Monday, May 14, 2012

Explore Utah: Zion National Park

This last weekend was awesome! Brett and I, with our friends Gary and Anneli, went down to Zion National Park. I cannot begin to describe the beauty of that place. Pictures just can't do it justice. I'm so glad we went and were able to enjoy each others company and some hiking.

On our way up the Hidden Canyon Trail. It started out with huge elevation gain, and ends in a narrow canyon on top of the main canyon. At points the trail was so narrow on the cliffs that there are chains anchored into the wall to offer stability when hiking. I didn't take the time to take pictures there.

The view after you climb up the cliff and are about to enter the canyon. The river down there in the bottom is where we started. 

This sign just made us laugh. Yes, scrambling was required though, both to get to the arch and when we went past to where we stopped for our break. 

Left to right: Anneli, Gary, Brett, Me!

The boys shimmied on up to the top of the arch. 

This is where we stopped for a break, not exactly because we wanted to, but because there was no way you could pretend the trail went any farther. The camera is tipped back at about a 45 degree angle in order to get the whole cliff. You can see how narrow it is by the side of the cliff we were on showing up in the picture.

From where I was perched eating trail mix. It amazes me how far up the canyon goes, and how much farther down it goes as well. 

The second hike we went on took us up to Weeping Rock. Its a cliff overhang where water is continuously dripping into the canyon. You walk right under the overhang and the water drips on you from there. There were flowers and grasses hanging right onto the rocks. This is the view looking out down the main Zion Canyon. 

From Weeping Rock up towards where the Hidden Canyon Trail breaks off to head uphill. 

My handsome husband with his 'beard' that he was so excited to have. 

The canyon has only one entrance and is so narrow that once you get in the park there are free shuttles that run every 7 minutes to take you to the trial heads. So here we are waiting for the next one. 

This is from the third hike we did, and last one for Saturday afternoon. Its from the top of the Upper Emerald Pool. On the hike you just climb up passing three pools were the water seeps through the rock and is crystal clear. 

Our "Artistic Picture"

Sunday morning we took the shuttle to a short hike for an overlook to the Court of the Patriarchs. From left to right they are Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Jacob is actually the white peak on the very right edge. Technically the red one in front of it is Mt. Moroni.  Yep, were were in a National Park in Utah. They are pretty impressive though. 

We did go on one more short hike before heading home, but none of the pictures turned out too well. It was  just along the river until the canyon narrows to only as wide as the river. From there if you have shoes and gear that can get wet there is a really popular hike called The Narrows that takes you up the canyon by quite literally following the river, meaning most of the time you are wading. That's one hike that Brett and I do want to do someday when we can plan for it. Brett also wants to do Angel's Landing. I won't be doing that one though due to the heights it entails. Much worse than anything we did. 

The end of the trip. Still happy. Some bags under the eyes from allergies and exhaustion, but overall happy. Thanks to Scott, Megan, and Jesse for letting us borrow the gear to be able to go. It was a great weekend with great friends and great activities. We are really glad we decided to do it this year. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Something You Should Know

So Brett and I have this friend Justin. He is huge into two things: politics and movies/celebrities. We have spent so much time with Justin over the last year or so that I now have more knowledge about movies than I ever thought that I would. For example, when people start talking about the Batman Trilogy, it almost always gets brought up that we aren't too sure about the choice of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (I personally can't get past Princess Diaries). That conversation always ends with me saying something like "I don't know about it, but I do know that I trust Christopher Nolan, so I can still be excited." This then lapses into a very detailed conversation about directors, Rotten Tomatoes, actors previous movies and other very detailed things that have nothing to due with my usual talk of who is cuter and who just did a good job. I am now a movie nerd. An incident comes to mind when my mom and sister were in Utah helping me pick a wedding dress and in the car from Provo to Payson I realized I was giving very deep background on movies and that they didn't care. I'm trying to get better. I say all this mainly so I can say the things I was excited for at the start of summer.
  1. Summer in general
  2. Going Camping
  3. Going to Park City
  4. The Hunger Games
  5. The Avengers
  6. The Dark Knight Rises
Mind you, other activities come up that in the moment or the weeks before I am just as excited for, but in this spring, this was my list. Why do I show this list? Avengers tonight. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I know, I may be taking this overboard, but I am okay with that. The only movies that I give permission to be better than Avengers is going to be the Batman Trilogy.

As proof of just how far Brett and I have taken this little hobby of ours, here is a picture from last summer, the day after we went to the midnight premier of X-Men First Class.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Treat Yo'self!-Weekend in Park City, Utah

So, Brett and I were talking a while back that we wanted to do something together this summer while we had a little bit of financial cushion and its just the two of us. Of course we started big and then due to multiple things coming up, like Brett going to school this summer so he can graduate a year earlier and our camping trip with our "married friends", we realized that both our time and our money are lower than expected. We did however, get a SCREAMING deal on a hotel room up in Park City. This time of year is a catch-22 for Park City. Its a great time to go because hotels and dining are at a ridiculously reduced rate since its the off season (no more winter skiing, too soon for summer festivals). The only thing is that there isn't much going on. For our was perfect. A relaxing couple days with no plans, no obligations, and not in Provo. So here we go....

 So every time we do anything out of the ordinary, or we just get new music, Brett makes a mix CD to honor the event. This is the one for our weekend, modeled after the "Treat yo'self!" episode of Parks and Rec. Hilarious. Trust me.

(Sorry this is the worst pic)
Following with the "Treat yo'self" theme.....a few days before we left it was Secretaries Day. This (along with a huge flower arrangement) was my present from the Vivint Executives. $100 dollars to Nordstrom, awesome right? So on our way out of town we had to stop to go shopping. I was responsible and went to The Rack so I could get more with my gift card and totally scored. Lots of new outfits coming up.

Remember when I said the hotel was sweet? Well here is the proof. It was so nice. One of the first things I said when we walked in was that this was probably going to be the best hotel room we were ever going to have. 

The white frame you see on the right of the counter was there to tell us that the this studio suite was for sale at a reduced price of $355,000.000 and that if we were interested who to call. Are you kidding me? It was as big as our little apartment in Provo. Crazy. I guess it was fully furnished, but still, come on. 

I will say this though. The kitchen was awesome. That is more counter space than I have seen since I lived in my parents house in Rathdrum. Still not worth the crazy price. 

A weekend of relaxing, shopping, using the pimpin' kitchen to make cookies, and just having fun was exactly what we needed. The only problem was that it made it hard to get back to the real world come Monday. Oh and the fact that we spent all of Saturday looking for a pair of shoes for Brett. Yes we found them, and I never thought I would say this but I may not want to go back to a Nike store for a while. So many shoe stores........