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SOUTHWEST | ANNIVERSARY

Hey all - Karen here!

Over Labor Day weekend my husband (Andres) and I, went southwest for an early anniversary roadtrip - we celebrated 3 years of marriage woohoo! Neither of us had ever been to Nevada, Utah, or Arizona so we were especially excited to explore those states together. We landed in Las Vegas early on Wednesday morning, grabbed our rental Jeep, and headed straight for Zion National Park in Utah!

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We chose to do the shorter distanced, lower difficulty hike called the "Canyon Trail" because we heard the views were spectacular, although we thought it all sounded too good to be true. But, it was true - in under a mile we were at the top and staring down at winding roads and mountain tops, in complete awe. 

After our hike we refueled at Oscar's with the coldest beers, some fish tacos, and a green chile tamale that I'm currently still dreaming about. (Biggest plus about this place, it's nesteled inside the park, surrounded by the mountain views!)

After a day of hiking, we took advantage of our Airbnb's relaxing nighttime pool (which we had to ourselves!) and enjoyed some beers before bed. It did us SO good. 

The next morning we went off-roading to Toquerville Falls - this place was one of the dreamiest! We had this place all to our selves with no one in sight the entire time - it was so magical. It most likely has to do with the fact that ONLY 4x4's (thank you, Jeep) can drive into here. Definitely the bumpiest ride i've ever experienced - totally worth it! 

 Antelope Canyon (Navajo Tours) - ok maybe THIS place was the dreamiest. It was all I had ever imagined and so much more. The colors, the warmth, the light - it all completely took our breath away. There is no place like this. 

We slept in a tipi! JK, unfortunately they were all booked when we arrived BUT we did camp out in an awesome tent at this campsite nestled in a tipi village and Monument Valley in the distance. We grilled some dogs, jammed to Kurt Vile, and kept warm by the fire. The next morning we self-drove the amazing scenic route through Monument Valley!

The Grand Canyon - this was Andres' favorite site! It's so incredibly vast and literally goes on for miles. The photos don't even do it justice considering our eyes could barely reach the horizon in the distance. 

Next stop was our airbnb (known as "The Historic Hat Ranch") for the night which was the most amazing ranch in the middle of the desert. I seriously want to live there. Breakfast and open bar(cart) all night long :) 

Side note: We were originally supposed to stay at this airbnb bunkhouse but last minute some serious weather conditions forced us to re-route. Oh well - safety first! Plus, we wouldn't have gotten that amazing southern breakfast and free liquor all night otherwise :)

Lastly, while heading back to Vegas to finish off the loop - we stopped at the art installation that's right outside of the city, called Seven Magic Mountains. And let me tell you it was nothing short of magical. 

I think me and Andres were on the same page on how we felt about Las Vegas. It’s really cool to experience it once and get “gambling” out of your system and see all the shows. But I think we were left underwhelmed since we had been surrounded by so much beautiful nature the few days prior that when we set out to explore the city it just didn’t quite measure up. Either way our flight was leaving from the city so we were tempted to see what all the hype was about. And with that we ended our trip - and headed home!