine.” Get where I am going with this?
While I did share that I held restraint from purchasing a LOT, I did pick up a cute sequined beret, gold sequined slippers, and a leopard and burnt orange scarf with flecks of gold. Just something different, and I wanted SOMETHING I could bring back for pictures that I could tout Park City. The jury is still out as to whether or not that trucker hat I saw will make its way into my suitcase. Note: Okay, who am I kidding! I ended up grabbing one on my way to the airport. I could not resist!
Lots of name brand stores from which you could check out – North Face, Marmot, Athleta, Patagonia, LL Bean, Free People, Roots, etc. Here are a few places that I just LOVED!
P.S.: I just love ski culture! Leggings, boots, sweaters, puffy jackets, hats, apres ski, ah, just awesome! And what a family/friend oriented place too!
After a few hours of mingling, and working off our late breakfast, we headed back to our hotel to catch up on some work – okay, more me – break open a bottle of French wine from the Food & Wine tour last May, and watched “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Yeah, perfect for our egos right now, LOL.
We headed out for an early dinner to a place that had been touted by every website in which you asked, “Best Places to Eat in Park City,” or “Where to Dine in Park City?”
The High West Distillery & Saloon was, definitely, an awesome experience. While the actual distillery is in Wanship, Utah, their “Saloon,” “The Nelson Cottage” are within walking distance of one another. Oh, and there is even one at the Salt Lake City Airport too! Note to self, the “Saloon” is one of those establishments that, recently (since July 2018), became a 21+ year old venue. There other locations remain family friendly!
Did I mention how much I love ski culture? Upon entering, you were carded – yeah buddy – and the heaters that were strategically placed around the patio were AMAZING. If you had a wait, you could head over to the indoor bar OR you could partake in some whiskey tasting outside. So freaking cool! Luckily, we got a table right away, as there was a bit of a wait for larger parties, and then filled up pretty quickly.
To start, what cocktail to try? We knew the “Cheese & Charcuterie” platter was a must since we were starving but, “when in Rome," wanted to try out a signature craft cocktail. I know, who am I with going out of my comfort zone of martins, bubbly, and/or vino? I am not a huge whiskey fan, nor do I like a LOT of added sweetness (i.e. syrups/mixers) to things either, but our waiter “Flip” (ha) was extremely helpful in helping navigate the cocktail menu.
What did I end up with? A very spirit forwarded cocktail called the “POWWOW” that included Rendezvous Rye, Rum, Scotch, Chai, PX, and Angostura. A perfect blend and, yes, very spirit forward!
Now, on to DINNER! While the cheese & charcuterie was filling, I was ready to sink my teeth into something super delicious…like the fabulous 5 oz. tenderloin & maple roasted Brussel Sprouts. The truffle butter on top was a nice addition and, needless to say, I licked my plate!
Belly full, TIRED, and headed back to the resort to chill and get to bed early. Body still on East Coast time, plus shopping and eating is exhausting! Ha!
Monday was filled with workouts, food, spa, food, cocktails, and then some. I had the opportunity to check out the Orangetheory Fitness in Park City which was very cool BUT the altitude change is a real thing! Omgosh, I felt like an absolute beginner. The lack of oxygen (LOL), coupled with not feeling 100%, and I was feeling the effects for sure!
POST OTF was fuel – yeah, remember that breakfast I shared earlier? – and, then, I tried out something really cool! Have you ever heard of Halotherapy (also known as "Salt Therapy")? I have, briefly, heard mention of this by some people, and seen on social media, but I was googling some “things to do in Park City,” and the establishment “Salt Method” came up. Fun Fact: Did you know that salt is indigenous to Utah? Hence, Salt Lake City???
Now, I was really feeling zen! After regrouping at the resort, it was time to head to the spa, where I enjoyed a relaxing "Eminence Coconut Body Firming Wrap." You can get the scoop on it HERE. If you are in the Park City area, DEFINITELY, check out Align Spa! They have a handful of services to choose from AND it is super reasonable. Plus, among its business park exterior, it is uber trendy and posh inside; you cannot help but feel relaxed!
From there, it was an early dinner at Hearth and Hill, where I had my first martini of the weekend (yes, I know) and noshed on roasted Brussel Sprouts and a unique Avocado Salad with romaine, cucumber, pepita-quinoa cluster, orange, tajine, avocado (of course), grilled chicken, and a cilantro coconut dressing.
Early to bed, early to rise, and it was time to head back to the 410! I did a little last minute shopping, and grabbed breakfast at “The Eating Establishment,” which overlooked the “famous” Egyptian Theater; a spot that will be flocked with celebrities in the coming weeks!
AHHH, seriously, I cannot WAIT to head back! My goal for 2020 - own a ski chalet in Park City! #yassss
Here is to "Travel Thursday," girls weekend, and single life! Enjoy!
Seasons of Love
2 Health Nuts
'Tis The Season
Cheese & Charcuterie