Monday, July 2, 2012

Sun Valley. Gone.

Ever since the first time I came to Sun Valley, Idaho at the age of eight it has held a special place in my heart. Like most who visit this majestic place, I instantly fell in love. Sun Valley has been a second home to me for most of my life. In many ways, I have grown up in Sun Valley just as much as I have in LA.

Having spent over 25 Christmas' in Sun Valley and just as many summer weeks I have experienced many life events in Idaho. As a young girl, Sun Valley was all about skiing in the winter and riding my horses in the summer. One of my show horses had the luck to be able to "retire" in Sun Valley, so I'd spend time with her every summer riding the trails with the gorgeous mountains as our scenic backdrop. What a life. It made me want to retire with her!

During the lazy summers in addition to riding my horse everyday my little brother and I would explore and various rivers, lakes and streams around town every afternoon. We'd wander off having lost track of time as it doesn't get dark until 10pm in the summer. We kayaked, inner tubed down rivers, hiked until we had blisters and ran up hills until we were out of breathe. There is nothing like floating down a river in an inner tube not knowing where it will take you. We took in neighbors dogs and would walk them & feed them and swim with them. We'd make castles out of river rocks. We went river rafting with my family a few times as well. What a rush! Days flowed into night and never seemed to end. Sun Valley was the antithesis to Los Angeles where we could barely play on our block, let alone "explore" around town. Sun Valley is every kids dream, especially in the summers when everything is so relaxed.

In the winter I skied until I was so cold I thought I was going to die of frostbite. Being cold didn't matter for this LA warm blooded skinny girl, it was all about the snow. I wore adorable pink puffer ski outfits in the 70's, shiny fluorescent green and pink ski outfits in the 80's, oversized matte burgundy ski outfits in the 90's, and elegant Bogner white parkas and pants in the new millennium. I got my first pair of custom ski boots, had crushes on my cute ski instructors, showed off in ski school since I was always the fastest skier in class, watched the ball drop every year on TV with friends until I turned 21 then spent the next 15 New Year's at Whiskey Jacques where they had live music, pool tables and skeet hockey. Like I said, the opposite of LA. I snuck into my first bar as an underage teenage, danced with Bruce Willis as an 18 year old, went to house parties, stared at the amazing crystal clear stars until my eyes went blurry, and went cow tipping & swimming in the hot springs at midnight with friends. I went hiking under the bluest of sunny skies through rivers, mountains & trees. I did a series of amazing BodyScape photographs in the winter and the summer, which I'll forever cherish as a part of my history in Sun Valley. I spent countless hours cooking with my Mom in our country kitchen and enjoyed even more hours of stimulating conversation in our hot tub under the stars. I lounged with our dogs by our amazing fireplace and read more books than I'd ever have time to read in LA. It's a place to go to slow down, catch up with family, books and nature. A slower paced life.

For me, Sun Valley is a defining part of my childhood. I always want my children to grow up with a mountain home. Life is just not the same without a mountain home. My parents just sold our family home in Sun Valley last week. So, on the bright side I can say it's a new era. In reality though, I'm really quite depressed about the sale of my childhood mountain home. It's never easy selling a house that's been in your family for 35 years, especially considering I wanted Xander to grow up with the same opportunities I had to wander and be free in Sun Valley. Kyri and I will have to buy our own mountain home for our baby because sadly you can't rely on family homes forever. Especially when your step-father decides he hates the cold, loves the desert, stops skiing and drops out of his mountain golf club. Ce la Vie Sun Valley. You'll forever be a part of me.

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