Pictured above: Me, Ashley, Abby, Tina & Martha at the St. Regis Deer Valley Ski Resort.
Great friends…beautiful scenery…delicious food and drink…Oscar worthy movies and movie stars! The setting this year for our annual girl’s trip was Park City, UT and the famed Sundance Film Festival.
There is nothing like taking a trip with your college besties! Let me tell you all about this amazing getaway…
GIRL’S GETAWAY TO THE 2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Our group of five are all friends from college (Texas A&M). We started taking these trips almost 20 years ago when our children were very, very young and have not skipped a year yet. In fact, many years we have fit in at least two fabulous destinations. Our friend Tina recently moved to Utah and this past year moved from Salt Lake City to a resort area outside of Park City. When she suggested we come out for Sundance, we jumped at the chance!
We ate, drank a lot of wine, shopped, went cross country skiing right outside of Tina’s door and spent a day at the Deer Valley St. Regis spa. We also saw five amazing movies and lots of movie stars!
Tina meticulously planned every detail of our trip! We are all very grateful to Tina and her husband Darren for securing all our movie tickets through their generous donations to the arts.
This is the view from Tina’s resort community where she resides right outside of Park City. You can see the slopes of Deer Valley ski resort…stunning!
Day 1: We all arrived on Sunday afternoon to absolutely beautiful weather. We ate a delicious dinner at an on-site restaurant in Tina’s private resort community and headed to our first Sundance movie, Velvet Buzzsaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. This movie is a comedy and a thriller all rolled in to one, centered around the zany art world. We all really liked it and you should definitely catch it on Netflix…plus, who doesn’t love Jake G.!!!
There is usually a Q&A with the audience after every screening at Sundance and since this was the world premier, all of the actors, the director and the producer were at this showing.
We were excited because we sat on the same row as Jake Gyllenhaal and on the way out snagged his reserved seat card. We just crack ourselves up!
Day 2: We act silly when we are together, much like we did in college and Jake soon became the 6th member of our trip. Here is is joining us at the delicious breakfast that Darren prepared. If you follow me on Instagram, he was in most of our stories too…ha!
Cross Country skiing was on the morning agenda. We could literally walk right outside Tina’s door to get on the trail. It was so much fun and the best exercise…I’m still sore.
Jake was there too!
Winnie the Bulldog is the cutest and met us on the trail for a photo op!
After our morning of skiing we headed into town for lunch at Cafe Terigo (Tina’s favorite and the BEST salmon salad) and spent some time boutique shopping in the quaint town of Park City. Next up was movie #2, Official Secrets starring Kiera Knightly. It is the true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Day 3: After breakfast at the house, we headed straight into town for an early movie #3, Clemency, staring Alfre Woodard who plays a warden at a maximum security prison, agonizing over capital punishment. The first scene will have you on the edge of your seat! Clemency won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic films at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival…go see it!
Skiing at Park City or Deer Valley during Sun Dance is great because everyone is there for the movies and the mountains are literally empty!
This is the iconic Egyptian Theatre located on Main Street. The Sundance Film Festival has used The Egyptian Theatre as a cinematic house for almost as long as the festival has existed; one of its oldest and most recognizable venues.
We had a delicious Italian dinner at Grappa and ran into another college friend, Penny (second from left) and her husband…such a small world!
Not originally on our agenda, we were able to snag tickets for movie #4, Late Night. This comedy, starring Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson and John Lithgow, tackles being a woman in a male-dominated world of late night comedy with wit and heart. It was a totally adorable and hilarious flick and will be released by Amazon later this year.
Coincidentally, Abby works for Chronicle Books in San Francisco who is publishing John Lithgow’s latest book. Abby was able to meet Mr. Lithgow right before the movie started and lucky for me, I was walking to my seat and got to shake his hand. I was a little star struck!
Day 4: Today started out with total relaxation at the tranquil St. Regis Deer Valley Remède Spa. Tina arranged for lunch (and wine) to be catered into our blissful surroundings before our massages and facials. I forgot to bring my iPhone to grab pictures of us in our robes (that’s always a fun one) but managed to grab these photos after my treatment.
After our wonderful spa experience we headed back to the Eccles Theatre for our final movie #5, Before You Know It, starring Hannah Pearl Utt, Judith Light, and Mandy Patinkin. This was a quirky film about a long-kept family secret that thrust codependent, thirty-something sisters into a literal soap opera. Ashley really loved this one!
Q&A with Hannah Pearl Utt (red sweater) and Jen Tullock (gold pants) who were the main characters (sisters) in ‘Before You Know It’.
Dinner at Yuki Yama Sushi…delicious!
After dinner, our driver took us up to look at the lights at the Montage Deer Valley Resort. It was stunning and looked like a winter wonderland.
The bar scene at the Montage was ON! Gerard Butler (good spot Tina) happened to be at the bar and chatted with us about his film career and posed for a photo. I loved him as the phantom in the movie version of Phantom of the Opera.
Thanks for letting me share this spectacular trip with all of you and thank you to Tina for planning out the most extraordinary week of fun, food and flicks for all of us. We have decided to make this a yearly event…it was just too good!
I hope you have a fabulous week and please let me know if you have any questions.
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Thank you for stopping by~XOXO