Getaways, Journey, Life, National Park, Travel, trips, Zion

Be-UTAH-ful

img_7152

When people would ask where I would be spending my summer vacation, I’d respond and say “Utah”. The responses + facial expressions were priceless. A hint of “HUH?”, a dash of “WTF”, with a sprinkle of “WHY?”But for the most part, once I explained why we were headed there, I usually got the ooh’s and aah’s. ZION, we were going to Utah to visit Zion National Park.img_7190

After having traveled to Europe a couple of years ago, I became obsessed with wanting to travel outside of the country with my family. I realized fairly quickly how it sounds good in theory, but the reality was  unattainable. Traveling is a privilege and an expensive luxury. img_7157

I began to look up places that I’ve always wanted to experience and would hope to share the experience with my family. It’s important for both my husband and I to raise educated and cultured human beings, among other things. With that being said, I like to visit places that are very rich in culture and/or are historical landmarks. So there we were, summer was fast approaching, and I was itching to travel. Where could we go to soak in what was left of summer. ZION. img_7185

As most of you know, Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. And it was only a 5 hour 15 minute drive away! Can you believe you can cross 3 states in such short time?! I’m not going to lie, I put in some work to convince Robert and Zoe. But they eventually warmed up to the idea once they caught a glimpse of the Airbnb we’d be staying at. It had nothing to do with the beautiful outdoor space we’d be visiting. Ha ha! img_7151

I highly encourage anyone that appreciates the outdoors to visit Zion at least once in their life. I would like to share for those with little ones, that the hikes are intense. The inclination in particular. Gael, my 7 year old just barely made it through a 1.5 miles hike. But you know your little ones more than I do. I by no means want to discourage you from taking the trip. If you don’t care for hiking or are okay with skipping out on it, by all means, go! Take your little ones. There’s a beautiful river that they can dip their feet in and all the open space for them to run wild and free. img_7124

Also, take time to walk around the tiny city that leads into the park: Springfield. You can park in Springfield and either walk or shuttle in to the park. Or if you decide to bypass that and just park inside the park, parking pass was $15 good for 7 days! Make your way directly into their “Information Center”, grab a map, ask questions, jump on the shuttle that’ll take you to the hike of your choice, and fill up your water bottles! Zion is very tourist friendly and easy to navigate, I promise. img_7156

Let me know if any of you all visit and let me know your thoughts! I know I din’t go into too much detail, but ask me any questions you might have. I’m happy to answer them.

Cheers!

img_7158

Standard
Blog, Friends, Getaways, Journey, Life, trips, Uncategorized, Women

Hit the Road Jack…

Image-1

by Ray Charles was playing this beautiful Saturday evening as my gals and I enjoyed a drink and sat poolside at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. As I sipped my drink and hummed along to the song, I gazed out into the dark but yet clear skies, and realized I was actually on a weekend getaway. And I was absolutely okay with it.

Let me explain. Prior to this particular occasion, the only other time I’ve been away from my husband and children, was when I traveled to Spain while completing my undergrad studies. Lots of uncertainty and tears were shed pre-trip, during the trip, and post-trip. I questioned whether I was making and had made the right decision. You see, I’m the mother that worries about what my children will say about me in 5, 10, 15 years! Will they say “well, you weren’t there because you were too busy traveling to Spain…” or “well, you were always in school..or at work.” Does that make sense? Perception, i think that’s the word i’m looking for.

But yet here I was enjoying my very first and official getaway. I’m lucky to have friends that 1) include me in plans despite the fact that I have kids and 2) don’t take “no” for an answer. More often than not I need that peer pressure to peek its head out.

Image-1-2

Needless to say, I hadn’t had this much fun in a long time. It felt good to not have to worry about anything but myself. Selfish? Sure it is, but I’ve earned every bit of it.

Cheers!

Image-1-3

p.s. if you saw my snaps, promise some better ones will come in the very near future. Here’s a hint: Portland in November and possibly Tel Aviv + Jerusalem in May 2017 (fingers crossed!)

Standard
Family, Journey, Life, Love, Salvation Mountain, trips

Salvation Mountain

IMG_4029

We were headed south on a very much long overdue family trip. We try to visit our family in Mexicali at least 3x a year. We look up cool bucket list spots to make pit stops at on our way there. Last time we drove to Mexicali, we made a pit stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs Museum. If we could enjoy two places in one long weekend getaway, why not?! This time, I brought up the idea of stopping off at Salvation Mountain. Leave it to me to drive us somewhere “interesting”.

IMG_4009.JPG

“I have a feeling we’re not in LA anymore”, was the first thought that came to mind as we drove into the small town of Niland, CA. I had only see this place in pictures and it had blown me away! However, as we entered the small town, we still drove about 2 miles before actually getting to our destination. There were trailers to my left and God loving signs to my right. Now, i’d like to say that it was everything I imagined it to be, but it wasn’t. The vibe in particular. Instead, it was a bit creepy at first. I think the rest of my clan can attest to that. Any-who, there were two locals and their dogs were hanging out in a booth at the bottom of the mountain.  And anytime someone would step somewhere not allowed, you can hear the lady  shout; “follow the yellow paint! Don’t climb that way! Get down from there! Wrong way!”. Yikes!

IMG_4005.JPG

That didn’t stop the kids from immediately making their way to the top of the mountain. The rest of us followed while my mom trailed behind huffing and puffing. She kept saying “this is why I need to exercise more often”, as if she exercises to begin with– ha ha! Love my mama!  We continued to explore the rest of the mountain and really began to enjoy the art and creativity that surrounded the mountain. If you don’t know the story, click the link above and read it. It’s amazing what one man did to share his love of God.

IMG_4021.jpg

Although this place was not quite all that I imagined it to be, I’m glad we went.  It’s a good place to stop off for a quick stretch if you’re headed in that direction.  Especially if you’re traveling with kids. I also suggest that you come during the day. It’s a bit tricky to get to, and I’m not sure I’d like to get stranded or lost in Niland. Needless to say, we stayed for about 30 minutes before we were on our merry way. But not before snapping tons of pictures!

Cheers!

IMG_4014.jpg

IMG_4032.jpg

IMG_4025

 

Disclaimer: This is not a preachy post. I’m not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. Just sharing a cool spot and our experience.

 

Standard