Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thanksgiving at home, Krista' wedding, and Trip to Texas!

I had to combine 3 events into 1 post because once again I was not so great about taking pictures. But it was because I was way too busy having an amazing time!!
 I loved going home and hanging with the family. It was the parents, me, Greg, and Lydia for Thanksgiving this year. I was in heaven just being there and spending time with each of them.
 Lyd was even my workout buddy after our Turkey Trot 5K. Gotta work those arms and abs!
 My happy Thanksbirthdikkah! Since so many important holidays fell on the same day, I got spoiled with some presents by my family and then a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with candle laden pies for dessert!
 My family-love them!!
 After Thanksgiving at home in AZ, I flew back to DC for my Krista's wedding!! She and Ryan got married in a cute little statehouse in St Mary's Maryland. I feel so blessed for having been there and for being a part of their lives!
 It was fun sitting there with some of the work girls. We really do look so good when we're not in scrubs :)
 Happy Liz and me!
 The week after Krista's wedding I flew to San Antonio to visit Phil and Jenny!
 They took me to downtown San Antonio were we saw the Alamo and walked a large portion of the Riverwalk. So historic and beautiful!
 There were many churches and cathedrals to see along our walk. Phil and I- we're awesome :)
I'm so grateful to Phil and Jenny for hosting me, spending time with me, and for being such wonderful friends to me! I love all my family and I'm so happy I could spend my pre-Christmas vacation time visiting with so many of you!! To all that I haven't seen yet, just wait. Your turn is coming soon :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fall Randoms

Got some pictures of when the parents were visiting so I thought I'd post them :)
 Mom and Dad in front of Monticello- Jefferson's house. It was pretty awesome both inside and out!
 Dad and I with good ol' Thomas J.
 We also visited the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. It was interesting to see how many masonic practices seemed so familiar...
 On the front steps with Dad looking out over Alexandria.
 We also had a very rainy visit to Mt Vernon, though it tapered down enough so that we could take the house tour and walk to grounds in the afternoon. I had so much fun with my parents!!
A week or so later, a few of us threw Krista her bridal shower. Once again I was bad with the pictures, but it was fun to celebrate here upcoming wedding!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Visit to Hickory, NC

My parents came and visited me at the beginning of October, which was amazingly wonderful! I loved having them here. In fact, I loved it so much I forgot to take pictures. Just know it was great. Towards the end of the month, I decided to visit some more family, so I made the drive down to Hickory, NC to visit Eric, Kayla, and Lexi Smith!
 Once again I didn't take a ton of photos, but I did remember to bring some on the hike we went on! We camped in Pisgah Natl Forest, and then hiked along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The colors were awesome!
 Lexi got a special view on Eric's back. Too cute :)
 We hiked up a ways and got a good look at a nice waterfall. It's hard to see in the photos, but there were several layers of the falls and it was beautiful with the fall colors.
 Love the sound of running water.
 Cute little family! Loved spending time with them :)
 The colors were so amazing I just can't get over them. I love how they reflect in the river.
A great visit to NC to visit some great people. Love my cousins and so glad that they are relatively "close" out here in the east. Can't wait to go visit again!

A Utah Bachelorette Party

For my friend Krista :) She's getting married in a few weeks now, but we decided back in Sept would be a better time to visit the mother country. Because, as Krista puts it, "when else will I visit Utah if not with my Mormon best friend?" 
 I started us off easy-or so I thought-with a short back country hike up Provo Canyon. We got a little rained on, and Krista started realizing what I meant by altitude difference, but I loved it :)
 The next day Krista was convinced I was trying to kill her off when I dragged her up the side of Mt Timpanogos to the caves. But the scenery was amazing!
 I got a high off of being back in my favorite part of the west- of course that feeling might also have been the lack of oxygen. I think I've gotten used to sea level :P
 But we finally made it to the top and touring the caves was totally worth it. Love nature!
 No rest for the weary as the next day we did a morning hike up to Stewart Falls. We grabbed Shelly and enjoyed her company up and down the trail.
 Krista's pleadings for a rest took us to an afternoon movie and dinner that night. But when we came out of the theater it was to a complete flooded parking lot! I'd forgotten just how much rain a mountain storm can drop :) It was up almost to our knees in some points.
 After a rest day Sunday spent with family, we made our way on Monday down to Bryce Canyon. I hadn't been since I was little and I wanted Krista to see the diversity of the canyonlands.
 The formations here are absolutely stunning. I love the colors and the way they contrast with mountain, trees, and sky.
 It looks almost as though it couldn't be real. So pretty!
 It was breezy, but we enjoyed wandering around the rim of the canyon and seeing the formations from different angles. We would have walked down into the canyon but there was a flashflood warning and so we did not.
 Me and the canyon. Ahh I do get so happy when I'm outside :)
 On our way back, we stopped by my favorite little hotspring. It's out in the middle of a farmfield away from everything. I love it.
 I'd never been there during the day to see all the different colors of the water. Beautiful! I love little volcanic intrusions into our world :)
The water was wonderful, though I couldn't convince Krista to join me so we only stayed a short while. All in all, it was a wonderful trip to see my favorite haunts throughout the state. I only wish I had more time! Someday soon I'll head back west and go exploring again :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prince Edward Island

O Canada! Rosie and I finished our northern journey with a visit to Prince Edward Island. Both of us had been enchanted by "Anne of Green Gables" as girls, and now we had the chance to make some Anne memories for ourselves :)
 The island is as beautiful as L.M. Montgomery describes. I loved the way the the ocean and the wind have carved out life there. So amazing!
 It was rather windy and chilly along the northern shore, but we didn't mind. The views were worth it!
 We even stopped by the recreated village of Avonlea. We found ourselves a Gilbert...well for a few moments anyway :)
 I think we could pull these off. Am I right, or am I right?
 Avonlea was a pantheon of Anne moments, from our walk in the haunted forest to our dressing up in the clothing store. We'd actually listened to the book on the way the PEI, so everything around us was fresh in our memories as we wandered about.
 Our forested walk in Avonlea was my favorite. So peaceful and serene. Even though Anne imagined it as her haunted woods, to me it was a tranquil walk through inspiring nature.
 Everywhere we went I felt like I was surrounded by beauty. I wanted to buy every house that was for sale. I could learn to speak with a Canadian accent, eh :)
I always love the lighthouses. So glad we were able to have this epic adventure and I can't wait to experience more of life along this eastern coast!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


The next stop on our trip was Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. We got there in the evening and were greeted by the sight of a dazzling moon over the southern coast of the island. Gorgeous!
 We camped on the southern coast and it was blissfully wonderful....even though we woke up with water dripping in after a rainstorm started during the middle of the night :P
 Since it was a little too wet to hike and spending the day in a watery tent didn't seem like fun, Rosie and I decided to drive into the little town of Bar Harbor on the island. The morning rain was pretty heavy, so we spent our time under the umbrella wandering around to different shops and out on the piers.
 The rain and clouds made the mood misty and mysterious. Quite lovely :)
 We even met up with this big guy. Cute little humpback!
 When the rain tapered down a little, we got in the car and drove around the scenic routes circumnavigating the island. We got out at all the scenic points and saw lots of amazing sights. This stop was Sand Beach. That water was some of the coldest I've stepped into, but after while my feet went numb and it was fine :)
 I love standing on the shore and staring out at the ocean. Even though I couldn't see very far because of the fog, it was soothing just to close my eyes and sway to the sound of the waves.
 Happiness is a forest running into the sea :)
 We kept up our journeys around the island and saw many other beautiful sights. The rain added to the loveliness of the plants and flowers.
 And since I love lighthouses, of course we had to hike out onto the slippery rocks in order to see it better! What a job that would be- manning a lighthouse.
 Up a little closer to the light.
 Fun adventures touring the island with Rosie!
 Later that evening we went back into town for dinner. Rosie wanted to try lobster. This is her cracking it open. Absolutely disgusting. It's like someone took a cockroach out the water, steamed it, then added butter. I don't believe in eating anything that ever existed in an exoskeleton. But to each his own. I had a burger. Cow is much better in my opinion.
The next day was sunny in the morning, so we hiked up Cadillac mountain. It's the highest mountain literally on the eastern seaboard. Pretty steep but the views were completely worth it. So gorgeous!!! Couldn't ask to end my Acadia experience on a better note! The rain clouds started rolling in again that afternoon, and they chased us all the way to Canada. More on that with the next post!