Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Last Dianas

I got two rolls of lomos back from Ryan Atienza (holla Ryan! Thank you!). I told you there were light leaks. Holy bright and blurry. I'm definitely going to upgrade cameras. That being said I still wanted to share a few that I thought turned out cool. Some of these go back to last summer and it was fun to find some of these lost moments.

This one of Eli is from Northern Sparks and it's definitely my favorite of the bunch. Which only makes sense because in general Eli is my favorite of the bunch. 

I like this next one because I was one of the private reception guests...

If you click on the next one to make it bigger you can see a very old picture of Marc just behind Josh...

Bright but I love this next one because it's Nick opening a bottling of sparkly.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vegas Baby

We can tell you about Las Vegas. There's nothing that needs to stay there. We walked a whole bunch and our feet hurt like hell. We gambled 10 dollars each and cashed out when we both had 10 dollars again. Everything was really expensive and there's no longer baby lions at MGM or Bingo. Overall we ate some good meals, had some good relaxing time by the pool and drank blended drinks out of tubes. The warmth and the sun did us right- especially since it's been so damn cold and cloudy in MN. Seriously, it's almost June. The weather in Minneapolis needs to pull itself together. Here's a silly video of how Josh woke me up on our first morning in Vegas. Can you hear me ask if he's okay? I definitely think we both felt more than okay to see that sun!

I know it might sound boring to you but we had the best time just laying by the pool with cocktails and reading Game of Thrones (Josh finished book 1 while we were there and I started book 4). We stayed first at Monte Carlo, which has an awesome pool with both a lazy river and a wave pool. Next we stayed at Tropicana which just pumped a bunch of money into renovating the whole hotel and most especially the pool. They had a bar and swim up black jack and a little grotto with a hot tub. You can absolutely bring your cocktails into the pool too.

Josh had a blast with the waterproof Go Pro the whole trip. I have a feeling we'll be buying one of our own in the near future. Here are some silly videos he took of us in the wave pool and the lazy river. If there's anything Josh loves it's swimming and making videos.

Ahhhh Vegas. It really does have a sort of tacky opulence and throw back glamor that is pretty cool. One thing I especially loved was the Dale Chihuly glass ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio.

We were so fortunate that my family gifted us tickets to see Beatles LOVE (Cirque du Soleil) at the Mirage. The show was unreal. Every where you look up down all around there were amazing dancers, acrobats, roller skaters, things I can't even tell you about because I don't know how to describe. It was amazing. I think I cried through the whole show because it was so beautiful and the music was so familiar and wonderful. We spent some time at the Revolution Lounge beforehand. Here are some pics:

Our only other real splurge was going to the shark reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay. It was so worth it. I loved everything including the busy komodo dragon, the creepy white crocodile, touching the stingrays, watching the sharks and sea turtles swim over, around and under us and especially the tank of jelly fish going nuts and swimming around all crazy.

We had a great trip and a great anniversary. Thanks to everybody who helped us plan and contributed some cash to our adventures. Now it's back to real life.

Pah Tempe Hot Springs

Yikes! I had a whole entry written about our experience with Pah Tempe hot springs. Then I read the stats on this blog and it's being read by over 1,000 people. That's awesome but also a reminder to be discreet. Therefore I've edited this entry. Yes we went to Pah Tempe. When? I cannot say. We'll tell you all about it in person sometime...

I will say that I firmly believe that the inherent beauty of nature is in the fact that it exists for everybody. Pah Tempe is an example of what can go wrong when we try to control access to a natural resource. While it is important that there is maintenance to ensure the quality of the resource into the future it is not okay to eliminate the resource altogether. I sincerely hope Pah Tempe can find a way to continue for many others to enjoy as much as we did.

The Rock Shop

Josh and I wondered into a little rock shop in the town of Zion. I don't know but I just really liked it. All of the rocks were beautiful and so many of the quartz and geodes were native to the area. I ended up buying a ton of gems (which is awesome to travel with I'm sure). We met Marian who worked at the shop. She talked to us about the history of Zion and growing up in the area. She also told us about how she had a form of M.S. as a child and believes that she was cured as a result of soaking in the Pah Tempe hot springs on a weekly basis for about 7 months. She talked to us about her late husband and hugged us when we told her it was our anniversary. She even gave us a beautiful stone to take home with us- then she explained that it's actually petrified dinosaur poop. Her and her rock shop was a definite highlight of the trip for me. Too bad I didn't snap a picture with Marian!

Zion National Park (Utah)

We spent our morning in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo eating a brunch buffet and swimming in their pool so we got a later start than we had initially hoped. Our drive from Nevada, through Arizona and into Utah was spectacular. Did I mention we ended up with a jeep again?

We arrived just as the sun was going down. The view from our campsite was amazing. Good thing we wear headlamps and Josh is a pro at cooking dinner in the dark!

Here is a Go Pro video of our campsite:

The next day we were ready to hike. We hiked the lower, middle and upper emerald pools as well as the grotto and into the narrows. Zion is all sandstone next to the Virgin River. You'd better believe there is fresh spring water leaking out all over. The waterfalls and pools of water are crystal clear and for real emerald green. The river and springs have carved out the rock into really cool tunnels and windy paths. We thought it felt sort of like nature's playground. It was bar far the most beautiful place I've ever been. Pictures cannot begin to do this place justice.

Staying hydrated while hiking in the desert is key. Luckily you can fill up your water bottles all over the park at their filling stations. The drinking water is fresh spring water directly from the park and it's delicious. Josh was smart to bring his camel pack. We escaped feeling hydrated and also not sun burned. Lucky us!

Here are some pretty flowers we saw along the way:

We especially loved hiking up to the emerald pools. On the way up you have to walk under little waterfalls. It feels so good to get hit with that cold spring water in the midst of a hike. Can you see the water dripping down on Josh?

Here's a Go Pro video of us hiking through a little waterfall:

We also hiked into The Narrows. This begins as a relatively short hike that ends at the Virgin River. Actually it doesn't end there but rather it begins. The Narrows is a place where the river flows into (out of?) the canyon. The water is about knee deep and you can hike through the river for miles and miles into tunnels that the water has formed into the canyon. The water is ice cold and very fast. We weren't able to get as far as the folks who were equipped with walking sticks and neoprene shoes but we went in for a ways. Here I am looking up up up at how high the canyon goes.

We hiked up to the Weeping Rock on day two. Zion is the only place in the world where water flows out of the sandstone canyons and carves into them. The shape and the water flow allow gardens to grow up the walls.