Deer Valley Recap

Last week Tab and I headed out on a little grown-up getaway to Park City, Utah.  Every year Tab’s company has a big incentive trip for the producers.  They pull out ALL the stops to get their teams to work extra hard and it totally works!  What an incentive!  

Not our typical Easter morning activities…lunch at the airport, but excited about a few days along.

We arrived Sunday evening in Park City and headed straight to the Deer Valley Resort.  You guys…this place is BEAUTIFUL!

We stopped at a ski shop in town and I found the perfect goggles for my skiing adventures.

The next morning we were up bright and early for my ski lesson.  Let me add here that I loved the ski gear.  πŸ™‚ 

EEK!!!  Right after this Tab dropped me off and I headed to ski school.  Seriously, I checked in where all the four-year-olds checked in as well.  ha!

I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money and just wanted to learn a few basics before tackling the mountain with Tab later that afternoon, so I signed up for a Max 4 First Timers Group Class.  A max of four adults with one instructor for three hours sounded great.  I learned a lot considering I had no clue how to even put a ski on (and that’s exactly where we started!), but two instructors actually got together to instruct.  Which made our class have 8 people!  I felt like we were waiting a lot.  After the fact, I wished I’d splurged on a private lesson.  Just a thought to keep in mind if you’re about to sign up for ski school.  πŸ™‚

Some thoughts about ski school:
*I have a nervous laugh.  If I fall or if I continue watching others fall, odds are I’ll experience the nervous laugh.  At one moment our instructors were showing us how to shuffle from one area to another on LEVEL ground.  The girl in front of me could not figure out how to get started (I’m talking like over a minute trying to move her feet and they’re going no where) and I started quietly laughing (I get it…because how rude was that but I just could NOT control it) and could not stop. 

*Another lady in my group fell backwards down a little hill.  Insert my nervous laugh.  (I should add that no one was hurt during this class even though there were lots of spills.)

*I was shuffling my way in line on LEVEL ground and slipped and instead of falling quietly…I SCREAMED and threw my poles in the air.  The instructor turned around and in the cutest South African accent said, “Erika…what was THAT?”.  Insert my nervous laugh.  πŸ™‚

*I heard AMAZING things about Deer Valley’s ski school for kids.  Apparently, it’s the place to be if you’re young and want to learn how to ski.

*I was right in the middle of the all the ski school kids and all the instructors were amazing and SO patient!

Tab skied over to watch for a few minutes.

Now I’m going to add a few thoughts about skiing from a newbie:
*All skiers make it appear to be very easy.  I’m here to tell you it’s not.  πŸ™‚
*I was somehow freezing AND sweating at the exact same moment.
*When it was pouring snow, it was beautiful outside but crazy tough to see.
*I have NO idea how to transition from the pizza.  Therefore, I’ll be skiing in a pizza for life.  I’m not actually sure I’ll even mind because going fast makes me nervous and the pizza controls my speed perfectly.  πŸ™‚

Some first day shots!!

We came in for a little break and whew, my legs were killing me!  I’d been tense pretty much the entire morning.  My ski boots made my toes numb.  Newbie here so I’m still not sure if that’s normal or not and my nervous self just needed a break!

We stayed at the Montage Resort and it was GORGEOUS!!  After our break our options were to “green run” over to the Montage or wait for a shuttle to pick us up and drive us back.  I put on my big girl pants and decided we could “green run” over.  At the very top of the mountain, it was crazy cloudy and snowing, I handled it like a big girl but I was so nervous!

Look behind me…it was hard to see!!

I must add that the “buff” thing or whatever they’re called over my mouth really helped but mine was so thick.  Tab would pull it up over my nose and it felt like I was suffocating myself so the majority of the time I just pulled it down.

We came around the bend and I’ve never been happier to see the resort!!  AAAHHH!!

That night we had a little welcome reception complete with the best crab cakes I’ve ever had.  They were delicious!

Shannon’s husband works with Tab in the Dallas office.  It’s so weird how Tab sees some of these people all the time and I’m sure we all hear stories about each other. We just don’t see each other in a social setting very often, so it’s always fun to catch up.

Tuesday morning I woke up and laid in bed for some glorious minutes.  Don’t worry the creamy eggs got me up. πŸ™‚

I went back to the room to get a little work done while Tab was doing this…
They had a luge challenge and he was on the winning team!

I was enjoying the nice quiet room and the views.

Then we headed back out for round #2.  One of Tab’s friends joined us and he was a great skier.  I felt so bad for him because he’d ski a bit and then just pause to wait for me.  hahahaha!

Tuesday night they split us up into regions and we all had dinner at different restaurants.  The downtown area in Park City is just so cute!  A night shot…and a shot during the day…

There are lots of restaurants, cute shops, and ski shops.  I bet they have the cutest parades!

Our dining stop was Riverhorse.  We had a little private room and the set up was so cute.  I had the halibut (delish) and was not disappointed one bit.

All the trees lining the entrance to the resort where lit up…it was breathtaking!

We came back to the resort and found a spot close to the fireplace.  These guys work together everyday.

Shannon and I had a great time catching up.

Wednesday morning started off with my last round of creamy eggs and then the SPA!  At this point, I needed it!  My shins were bruised from skiing, the boots, and falling coupled with sore leg muscles and I was in rough shape!

The Montage Spa has the best lounge it’s quiet and so relaxing.  I could have sit there and read all day, but instead I met this guy…

for a last round of skiing.  We stuck to my green runs, had the best cheeseburgers and fries for lunch, and were on our way to make one last run before heading back to the resort.  This is where things took a turn for the worst….

I kept asking Tab what this run was called that would take us to the ski lift that would then take us to the run that would dump us out at the Montage.  Skiers, you’re so used to this, but for those of you who have never skied…it’s amazing to look at those maps.  

Anyway, so we had to take one little run to get to the lift.  I was doing great until I came over and saw how STEEP this little hill was.  Girls, I just learned how to PUT a ski on two days ago!  It was so steep that my pizza was having a hard time going down the mountain.  I fell a couple times.  Tab was waiting on my halfway down while I’m shouting, “THIS IS NOT A GREEN!!!”.  I was definitely being a bit dramatic.  (And for real we learned it was a blue.  I wasn’t ready for those, clearly.)  I’d go about a foot before falling again and finally I laid ALL the way down.  I’m talking like I could have made snow angels.  My head was even down in the snow.  I glance to my right and see a Deer Valley instructor slow down beside me.  Then I hear, “ERIKA, What are you doing?”(in a cute South African accent).  You guys!!  My instructor from Monday just happened to be going down this run at the same time!!  What are the odds?  She attempted to show me a way to slide down the mountain.  I don’t have her skills so that was unsuccessful so I pretty much walked myself perpendicular to the mountain down-one small step at a time.  I’m not even kidding.  This was a moment where my hands were freezing but I wanted to rip off my jacket.  And I wanted to strangle Tab, my tour guide, but I practiced self-control.  Haha!

We finally arrived.  #thankyoujesus

Another newbie thought…see the guy in the blue whose carrying his skies on flat ground?  That was me.  Skiers tend to make that whole dig your poles into the ground and push yourself look easy, but it really isn’t.  πŸ™‚

We came in and had to document my “I survived” moment!  

That night was the “awards ceremony” but everyone had voted on a more casual event this year.  My sweet hubby had told me it was jeans-casual, which as you can tell from the pictures just really wasn’t true.  #thankyoutab

I forgave him the second I tasted the mac-and-cheese.  By this night, I wanted all the carbs and I wanted them asap!  It was spicy fish with peppers and onions, garlic mashed potatoes, bacon mac and cheese with fried onions (YES, ma’am!), and scallop ceviche.  Delish!

We ended our night pretty early because we were hitting the lobby at 4:30 a.m. to catch our shuttle to the airport.

One quick flight home and then it was back to life, back to reality.

I must add that right before this at 6:00 a.m. in the Salt Lake City airport , I ran into the parents and younger siblings of one of my third graders from years ago!!  What are the odds??  They live in Salt Lake City and were heading to California for a little Spring Break trip.  We were walking to our gate at the same time, I looked over, and flipped out!  Such a small world!

Tab and I had the BEST little getaway.  Am I calling myself a skier?  The verdict is still out on that.  I’m totally up for another ski vacation.  After more lessons, if it’s not my thing, no big deal…I’ve always got the spa’s number.  πŸ™‚

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  1. 4.4.16
    Unknown said:

    I was a ski instructor for 7 years through high school and college … always splurge on the private lesson πŸ™‚ It is a really hard sport to learn but super fun once you get the hang of it!!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I wish I had known before. Don't worry…next time we ski I'm splurging on the private lesson for sure!

  2. 4.4.16
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    Okay…so I seriously had anxiety during this entire post! I've been skiing several times now, and I'm always SO DANG NERVOUS the entire trip! And I tell you what, I think popping the skis on is HARD WORK! And I totally started laughing at all of your nervous laughter stories. I wouldn't have been able to hold it together either. Imagining the girl NOT MOVING when she WAS TRYING TO MOVE had me giggling at home on my couch! Glad y'all had a great time!!!! xoxo πŸ™‚

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I wish I had a video because there's no way to show you how bad my nervous laugh is!!! Hahaha!

  3. 4.4.16
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    Oh my goodness! What a beautiful vacation! Every single picture looked like the scene from a movie. Loved the skiing pics, loved the lodge, loved the little town…loved it all!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      It was beautiful skiing!! And such a cute little town!

  4. 4.4.16
    Aja said:

    It's so fascinating to me that Tab's company choosing skiing for the incentive trips (or at least for the past two years, right?) My husband's company always choosing somewhere with a golf course and warm (well, at least not cold). I have a feeling it's because, before the last merger, his company was headquartered in Wisconsin so they all wanted to get away to a warm, tropical locale and that's just stuck. Which is fine with this Florida girl! No matter what, I heart incentive trips! Yippee for time away!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Next year the location is somewhere warm. :). I think they just shook it up a little with a couple years in a ski resort and they just happened to be Tab's first qualifying trips. I hope it's the first of many more!! No pressure, Tab. Ha!

  5. 4.4.16
    Sarah Shaneyfelt said:

    haha so funny! Your attitude sounds like what I would have after skiing for the first time–especially walking down the slope, yes that would be me! Ski clothes are really cute though! Glad y'all got to have a little getaway just the two of you! Tell Tab to continue to work hard so y'all can do this every year!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I know!!! He has pressure from not only his company but me too after going on those trips! I can handle a gorgeous resort and FREE getaway every year. πŸ™‚

  6. 4.4.16
    Anonymous said:

    What a fun trip!! I love that you guys got to go again!! Skiing is so hard! I was totally laughing at your stories!!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      It IS hard!! Why didn't someone tell me? πŸ™‚

  7. 4.4.16
    Kristine said:

    Where is your ski gear from? So cute! Glad you enjoyed the trip!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Under Armour…thank you!! I didn't want to spend a ton since I didn't know if I'd like it and I thought they had really reasonable prices.

  8. 4.4.16
    Simone Sojda said:

    I nervous laugh too, and I was all out LOLing when reading about yours! Sounds like a fun trip! πŸ™‚

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Girl!! It's a problem!

  9. 4.4.16
    Never Enough Food said:

    I learned to ski ON MY HONEYMOON. At one point there were tears and snot frozen to my face under my robber mask. We came home a day early. I understand every word in this post.

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Hahahaha!!! Bless your heart! On your honeymoon. I feel you. Every afternoon, I looked like a drowned rat!

  10. 4.4.16
    Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said:

    Girl! You did it! I keep telling Matt that I want to go skiing even though I haven't been since I was in 5th grade. Something tells me my 10 year old self was much more agile than the current 36 year old self πŸ˜‰ I would probably spa it up for days!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Tab kept telling me it's similar to water skiing. I can water ski just fine but this is different. You'd be great!!

  11. 4.4.16
    Elaine said:

    Omg I am not a skier either and I've totally had the "THIS IS NOT A GREEN" experience!! Blues are much steeper!! I lost control and almost ran over a ski school as the blue turned into green! It was bad! My dad also had this great idea to eat at the restaurant on top of the mountain at night and ski down in the dark with torches…yes on fire!! It was some package deal…fondue and night skiing with a group and instructor. BAD IDEA!! My dad lost control and set his pants on fire when he fell! Luckily the material kinda just melts but wow…we stick to the beach now. Loved your recap!

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Oh my goodness!!! I would have died!! Why are those blues so scary? They look like nothing but halfway down it hits you! Haha! Thanks for sharing this story!!

  12. 4.4.16
    Leigh (Balancing By Faith) said:

    So so pretty!! Skiing does get easier and your learn to trust yourself the more you go (says the girl who hasn't been skiing in 10+ years). I bet you would learn to really love it. Maybe their next trip can be to sit on a beach in Mexico?!?

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I think next year it's sitting in the Carolinas somewhere. I can totally hang with that kind of trip!

  13. 4.4.16
    Unknown said:

    Pizza wedge forever! I came back from a ski vacation in Vail with my family. My husband is an avid skier. It is pretty bad when your son, who has never skied, can ski better than you!

    But can totally relate to this whole post!

    Also…where did you get your leather leggings?

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I'm sure that's what will happen when we finally take our kids. I'll be able to relate!

      The leggings are from Nordstrom. I have a post on Wednesday with clothes and links. πŸ™‚

  14. 4.4.16
    Tracy said:

    I'm not a skier but totally enjoyed this post! You falling down on the blue trail and your instructor showing up is just too much! I hope you were laughing about it all! πŸ™‚

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      What are the odds, right? I laughed later but in the moment I wasn't laughing!

  15. 4.4.16
    Angela Pino said:

    What gorgeous pictures! Also, I'm obsessed with your ski pants!! They're so much cuter than my boring grey ones.

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Oh, thank you! Under Armour!

  16. 4.4.16
    MM said:

    Skiing is hard…much MUCH harder than it looks. My one and only time skiing was in Germany when I was 16. I had the cutest German ski instructor who kept yelling at me, "Vendy vat are you do-ink?" I laughed at your husbands two mistakes with you, especially the "what's the dress code for the final night". After 23 years of marriage, I've learned to get very specific with questions I ask if he tells me its a casual event. Glad you had a fun getaway.

    • 4.4.16
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I was so thankful it was a casual group or I would have been mortified! Hahaha!!

  17. 4.4.16
    shanalex said:

    I've never been to Deer Valley but it's in my list! Skiing is hard but it's a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. The pizza thing will wear your legs out!

    Happy Monday,
    Shanna in SC

  18. 4.4.16
    Unknown said:

    I went skiing with a friend and had no idea how to stop once I got started down the hill. So she would wipe out and I would just zoom right by her not knowing how to stop to help her! (Insert my nervous laugh at the point) haha!

  19. 4.4.16
    Grace said:

    Can you link your ski outfit? I'm always on the hunt for some cute snow clothesοΏ½οΏ½ Happy Monday Erika!

  20. 4.4.16
    Beth said:

    Girl, the first time I ever went snow skiing (I was 19) my boyfriend took me down a blue. There was no way I could make it down. He, a very experienced skier, kept trying to help me out by telling me to go side-to-side down the hill. I got so frustrated with the whole thing I popped my skis off right there on the mountain and walked down!

  21. 4.4.16
    live compassionately said:

    Erika I'm dying! Bless your heart – I know exactly how it feels! My first time to ski I was probably around 12, but it was a HOT MESS! I was in ski school, slid into the orange plastic fence (like the construction stuff), fell and KNOCKED THE FENCE OVER. I was so embarrassed! I'm dying at your instructor asking what you were doing though! I can still only ski in pizza too so I know how you feel! Bless!

  22. 4.4.16
    Lisa said:

    Oh my gosh Erika… Your commentary and description of skiing was just great!!!! Totally helped my time on the elliptical fly by. #thankyouοΏ½οΏ½
    I love to read your blog along with your darling buddies Shay, Sheaffer, Andrea & Narci (I think y'all are all connected in one way or another) while I'm exercising everyday. I refer to y'all as my "virtual friends", so if y'all need a big sister in your group, I'm here for youοΏ½οΏ½οΏ½οΏ½
    Can't wait to see Shay on Today, tomorrow!

    OH! And the nervous laughter thing…I totally do that too! Thought my dad was going to come unglued when I was dying laughing and he was trying to teach me to driveπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  23. 4.4.16
    Chasity @ Haute Mommy Blog said:

    I SOOOOO missed skiing this year. Pregnant and my husband would not let me go. πŸ™

    Ok, so, transitioning from pizza! You will still pizza a LITTLE to stop, but what you want to focus on is turning your skis parallel to the slope. I always stop with my right ski in front. So this is what you do – when you are going downhill, start turning your right hip and knee to the left, then use the weight of your left thigh to pull your left ski the same direction right when you start this. It will turn your skis to point left while keeping your upper body facing forward. Stopping like a pro before no time! This is also how you get those awesome sore leg muscles!!

    If you simply want to slow down without stopping, you still use this same technique, but just go slightly to the side then jerk it really quickly to the right and then back to the left, kind of making a Z shape. You will slow without stopping. You can use a similar technique to make yourself go faster, but you can save that for another time. πŸ˜‰

    I'm glad you enjoyed Deer Valley! I think Big Sky is AMAZING for beginners and kids. It's huge so never crowded, plus if Tab or others want to ski blacks, there are tons do do while you all stay on the easier slopes. My friend owns a restaurant there, too. πŸ™‚

  24. 4.4.16
    Unknown said:

    I grew up skiing at Deer Valley and being in their ski school. It is such a great way to get kids into skiing and the instructors are top notch! I did their ski school from when I was 3-18 years old. My parents also loved the program because they could sit at the base and watch for the day and we got feedback from instructors after every lesson. Highly recommend their ski school!

  25. 4.4.16
    Megan said:

    Oh girl!!!!! I was tense just reading this ha!! Skiing is hard and exhausting. It can be really fun but it's sooo much work. Glad you got to enjoy the spa and a kid free trip! I know it was much needed!

  26. 4.4.16
    LongoriaLisa said:

    Love reading this. I'm headed to park city after thanksgiving and I'm a terrible skier. I'll hit the spa for sure!

  27. 4.4.16
    Olivia said:

    I loved your review – you are so brave!! I'm mid-20's and went on a trip to Whistler, BC earlier this year. I took a Max 4 lesson as well, and let me say you did much better than I did! I never left the bunny slopes – and this was after a full day lesson! My second day I just stayed on the magic carpet/bunnies…so I still have to conquer a Green. Our instructor made us feel better by telling us it typically takes kids 3 days to learn how to stop, but they master turns in a couple of hours. However, it's the exact opposite for adults – so you'll get the hang of turning to stop (without pizza-ing) with more practice!

  28. 4.5.16
    lifeaccordingtolaurentruman said:

    You look SO cute in your ski clothes!!! And so teeny!!! You look great! Glad you got a get-a-way!!

  29. 4.5.16
    Emily F said:

    I haven't been skiing since I was 10. I don't think I could anymore. You get an A for effort. I'm so over cold weather, I think I would be asking my husband if there was a Carribbean option…

  30. 4.5.16
    Jane @ said:

    What a nice getaway! My husband loves to ski, but I'm just not so sure yet. For now I'm happy just enjoying the amenities of the resort πŸ™‚

  31. 4.5.16
    Katie {The Mishaps and Mayhem of a Solitary Life} said:

    This is the best post!! I LOL a lot…not at you but with you! HA!! You two are just so fun!! Have a great week!!

  32. 4.5.16
    Olivia said:

    Erika, I'm laughing so hard right now, I'm crying! I relate a bit to my first trip skiing. That same thing happened to my sister-in-law…she scooted all the way down a blue. She said she almost divorced my brother because of it (he took her down the slope and said she'd be fine) LOL. It was their anniversary to boot. That spa sure looked relaxing!

  33. 4.5.16
    Katie said:

    Haha oh my gosh! I can relate to this post so well! When my (now) husband and I were dating, we took a trip to New York to ski. I had never skied before but my husband is a pro. Our condo door was literally 10 ft away from a lift, (and I had never had worn skis..) he SOMEHOW talked me in to "just getting on the lift and it will take us to a green.," WRONG! It took us to a BLUE! And– it took me 2 HOURS to get down!! I was sweating profusely and also broke up with him in the process. Haha! We talk about my first ski experience alll the time and crack up. Somehow, we've gone to NY ever year since and now I love those blue mountains!

  34. 4.5.16
    Unknown said:

    The thought of you laughing just makes me laugh. There is a great 'Modern Family'episode where Claire has the same issue. Very funny, if you ever watch it!

  35. 4.5.16
    mdunn said:

    I'm glad you liked Utah. The Montage is beautiful!

  36. 4.5.16
    Jen said:

    I'm impressed with your positive attitude through the whole thing. Very proud of you! My first ski experience was snow board and I never made it off the kiddie slopes. I was/am terrified of the ski lift!

  37. 4.12.16
    Unknown said:

    The Montage is a beautiful resort. Their brunch is amazing as the sunset view of the mountains is pure gorgeous! Also, you're totally right about Park City parades. They're so much fun, I remember a July 4th one from years ago πŸ™‚