Hello, Friends and Family!
In previous blog posts I outlined why my family and I decided to leave California and the logic behind choosing Park City, Utah. Now, it’s time for the next installment — how the heck is it going?
I cannot believe that we’re into March 2021. The Mascardo family has now been in Park City, Utah for 6+ months, we’re 2 trimesters into school and there is only a few more weeks of skiing left this winter. Around this time last year, California and most of the world was starting to lock things down — more specifically on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic following weeks of community spread from China to the rest of the world. And on March 16, 2020, the Bay Area went into lock down. I vividly remember the city of Danville, California taking down the basketball hoop rims to prevent gatherings. And, being super excited to have find toilet paper at Costco. And, having conversation with our neighbors about them buying a freeze to store food because they were preparing for a huge run on meat products. These are some of the headlines I screen grabbed during that fateful March in 2020.
What has mountain living been like? I thought it would have been like living in Connecticut because New York/Connecticut got pretty cold and snowy but it has not quite been the same. Coming from Danville, California — clearly totally different, haha.
- So far, I’m loving the seasons. We had a generally mild winter — bad for early winter skiing but good for my Californian family to start to get used to the cold and snow. We are all looking forward to the summer and a summer with activities now that the COVID numbers in Utah are looking good.
- The snow really is “the greatest snow on earth”. It’s light and fluffy. Easy to shovel. Amazing to ski in.
- Downside to all the fluffy snow, it is dry out. More dry than the arid climate of Danville, California. Managing humidity in your house becomes a thing. Places here have central humidifiers but if that humidity gets trapped someplace like in the attic, it can create a very bad moisture situations. Proper air circulation is super important in those cases.
- The winter is warmer than I expected here and I think that because its so dry. A wet cold can really feel super cold.
- The sun comes out a lot. A storm might roll through but then we’ll get sunny blue skies right behind it. This place is nothing like when we lived in Seattle/Bellevue. There it was “gray” for more than half of the year. Awful.
- The altitude has not factored much in our day to day. Our house is at roughly 6600 FT which feels like the perfect altitude for mountain living — anything higher and I think we would have had to deal with it more. Visitors don’t complain about getting altitude sickness.
- There are sharp temperature drops at night so you need to watch for things like frozen hose bibs if you keep the external water running. I never had this problem in New York/Connecticut for some reason. You also need to “blow out” the sprinklers at the beginning of the winter or else all those pipes will break.
- Snow removal isn’t so bad. Similar to New York/Connecticut but the snow is much lighter. My snow blower is amazing and in those cases when I might be traveling, we have a plow service that is cheaper than what I paid for the minimal yard services in California.
How about the other aspects of life in Park City?
- The kids are living their best lives. Utah is generally open. The kids go to school, have made new friends, play their sports, are active with skiing and hiking on the weekends. They have thrived.
- The pace of life is slower but it’s easy to take the pace from California and just move it to Utah. Thats what happened to us in the beginning and we are still transitioning out of that mindset.
- Work for Sarah and I has generally been as expected because most companies are still remote. Access to other work opportunities has been higher than expected. There is high demand for folks in tech and they don’t care where those folks are based. We have both seen an uptick in interest in our skillset despite living away from Silicon Valley.
- Silicon Slopes is definitely a far cry from Silicon Valley but that’s ok. I’m surprised to see all the technology companies having an office in the greater Salt Lake City area.
- I am amazed by how many out of state license plates are in town. Just the other day, I was surrounded by cars from Maine, Connecticut, Florida and California. Florida feels super far from Utah for a drive — 2300 miles far. Folks tell me this isn’t normal but I would imagine there are still many visitors here even during a non-COVID year.
- Access to legendary skiing has been amazing. I’ll do 35+ ski days this year. Sarah has been doing cross country skiing.
- Park City Mountain Resort –> 10 minutes away
- Deer Valley Resort –> 20 minutes away
- Alta Ski Area –> 45 minutes away
- Snowbird –> 45 minutes away
- Brighton –> 50 minutes away
- Solitude –> 50 minutes away
- Sundance Mountain Resort –> 50 minutes away
- Snowbasin –> 75 minutes away
- Powder Mountain –> 90 minutes away
- Restaurant selection is bad especially compared to San Francisco and New York City.
- I’ve not really noticed the LDS influence except that Sundays are mostly open because lots of places are closer and they there are no kids activities. That has been amazing.
- Park City and Utah is definitely very caucasian. That stereotype if very true.
- Pickle ball is a thing there. Folks are really into it.
Do we miss anything specific about living in California? Friends and family for sure. The beach. The food. But, given the California COVID lockdown still in effect — I’d say we didn’t miss much in these 6 months.
So far so good. We’re all looking forward to summer in Park City as the winter season starts to wind down. I’ll provide a 12-month update post-summer when we get there.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your feedback. Please post or share.