Tag Archives: the great outdoors

Springtime

The weather in Vegas right now is gorgeous! Mid-70s, gloriously sunny, everything green and bright…I’m in heaven. Spring in Vegas seems to last about 2 whole weeks so you’ve got to enjoy it while you can. I went for a walk on the greenbelt this morning and I was just amazed at how lush everything looked. Lush is not a word I would normally ever use to describe Vegas, but it truly was beautiful. It was like a Disney movie – birds were singing, people were out walking their dogs, flowers were blooming. Magical!
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After much deliberation I decided to try to grow a deck garden again this year. After my tomato and basil plant withered and died in the blazing heat I’d pretty much sworn off try to get plants to grow. They were extra work and I didn’t get to eat a single fresh, ripe tomato. Well, I talked to a friend from church who has some more experience gardening in Vegas than I do and I decided to give it another go. (Someday, when Tij and I have a real yard, I want to have a big garden. I’m going to have to cultivate a green thumb someday!) I picked out an eggplant (apparently they grow really well here), two different types of tomatoes, and a basil, sage, and mint plant for some nice herbs. 3 days in and everything’s still alive. Fingers crossed!
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I have burned through several books on my reading challenge and it feels so good to get swept up in good books once again! I’ve been seriously contemplating buying some deck chairs and a table so I can spend my mornings nibbling on breakfast, reading in the fresh air. While I find worthy projects and activities to fill my time (I’m currently planning a bridal shower – what fun!) Tij is truly busy. He works hard at his job, comes home for dinner, and then often has to rush off to meetings for church, or a physical therapy session, etc. I hope that in a few months, after some work transitions have been completed, things will simmer down for him! I wish I could just have him all to myself sometimes, but alas! I suppose one of us needs to provide us with an income ;)

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Bonnie Springs

Tij had the day off yesterday so we did a little exploring. Tij heard about this little tourist attraction called Bonnie Springs, 10 minutes past Red Rock. Bonnie Springs is designed to look like an old western town, complete with theatricals, a petting zoo, horse rides, and restaurant. We didn’t realize this before we left, but since it was a Monday, the “hangings” and “gun slinging” shows weren’t running and most of the shops were closed. Still, we got to check out the zoo and wander around.  Plus, we finally saw some of those wild burros they always warn you about on the signs posted around Red Rock! The weather was gorgeous and it was nice to get out and explore with Tij. We love cheesy stuff like Bonnie Springs and hopefully we’ll go back on the weekend when things are happening.

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Snow in Vegas

When we first moved, people told us conspiratorially that it could get cold in Vegas – even cold enough to snow! Last year passed by without us witnessing such an event, but yesterday it happened! (This snow “storm” was preceded by two weeks of 75+ degree weather. Go figure.) I was at the gym in the morning watching the news and they were streaming videos of big, fat flakes falling. I went outside and this is what “snow in Vegas” looked like:
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Kind of pathetic, right? I laughed later as I scrolled through Instagram and saw pictures of friends’ kids who’d made 4 inch high snowmen in their backyards, clearly delighted with the “snow”. However, later as Tij and I drove to Costco (and towards Red Rock and actual mountains) we saw the snow. Apparently, this is what snow in Vegas looks like.
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Not so pathetic, huh? And so beautiful! I’m glad we got a little taste of winter here in the desert!

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White Rock – La Madre Spring Loop

The weather here in Vegas has been gorgeous so I have been trying to make the most of it! Tij is hobbling around in his brace so I have been enlisting friends to go hiking at Red Rock with me. My friend Makenzi and I hiked La Madre Spring Loop last Saturday. It was supposed to be an (ambitious) 6 mile jaunt but we ended up adding an extra 3 miles onto by missing our turn off and hiking up to a springs. Needless to say, I was exhausted when we finished but I was pretty proud of myself. I’ve also hiked Calico Tanks twice this month too.

I know Tij hates his knee brace but his recovery is going quite well and he can stop wearing it in 3 weeks. He’s started physical therapy and he plans to start swimming soon. (It’s one of the few exercises he’s allowed to do right now.) It was Tij’s birthday last week. We met up for lunch and I bought this divine French chocolate truffle cake to celebrate, but it was pretty quiet. Valentine’s Day was the same. We exchanged cards and I made a nice dinner and we stayed in and watched a movie. It was lovely!

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Ice Box Canyon: Part Quatre

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Our friend Dallas is staying with us right now and I convinced him to go hiking with me yesterday. I haven’t been out to Red Rock in a few months and I was dying to escape the “city”. It has been overcast and grey for the past few weeks here but yesterday the sun broke through the clouds, the temperature was crisp but not cold, and everything was greened up from the recent rain showers. In short, it was beautiful. Mother Nature never disappoints!

Tonight we are all going to go see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! Tij is stoked :)

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Home Again, Home Again

We are back from San Diego and it’s like Vegas decided to jump straight from almost-fall to winter over the weekend. It was 44 degrees out when we pulled up Sunday night! (I know I’ve been harping on the weather a lot lately, but I am just so tired of being constantly hot and uncomfortable and planning my day and wardrobe around the heat. I suppose it’s just something I’ve yet to fully adjust to…) San Diego was beautiful. Tij and I went there for vacation once 5 years ago and it was so much fun! Now that my mom lives in San Diego we’ll probably be back more often than once every 5 years – lucky us!

My cousins and I wandered down to the beach one evening to watch the sunset and boy, did I get some killer photos! There’s nothing like the sun going down over the ocean.

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The wedding festivities were over Saturday night so Sunday Tij and I did some sight-seeing with our family before driving home. We checked out a few museums and ate at this divine Italian restaurant where I had the best raviolis. (I’m a sucker for stuffed pasta.) I can see why people love southern California. I think Tij and I would want to live there too if it wasn’t for the insane cost of living and the traffic!

At the Maritime Museum I walked through a B-39 Soviet sub (talk about cramped!) and stood on a sailing vessel they used in one of The Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The NAT (Natural History Museum) was hosting a King Tut exhibit which was really well done. The curators set it up to make you feel like you were discovering the tomb right along with Howard Carter and the original excavators. There was gold, gold, and more gold! I’ve always found ancient Egypt fascinating.

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aboard “The Star of India” a 151 year-old immigration vessel

This is all I’ll say about the wedding: the ceremony on the beach was beautiful and Tij and I are happy to be home now. We are looking forward to a quiet week of catching up on sleep and household chores.

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Fabulous Fall

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autumn in Boise

It’s faaaaaaaaaaall! And I am so thrilled. Today it is only 60 degrees here in Vegas and I am loving it.

I took a quick trip up to Boise last week to bring down…a new car!!! At least new to us. My mom very kindly gave us her vehicle as she will be shortly starting her new life (along with new car) this month. Tij and I are so excited to be a two-car family for the first time in our whole marriage! I got to spend a few days in Idaho hanging out with my family and going through boxes of memorabilia to take back to Vegas with me. My sister and I went out for brunch one morning and then took a walk along the Boise River to admire the fall colors. I miss watching the distinct change that marks the seasons. It’s just not that noticeable here in Vegas. It is slowly cooling off, and the trees that aren’t palm trees are losing their leaves, but it’s not the same as ***FALL***! Thankfully, I got my fill in this weekend!

After a few days I drove down to Salt Lake and hung out with some friends and family on Sunday and Monday before heading home. Driving by myself was a little nerve-wracking as I’ve never done a trip like that all by myself but it ended up being fine. Long, but fine. Now, I’m just so happy to be home with Tij and zee babies and I’m looking forward to life with my own set of wheels!

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I took the picture on the left from a swing

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the Boise River

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Girl’s Weekend in St. George

I have been lucky to make such wonderful friends here in Las Vegas. There is a little group of us who get together every week and I so look forward to those evenings where we get to hang out and be goofy and just be ourselves. A few weeks ago we decided to plan a girl’s getaway. And where do you go to “getaway” when you live in Las Vegas? St. George, Utah of course! Haha. St. George may be much smaller than Vegas but it is definitely different and has some attractions of its own.

To start things off right we went to see Thriller at Tuachan theater. (Tuachan is an incredible outdoor theater. I have never experienced a performance in perfect evening weather, under the stars, with the majestic red rock of the desert all around me. Seriously so cool.) Thriller is 2 hours of dance with just a hint of the creepy macabre thrown in: zombies, would-be chainsaw assassins, Chucky dolls, etc.

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creepy zombie dancers greeted us as we headed to our seats

Next morning, we ate brunch at this hidden gem of a restaurant called Xetava. It’s in this designer community (Keyanta) where all the houses are adobe and low to the ground and blend in with the natural desert all around. Then we hiked up a trail behind Tuacahn. I’m really glad we went back in the daytime – there was so much I couldn’t see when it was dark. And surprise! Our hike looked a lot like Red Rock. Mother Nature did not disappoint, as usual.

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Later we got pedicures, did a little shopping, ate delicious doughnuts, and got tasty Mexican food. It was a short trip but it was the perfect blend of relaxation and getting out and exploring. And of course, getting to spend time with my friends and feel their love and support was the best. (We travel well together! Everyone was chill and we just had a good time enjoying each other’s company.) I came back just feeling so happy and content with the world!

Sunday was our ward Primary Children’s Program. I have been looking forward to this all month! My Sunbeams have been practicing their little hearts out and I was so proud! They all had their parts memorized and they were about as reverent and quiet up on the stand as 3-4 year-olds can be. Later, Tij and I had the opportunity to go to a musical fireside put on by the missionaries in our area and it gave me goosebumps. It was just one of those magical Sundays where there was peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

Life is good. We are so blessed.

Happy Monday everyone! This is going to be a good week!

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here’s a cute picture of zee babies to help you get through your day

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Oak Creek Canyon

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Tij had work off Monday so I dragged him on another hike in Red Rock Canyon. This hike was actually more of a glorified walk, but it’s good to switch things up. Oak Creek is a different area of the Park that we haven’t explored yet and we went in the evening when things had cooled off which was nice. (It’s still hitting 85 here in Vegas. Hasn’t it got the message that it’s fall yet?) We were in Salt Lake City two weeks ago for my cousin’s wedding and it was much harder to leave than it has the last few times I’ve been. The leaves were starting to change color, the air had a slight bite to it, (insert every other fall/autumn/harvest/pumpkin cliche you can think of,) and it was just gorgeous. One morning I took my sister and cousin for brunch at Bruges Waffles & Frites and then drove them around a historic neighborhood and just goggled at the charming homes and canopied streets. It just got me wondering about what our life would be like if we’d stayed in Utah, living the lifestyle that we’re living now…

Once we were back in Vegas though, I was happy to be back. I love our little apartment. Our ward family is wonderful. I missed our rat babies. And Vegas is beautiful in its own way. It’s not the type of beauty that I’m naturally drawn to or that I’m used to, but if you go looking for it, Vegas has a lot to offer and a lot to feast your eyes on. I don’t know if we’ll stay in Vegas permanently, but for now, I am really trying to enjoy all that it has to offer. I think part of my regret with Salt Lake is that whenever I go back I think about all the things I didn’t do, all the restaurants I didn’t try, and all the experiences I missed out on. (Tij and I were broke students with zero time so if I went back in time I don’t know if I could do anything differently. Our circumstances just really sucked.) I am determined to leave Vegas with no regrets! Maybe I need to make a Vegas bucket list? There’s so much to see and do here, I might need to prioritize!

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Calico Basins

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Did you all have a nice Labor Day? We sure did. I convinced Tij to go hiking with me at Red Rock Canyon and it was gorgeous! Hot, but gorgeous. (Summer is still going strong here.) We tried a new trail called Calico Basins and I think it is my favorite hike yet. I hope we’ll do more exploring as the seasons change and it’s possible to go outside without getting directly into a pool. Most of urban Las Vegas isn’t really much to look at.  (All the houses have red tile roofs, are made of stucco in 3 varying shades of beige, and have itty-bitty yards with no grass. It’s all very artificial, and while not ugly, it’s boring.) I love being able to go to Red Rock and see something truly beautiful and not just tidy and HOA approved. If you’re ever in Vegas, go check it out!
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