Love this place and these people

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I'm doing now...

I'll tell you what I'm doing now. I am living in Park City, working as a cashier at Deer Valley Ski Resort. And having the time of my life!!

It has been a long time since I have had a job that I enjoyed this much. Those who have known me during the past four years also know that I haven't really loved my job, at all. So liking my job is kind of a new experience for me. For the first few days I laughed at myself and the entire situation. I felt like I had gone back to high school and my days of working at Arctic Circle. But there are so many things I love about my job. And not just my job, but living here in Park City, UT. So here's a list of top 10 things I love about my new life:

1-I get paid to talk to people all day. I have been looking for a job like this for a LONG time. Sure I don't get paid very much, but it's better than nothing.
2-I meet people from all over the world. Deer Valley has some of the greatest snow on earth and it is recognized world wide. People come from all over the world to ski and to work for the season.
3-Half the people I work with are Brazilians so I get to practice my Portuguese all the time.
4-I spend half my time up at a cabin on the slopes and we get to ride the ski lift up in the morning and back down in the afternoon. The views are unbelievable (see photos).
5-Skiing privileges at Deer Valley and other resorts. My new friend Bjorn who has been a ski instructor for years took me out for my very first time ever last week. It was fun, but still slightly stressful. I need to go more.
6-My uniform. I get to wear ski pants and snow boots half the time and the other half black pants and vest that they wash for me. I LOVE not having to decide what to wear to work every day or dress up.
7-I'm closer to family. I got to go to my nephew's 2nd birthday party and my cousin Timothy's farewell talk. I've already seen my parents almost as much in 2011 as I did in 2010. My family is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be back out West and I'm loving spending time with all of them.
8-The GREAT OUTDOORS. I'm surrounded by it and by people who love it just as much, and more than I do. My first Family Home Evening out here was snow-shoeing up a canyon close to the church. How cool is that? I went show-shoeing and skiing for the first time in the same week!
9-The lack of traffic. Seriously. I still have a little bit of a drive to work, but it's beautiful and I'm never stuck in traffic. Sundance has made things a little bit crazy the last few days, but NOTHING like the greater Washington DC area.
10-The people. I have met so many wonderful new people in the last month and had the chance to reconnect with so many old friends and family. It makes every day exciting. Today I met a woman from Maine who is a surgeon and she has a friend who is a surgeon who just bought a light house! So jealous! I also meet people every day who, once they hear my story, want to give me career advice. So far there has been recommendations for flight attendant, dentist, culinary school, and I'm sure the list will only get better. I was also really fortunate to find a place to live with some great roommates. And I've met new friends from all over the world.

To sum it all up, I love my life. I have no idea what is coming next, but for now I am just enjoying.

Cute little Benson.
The birthday boy Adam.

My first ski lesson with Bjorn.

Isn't it beautiful!!

New friends.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Journey West

After driving almost 3,300 miles, through 11 states, visiting family and friends, we finally made it to Cedar City, Utah. Hip-hip-hooray!!

The last few weeks of my life have been INSANE. I don't recommend making a decision to move across the country just two weeks in advance. It makes life stressful. There was packing, cleaning, working, visiting, partying, selling stuff, etc. And I didn't have time for everything. If I didn't have time to say goodbye to you, I'm sorry. It's not because I don't love you. :) Thanks to all of those who came to the farewell party. It was nice to be able to see so many people before I took off.

Thank you also to all of those who took some of my stuff to Utah for me. Apparently I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the last few years cause there is no way I would have been able to fit it all in my car like I did when I moved out. The car was PACKED to the point of exploding.

Bree and me at the farewell party.

Entering North Carolina, our first state line. Since our trip was right before Christmas, we decided to wear Santa hats in all our photos. Good times.

We stayed the first night with our cute cousin Curtis and his wife Lindsey and their little guy Andy. They were the perfect hosts, even folded the TP in the bathroom just like they do in fancy hotels (thanks Curt!). :)

We were lucky to be able to visit Ani, my old roommate, and her husband the next day at the Duke hospital where Ani had just given birth to this beautiful baby girl named Camilla. So fun to see them.
Isn't she beautiful? Thanks to Jen Pierson for crocheting that great hat for us. It's a little big, but she'll grow into it.

South Carolina, second state line.

Oh Georgia. We were sad that Amber and Ryan no longer live there but we were able to visit with some other favorite cousins, the Houghtalings. They treated us like royalty. Dinner at Cafe Pig and chocolate turnovers from Arby's.

The little tree because they were going on a cruise for Christmas. Oh how we wished we were joining them.

And they took us on a golf cart ride. It was a little bit chillier than the last time I was there, but still delightful.

Alabama, we were sad that Carl and Court were no longer there to visit. Be we paid tribute by watching Sweet Home Alabama as we drove through the state.

We were so close to the Florida state line we just had to take a detour. But there was no fancy welcome sign on the little back road, so we had to make our own. (I'm the "F" and Bree is the "l" if you couldn't tell).


We had to stop in Biloxi because our grandparents got engaged there many years ago and they lived there for awhile when they were first married. My grandfather was stationed there.

This jumping picture was taken with a timer!! Are we talented or what?!

Louisiana! One of the reasons why I wanted to drive this route was because I recently visited the Newseum in D.C. and there is an entire section dedicated to the coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It was fascinating and humbling to see all the places in person. We talked to some workers in one of the only stores that has been rebuilt on the entire beach front. Incredible to hear their stories.

Taking the ferry across the Mississippi into New Orleans.

We took the trolley up and down St. Charles street to see all the fancy houses. It was even more fun because they were all decorated for Christmas.

We ran into Santa Claus in a hotel off of Bourbon street. The hotel was beautiful but I will be happy if I never go back to Bourbon street again.

The rest of the French Quarter was fun. I would have liked to spend more time there but we had to get on the road.

We of course stopped at Cafe Du Monde for their famous beignets. Yummy!!

The great state of TEXAS!! So many fun friends and family.

Trisha, my former manager at Deloitte in D.C. She now lives in Houston. It was great to catch up.

We got to stay with Syd and Chad and their cute family. We stopped by the Houston temple which was just down the street from them.

Cutest little thing that you ever did see.

And this little girl is just full of spunk, if you can't tell from her outfit.

We got to hang out with the Cook family and the McArthur family. Random connections.

We stopped at the Blue Bell ice cream factory on our way out of town. Delicious!

Lunch at Sandy's (Sandra Bullock) restaurant in Austin. Sadly she did not come in while we were there. But it was almost 80 degrees as we were walking down towards the river. Beautiful!

A little stop in Waco to visit Krista and Jeff.

And our last night in Texas was spent in Dallas with Hugh and Lucy. So grateful for such fun and wonderful family!!

I couldn't leave Texas without getting more Blue Bell. They didn't have the flavor I wanted in the pint size, so I just got the big one. Sadly I couldn't eat it all and it melted.

New Mexico...I have never thought of it as enchanting.

AZ. We're getting so close!!

This is how excited we were to drive in to Utah!

And these are the nice women who took our jumping photo for us.

We finally made it! Home Sweet Home!!

We spent the next seven days eating, playing, singing, laughing, etc with all 20 members of the Harold and Sheri Haynie family. I could not have asked for a better Christmas.

Happy Holidays to all! Look for my next post for an update on the next stage of my adventure. It's going to be FUN!!