sundance, utah.

We went to Sundance, UT last weekend to see my brother and sister in law since they drove down to Utah for the week. We stayed at my great-grandparents cabin just behind the ski resort in the mountains. My great-grandma Celestia (who I'm named after) and her husband built this cabin in 1920 while they were in college. Land was inexpensive and Sundance had not yet been "settled" so they were one of the first people to build in the area. I kept thinking how cool it was that we're staying here 3 generations and almost 100 years later:
^^The cabin is right along a river so we spent most of our time on the porch reading books and relaxing. There's no internet or wifi up there but it's always nice to 'unplug' for a few days.^^ 
^^The hike up to Stewart Falls is extremely quick from the cabin, and it's always our 'go-to' when we're up in Sundance.^^
^^View from the top of Stewart Falls^^
^^Tate and I took the ski lift at Sundance up and down the mountain. You can actually see Stewart Falls in the far distance of the mountains.^^
I'm looking through photos from our time in Sundance and I already want to go back! The smell of the cabin and forest alone is enough to make me want to live there full-time. Until next time, Utah! 

wedding season.

^^Draper Temple^^

girls camp 2016.

Last weekend was Girls Camp! We went to Brianhead, UT for 3 days and it was a blast:
Day One: Kanaraville Falls, Utah. It's a hike through a canyon about 30 minutes away from St. George, UT. You're hiking through miles of river and climbing metal ladders. Our 'destination' was a smooth rock that you can slide down.
^^Gorgeous slot canyon on the hike to Kanaraville Falls.^^
Day Two: We drove up in the mountains to a cowboy's ranch to ride horses. The owner, Mike, shared a story on how this house was built in the 40's by his great grandfather and has been standing ever since.^^
^^Felt obliged to use the 80 year old outhouse. It was awesome.^^
^^Riding horses on their property. It's hard for me to contain myself in this kind of natural beauty. There are so many places all of the world I have yet to see, but these mountains in Utah made me feel lucky to be alive.^^
Day Three: Hiking to Cascade Falls just outside of Duck Creek, UT. This is a quick 1 mile hike to a waterfall. 
^^All of our girls hiking.^^

Girls camp was a success! Lots of hiking and getting to know each other. 

cathedral rock, nevada.

^^View of Cathedral Rock in the background.^^
^^Cathedral Rock^^
It's been getting real hot here in Vegas so Tate and I drove up the mountains to escape the heat. We drove up the the Charleston area in Nevada (just 45 minutes away from Henderson). One of the most 'popular' hikes in Mount Charleston is Cathedral Rock. It's a quick 3 mile round trip hike, although very steep the whole way up. The view was well worth it! We packed a lunch and ate on top of the mountain that overlooked cathedral rock. 

seven magic mountains.

Saturday was the opening weekend for the Seven Magic Mountains. They're created by the Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone. It's a two year art installation in the middle of the Vegas desert. According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

I was extremely excited to see these in person, and was even more impressed when we actually got there. The boulders are over 35 feet high! The Seven Magic Mountains are just 15 minutes away from our home on Las Vegas Boulevard heading towards Los Angeles. If you're driving to Vegas from California, this is a must see!

india day eight - agra.

India Day Eight - Agra: We drove to the Taj Mahal early this morning in hopes of being one of the first people there. We definitely didn't beat the crowd, but the Taj Mahal was still a m a z i n g:
^^The Taj Mahal was built in 1632 as a memorial tomb for Shah Jahan's favorite wife, Mumtaz Maha. Shah Jahan loved white marble so the entire mausoleum is made of white marble with thousands of precious gemstone inlays. It took over 20 years to build!^^
^^My girls.^^
^^We also went to the Red Fort in Agra. This was built much earlier than the Taj Mahal. We've seen chipmunks all over Agra and our guide mentioned they were really friendly. Someone gave me crumbs and this chipmunk immediately climbed on me. 

India, you've been so good to us! We'll be back ;)

india day seven - ranthambore.

India Day Seven - Ranthambore + Agra: We arrived late afternoon in Ranthambore and stayed in a really pretty local palace:
^^At 5:30AM we were picked up from our hotel in a jeep and we drove right into the wildlife reserve. Our guide mentioned the chances of seeing a wild tiger were extremely slim, so none of had our hopes up too high. We saw dozens of peacocks, deer, and birds.^^
^^The guide was able to track fresh tiger prints (I'm not sure how?!) and we came across tiger #34 laying on the ground. He actually stood up, walked right past our jeep, and drank water from a hole about 15 feet from us.^^
^^It was so surreal being that close to a WILD tiger. I thought for sure we were going to be lunch meat after he finished drinking, but he went along his way. He was totally showing off by scratching the trees and stretching close to our car. We lucked out!^^
^^This temple was just outside of the park. Oddly enough, it's called the Black and White temple. The walls are painted bright colors and there was a COW inside of the temple.^^
^^View from the top of the Black and White temple.^^
^^After Ranthambore we drove to Agra (about 5 hours away). Our first stop was the Little Taj, also known as Jewel Box. This was the inspiration source for the Taj Mahal, and you can see resemblances.^^
^^Inside of the Jewel Box. The marble tile everywhere!! Bare feet are required for religious purposes since it's inside of a mosque.^^
^^Entrance gate (made of Red Sandstone) to the Jewel Box.^^
^^After we drove to the back of the Taj Mahal. We've been waiting to see this for so long! Since it was closed on Friday we weren't able to see the front of the Taj, but it was nice seeing the back view with no one walking the premises of the temple.^^

Pinch me, this placed is a dream! Tomorrow we're touring the front of the monument.
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