Friday, February 19, 2016

Travel Diary: Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City Capitol Building

Salt Lake City, UT holds a special place in my heart. To me, it is a magical place full of beautiful architecture and a very special spirit.

This particular trip was over Valentine's Day weekend. A few of my friends and I drove up and stayed for the long weekend. It was so fun! We did a big group date to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early on Saturday. We went climbing at a gym up there and dressed up that night to take pictures and dance around a little.

On Sunday, we went into the city to sight see. My favorite thing to do in SLC is definitely Temple Square. I have been about four times now and I never get tired of it! Such beautiful buildings and interesting stories. Even if you are not Mormon, I recommend visiting Temple Square if you ever get the chance. You will be amazed by the history and architecture.

Salt Lake City Temple

We also visited the Salt Lake City Capitol Building which was breathtaking! Some of my friends actually had their high school proms in this building which I can only imagine would be totally dreamy. Far different from my high school prom-- which was held at the Hard Rock Casino in good ol' Vegas!

View from the Capitol Building

We also visited this cool boulder near the Great Salt Lake. It had a bunch of graffiti all over it which was sort of sad, but also gave it an interesting appearance. I couldn't help but take a picture in front of the heart that said "America & Omar." Notice the heart sunglasses! I am clearly a big fan of Valentine's Day.

This trip was such a fun way to spend Valentine's Day weekend. I hope you all had a good Valentine's Day as well! Spring break is coming up for me and I don't know if I'll be going on a fun trip or just sitting on a couch the whole week! My current dream Spring Break trip would be to either Reno, NV or California. If I do anything fun, I'll be sure to post about it here!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Travel Diary: Canyonlands and Arches National Park

Arches National Park

This past weekend, I went on a trip with my university's outdoor program. The outdoor program hosts many free trips every semester to National Parks, popular hiking trails, caves, rivers, etc. and there are many outdoor activities to choose from such as hiking, rafting, biking, climbing, and camping. This trip was special for me because it was the first trip that I helped lead. I'm hoping to lead trips next semester officially, so this semester I am apprenticing on trips so I can learn the ropes.

The planned trip was to camp in Canyonlands National Park Islands in the Sky and hike the next day to different areas in the park such as Mesa Arch. However, it was unexpectedly freezing and so foggy you couldn't see any of the pretty views! We took a sunrise hike to Mesa Arch as planned and it was freezing (literally-- my hair had frost on it) and so foggy it looked like the drop off behind it just went into the ether.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

Everyone was kind of miserable in the beginning, but spirits rose when we decided to change our plans and go to Arches National Park instead. Arches is in Moab just like Canyonlands, but is lower so it wasn't as foggy or cold.

Arches is my favorite National Park. I have hiked Delicate Arch and Corona Arch twice and repelled off of Corona Arch once (150 ft high). We didn't hike either of those and instead hiked Windows and Double Arches which were both short, fun hikes.

Double Arches (see first picture)
South Window, Arches National Park

The trip leaders really saved the trip. They did so well at keeping their spirits up and getting things done even when everyone else was miserable. I have to admit, I did not do as well as a trip apprentice as I should have. Sure, I have my excuses... I was sick, it was colder than expected, bla bla bla... but I know that when I eventually lead trips on my own I have to be able to focus more on the positives and turn a disaster into the best situation possible. So this was certainly a learning experience for me. I will do better next time!

I highly recommend Arches National Park, it has always treated me well. From what I saw of Canyonlands, it was beautiful too, but I definitely want to visit again in the spring! Canyonlands is also where the movie 127 Hours takes place... you know, the one where James Franco goes hiking on his own and ends up cutting his arm off? It's worth the watch, trust me!


Snow Day 2016 / Winter Outfit Inspiration

For the month of January, it was considerably warm for Cedar City in the winter. Of course, there was still snow on the ground in the shade and a winter coat was still necessary in the morning and evening, but in the afternoon you could potentially get away with just a hoodie and you might even break a sweat. 

All of the dreams of Cedar City becoming a tropical paradise went out the window last weekend when it stormed nonstop! By the time Monday came around, there was so much snow on the ground that an official Snow Day was announced! Living in Las Vegas, I did have one Snow Day in first grade when it snowed probably one millimeter and people couldn't drive because of the icy roads. This was my first real Snow Day where there was actually feet of snow and scary road conditions! It was just so fun to have an extra long weekend.

I relaxed most of the day but also chased Noah out of our dorms to take a couple pictures right before the sun set in a snow-filled field.  

I'm actually wearing a pretty cute outfit in these pictures, but you can't tell because I was so cold I was hiding in my big coat! Just imagine a grey turtleneck, blue pleated skort, and black tights. My two winter fashion stables are this fur pom pom beanie (that I got from Walmart, of all places??) and my white faux fur coat from Forever 21. I wear this coat every day and I get so many compliments on it. Even if I don't do my hair or makeup, even if I'm wearing sweats underneath, if I'm wearing this coat I'm automatically considered a fashionista!

Coat: Forever 21 / Beanie: Walmart

Hope you enjoyed hearing about my fun Snow Day! I always considered myself a desert rat growing up, but this Southern Utah winter is too pretty for me to resist. Every day is a new adventure!