A Trip to Utah: Zion and Bryce Canyon

IMG_3001A few months ago, my brother and I started dreaming about how amazing it would be to visit Zion National Park in Utah. It looked like a photographer’s dream. So we mentioned it to our parents and, magicians that they are, they made it happen! We left December 27th and returned December 30th. We spent two whole days exploring the canyons, cliffs, rivers, and vistas of this gorgeous place. It is a different kind of beauty than I’ve ever seen before. Arresting, stark, harsh in all the best ways. The sandstone cliffs shoot up abruptly from the valley floor, creating a natural cathedral of sorts. It’s easy to see where it got it’s name. It truly felt like Heaven on Earth. It is very similar to Yosemite National Park in California, so I joked that it’s Yosemite’s red headed sister. After hiking around Zion for a day, we decided to spend the next day driving a few hours ¬†to Bryce Canyon, a neighboring national park that is much smaller but stunning in its own right. Southern Utah is chalk full of beauty. Below are a lot of a few¬†pictures from our adventure if you’d like to see!IMG_3094IMG_3149IMG_3092IMG_2958IMG_2843IMG_2839IMG_2845^This was my parent’s first visit as well, which made it extra special!IMG_3130IMG_3160IMG_9753 (1)IMG_3000IMG_3019IMG_2999IMG_9503IMG_5416IMG_2963IMG_2895IMG_2878IMG_2980IMG_2807^Brrrrr….it was chilly! But in a refreshing way.IMG_2690IMG_2759IMG_2810IMG_3215^Stone arches like this one were scattered throughout the park.IMG_3119^”Oh hello, I didn’t see you there…”IMG_2935IMG_2876IMG_2873^Someone got a Polaroid camera for Christmas…IMG_3208IMG_3182^The drive to Bryce Canyon.IMG_3233IMG_3229IMG_9795^Bryce Canyon!IMG_9764IMG_9204IMG_9806¬†^Still obsessed with photographing my new tattoo…IMG_9798IMG_9801¬†^Casually sitting in the road…I’ll do anything for a good picture.

P.s. A video of our trip is soon to follow!

Question of the Day
Have you ever been to Utah? What did you think of the landscape?

Seattle: A City Guide

Howdy friends, how are ya’? Today I thought I’d share a little¬†bit about my recent ‘Sibling Vacation’ to Seattle, Washington in the form of a city guide. Continue reading to pick up a few tips and tricks I garnered along the way that might help you in planning your next visit, sprinkled throughout¬†some photos of¬†this beautiful place. Enjoy!
Why Seattle?¬†If you love hipster, coffee, and striking¬†sunsets, Seattle is the place for you! And honestly, who doesn’t love those things? Seattle has many apt nicknames: The Gateway to Alaska, Emerald City, Coffee Capital of the World, etc. No matter what you call it, one thing is true: Seattle is a place of arresting beauty. That, coupled with its fascinating history and range of outdoor activities, makes Seattle the perfect vacation destination!¬†IMG_8577IMG_8574IMG_8546IMG_8550IMG_8571IMG_8545
Transportation¬†My brother and I flew Southwest Airlines to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, which is located about 40 minutes outside the city center by car. Since we didn’t have a car, we took the Link LightRail into downtown Seattle, which only cost $4.00 for a regular ticket and is simple, fast, and clearly labeled. Plus, you skip the city traffic! Seattle has a great bus and street car system for easy transportation. My brother and I also utilized the ride service Uber.IMG_8192IMG_8203IMG_8227IMG_8218
Accommodations We stayed in an apartment through the website Airbnb, which I used frequently abroad in Europe but had never used in America until now! It was an ideal location downtown on the corner of First Street and University Street, walking distance to main attractions like Pike Place Market and the waterfront. Other great neighborhoods/areas to stay in include Pioneer Square, Westlake, and the area around the Space Needle.IMG_8649IMG_8632IMG_8491IMG_8484IMG_8477IMG_8458IMG_8423IMG_8362
What to Pack Seattle is notoriously rainy and unpredictable, but we were lucky enough to have 75 degree sunshine all three days of our trip, interrupted only by a small shower/thunderstorm one afternoon. July through September is when Seattle experiences the most predictably sunny weather, but I advise you to always pack an umbrella just in case! Oh, and comfy walking shoes never hurt either :pIMG_8369IMG_8352IMG_8347IMG_8340IMG_8336IMG_8332IMG_8322IMG_8320IMG_8317IMG_8316
Must See Spots
1. Gasworks Park-
This park, situated on the north shore of Lake Union, is on the site of a former Gas Works company, and still contains remnants of the factory structures. It offers stunning views of the Seattle sky line as well as Mount Rainier on clear days.
2. Pike Place Market– Opened in 1907, Pike Place is an iconic part of Seattle, and a must see spot for any tourist. It is the oldest continually operating farmers market in the U.S., and is particularly known for its delicious fish and colorful flowers.
3. Bainbridge Island- If you have a bit of time one day, hop on a ferry out to Bainbridge Island, thirty minutes off the coast of Seattle. We took the ferry around seven p.m. and saw the sunset reflecting off the skyline. Once on the island, feel free to walk along the footpaths, explore the adorable town of Bainbridge, and relax at one of the restaurants near the harbor.
4. Columbia Center Observation Deck-¬†Originally we wanted to ascend the Seattle Space Needle, but the line was too long and the tickets were too pricey, so we opted for Columbia Center’s observation deck instead. It is the tallest sky scraper in Seattle, and offers panoramic views of the city¬†and the surrounding areas. Plus, this way you can take pictures of the Space Needle, not just from it!IMG_8389IMG_8381
^The University of Washington campus!IMG_8231IMG_8304IMG_8228
Anything Else?¬†If you’re a coffee addict lover like me, you must make the pilgrimage to the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, as well as the Starbucks Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they roast and package the coffee beans for worldwide distribution. I promise, both will be religious experiences. #noregretIMG_8734IMG_8738IMG_8709IMG_8706IMG_8686
^Bainbridge Island.

Are you on photo overload yet? I just couldn’t narrow it down- they were all too beautiful! It’s impossible to take an ugly photo of Seattle. I hope you enjoyed this little post and found the information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! Oh, and don’t forget to watch my video of the trip here. Have a lovely week friends.