To kick off 2016, we were lucky enough to come back to the mainland for a couple of weeks from our month-long venture to Hawaii!
I know, you’re thinking “already?!” And the answer is “yes!”
We wanted to head back to UT to finalize everything and to see our loved ones. And honestly, because I’ve never done this whole move-across-the-ocean thing & I was nervous!
An exciting part of our time here was taking a road trip down to Arizona to meet up with Aaron’s brother and sister-in-law. We had an amazing time filled with so much beauty and adventure.
After a red-eye from Hawaii (and the airlines losing our luggage LOL), Aaron & I drove down through southern Utah–stopping in a quaint little town to get some shut eye + so I could co-host a webinar (to 140+ people – crazy!) the following morning.
Early afternoon I wrapped up the webinar (feeling like kind of a champ!) and we headed south, cruising the winding Arizona highway ooh-ing and aww-ing as we put miles under our tires. We ended up at The Grand Canyon just before the sun set behind the mountains. It was our first time so I was just trying to process and take everything in. . .What a gorgeous sight to see!
We met people from all over the world–one fulfilling her late brother’s bucketlist, some from out of the country that traveled to America just to see this–all equally as interesting and awesome.
THE GRAND CANYON
The colors were magnificent at sunset & we loved the view from the three scenic points at which we stopped! We only had about an hour left in the evening so we asked the ranger what his top three scenic points were. To that, he responded Desert View Watchtower, Navajo Point and to end at Lipan Point for sunset. (Although all of the scenic points look amazing)
Just so you know the whole truth, we totally froze our buns off!
Next. . .
CATHEDRAL ROCK HIKE IN SEDONA, ARIZONA
The Grand Canyon was our first major destination on our trip but certainly not our last. From there, we ventured to Flagstaff (where Matt + Rae were staying) and then made a few day trips with that being our ‘home base’ – so glad we did this!
Sedona was one of my favorite day trips we did! The views were out of this world gorgeous. Snow-capped mountains, majestic rock formations and sprawling space in every direction. All just wow.
I would highly recommend hiking up to Cathedral Rock. It’s a bit of a steep incline but a short hike length (only 1.05 miles) and totally worth it for the views. My amazing sister-in-law was a champ & even hiked 6 months pregnant!
I mean – c’mon – so gorgeous!
After our hike to Cathedral Rock, we stopped into Sedona to grab a bite. . . I’m only sharing this bit because we stopped at the most quaint square of shops/restaurants that also happened to look like a little slice of Europe. You know I was walking around with two large hearts covering my eyes!
Once back in Flagstaff, we wanted to check out the night life. The bars were darling and the beer was good! We didn’t stay out too late, knowing we had an early wakeup call.
When the glowing screen of my phone illuminated 6:00AM accompanied with the loud tune of my alarm, my first thought was–
Once we were fueled (and somewhat more awake), we hopped in the car headed north towards Page, Arizona. We met with the tour company and got loaded up in the tour trucks–all snuggled up in blankets and coats–to see the canyon.
How can I sum up something so awe-inspiring?
Do you see the antelope figure above? Do you see the antelope face? This is the reason the red rock canyons are named Lower + Upper Antelope Canyon! We had the honor of experiencing Upper Antelope Canyon with Antelope Canyon Tours. I would most certainly recommend both the Sightseer’s Tour + the Photography Tour.
I couldn’t stop staring; running my hands along the cool, rigid walls; snapping shot after shot–rapid fire. I have never experienced something like this. The canyon walls touch the sky far above your head–wavering left, right, left, right–creating the most beautiful, rhythmic pattern as you walk from the front of the canyon to the back.
If you don’t have this on your bucketlist, I would advise you to add it now!
This was also a sight definitely worth seeing! It’s really hard to capture the full bend (water and all) without a really wide lens. And even with a wide-lens, it’s not for the faint of heart because once you approach the edge, you’re facing a 1,000 sheer cliff.
I think my heart skipped a beat a couple of times. I certainly know Aaron’s did! LOL
Our goodbyes were hard.
I wanted to stretch out the moments of this trip.
I wanted more time with our family.
I wanted to explore more.
I wanted to feel this free for longer.
But alas, vacations must end sometime. . .
I just know that I’m so thankful we made this trip happen! Each location was enthralling, so out of grasp and vast–sooo vast.
If these photos captured your heart in the slightest, I highly suggest adding these venues to your “WHERE TO GO” list!
Which are you most excited to visit? Or have you been to any of these places before??
Tell me below!