Sundance 2014


180* view from The Montage Spa

180* view from The Montage Spa in Deer Valley

After six years at the Sundance Film Festival, I know it is safe to say I am a veteran of the experience from top to bottom…almost.  I will let you in on the “almost” part later on.  As far as the films, restaurants, shopping, accommodations and spas, I have this trip mastered. It didn’t start out that way our first year, when I arrived without tickets to any of the films and a deep fear of getting on skis.

With some help from the superb concierge team with Exclusive Resorts, who we travel with, I figured out the festival ticket scene and scored a great ticket package for the following year. You see, getting tickets to the films is a lot like getting into a private New York City school.  There is an application process, a lottery that involved three different dates and then the final tickets selection process.  It’s a tedious process that takes some thought, time and money.

Sundance logo

Deciding which films to see is an in depth research project, at least for me.  I learned after that first year, if you don’t put in the time to research the films you may very well end up seeing some total crap on the silver screen.  For example, that first year I saw a film that involved two guys who were neighbors in LA.  One was out of a job and enjoyed dressing up as a clown while the guy next door would spend the afternoons giving him hand jobs and various other sexual favors.  The second centered around this couple in B.F.E. Alaska.  On a drug enhanced ride back home, the woman in the film is decapitated by a mail box as she hangs her head out of the truck window while her boyfriend drives.  I hate it when bad films happen to me.  There is no way to get those four hours of my life back. A little research is a good thing.

About three years into this trek out West, I gave up on skiing all together. I really wanted to enjoy it and had dreams of sliding down the mountain in Deer Valley with my husband, stopping to take in the majestic scenery and then making our way to the bar at the bottom of the slopes and then hitting the hot tub.  Sounds perfectly entertaining and sexy, right? It was for a while and then I realized that I really do not like to ski.  I hung up my skis one afternoon and that was the end of my downhill skiing life.  Letting go of this ski fantasty freed up more time and resources to enjoy the spa at The Montage in Deer Valley and more films at the festival. So in this one area of Sundance, I am not a veteran!

I highly recommend Park City and Deer Valley during the Sundance Film Festival.  There are so many things for the entire family to enjoy from skiing, dining, spa-ing, shopping and just chilling on Main Street with the eclectic crowd of film makers, actors and industry movers and shakers! I’ll let the photos tell the rest of this years story. Oh, what to pack?  The last photo is me in what I call my Sundance wardrobe wearing my Monclear puffer, Vince fur vest, Hudson skinny jeans, Manrico black cashmere sweater, Rachel Comey booties, Oliver Peoples aviators and Khirma Eliazov handbag. I wore some version of this the entire trip.  As did just about everyone else in Utah last week!  Luxury Travel Mom, Kim-Marie, often asks what I’m wearing, so I thought I’d include it in the post.

View to a Sundance Chill

View to a Sundance Chill

Deer Valley's majestic views from the Spa at The Montage

Deer Valley’s majestic views from the Spa at The Montage

Pool side at The Montage

Pool side at The Montage

Spa time selfie with my sister at Sundance

Spa time selfie with my sister at Sundance

Gangster inspired spa fashions at The Montage

Gangster inspired spa fashions at The Montage

Getting a Utah liquor law lesson. 1.5 oz limit on the hard stuff!

Getting a Utah liquor law lesson. 1.5 oz limit on the hard stuff!

Bottle nipple that keeps it all legal

Bottle nipple that keeps it all legal

Inside Eccles Theater before "Hellion"

Inside Eccles Theater before “Hellion”

Do you know about the merkin?  I did not!

Do you know about the merkin? I did not!

Jeremy Messersmith @ascapcafe in Park City….he’s good!

Park City Main St. traffic jam.  #mttownpeopleproblems

Park City Main St. traffic jam. #mttownpeopleproblems

The Egyptian on Main Street

The Egyptian on Main Street

Chimayo is a favorite restaurant.  Great cocktails!

Chimayo is a favorite restaurant. Great cocktails!

Order a cocktail and a side car - i.e. rest of the liquor for a proper drink!

Order a cocktail and a side car – i.e. rest of the liquor for a proper drink!


My Sundance wardrobe  photo.  Kim-Marie, you are welcome!

My Sundance wardrobe photo. Kim-Marie, you are welcome!

Instagram Travel Thursday

















Dr. Oz and Avocados

This post was first published at under Southerner and the City.

Do you want to learn how to keep your vegetables fresher, longer?  Yes, I do!

That is how my date with Dr. Oz started a few weeks ago when I replied to a casting call.  The associate producer Patrick called.  We chatted.  And he gave me my assignment. I was going to demonstrate how to keep guacamole from turning brown.

The show aired today. I have not seen it yet though because I’m flying to Napa to work with the Feast It Forward team at Flavor Napa Valley.  I’ll fill you in on this adventure next time.

The experience on the show was really amazing. The show is taped four blocks from my apartment on the Upper West Side.  So the commute was a short walk.  Once I got there, I was escorted upstairs to the dressing rooms where I met my fellow on-air companions, Johanna and Trena.

It takes a lot of people to get a show on the air.  There were staffers milling around every where with clip boards, microphones, headsets, hairspray, scissors, food and human intestines!  Yes, intestines.

As we were backstage prepping our veggies, I was standing next to a table where human intestines were being draped over a series of small stands likes lights on a Christmas tree.  Turns out digestion was also a topic being discussed.  I had to do some weird things as a television reporter, but I never had to handle human organs.  The girl who was prepping the human prop didn’t seem to mind.  Gross.

On the way back to the dressing rooms, I bumped into Barbara Walters.  You see, The View is also taped in the same ABC building as the Dr. Oz show.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  She is a HUGE icon of mine.  Unfortunately, I was rendered speechless and her entourage kept her moving along.  My one-on-one interview with the queen of news didn’t come to fruition, at least not in person!

Patrick whisked me down to hair and make-up for some touch ups and a darker layer of eye liner.  The wardrobe team made the final selection on my clothes, applied some double stick tape to my blouse and I stepped into my heels.

We waited back stage as the show moved along watching on a huge monitor.  Once we were mic-ed up, we headed to the stage where Dr. Oz was waiting on us.

He was great!  If we didn’t have a show to tape and guacamole to preserve, Mehmet and I would still be standing there shooting the breeze! He is much taller than I expected, has a great handshake as you’d expect from a surgeon, killer hair and dreamy blue eyes.  I told him I was going to do my best not to get the two of us stuck in the plastic wrap I had to use on the guac!  He thought it would be fun if we did! Luckily, I managed it just fine – for the first time in my entire life!

Dr. Oz read his intro and made a joke about making “it” last longer”.  I laughed, but I think I might have been the only person you can hear laughing in the entire room! Who knows maybe I’ll be back for a segment on making “It” – wink, wink – last longer! We started talking about the guacamole and within what felt like 2 seconds, we were done.

The trick with the guac is to take any leftovers and spray it with cooking spray, like olive oil.  Don’t even think about using PAM.  Then place plastic wrap directly on top and try not to trap any air underneath it.  It should keep the guac green.  But if you find yourself with brown guacamole, chill out.   As long as there is plenty of tequila in your margarita, who cares what color the guacamole is!

It was a great experience and one I hope to have again.  Who knows?  Maybe someday Dr. Oz will be a guest on MY show!

Keep up with DJ’s adventures on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter @mrsdjduckworth.  She posts some amazing and sometime seriously mundane photos on Instagram.  Yep, she’s a pinner, too.  Follow her boards on Pinterest. DJ is a contributing writer for New York Family Magazine and Feast It Forward.  She lives in Manhattan with her two boys and the world’s most amazing wiener dog, Leo – woof, woof!

Thanks, Dr. Oz

Thanks, Dr. Oz

Dj and Oz sign

Me and my co-stars

Me and my co-stars

DJ and Patrick