hi, I’m cold.
Much to my surprise, both my absence and the decidedly cryptic fashion in which I’ve alluded to my relocating have really kept people on their toes. It seems like all I needed to do to peak your interest is act like I was hiding something from you. Humans are so predictable, am I right?
Nonetheless, I’ll do my best to spare you the suspense. At the foundation of this story is one not so surprising fact; as a Southern California Native with a four-year stint in Hawaii, I am most certainly out of my element.
As I’m typing this, I’m sipping a warm apple cider concoction (thanks to Ina for the recipe), looking out my window at what I believe is termed “snow flurries.” Down the street, you can see the ski lifts, and a block away is an entirely out of place, but very welcome lobster roll establishment, Freshies, named best lobster roll in the U.S. the last three years in a row. The roads glitter like a set out of a circa 2000’s Mariah Carey music video when snowfalls. That is, of course, until a truck fashioned with a snowplow accessory comes and wipes it all away, leaving a trail of what looks like kitty litter, but I’ve recently confirmed it to be salt.
The air is dry. No amount of skincare will ever be enough to combat this high desert winter climate. I’m refining, slathering, and masking but much like the calculus solution in Mean Girls; the limit does not exist. Yes, there are many dissimilarities to navigate in my new zip code, but I’ve got to admit, this place has charisma.
So, not doing so hot on the whole “no suspense” commitment, so here it is. Park City, Utah. What I’ve heard people refer to as “the Aspen of Utah” or “Aspen, but Mormon.” Some call it a cultureless, white, suburban Hallmark Christmas movie set. I call it a pleasant surprise.
So why did we move?
Just about a year ago, Sven and I got engaged. Our idyllic love story was unfolding with an orderliness one would depict within a film, set in a world of boundless possibilities. Finally! Finally, we had reached the level of personal and financial independence that would allow us to fly. As in literally, fly. To Italy, to Sweden, and if the mood struck, Tulum too. But much like many rom-com classics, a dumpster fire of a plot twist ensued. I won’t bore you with the details (you lived it too) but, suffice it to say we had to pivot.
Adapt or die! Suddenly life became mind-numbingly plain. Priorities shifted, and the four walls adorned with floor to ceiling windows began to feel like a glass case of emotions. With our travel and life plans kiboshed, we wondered; Should a worldwide pandemic really prevent us from enjoying an adventurous escapade, or would we be better off waiting it out?
One road trip and three prospective states later, we landed in Park City.
I’ve never shied away from a change of scenery. I once moved to Hawaii on impulse and had a friend FedEx my prized possessions (shoes and bags) to a temporary address. So, the idea of leaving California didn’t sound all that terrible.
Sure, the failures of governance and lack of desire to pass a certain income bracket in California are rather unattractive qualities for a couple looking to “settle down,” but we moved for more selfish reasons.
Simply put, we wanted to enjoy a change of pace, climate, and roster of activities before we start sowing our roots.
Sven has been skiing since he was five, which he likes to remind me every time we go. I then subsequently get frustrated and request an actual ski instructor. Then, I fall a lot and ask where we can grab the nearest hot toddy.
Besides the bumps and bruises from my ski lessons, I’ve got nothin’. Zero. There’s genuinely nothing I don’t enjoy about living here. My Whole Foods (high priority) is exquisite. It’s large and spacious and, oddly, has a great selection of premium seafood. Ok, so I’m easy to please, but I am pleasantly surprised by all that Park City has to offer. Sundance brings in the bulk of the culture, but layers of different elements contribute to the small metro’s overall “cool” factor. The sheer beauty of the mountains and charm of the restaurants and Main Street is enough to make you want to extend a visit.
Even as a three-month resident here, I can’t seem to get over how the ease of everyday living has overcome me with a sense of calm. Seeing as we’re in the middle of COVID, and we’ve decided to be on the right side of history, being good boys and girls staying in, we haven’t been able to enjoy the nightlife, or apres-ski as we would have hoped to, but have found other things to fill the void. Cue the lobster rolls. There’s a pathway behind our apartment that leads to multiple switchback trails. We love to grab a drink and take our bare-assed alopecia ridden dog Tessa on walkies up and down in the snow.
I’ll refrain from writing a travel recommendation and sum it up with this.
I’m proud. I’m grateful, and I’m excited.
I’m proud that Sven and I are bold. Life is for living, and we’ve always embraced risk and the unknown with open arms.
I’m grateful to be in a position where we’re able to fashion a life of our own design.
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that we are responsible for our joy. I’m excited about the future. Who knows where it will take us. The company of others is a luxury I can’t wait to indulge in, but for now, you can find me sporting the cutest snow outfits I can find and tumbling down the bunny slopes.