Thursday, January 29, 2015

Project 365, Days 22-28

22:365 A dapper period hat that my boss rented for a company trip that he is wore along with a purple 18th century costume.


23:365 Had my first dental cleaning in a long time. I love the little goodie bags they send you home with!


24:365 I was feeling like donuts and so I bought donuts. Go big or go home (honestly, it took us 3 days to eat all of these).


25:365 I love it when I get film developed, especially when there were photos on there from months before. It was like reliving those moments all over again! (Do you spy any Bryce Canyon pics?)


26:365 The Midway ice castles were open for a total of 3 days since Utah was unseasonably warm and so we went up the last day and though it was quite the trip (I will tell the story in another blog) it was worth seeing the amazing ice!


27:365 Finished a really good book, a gift given to me by my sister, Julina, last year for my birthday.


 28:365 Found a bird's nest in the bush I park by at work. I was hoping it was an early sign of Spring but was sad to see the leaves inside meaning it's probably an old, vacated one. Still, there are some buds on the bush!



And that concludes my 4th week doing this! I'm proud of my efforts so far, it actually hasn't been as difficult as I thought. I hope it stays that way :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday Road Trip: Bryce Canyon

I love my birthday. Absolutely love it. So it makes me sad when some birthdays come and go and nothing fun or extraordinary happened to commemorate the occasion. Last year's birthday was one such year because, if you'll recall, I was a volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival which made it difficult to go out and do something over the weekend and so it was a small and modest celebration. Well, this year I wanted to do something bold and spontaneous. 

So the Wednesday before my birthday (which was on Friday the 17th), we decided to go down to Bryce Canyon, a place I'd never been but had always wanted to see. Groupon had a good hotel deal that we took advantage of and we decided to leave after work on Friday and spend Saturday morning/afternoon seeing the canyon. It was quite the whirlwind trip but it was so much fun and amazingly relaxed considering the time crunch we were on.

I also had (still have) an injured foot, a condition called "turf toe" which is a weird way of saying I sprained my big toe. So we couldn't do much hiking, but what we were able to do was so much fun and absolutely beautiful.


After this trip, I have come to realize I have a thing for dead trees/roots. There were so many along the trail we hiked and I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.


As you can sort of see, the weather was perfect: sunny, 45 degrees, breezy but not too much. Just enough that when we hiked back out of the canyon and were sweaty, the wind cooled our foreheads and necks. 


Snow on red rock is a stunning sight.


Like I said, I love dead trees/roots. So many cool twists and formations.


The first half of the trail was really muddy. This was the half that was exposed to the sun and so when the snow melted it mixed with the red clay/dirt and made a very sticky mud. See Ryan's shoe? Yep. Very muddy.



I told him to look out with awe and wonder. Did he nail it?

Roots!


The rock formations are known as "hoodoos" for some reason. There was a plaque along the trail that I think explained it, but I can't remember it. But they're all over the place and look so cool. Here I am standing next to one!


After the muddy trail came the canyon-protected snowy trail. This side hardly sees any sunlight and so the snow was feet deep in some areas. Thankfully the trail's snow was packed enough that we never fell through and it wasn't too hard to hike.


What was truly amazing was that we were virtually the only people in this part of the canyon. So all was still and quiet and we had this part of Bryce Canyon all to ourselves. So we took our time and admired everything we could. I asked Ryan how rare it is to be alone in a national park like this and he said it was very rare. This place is usually crawling with tourists from ALL over the world. We definitely picked the right weekend to come down :)



Finishing off my roll of film!




The colors on this particular dead tree contrasted so beautifully with the blue sky. I just had to snap a pic.

Had to get a selfie. My earrings were a Christmas present from Ryan :)



All of these rock formations are massive. Just look at how small Ryan looks compared to that rock wall!


We think this is the "fairyland tower bridge" thing the trail sign was talking about. It's a long rock wall that looks really cool. 


And here's the "tower" part of the "tower bridge" maybe? Nonetheless, it was really cool. At this point, we stopped and turned around since the trail was now winding into the canyon and into less cool, rocky areas and into more muddy "sand" dunes. Plus at this point we had been hiking for about 45-50 minutes and my foot probably couldn't have handled doing the whole loop (which I think was 5 or so miles).


Post-hike picture!

At this point in the trip, we were done hiking but wanted to see more of the park. So we drove to all the different view points and admired the beauty of Bryce Canyon.


Natural Bridge, I think that's what it's called. Love me some arches!


Ryan said "I want to go to there" meaning that he wants to be standing on top of this very high up hoodoo. Crazy man.





At around 2pm, we were ready to go. We had seen most of the park and been to all the view points and there wasn't much else for us to do. Once my foot is fully healed, I would LOVE to return and do some more hikes! The sad thing is that if we come in the summer, we'll have hoards of people to deal with. I loved the still calmness that I experienced in Bryce. It was at times a very spiritual experience for me.

Even as I type this only a mere week after this trip, I am aching to go back. It was a perfect, peaceful, beautiful weekend and I couldn't have asked for anything more for my birthday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Project 365, Days 9-21

15:365 A picture of my workspace, featuring a delicious GreenMe smoothie. Our company is partnering with them so that employees can ask for a small deduction from their paycheck to get these smoothies every Tuesday and Thursday. I felt that for the price they were asking, it was VERY worth it. And a great pick-me-up :)


16:365 Filling up the tank for our spontaneous road trip down to Bryce Canyon for my birthday!


17:365 Bryce canyon! Such an amazing place, 10/10 would go again. Definitely a fantastic birthday present.


18:365 I made lemon poppyseed muffins and took the chance to take some macro photos of the lemons before I juiced them. Citrus fruits are amazing! 


19:365 My husband's family threw me a birthday dinner and for dessert was a brownie s'mores bar with a graham cracker crust. The marshmallow was super sticky and hard to eat, but it was still delicious!


20:365 I'm in love with my camera bag. Seriously, so cute! (got it over at Jo Totes)


21:365 I recently got into a Nintendo 3DS game called Fantasy Life and I find myself playing it most evenings while binge-watching Netflix with Ryan. Love my evenings!


That's it for week 3! Stay tuned for a bigger blog post about Bryce Canyon coming up soon :)