Utah Fun!

When Vivien and I awoke in Provo I sensed that sweet, lack of sound that snow fall can bring. I looked out and said, “Vivien, it snowed last night!”

WAAAA she ran from bed to look below. I loved seeing my little desert dweller’s excitement at the blanket of white outside. Then it ran through my mind that I might be driving on ice, and this scared the long underwear off of me. I did my “I must be brave; I’m the mom” mantra and pushed out to our complimentary breakfast downstairs.

My sister emailed that the LA Times had come out with their review of The Tar Pit.  They had done a “first look” review, which had been a rave. This would be the bigger review. The one that happens when their writer comes 4 or 5 times. Here is the review. It was good, but not a rave. So that was kind of bugging me, but I pushed it to the side.

I called Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com) who lives SLC.

“It snowed,” I said happily.

“How you doing?” she said with suspicion. She knew I was a weather wimp and might be flipping out.

“Well, I’ve decided to be brave.” She assured me they are great about clearing the roads.

After we procured some much needed gloves at a large store called Shopko, we had the standard battle:

“I want a toy.”

You can’t get a toy every time we walk in a store.

“I want a toy!” ( I caved/compromised and said she could have something if it were under 5 dollars.)

One bunny later we were off. All was going well. Vivien was strapped in the back watching her mini dvd player as I drove, proud of myself that I could still travel like before I was a mother. I could still adapt to any place, get along with whomever I met. I still had a good sense of direction (and GPS) and driving in cold weather with a light snow falling was a piece of cake.

But as I was driving up into the canyon toward Park City, the snow really started coming down. I was on the road with two big trucks and all my fears.

“Momma, strawberry shortcake is over,” Vivien called.

“I can’t do ANYTHING about that now honey. Mommy can only drive.”  Heather’s earlier, “Are you okay?” was going through my head as I white knuckled it up the hill.  “No, I’m not OKAY!!” I thought.

Finally I saw the turn off for our sledding/tubing park that was our destination. I had decided trying to get Viv on skies for the first time might be too much in our rushed day. And I hadn’t been on them in 12 years, so I Lindsay Vonn I am not. I was aching for some non-bland food but didn’t want to risk driving into the heart of Park City with the nice restaurants.

“This will do just fine,”  I said as we walked to the bagel bakery, the closet place to eat near the tubing park. I couldn’t get on that highway again… not yet. The food was awful and everything was white or pale yellow, but I shoved it in anyway.

We got to the tubing park, and Vivien was a little afraid. She didn’t really get it. I didn’t either, but I kept acting really plucky so my daughter will not grow up to the be the timid dilettante that I am.

We got on our round tubes and some hardened ski bum attached us to the pull rope. “Because she is under 6 you can only go as far as the first hill.”

I looked at the rope operator like, “Bummer” when really I was thinking, “Cool, that big hill scares me.” Our second bit of luck was when we got to the top of the hill that we were about to launch ourselves from and the worker said, “Sorry, it’s really slow today.”

Without thinking I said, “That’s good, because we are scaredy cats.” Oh, bad mom, don’t transmit fear to young daughter.

Which why I stayed calm when the worker pushed Vivien down the hill, by herself. There went my 4 year old down the hill.

Now, if you have grown up being the least bit outdoorsy in your life this is no big deal. But I was raised by intellectuals who thought that reading was a sport and TV was a sacrament, and I’ve been trying to make up for it since.

Vivien went down the hill, but it did not carry her all the way. She stopped. Just sitting in her tube.

The ski bum “Um, yeah, she needs to get out of the way.’

Me: “Well, you didn’t explain that to her before you launched her.”

I plopped into my tube on the path beside her, and the ski bum pushed me. “Vivien, mommy’s coming to get you.” She thought that was really funny.

The lady who sold us the tickets had warned me that Vivien would not want to do the kiddie park part where kids sit in tubes and go around and around. “Oh, you don’t know my kid.” Sure enough, she loved that, and she had huge piles of soft snow to frolic in just like I had told her about. Now we were in our groove.

We did the run about 5 more times. I could have kept going, but Vivien was pooped. “Mommy, my pants are soaked.” Yeah, no ski pants are a drag. Next time will have those.

We drove out of the area, and fortunately I did think to have a change of clothes. Thankfully Heather and her dear family received us so we could change and I could pump. Lovely people to visit with. They also directed us to a restaurant with spices in their food that was on the way to the airport. Yippie. Red Iguana (we ate at Red Iguana2 as the first one was busy). I even had a very un-Utah-like Margarita. The flight home was easy, and we didn’t have to wait for a cab. Who says you can’t travel with kids? This is fine.

As the cab pulled into our driveway, “Momma, PICK ME UP!” I stared at Vivien while I held my pump, my purse, her cap and gloves and about to grab the suitcase the cab driver had just dumped on the driveway.

“Whaaa? Vivien no, I can’t.”

“PICK ME UP!!!!!” she wailed.

“Sweetie, I still have to grab your booster seat, I can’t.”


So here it was. The final breaking point. I somehow got her to continue her fit out of the cab so he could leave. I took a few things to the porch, then carried her up and went back for the rest. It was a hard next hour getting her to bed while I also greeted Rex.

“I know honey, it’s hard to have to share mommy again.” I said as she tried to pick Rex off of me.

When she finally passed out I did as well. The next day I felt so burnt. I think traveling is like drinking, I just don’t recover like I use to. Although now that I have, I am really glad we took this trip.