Amy Roberts: A staycation situation |

Amy Roberts: A staycation situation

Red Card Roberts

By Amy Roberts
Park Record columnist 

I have never really embraced the idea of a "staycation."

The idea of dropping $500 to stay five miles from my house just never appealed to me.

I have friends who swear by these getaways, but I always imagined them showing their coworkers photos and saying things like, "And here's another photo of us lounging around. Oh look, you can see my house in the background."

So I had pretty much dismissed the concept of a staycation. But the month of June seemed determined to shove me off a cliff. There's still 10 full days of this month left, and already it has brought me to my knees several times. It's as if Impossible Deadlines, Insane Demands and Irrational Drama all got together this month and decided to throw me a particularly cruel surprise party. Weekly.

And that’s when I realized, my little staycation wasn’t how ‘the other half’ lived. It’s how we all live.

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My nerves were frayed, my emotions shot and my tolerance for just about anyone other than the pizza delivery driver was extremely low. I needed a getaway — stat.

But having just spent a week in the Caribbean in May, and with another trip planned next month, my vacation time and travel budget limited my choices considerably. It was either Vernal or Tooele.

Given that outlook, my skepticism finally succumbed to my stress and I found myself checking into a pet-friendly luxury Park City resort for a night.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by name and handed a refreshing glass of cucumber infused water. My bags were carried to my room while another employee took the leashes out of my hand and offered to take my dogs to a play area while I settled in. If my room had a theme, it was cozy elegance meets pampering diversion.

Fresh fruit, flowers and homemade dog biscuits sat next to the room service menu, which boasted a lot of French words requiring Siri's translation services. I was asked about any food allergies or preferences, which would be communicated to the chef on my behalf.

After being handed a bottle of handmade organic sunscreen with lavender and peppermint shavings, I was shown to the pool where a lounge chair had been reserved for me. That's where I spent the next few hours in a vegetative state. Opening my eyes only when the waiter asked if I was ready for another drink.

After a delectable dinner, I made my way back to my room where the television was turned to dog-friendly programming and my Dalmatians appeared to have enjoyed a belly rub from the turndown attendant.

"This must be how the other half lives," I told myself multiple times throughout the day.

I took a seat and started flipping through all the in-room literature. I glanced at a magazine featuring Park City's award-winning trail system. In the article I skimmed, someone had underlined 400 miles and wrote "unbelievable!" next to it. Other articles highlighted the Olympic Park, blue-ribbon fly-fishing and the charming shops of Main Street. A calendar of events listed everything from the Sunday Silly Market to the Oakley Rodeo. July 4th celebrations, Arts Fest and Miners' Day received extra ink due to all the details. More than once I caught myself saying, "Wow. This sounds like an amazing place to live!"

And that's when I realized, my little staycation wasn't how 'the other half' lived. It's how we all live.

Granted, I don't have a personal concierge who puts chocolate on my pillow every night, but those perks are second to the place. Location matters more than lodging. It's why no one has put a Ritz Carlton in Tooele.

Yes, it was lovely to escape for a day, and 24 hours of being doted on left me refreshed.

But more than anything, my staycation was a good reminder that we all have unlimited access to that kind of retreat that really resets us. Fancy hotels are marvelous. But a fantastic town is what really matters.

Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.