Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Days 7, 8, and 9- My Summer vacation

Hello Blog world. It's been so long. I've finally broken my internet fast and am ready to bring you up to speed. I've just returned from my annual family summer vacation. Do you want to know what I did? 

Well . . . 

For the first four days of our trip we stayed in Park City, Utah. It's changed so much I hardly recognize the place. Man, do I miss my old stomping grounds on the backside of the Wasatch Mountain Range. Sigh. All kids should be so lucky to grow up in such a place. 

The Norse God and I took the kids to my old house. It's now a historic preservation site so it hasn't changed a bit. Alas, I don't have a picture to share. TNG photographed the whole vaycay. Unfortunately, he left the camera somewhere along the Payette River. (More on the Payette later.)  

All the pics were lost, which sucks big, sucky rocks since I'd catalogued some really cool stuff I was super psyched to share. I'm still hoping we'll find it, but at this point, it doesn't look good. 

Anyway, we stayed here. And I cannot rave enough about the Newpark Hotel. Holy Cow! 

It's hands down the nicest place I've ever stayed, at least with the children. Picture this: A huge two bedroom condo, with a separate master suite, two bathrooms with the biggest soaker tubs I'd ever seen, a fully stocked kitchen with the latest kitchen appliances, divine linens and bedding, a living/dining room, washer and dryer, LCD televisions in every room and a hot tub on the deck that overlooks a shopping complex below.

Did I mention the daily maid service? The immaculate gym? And the indoor/outdoor swimming pool we had to ourselves almost our entire stay? It was amazing. 

TNG and I promised ourselves we'd go back soon, just the two of us. Even though The Newpark was super kid friendly, it would be sheer heaven as a place for an extended weekend date. If you stay here, splurge and go for a suite with a hot tub on the balcony, then you can see all the action in the nature preserve and complex below. They offer little one bedroom suites, but you want a two bedroom, trust me. Here's a promo video I found on youtube. I know it's not as fantastic as the photos I had to share but it will give you a good idea of what the place was like, in a promotional "stay here" kind of way. You'll see a clip of the balconies. We stayed on the top floor in the balcony on the corner overlooking the complex below. 

But that is not the best part. We were three stories above the best gelato store in Utah and Kneaders Bakery. 

Dolcetti Gelato boasts the only hand made gelato in the state. I had apricot, lavender honey and vanilla bean. They rotate their menu daily depending on seasonal ingredients. You'll understand why I had to go back three times. And how can I possibly pick a favorite treat at Kneaders Bakery? Everything on the menu is to die for, but if you can't decide I highly recommend the Spice Cake with brown sugar icing. Or the Fruit Tart, piled high with fresh cream and berries on a delicate shortbread crust, or maybe the Key Lime Pie, perfectly balanced between sweet and tart. Oh, and the French Toast with cinnamon syrup is not to be missed! Remember food is a serious obsession of mine. 

We did a little school shopping, wandered through the shops in Old Park City, where I found the most divine balsamic vinegar and olive oil of my life, and in the evenings, lounged in the pool. (I'm still hoping to find the photo's from this portion of our trip—fingers crossed—I'll have some for you soon.)

I've really been trying to just enjoy the moment, live in the present, be at peace with where I am and what I am doing. Can I just say it made the entire experience that much more fabulous? 

But that was only the beginning. Wednesday morning we were on our way to Garden Valley Idaho for phase two of our grand summer adventure.