I'm working wirelessly outdoors by the famous Sun Valley skating rink, adjacent to the 1936 lodge. A lovely young lady from Mozambique brings me G&Ts on the hour. (It is the resort’s tradition to hire workers from around the globe — their nametag indicates their home country.)
The sounds of a competent jazz trio emanate from the bar. Glasses and tableware tinkle from Gretchen’s, the restaurant that shares this terrace. Marilee and Izzy each served tables there many years ago. I guess their nametags read: “The Nation of Utah”.
I think I'll have a Bailey's now ... hey, there’s Nancy Kerrigan. She’s wandering the grounds with her family — her child and parents, I think. Maybe she's in the ice show tonight. Perhaps I’ll stick around, and with any luck they won’t kick me out and I can watch the spectacular — complete with retired athletes, cheesy arena rock, and spangled fluorescent skating attire — from here.
This may be my twentieth year in Sun Valley. It has been a yearly family tradition since Ma and Pa discovered the perfect summers here shortly after I was born. We stay in the Villagers, a condominium development built in the early ’70s. Streams and trails weave through the modern wood frame 4-plexes, each small enough to remain quaint. The tiny town of Sun Valley, with its human-sized Alpine architecture, is adorable. Though the resort is nestled within the towering, magestic Sawtooth mountains, a 1-speed touring bike is all you need to visit the swimming pools, swan ponds, shops, and cafés. But the Sun Valley Lodge is the original landmark of the resort.
This year’s entourage (three families, seven kids) all left earlier today. My flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow. So I’ve planted myself here at the Lodge, engorging myself of its facilities that I was too shy to use before. Sure, we’ve bowled in the vintage basement alley and swam in the lovely, warm, circular pool; but tonight, as I sip drinks, suck bytes, and gaze at the skaters, I feel like a genuine Lodge guest. A film star or famous musician. Thanks, aviators.
The manager, an older white-mustached gentleman in a fine suit, just sauntered by my table and asked if I was getting a sufficient wi-fi signal. Yes, my good man, yes I am.