For the past few weeks, I've been exploring the Florida Keys  in preparation for a Moon travel guide about this unique region in southeastern Florida. Although it's one of my favorite locales in the continental United States, it's lately been colder and more overcast than visitors and residents are accustomed to, making water-based activities like swimming and kayaking admittedly less enjoyable than at warmer, sunnier times. While it's strange to see winter coats at outdoor cafés and unnerving to spy dead fish along the shoreline, I'm well aware that it's much colder elsewhere, so I'm trying hard not to complain about these unseasonable temperatures – in spite of my frigid snorkeling excursion  earlier today.
The funny thing is that, because my husband and I (who met in Chicago) spend much of our non-traveling time in warm-weather locales like New Orleans and Los Angeles, we often long for snow come late January – just in time to head to Park City, Utah, for the annual Sundance Film Festival . True, we're both huge cinema buffs, but the festival also serves as a good excuse to satisfy our cold-weather craving every year.
I only mention it because the famous film festival, which began in 1978, kicks off this Thursday – and if it weren't for my current project (which, believe me, I'm thoroughly enjoying), I'd probably be there by this weekend. For years, Dan and I have ventured to Utah  for this unique event, during which Park City, a lovely, upscale resort town (especially for skiing enthusiasts in the winter months), becomes inundated with celebrities and film lovers from all over the world. With 18 venues in Park City, Salt Lake City, and surrounding towns, you're bound to catch a film somewhere – not to mention all the informative panels and conversations available.
Of course, you'll also find a wealth of delicious restaurants, interesting boutiques, and fun-loving bars in downtown Park City, so this popular 10-day event isn't all about the movies – though, obviously, that's the main focus, and our favorite part. On many occasions, we've had the chance to see independent films that we might never have seen otherwise – and as a bonus, the Sundance Film Festival has afforded us several wonderful opportunities to see some of our favorite stars, from Jodie Foster, who participated in a question-and-answer session following one of her films, to Dennis Quaid, who walked right by us on Main Street.
So, if you're in a warm place right now – and in need of some snow – head to Park City this week. You surely won't be disappointed, especially if you're a fan of the silver screen.
For more information about Park City and the rest of Utah, consult the eighth edition of Moon Utah , written by W. C. McRae and Judy Jewell. The Utah Travel Industry's  website is also a helpful resource, as is the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau .
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me at laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.