That’s a wrap.

The opening weekend of Sundance is usually the craziest.

It’s when many of the BIG premieres happen, so lots of people flood little old Park City. Stars, producers, publicists, drivers… and people like us.

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After a pretty great first day of celebrity star spotting, Vanessa and I wanted to spend a bit more time in Old Town before she had to leave. We slept late, the effects of the previous day’s pink champagne throbbing our brains. John and I took Vanessa to one of our favorite local spots for a late lunch: Sushi Blue.

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Some scrumptious eats and a little (ahem) hair o’ the dog and we were ready for more fun! Vanessa and I headed to the shuttle stop to see what we could see in Park City. The Star Search had resumed.

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We landed in line at the No Name Saloon, but got inside after only a few minutes. We pushed our way through an impressive crowd to the stairs, heading upstairs to meet Melissa for a cocktail. We chatted for a bit, hearing her star-studded stories of the night before, and watched a heartbreaking Patriots loss on the big screen TV (sigh). Vanessa and I decided to stroll Main before heading back (we had a movie to catch later). Before we headed out, we took in the view from above. Twinkly and beautiful.

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Realizing that the cover of night was probably going to make any celebrity sighting difficult, we tucked into The Spur for a moment. The guy at the door let us skip the cover fee (wink) and we walked into a crowded room pulsing with music and dancing. A really good band from Chicago was rocking the house- the singer had a voice like Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes! Our timing was perfect- as we reached the bar, two seats opened up at the end. I just love a good people-watching location, don’t you?

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Melissa popped in with her crew right as we were finishing up our drinks. We snapped a photo, then Vanessa and I slowly made our way past the stage toward the door. This would have been a FUN night to stay out and boogie.

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We made it home just in time to pack up delicious paninis to-go and make it to another short film collection. They were relatively intense, mostly kind of dark, but entertaining and well done.
On the day Vanessa had to leave, the sky was blue and beautiful. We decided to head into town one last time for lunch before her flight. We ended up back at the No Name, which felt quite a bit different with room to breathe inside. We bellied up with a mimosa and a bloody mary, laughing about our little weekend adventure. Other than my wedding, it had been years since we’d spent much time together. Neither of us wanted it to end yet.

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After some tasty pork carnitas tacos and more than one drink, we made our way to the door. The sun was bright, blinding us for a moment as we stepped outside. A man sat on a bench to my right, and I immediately recognized The Weasel. I told Vanessa to take a photo RIGHT NOW – Here I am, being weird near Pauly Shore!

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He was a comedian with a string of movies in the 90s- I always thought he was hilarious! Was it better/worse that I didn’t recognize Tony Danza, or that I knew it was Pauly Shore in 2.1 seconds?

We walked on- weaving past photographers, stopping into Cicero’s, picking up freebies and gift bags along the way. We enjoyed more than one live music performance right there on Main Street. Serious talent. Despite all of the cheesy parts of the Hollywood culture, Sundance does add some really cool things to Park City, too.

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Vanessa and I posed for one last shot at the bus station, and then…well, the party was over. We headed to the airport, and we said our goodbyes. That’s a wrap, folks.

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I picked up Cholula and headed home, my body feeling run down from the weekend of FUN. You know what happened next.

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Sick Town.

Now that I’m feeling better, it’s so fun to look at the photos from Vanessa’s trip. We had a ball! We saw a handful of celebs (some GOOD ones), but that really didn’t matter. It was just a fun little bonus. We did feel the Sundance energy, enjoyed some films, and- most importantly– rejuvenated a longtime friendship with more incredible memories.

John and I have been to a few more Sundance movies, our last one scheduled for this afternoon. The madness is winding down. My dad emailed me when I was sick, a mini-lecture about listening to my body when it’s begging for rest. And then he said, “Looks like you had a lot of fun, however. Might have been worth it.”

He is so wise.

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Dear Sundance,

See you next year. (Bring James Franco.)

Love, Me

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