Sometimes, the most interesting things that happen at resorts is the stuff that most people wouldn’t even notice. The last week or two have been on the boring side…I don’t know, sometimes you just aren’t feeling it. It has been, well…cold.  I know it’s winter, it’s supposed to be cold but, it is has been North Pole cold! Along with the icy temps I got a cold! Sinus infection, sore throat, the shivers, I just can’t seem to motivate. What a wuss…I know, I know.  For some reason I would just  rather be hanging by the fire reading a good book than hitting the slopes. Maybe what I need is a fresh dump to brighten my spirits or maybe all I needed was a crockpot bubbling with chili to put a smile on my face.

A crockpot! For real…here’s the sitch. I walk into the brown bag area this morning after dropping the boys off for DEVO. I am having a girly girl day and can’t decide what skis I want, what boots to wear, what jacket goes best with either choice? Anyways, I decide to leave some of my DIVA luggage so, it stays warm and accessible. I can say it, I am a LOSER! As I step inside, the aroma of chili overpowers me.

My new found buddy, Becky Hulinsky, is at her usual table. She probably thinks I am a little wacked but, oh well…I am crashing by her either way. She hangs out every week with her adorable sixth month old son while her husband teaches skiing and I am glad I discovered her. Let’s just say, last week I was eating lunch on the floor…this Saturday, I got myself a table (imagine me saying that in a southern drawl…that’s the way it sounds in my head)! It seems like Saturdays have turned into quite the family day at Solitude. Before I go on, I just want to say that yes, Saturdays can be busy at Solitude….not in the way that some places can be busy…but, for Solitude…it’s you know, a little busy. Mostly you just notice it in the eating areas NOT on the slopes! And just so you know (in case you didn’t), the rest of the week is pretty slow. So, don’t go thinking I am wishy washy on the whole Solitude is empty shpeel. It is, even on Saturday…as long as you have not been banned to the ever popular brown bag room in the basement with no view….aaaaah.

So with chili smell permeating the room, I look at Becky and then over at the wall. Sure enough, there is a crock pot plugged in with large coolers stashed nearby. You have got to be kidding me! What happened to good old PB&J’s, chips and a drink? I step closer and take a looksy. Yep, chili oozing over the sides of the largest crockpot I have ever seen outside of a church BBQ. I think to myself “Gee whiz, I am definitely slacking in the my mom makes the best lunch department”. But, really, who brings a crockpot all the way up the canyon and plugs it in the lodge? Are we in northwest Idaho or better yet, Colorado City (they probably aren’t even allowed to ski there so that wasn’t really fair)?

No, of course, we are in UTAH! Home of big families and provident living. Remember the motto… families that play together stay together. Well, these families play, pray and stay together and it’s a good thing because they are keeping Big Cottonwood packed every weekend. I am sure that some people wished they were paying to eat in the “cool” lodge but, most of these families are delving into their college and missionary funds to give their kids great family memories and experiences.

“You watch” I said to Becky, “At noon there will be some mom dishing up chili to her eight kids.” Sure enough lunch rolled around and there she was, a modern day Utah mother! Blonde hair, youthful with…ahemmm…nice measurements. She had a tall, decent looking (but admittedly loud) husband and a brood of kids that would make any Catholic school jealous.

We watch as she pulls out the nicely shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and of course…fritos (it is Utah). What a feast! I bet her family eats better out of her smartly saved food storage than all the other skiers in the canyon! I glance at  Isaac’s cold pizza and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I mean, what more can I really say about this little situation except…You know it is funny! Well, at least it made Becky and I laugh.

So, I am not sure why the crockpot and the seriously UTAH family deserved to be blogged about especially, because I am one of those Utah girls (although, I have admittedly MUCH smaller upper measurements and two kids instead of ten). It’s just that sometimes it is these wierd moments that make your day and make you love Solitude that much more. Because you know, the crockpot would NEVER be seen (southern accent here) at any other self respecting resort in the Wasatch (I think)!

Bottom line is that Solitude should probably be grateful to all these parents carting up their hundreds of children each Saturday. They may not be spending money on food but, some business is always better than no business and trust me if more of these types of parents made it up here, Solitude would be rolling in the dough.
Maybe a bigger brown bag lunch area (with lots of outlets) is all this place needs…oh, and maybe a new slogan…THE FAMILY THAT SKIS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER!

P.S. I am just curious if they duck taped that crockpot together so, it didn’t spill? Any thoughts?  Trust me when I say I would NEVER put a full one of those in my car!

THE CROCKPOT! Can it get any better?

Better than Chili? Well, Yessireee! Just ask these fellers...a skunk hat and who knows what is WAY BETTER THAN CHILI!

Posted by rachael under Blog Entry
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