Flying to Salt Lake City
Sometimes I wish I were better at planning ahead. As I write this, I am flying somewhere over the Midwestern United States- Wyoming, specifically- 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City International Airport. So far, we’ve flown 1,976 miles. This is one of the longest domestic flights I have ever taken. Actually, it is only second to a trip I took in 2007 to Sand Diego, CA. By the time my flight touches down on the tarmac, it will be around 11 p.m. in Boston, 9 p.m. local time. At least I’ll get to enjoy Salt Lake City for an hour or so before I head to the condo in Park City. I will be staying there, at the condo, with a group of 12 other Northeastern students and a cinema studies professor, David Grotell.
As this plan to make my way to Sundance took form and became a reality over the last month or two, I hadn’t given much thought to my agenda at Sundance. Obviously, I plan on watching a good film or fifteen- as many as I can afford and actually acquire a ticket for, I guess. But, this might be more difficult than I think. I mean, it’s Sundance Film Festival for crying out loud, it’s a big f*cking deal. You know, the same way Vice President Biden feels about Obamacare…. but on a different scale, and to a different demographic.
I hope I am wrong, and that I will, in fact, have the chance to see a multitude of incredible films on the brink of breaking out as bona fide hits after their debut in Park City. Who knows, I might be sitting in the theater watching the next “Slumdog Millionaire” or “Little Miss Sunshine.”
But aside from Sundance itself and my hopes and dreams of sharing oxygen in a theater with some of the biggest players in the game, this flight has given me time to formulate other, perhaps alternate, plans. You know, in case my whole college-kid-goes-to-Sundance-on-a-whim-with-a-pocket-full-of-dreams fairytale doesn’t pan out. The little 3×5 screen in front of me keeps reminding me that it is snowing in Utah, and that this weather is supposed to continue through at least Saturday, probably Sunday. So, given that information, I would be nuts not to go skiing, right? I totally agree with you, I’d be nuts. In the last hour alone, I have made it a goal of this trip to ski on real, west coast snow. Last time I went skiing was the winter of 2010, and it was more like ice-skating down a slope with skis instead of ice skates. Sure, the resorts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont are more convenient, but they’re mediocre, at best. Or so I’ve heard…. I have a strong inclination that, come Tuesday, I will be one of those people that affirms if you haven’t experienced skiing out west, you haven’t skied. But for now, I’m still just a novice, naïve east coast kid who has skied here and there.
Note: this paragraph will consist mostly of stream of consciousness, side notes of random thoughts that don’t fit any place else in this post. My feet are freezing. I am flying with two carry on bags, so I didn’t have room to pack my boots or coat. So, I arrived at Logan airport wearing my heavy coat, hat, gloves, scarf, boots, etc. All this gear I’ll certainly need in Salt Lake City and Park City, but I was a bit over-dressed for Boston. The sun was beaming, melting the snow that coated the city on Thursday night. I think the temperature was hovering somewhere in the 40s. Point is, I was sweating, but it was necessary. Had I dressed appropriately and just packed for Utah, then I would have had to check a bag. And that is something I avoid at all costs. I’ve never had a bad experience myself, so I guess you’d call it paranoia. Or, more accurately, impatience. Waiting for your suitcase to come rolling by on the baggage carousel, after sitting on a plane for hours, is one of the worst periods of time on any trip. Thus, I opt out of it. That usually requires me to pack a little lighter, and lug more around, but it is definitely worth it in the end. Back to my feet- I think I still have them, though I haven’t felt since I woke up from my nap an hour and a half ago. I took off my boots as soon as I sat down in 28F, window seat (nice!). They’re big and bulky, and not the most comfortable things in the world. So, I took em off. Get comfy, I thought. Well, when I woke up, both left and right were still sound asleep. (Damn, they’re going to be up all night, now…) Numb, actually. I’m not sure why, but there is freezing cold air, -42˚C according to that 3×5 screen, creeping into the plane and rushing over my feet. The whole time, this air has frozen my feet to the point where I can’t even be sure they’re still down there. I refuse to put on my boots, though, because I’d rather wait until I’m about to get off the plane. These boots are great in the snow, and real warm, but they hurt my shins. Maybe I tie them too tight, or maybe my legs are just not accustomed to being trapped in a shoe that rises 4 or 5 inches above my ankle. I don’t really wear em unless I have to, for all those reasons.
Well, all that above was written on the plane. I am now back on solid ground at Salt Lake City International Airport, and it is 20 to 10. I’m waiting for the shuttle bus to arrive and take me to Park City. I’m so exhausted, but so excited to be here. I touched base with Dustin, another student here, and he is with the rest of the gang at the film festival waiting in line. I didn’t ask what they’re going to see, I think it would have made me too jealous.