This past week I got to spend three days with Columbia up in Deer Valley as Landon’s ‘plus one’. They recently chose him to be their newest OmniTen member, a group they started in early 2012 of outdoor enthusiasts who could join along in adventures and testing out their gear, sometimes around the world. This past round they only chose 1 instead of 10, and it just so happened to be my handsome bearded husband.
Before we left for Alaska, packages full of apparel started arriving at our door. We immediately popped off the tags and put them to use in Alaska — the jackets + base layers especially (so warm!).
Then after being home for just a few days from our Christmas trip we got to take off again, but this time without Paityn. This was our first overnight trip without her. I felt a little teary eyed on the drive over that Thursday morning to my aunt’s house who’d amazingly agreed to watch her while we were gone. Seeing Paityn excitedly run off and start playing dolls with my cousin her age when we arrived made getting back in the car without her so much easier.
We got to stay at the Lodges at Deer Valley and spent the first little bit getting settled in and freshening up before meeting up with Tori Lesikar our trusty leader + alumni OmniTen member Rebecca and her husband David. The positives of the hotel included an amazing breakfast in the morning, walk in closets, a deep tub and a little kitchenette. The negatives included just one thing: having a King sized bed. You guys, that is just entirely too much room for two people. I was missing our Full sized bed back home by the end of the trip. [Who does that??]
Thursday afternoon, once everyone was settled in — Tori having flown in from Columbia HQ in Portland + Rebecca and David having flown in from San Jose, we met up and took off to tour the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City. Let me tell you, I sure wouldn’t mind training surrounded by posters of Olympic medalists everywhere! Talk about motivation. Together we were guided by one of the coaches himself through some of the fitness, altitude/elevation and nutrition training that they are perfecting. It was a quiet day for training but we ended up running into Columbia sponsored athlete Hannah Kearney mid post-workout ice bath and got to see her later on that weekend competing in the World Cup. Which brings us to why we were in Deer Valley for the weekend. The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup!
Every evening we bundled up and headed up to the event to cheer on the US skiers. Thursday we watched Aerial Finals (above), Friday Moguls Finals and Saturday evening Dual Moguls Finals. I might not be a skier, but you can’t not be impressed when watching. Speaking of not being a skier, that also meant that I wasn’t cleared by my midwives to join in on the free ski time Friday and Saturday mornings. Which turned out to be so ok. I curled up with a steamer in the lodge near the fireplace and relaxed Friday, then rested my achy eyes and took my time getting ready Saturday before taking a car to meet up with the group for lunch.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was Friday evening walking around downtown Park City then grabbing dinner at Handle. It was a new to us restaurant as well as being new to the space. Our driver let us know it was the third or so place that had been in that spot in the past five years, so I’m hoping it sticks around! From the simple yellow craspedia on the tables, their logo, the atmosphere, to the small plate concept I was in love. I was so in love.
Saturday’s World Cup Events wrapped up around 9pm or so with fireworks, awards and the biggest, fluffiest snow I have seen in a long time. After it was all over, and we’d attempted photos by the platform, we headed back to the Lodge. Everyone else headed up to grab drinks + Landon and I went back to our rooms to finish the talks we had to give in church the next morning. (doh!) Shoutout to Columbia for hosting such a fun filled weekend and for letting me tag along.
I can’t wait to try skiing next season, and to get Paityn on a pair of her own little skis. Oh I would just die.