Thursday, April 17, 2014

Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and a Long Drive

From AZ, I headed north to Utah, where I'd spend a month with my brother while waiting for my niece to arrive. I'd never made the drive to Utah, and I planned a couple stops along the way to see some natural wonders. I figure I'd probably never make the drive again, so seize the day! 

I had my new camera in tow and some new Google maps directions, since a road had collapsed the year before, just a few miles south of Page, where I needed to be. That meant nearly an hour detour, but I decided to suck it up and go anyway. 

Ready for some photos? AZ really is pretty amazing. 

Near Flagstaff. 

First stop - Antelope Canyon. You're required to go with a guide, and I found a decently rated and priced one on Yelp. Tours a couple times an hour and no need for reservations. I'd see amazing pictures of this place and I really wanted to see it.  Amazing that I'm just going to walk down into this crevice here. I was kinda surprised how that worked.

Down we go. The guide said we were all skinnier than him, so we'd fit no problem. And I was probably one of the few native English speakers in the group.

It takes about an hour to walk through the whole canyon, and as we emerged it started to rain. I'm glad it held off, because they usually cancel tours when the rain starts. Flash floods and all.

Next stop, to Horseshoe Bend. Easy parking, then less than a mile walk through some dusty trails to the view.

I tried to take a couple selfies here, but they were terrible. But really, I was there.

The day was creeping on and I still had several hours to drive, right past Lake Powell and Zion National Park and through some small Utah towns. I wish I could've driven through Colorado City, but maybe another day.

Southern Utah is really beautiful and I must return.

The clouds added some atmosphere and the temperature went down quite a bit.

Next up, a full month in Utah and arrival of baby niece!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Away from LA - to AZ!

At the end of  July I continued my summer of travels and headed to AZ for a couple weeks, to work, to see friends, hit the dentist, and enjoy that hot desert sun. 

First stop, Meghan's of course. 

AZ does have the best sunsets. And I tend to try and capture them while driving. Ooops.

Turns out that Marcello was also in town that first weekend with the NKOTB tour, so we met up again and I went to the show. Another LA friend, Brandon, was also in town, so we got the hook up for seats. This whole thing still strikes me as hysterical.

Really, the best part of this tour was the people watching.

I checked out Marcello's bunk on the tour bus. A tad claustrophobic.

I went into the office on Monday, and Leslie greeted me with gifts from her European cruise. My favorite Spanish candies! So good. And still hard to find in America.

Evening rain after a rain shower. It was nice.

Darryl and I had a fancy late dinner at this place. I'd recommend. And so does Yelp, apparently.

There was a Postino/LGO night.

I visited Kari and her fish.

I drove south a bit to visit the Grandparents W in Coolidge. It's just plain ole desert out there.

Megs made some amazing cupcakes on Sunday. Heath bar chips and buttercream?! Amazing.

She's serious.

I stopped by to visit cousin Clint and his family. This babe is a cute one. And she's way bigger now, I'm such a slow blogger.

Then I stopped by other cousin's place to see their kids. These two were hilarious that night.

Baby shower lunch at The Greene House for my boss while I was there.

I visited Chantal and met all of her boys, not just the husband one. Love that girl. We watched the boys swim and caught up on life.

Headed to Grandparent K's for a few days.

The rain smelled so good on this day.

Trivia team reunited! We tried a new venue and style, and I really liked it. I should look into starting this up again here in SLC>

I bought a new camera to prepare for my norther AZ roadtrip that I'd take in a few days.

I finally visited the Musical Instrument Museum! It's right by my AZ office and  I'd intended to go for ages. Lucky for me,  Holly works there and left me a pass after work on a night when they close late. I thought I'd breeze in and out quickly, but there's so much to see! Definitely worth a visit next time you're in AZ.

I may have gotten a little teary-eyed when I watched the videos on how a Steinway is made. They are works of art.

Shannon had a birthday!

We celebrated with ice cream sandwiches (homemade cookies and ice cream, I am friends with domestic divas) and tacos.

I was reaming about that peppermint ice cream this week, and I don't even really like peppermint.

Taco truck stop in Phoenix - Los Yaquis. Two thumbs up.

And then it was Julia's birthday!

More sky photos after dinner. I was testing out the new camera. Those colors are great.

Post Julia's dinner, it was water fight and dessert time at the park. Those domestic divas made a beautiful ombre cake.

Next up, northern AZ wonderments.
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