Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sundance Film Festival

I spent the weekend in Utah, a noble feat considering it is January. But I love to attend the Sundance Film Festival, so headed to the Wasatch Front armed with ski gear, my wool coat with faux fur and the thickest gloves I could find. It reminded me of when I was there just two years ago shopping for the Antarctica marathon. All my gear for that trip was bought in Park City while attending Sundance.

When I checked in for my flight on Friday morning, I thought my flight was at 9:40am. I checked in diligently at 9:40am for a seat in the A group, only to find out I'm B2. What? My flight was at 9:10am instead. How did that happen? Where did I get 9:40 from? Turns out I arrive back at 9:40pm on Monday. Oops. My bad. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but I am flying to Salt Lake, the land of families...and families on Southwest board right after the A group. So B is more like the C group.

But such is life and it is not the worst thing in the world...but here comes the bad news. I got my rental car and immediately headed to Park City in the mountains. The weather got worse and worse the higher I went to the point I couldn't see anything--zero visibility. Everyone is driving with their hazard lights on and pulling off to the side of the road. I'm in an economy rental and no doubt has no snow tires on it. I pull off to the side and turn on my hazard lights (at least I think it was the side of the road; I couldn't see anything). I then attempt to drive back onto the freeway, as I have to keep going; there's nowhere to turn around at this point. I head downhill as I was at the summit and my brakes are brakes at all. I try pumping them; I try everything, but the car will not stop or slow down. I immediately call my dad because apparently in guy school they teach you how to fix things and deal with a driving crisis. He tells me to put it into the lowest gear and just coast. So I do, only to see a semi-truck so close to my rear end that I can't even see its headlights. I panic. Then another semi is in front of me. All I am thinking at this point is..."I don't want to die in Utah." Of all the places to die, I don't want it to be in a rental car up a canyon in a blizzard.

I finally find an exit down the canyon and my car completely freezes up, no brakes, no gas. I restart the car and head back the other way to Salt Lake City. No Sundance for me today. I lost an entire day.

I call the rental company and say the car smells of an electrical problem and I barely have any brakes. So they say take it back; they have plenty of cars. So I do. Only to find out they only have huge long caravans to rent. Soccer mom cars? How can I look cool? The man at the rental car company said, "this should drive better in the snow." Oh yeah? Any car would drive better in the snow.

I nickname my rental Old Betsy. It is the longest car in the world. In fact, I couldn't even see out the back window it was so far away. Plus, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to move the driver's seat back. So I am driving on top of the steering wheel in the longest car ever, but can't move back. I just started laughing so hard I was crying.

I then decide because my day of Sundance was over before it event started, I went to visit my grandparents. I surprise them, as they didn't know I was in town, and I walk in to find my grandmother...I swear this on my life...was watching....a marathon of the Real Housewives of Orange County. Is this backwards day??? I thought, okay, I have a hip grandma. Rock on.

I visited my cousins and went to dinner with them. We then watched a marathon of shows on hulu, one of which scared me. So, their three-year-old son brought me his action figures to make me less scared. "Superman will save you. Now you won't be scared," he told me proudly. So cute! I guess that is why people have children--never-ending amusement.

Sunday, I made it up to Sundance and had a blast. Saw celebrities, some documentaries and found the perfect hot chocolate of absolute creaminess and sweetness.

Monday, I saw more movies and had lunch with some ladies I used to work with and it was so wonderful catching up with them. Always good to keep in touch.

Salt Lake wasn't too cold for me. It was actually rather pleasant, except for when it snowed Saturday night. But much better than in December when I was there.