Southern Utah (Part 2/3)

A few weeks ago, my friend Samantha and I took an impromptu trip out west. We started with driving to The Grand Canyon from Las Vegas and then ventured on into Southern Utah. I think Utah might be America's best-kept secret. Every turn on their open highways led to so many "ooh's and ahh's"!

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

We started our morning off by driving through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and arrived at the unmarked trail for Zebra Slot Canyon. (Here is a great guide to get you there!) Before getting to the slot canyon, we hiked along the Mars-esque landscape.

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Zebra Slot Canyon was incredible. We were lucky that it wasn't full of water and were able to jump right in to the canyon and start climbing our way through. It was exhilarating and also really hard to not think about the movie "127 hours"!

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Bryce Canyon National Park

We then ventured on over to Bryce Canyon National Park. This was my favorite of the 3 parks we visited because of it's unique landscape. Unfortunately, it was storming so we only got to see the park from the overlooks but even still, it was breathtaking!

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

We took a side-trip off the highway on our way to Kanab, UT to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The rain had just stopped and we had the place to ourselves! The sand dunes are formed by the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone that surrounds the state park.

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Kanab, UT

  • Kanab, UT is also called "Little Hollywood" for being the film location for many of the old Hollywood western movies.
  • We loved staying at Aiken's Lodge in Kanab. If you're into mid-century design and looking for a walkable neighborhood, this is for you!

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Reunification of Migrant Families

Perhaps you're like me and need to see things visually mapped out to be able to wrap you're mind around such horrible situations. As of 6am July 28th, here is the update on the reunification of migrant children and their parents at the border. 

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The Grand Canyon and Beyond! (Part 1/3)

Recently, my good friend Samatha and I took a trip out west. We both recently wrapped up a chapter in our careers so we decided to meet in Las Vegas, NV and see uncharted territory!

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First up: Making our way to The Grand Canyon

Like any good road trip, we quickly learned that driving is part of the adventure. Heading out of Las Vegas, we quickly stumbled up The Hoover Dam. What a treat! From there, we made the 3hr drive to Williams, AZ. We even got to drive on the famous Route 66 and take photos in the middle of the road. (Sidenote: Did you know that they have a monsoon season here in July? We didn't either.)

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Williams was so much more than we imagined. It felt old-timey, classic and western. We stayed in The Grand Canyon Hotel which we found out after Samantha "felt something" that it's the #2 most haunted place in Arizona (according to google). I played a lot of "was it a ghost or a person?" all night long.

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Grand Canyon National Park

What a dream! After arriving, we made our way via the shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trail to hike to "Ooh-Ahh Point". The trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail with amazing views. It's slightly strenuous on the way back up.

This also happened. (We know, we know! Don't feed the squirrels..but just watch..)

The real view: Shoshone Point Trail

A friend of mine gave us the world-class tip to visit Shoshone Point. I'm so glad he did! This was an easy 1-mile hike into the woods and we were the only ones there. It took us to the craziest view of the south rim canyon!

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Next up: Utah!

From Grand Canyon National Park, we drove 5 hours up to Southern Utah. The amount of times we said "this is so beautiful!" and "WHAT!" is insane. It was also amazing to drive through the Navajo Nation Reservation. We stopped at a few Navajo arts and crafts stands and spoke to some locals. I loved every minute of it.

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Up next: Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument..

 

Neighbors

A few months ago, I partnered up with my friend from Neighbors Podcast to create these "nice notes for my neighbor" postcards. This week I found out that there was a 90 year old man in my neighborhood who tried to end his life in his home. All this time I thought the house was empty but it wasn't. He was living there. Nothing makes me want to write more to my neighbors now than that situation. If you'd also like to write some notes for your neighbors and spread a little love and attention, you can download the postcard here!

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Past Color Palettes

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about Wes Anderson and his color palettes and it picked up quite a bit of traction. I thought I'd reminisce a little bit by reposting some of those color palettes of the past. I hope you enjoy them!

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The First 100 Days

Since January 20th, I've been in a constant state of researching what's going on in our political climate. I think it's become a way for me to process and dare I say, grieve, what I feel is complete chaos and a direction that scares me. It's been enlightening and frustrating to read about our illegal immigration systems and just how deeply complicated it is. I've researched groups like "The Freedom Caucus" and read the America First budget. My friends and I meet once a month to talk about what's going on and work on issues that mean something to us. I've even had a group of women from Portland, OR reach out to our group to see how they can partner with us across state lines and advocate for each other's political issues. It's been a crazy yet empowering last 100 days and I am frequently asking myself "what's happened to you and why are you using words like "constituents" in your vocabulary these days?". I also feel embarrassed that it's taken me so long to wake up.

Another way I've been working through things I've read is to design something with that information. A lot of it is completely bonkers and it directly affects so many I love. I'm not sure what else to do with the information except to chart it out and share it with the world.

One of the items on the America First chopping block are our public libraries. I decided to take a few of the points in the budget that concerned me and design them to look like library catalog cards. 

Interested in getting to know who this group called the House Freedom Caucus is? Hey, me too! Here's a little info about them.

Thanks for following along. Because this is the internet and things can quickly go off the deep end with fact checkers, I'll ask that you please do research on your own if you feel this is off base. I'd even love it if you shared with me your findings that may be different. 

Finding The Grand Budapest Hotel in Guatemala

A couple weeks ago my husband and I visted a small town in Guatemala called Panajachel. Panajachel lies on the banks of Lake Atitlan and serves as an entry point and boat launch to all other parts of the incredible lake. While exploring this town, we came upon a hotel called Hotel El Chaparral. I stopped in my tracks and thought perhaps we accidentally stumbled upon the inspiration for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

  Hotel El Chaparral

Hotel El Chaparral

  The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

In my broken Spanish I asked the woman at the front desk if we could look around. To my surprise, there were so many architechtual details that were so similar to Wes Anderson's film. The arches? Check. Bathhouse? Check. Hand painted signage? Check. Color palette? Check.

 The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

What a dream this hotel was! If you find yourself in the middle of Guatemala, check it out!