Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disneyland 2014!

I wish that I wouldn't have procrastinated so long in writing this post, because I'm sure by now there are a few details of this trip that I missed. But that's ok, because hopefully it'll get in a blog book eventually and I'll mainly just care about the pictures... :)

By the way, prepare for a picture overload! We had three girls to document the trip VERY well. Can't say I'm complaining. I love pictures.

Back in January over Martin Luther King Day weekend, we went to Disneyland (yes, again) with Mike & Alicia Sly and McKenna & Justin.

We left on Friday after work from picking up McKenna and Justin in Farmington, made our way down to Lehi for Mike & Alicia and then hit the road! We stayed in St. George at my parents vacation house that night and planned to make the rest of the journey the nex day.

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We woke up bright and early and made our way to Las Vegas. Of course we had to make the obligatory stop at Swig for drinks before embarking on part two of the journey.

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We stopped there for lunch at a place called Hash House A Go-Go that Alicia had heard about. It definitely lived up to the hype! I ordered a breakfast omelet, Riley had a Caesar Salad (weird?), Mike & Alicia shared chicken and waffles, and McKenna & Justin both got a burger. Each ONE POUND burgers! Talk about leftovers!

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After stuffing ourselves beyond reason we all hopped back in the van to continue to trek to California. We watched several movies along the way and played a lot of games on Alicia's iPhone.

We FINALLY made it to our hotel after lots of time in the car. We unpacked super quick so we could make it to Newport Beach before the sun went down. Luckily we made it just in time for the sunset! The sand was a bit chilly but the air temperature was so so perfect. Gah, I just want to pick up and move to California. We played around in the sand for a bit and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to perfect some jumping pictures with the ocean in the background.

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We walked around the beach for a bit and then checked out the pier. There were lots of people fishing, but with nothing too exciting going on we decided to stop for dinner at a little pizza joint. We made our way back to the hotel and slept (kinda) in preparation for the next day!

We did the two day, one park per day passes. Not sure I'd do it this way again, only because there's so much more stuff to do in Disneyland than there is to do at California Adventure.

We knew that we'd have to either A. Get a FastPass for Cars, or B. Get in line FIRST THING to avoid all the huge crowds that were sure to follow later that day. We saw how long the line was for the Fast Passes and decided we'd just try our luck at getting on first thing. We ended up RUNNING to the ride when the workers gave us the OK. Somehow Alicia and Riley ended up waaay further ahead than the rest of the group. Mike and I both decided it wasn't worth pushing through people and being obnoxious so we waited and got a bit further behind in line. By the time we caught up, Riley & Alicia were annoyed that they had to wait for us, and claimed they could've walked onto the ride. Oh well! We still got on in a relatively short amount of time, and it was totally worth it. That ride is awesome!

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We finished all the big rides pretty early on in the day, so we ended up doing a lot of them a few times (IE: Tower of Terror, Cars, etc). We also had sundaes at the Ghirardelli shop. Mmm...  photo 1625631_10152198994113627_984176242_n_zps7117a3d5.jpg

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The longest line we waited in was for the Toy Story shooting ride. It was about 45 minutes or so, but the ride is a lot of fun so we ended up doing it twice! We had to give ourselves a chance to beat the boys' high score from the first run...

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The next day at Disneyland was my favorite! We got to ride everything we wanted several times! It really wasn't near as busy as we thought it'd be (since that was Monday, MLK Day). We literally walked onto Space Mountain twice first thing in the morning. We used the Disneyland Wait Times app to our advantage and really didn't wait in any big lines. Of course we rode the BIG rides lots of times (IE: Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Pirates, etc).

On the Matterhorn!  photo 6e117edf-8147-4dba-9e42-d7e55c79703d_zpsb6abfbc3.jpg

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If you made it to the bottom of this post, CONGRATULATIONS! As a reward here is a picture of lots of treats at Disneyland. *drool*  photo 76257_10152198970573627_803816219_n_zpsfae566f9.jpg

All in all we had a wonderful time at good old Disney and can't WAIT to go back! I check the wait times app frequently during the week and get depressed about being in my office. I should really delete it... Until next time!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Angel's Landing!

Over Valentine's/President's Day weekend Riley and I had the opportunity to go down to St. George with my dad for a bit of warm weather and hiking. We had planned for several weeks to go down and Angel's Landing at Zion's and were keeping our fingers crossed for good weather. Pretty much anything about 50 degrees and no snow sounded GREAT! It's also a bit early in the season for the hike and we were really worried about there being patches of snow along the crest. It's already a WAY intense hike so to couple that with snow and ice may be a recipe for disaster. Well, long story short we ended up doing the hike! I had the chance to mentally prep for it which turned out to be a blessing. It's so much more challenging that I ever expected! I've never considered myself to have a fear of heights. In fact I typically find it pretty exhilarating (Ie: roller coasters, tall buildings, etc). But I'll be honest, that hike was pretty intense. I think it was less PHYSICALLY difficult and much more EMOTIONALLY challenging. It's a tough thing to wrap your head around when you have 1000+ cliffs on either side of you, and one misstep could be deadly. I'm not exaggerating! There have been 6 "confirmed deaths where suspicious activity was not involved". While I'm not 100% what that means it's still really scary! The hike itself is just over 5 miles roundtrip, so not too terrible distance wise. I definitely got a reality check on the way up though about how out of shape I am. Whooh! The temperature was perfect though. Much warmer and it would have been pretty miserable. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and dad's favorite part was Refrigerator Canyon. You start at the bottom by the river, hike up through the canyon, go on a series of switchbacks called "Walter's Wiggle" and make it to Scout's Lookout. This is typically where most people turn around, the rangers said. Looking to the trail ahead I think all three of us had a few doubts and whether or not we were prepared to do it. But in the end we figured it might be a once in a lifetime experience and I wasn't going to hike back down knowing I didn't make it to the end. Being a long weekend due to President's Day, there were lots of people on the trail. There are parts where it's only 2 feet wide and when you have to wiggle your way around people it gets pretty hairy. Anyway, enough of my ramblings! Time for some pictures!  photo 08b7a84c-70e5-4df4-a497-e733e72b9673_zps8d6269bc.jpg

The view from the bottom! This picture was actually taken AFTER our hike. I think had I taken it prior and really REALIZED how high up it was, I may have had second guesses.

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Stopped for a rest/treat at Scout's Lookout prior to heading up the last .5 mile. This was as close as anyone wanted to get to the edge!

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Always such a good and willing photography subject...not...

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The view from Scout's Lookout

Walter's Wiggles! angel's landing photo: Walter's Wiggles - trail to Angel's Landing DSCN2108.jpg

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The view from the top! One of the most incredibly picturesque things I've ever seen!

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After our adventure we rewarded ourselves with a treat at Swig (which was good, but BOO on them for running out of ice cream for my avalanche snow cone...ggrr..) We went back to the house to relax for a bit and then ate dinner at Benja Thai. Yum!

We were both so exhausted from the hike that both Riley and I slept through our alarm on Sunday morning. We had the best intentions of waking up in time to make it back for 1 o'clock church, but it just didn't happen. It worked out well because Uncle Horsehead (Dave) and Aunt Juju (Julie) ended up driving down to St. George and we were able to have lunch with them before taking off.

Looking forward to more adventures in 2014!!