Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Our Utah Adventure: Day Four and Five, Part 1: Sunrise and Sunset In Arches National Park

 This is a continuation of a travel series to Utah.  To start at the beginning, go  HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE,HERE, and HERE!

After we left Bryce Canyon, we grabbed some lunch and headed to our final destination of our Utah Adventure:  Arches National Park.  It is a four and a half hour drive from Bryce to Arches.  Now, my husband and I had already been to Arches back in 2016, but we went again this time around so my son could see it and also so we could hit some trails we missed on our first visit.

We arrived in Moab late in the day and had very limited time before sunset.  We had told our son all about the Delicate Arch Trail (the best trail in the park in my opinion, but also one of the most difficult).  My husband and I hiked that trail the first time we visited (you can read about it HERE).  To this day, I put that trail in my top three of most difficult hiking trails (I did hike it during the heat of the day, which is NOT recommended) but oh, so worth it!  After days of hiking, my son wasn't interested in hiking another long, arduous trail, and frankly, hubby and I were pretty pooped out ourselves, so we decided to take the "Cheater's Trail" so our son could at least see the arch from the distance.  It in no way is as great an experience as hiking the trail and getting right up to the arch, but it was still a neat experience because you get to see it from another perspective.  You really realize how HUGE this arch is when you see it from a distance.  Look at the pictures below, can you see the people standing to the left of the arch?  Like I said, it's all about perspective!

This trail has two viewpoints:  a lower and an upper.  The lower viewpoint is wheelchair accessible as is a 100 yd easy walk.  The upper viewpoint is 0.5 miles and is moderately difficult, rocky uphill route.  

If you ever visit Utah and go to Arches National Park, this is the arch that is not to be missed!  So if you don't want to walk a strenuous three mile trail to see the arch, at least take in one of the other "Cheater trails".  This arch is the one featured on Utah billboards and license plates.  It's a must see!

After we saw the Delicate Arch, we took our son to another spot in the park we thought he'd find interesting for it was featured in the movie "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade".  It is called "Double Arch".  I also did a post on this arch back in 2016 HERE.

This is such a great arch.  It's so fun to climb right into it.  It may not look like it in the photos but this arch is huge and it is quite the climb to get up to the first window.  To get up to the base of the arch itself is very easy.  It's only a 0.5 mile hike (round trip) from the parking lot on a easy, hard-packed trail.

I climbed up this baby the first time I visited (although not as high as my hubby did), but this time I held back and let my husband and son have all the fun while I took pictures.

By the time my son was done exploring the double arch, the sun was setting fast, so we knew we had to get going.  I did get some spectacular sun set pictures though!

The next morning we woke up before dawn so we could watch the sunrise in the park.  I can't recommend enough visiting these parks early in the morning or late at night.  First of all, there are hardly any other people, so you can always find a parking spot.  Second, you will always get amazing pictures because there aren't a lot of tourists in your frame, and the lighting is spectacular!  And thirdly, the day time temperatures are harsh in Utah.  It is so much more comfortable hiking in the coolest part of the day.

The picture below shows the famous "Balanced Rock" as the sun rises and hits it.  If you want to read more about this easy trail, check out THIS POST from 2016.  You will also see a big difference in the photography as those pictures were taken during the heat of the day.

After viewing the Balanced Rock, we then headed to show our son "Windows Trail".  I also wrote about this trail in 2016 HERE,

"Windows Trail" is an easy 1 mile round trip trail to North Window, South Window, and the Turret Arch.  I believe the photo below is the Turret Arch.  It is opposite of the Window arches.  My son is standing with his arms outstretched in front of it.  Can you see him?

It was such an amazing experience to sit underneath this arch and watch the sun rise.  The beauty was unbelievable.

Hubby walked around both sides of the arch (no easy feat) to get these stunning photographs.  On one side he captured our shadows, and on the other side (next picture), he captured the arch and us all lit up by the sun.

This picture shows the North and South Windows together.

After showing our son all the highlights of our first visit to Arches in 2016 we were off to explore some of the arches we missed the first time!  And wow!  Were we glad we did, because we sure found some beauties, but more on that next week.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Tiered Tray Decorated For Valentines Day

As soon as I took the Christmas decorations down and cleaned up the house, I also decorated for Valentine's Day.  I love Valentine's Day!  It's one of my favorite holidays for I enjoy having a special day on the calendar to show all my loved ones how much I care for and appreciate them.  I don't decorate the entire house for Valentine's Day like I do for Christmas.  I only decorate the dining room, half bath, porch, and entry way.  On Sunday I will show you more of my Valentine's Day decorations, but for today I will only show my metal tiered tray.

I bought my metal tiered tray at Hobby Lobby last spring.  I absolutely love decorating this tray for all the seasons and holidays.  It normally sits right in the middle of my dining room table, although I also had it on my piano at Christmas.

For my Valentines Day tray, I already owned a lot of Valentine Day decorations but I did pick up a few new items.  I found all these cute Valentine decorations at the Dollar General.

I loved the "Love Never Fails" block because it is scriptural (1 Corinthians 13:8).  My tray is very deep, so I had my husband cut some wood blocks to prop things up.  I painted the blocks white so they aren't noticeable.  I propped my "Love Never Fails" block up on the white block and filled around it with red roses.

On the top tier on the same side, I hung my "Love" sign, added a heart jelly mode from my kitchen stash, and another red rose.

For the second side, I used an old Valentine coffee mug that says "Love is", and filled it with roses.  On the bottom I placed a heart paper mâché box that was a leftover guest gift from my daughter's wedding, with some crystal heart decorations from my stash.

On the third and final side I placed a Valentine Mail Box that I found at the Dollar Store, a white cupcake stand, and more crystal heart decor.

 I hope you enjoyed seeing my Valentine Tiered Tray.  Come back on Sunday to see the rest of my Valentine Decorations!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, January 20, 2020

What I Wore In December

Hey Girlfriends, it's time for another round up of some outfits that I wore in the month of December.  I'm quite the homebody.  On average I only leave the house twice a week, so I never have too many outfits to share.  I always take a quick selfie before I leave the house, and I post it to my Instagram and Facebook stories, that's why some of the photos have hashtags on them.

This month, I was more of a homebody than usual as my family was here for the holidays and we didn't go out much.  We all enjoyed just cozying up at home.  But here are seven outfits I wore when I did leave the house.

This is an outfit I wore out to lunch with the hubs and shopping.  The top and pull on jeans are both from Stitch Fix.

Since December was a holiday month,  I have a few holiday outfits to share.  You may remember this Liz Claiborne dress I wore in my "Grandma and Me:  My Two Favorite Presents Under The Christmas Tree" post.  I wore this dress on Christmas Sunday to Church, but this time I changed it up a bit by wearing tall slouchy boots.  And great news!  This dress is STILL available HERE!

Another lunch/shopping outfit.  Grey jeans are from Stitch Fix, the black and white marbled sweater and tall riding boots are from JCPenney (both old).

I wore this outfit for a hair appointment.  The leggings are from Stitch Fix,
the sweater is from JCP, and the combat boots are from Charlotte Russe (all old).

Sometime during the holiday month I wore this outfit shopping.  If you can't read my sweater, it says "Honey It's Cold Outside". It is a word play on the controversial holiday song.  I wear it every year.  I found it at H&M years ago.  The words are silver crystals.  I wore my sweater with Burgundy skinny jeans and brown suede booties, all old.

Another holiday outfit I wore was a sparkly navy blue sweater with black pants and black suede booties.  I wore this the Sunday after Christmas.  The sweater was purchased years ago from JCPenney and the pants I received in a recent box from Stitch Fix.

And the last look I will share is a new top I wore on Christmas Day.  I picked this cute top up at TJMaxx.  You will see more of this top in an upcoming Valentine's Day post.  It is so pretty!  I love the yoke and sleeves.  I paired the top with the same stretchy black pants I'm wearing above and black suede booties.

I hope you enjoyed this months "What I Wore" post.  For whatever reason, they seem to be popular.  I guess we are all a bit curious what other women wear in real life, since most of us don't have that much to dress up for these days as our society is growing more and more casual.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Our Utah Adventure: Day Four, Part 1: Bryce Canyon "Peekaboo Loop" Trail

 This is a continuation of a travel series to Utah.  To start at the beginning, go  HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE!

In last week's travel post, we finished our first day in Bryce Canyon with an incredible hike up "Wall Street".  After a good night's sleep we woke up at the crack of dawn and drove back to Bryce Canyon for one last hike.  There are so many trails in Bryce Canyon we didn't know which one to do next, so we asked our shuttle guide for her opinion.  I asked her "If you could only hike one trail in Bryce Canyon, which one would it be?"  She suggested "Peekaboo Loop" so that was the trail we took for our last hike in Bryce Canyon.

Peekaboo Loop is a long trail:  5.5 miles and has an elevation gain of 1571 feet.  It is not for the faint of heart, as it takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete.  If that is too long of a hike for you, it's available as a horseback ride too!  You will see the horses in some of the pictures below.

If I were ever to do this trail again, I would definitely do it by horseback as it was very long.  It is a beautiful trail, full of every type of landscape and terrain you could imagine!

There are breath-taking, panoramic views everywhere you look on this trail.

And there a lots of interesting architectural details like this tunnel, arches, and the "Wall of Windows".

The path can be steep at time, so once again the park rangers recommend hiking clockwise so that you are climbing up at the steepest parts.  We took our car inside the park this time since we would be headed out of town as soon as we were done with this hike.  We parked at Bryce Point and had to hike 1.5 miles down into the canyon before we even reached the loop.  There was plenty of parking very early in the morning when we arrived, but when it was time to leave there wasn't a single parking spot available and tons of cars desperately waiting for a parking space.  My advice is to get there bright and early if you want a parking spot, or take the shuttle!

Like other trails in the park, the "Hoodoo" formations were spectacular!  I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, being at Bryce Canyon feels like visiting another planet!

There's not much more I can say about this amazing trail and beautiful park, so I will just let the pictures do the talking!

This picture shows the famous "Wall of Windows".

I loved this arch on the trail and how it frames the beautiful scenery.

When we finished this trail, we were hot, hungry, and exhausted!  We got back in our car and headed on our way to our next and final destination:  Arches National Park, hoping to grab some lunch on the way!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!