Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An August in Utah

I survived the long scenic drive from AZ to UT and finally arrived at Taylor's house. I planned to stay for a few weeks to help them when their bundle of joy arrived. That bundle is nearly 9 months old now, and is the cutest little chunk, but let's go back to her arrival.

Utah summers are made for the outdoors - we barbecued, had to keep Max out of the way, and Taylor tried a new hot dog roasting technique.


So pretty. I think someone commented on this photo via Instagram that Utah was gonna get me, and sure enough, a few months later it did indeed.

Max wanted to play at all hours.


Utah summer bonus - basically free concerts. The National was sold out in LA, but I saw them in SLC for 5 whopping dollars. It was great. And I got to hang out with an LA crew.
Courtney was ready to just have that baby, so we went on a little hike up the mountain one day. 

 And then she was a trooper and we went to Provo's rooftop concert series to see Mindy Gledhill. Provo, you've actually got a little bit of cool stuff.

We made a late dinner one night and all pitched in to clean the house, and soon after going to bed, Taylor and Courtney went to the hospital. I stayed asleep and figured it'd be midday before anything happened, but I woke up around 8am to a text that baby Hallie had arrived!

I got ready and headed down to the hospital. First sight - seeing Taylor in the nursery with a baby.


Courtney was a champ. Pretty easy delivery.


I think this is only the 2nd baby he's ever held?

I'm an aunt!

Besides adventures in being an aunt, I took advantage of my time in Utah. LA musical friends played a show up in Park City and Marcello was still in town, so we ventured up to see them. Gorgeous scenery.





I tried out a midsingles ward during this month. Total zoo. Not for me.

More pretty Utah stuff.


 Back at home.....



Adam and I went hiking one day in Bells Canyon. Just beautiful.




Mom and Dad came to visit to meet their first grandchild. All Dad wanted to do was sit in that chair and just hold that baby.






Cousin Cameron came over to visit.


I went to the mall to buy some clothes and ended up buying cute baby clothes instead.


These sunsets kept being awesome.


Four weeks later it was time to head back to LA. Bye, baby!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and a Long Drive

From AZ, I headed north to Utah, where I'd spend a month with my brother while waiting for my niece to arrive. I'd never made the drive to Utah, and I planned a couple stops along the way to see some natural wonders. I figure I'd probably never make the drive again, so seize the day! 

I had my new camera in tow and some new Google maps directions, since a road had collapsed the year before, just a few miles south of Page, where I needed to be. That meant nearly an hour detour, but I decided to suck it up and go anyway. 

Ready for some photos? AZ really is pretty amazing. 

Near Flagstaff. 




First stop - Antelope Canyon. You're required to go with a guide, and I found a decently rated and priced one on Yelp. Tours a couple times an hour and no need for reservations. I'd see amazing pictures of this place and I really wanted to see it.  Amazing that I'm just going to walk down into this crevice here. I was kinda surprised how that worked.

Down we go. The guide said we were all skinnier than him, so we'd fit no problem. And I was probably one of the few native English speakers in the group.
















It takes about an hour to walk through the whole canyon, and as we emerged it started to rain. I'm glad it held off, because they usually cancel tours when the rain starts. Flash floods and all.

Next stop, to Horseshoe Bend. Easy parking, then less than a mile walk through some dusty trails to the view.







I tried to take a couple selfies here, but they were terrible. But really, I was there.

The day was creeping on and I still had several hours to drive, right past Lake Powell and Zion National Park and through some small Utah towns. I wish I could've driven through Colorado City, but maybe another day.

Southern Utah is really beautiful and I must return.






The clouds added some atmosphere and the temperature went down quite a bit.









Next up, a full month in Utah and arrival of baby niece!
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