Our Road Trip Recap

Here is a quick recap of our road trip with two of our best friends from Chicago. We were all over the map and had the best time.one

Our road trip started in Arizona, visiting our old roommate in Tucson on Thursday of last week. Then the next morning we picked up our friends Melissa and Nico at the Phoenix airport. Then we grocery shopped at Trader Joe’s and then hit the road for the Grand Canyon. We camped there overnight.




The next morning, we took off for a tour of Antelope Canyon.



We stopped at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona after lunch.



Then we drove to Zion National Park, and did our usual jumping pose. 😉



We spent 2 days in Zion National Park. We went hiking and camping and my brother and his fiancé joined us too.


It was a dream road trip and I’ll fill you all in with more details asap! Happy weekend everyone!

As always I’m linking up with these lovelies:

Hill Collection and Running 4 Cupcakes



My Alaska Trip Part 2

So yesterday I blogged about the first part of our Alaska trip in Fairbanks and Denali National Park. We drove about a third of the entire road of the park. We made it a little past Sanctuary River on day 1.   denaliDay 2 of our trip into Denali, we drove to mile 66 at Eielson Visitor Center.

At mile marker 47 is the Polychrome Overlook which was so gorgeous. There is a little walk way and the view is epic.

I love this picture I took of Dave, because it really puts the size of the mountain in perspective.

Here is the road that leads up to the Polychrome Overlook. Most of the roads don’t have guard rails and I definitely have a fear of heights.

road11We had so much fun with more jumping poses.


small1Dave calls this the Walmart photo because it looks like a fake background it was so pretty.

two1j21tree1valley1This is Dave in action. He wasn’t messing around 🙂

cameraThe remoteness and openness of Denali is so cool for lack of a better term. It was so nice to be in the car with just the two of us away from everything, and to unplug from our emails, texts, and work even just for a few hours.

road11It’s pretty hard to see in this picture because it’s so tiny but there is a sheep at the top of the mountain. There were white sheep all over way up in distance and they mostly stuck together.

sheepIt rained on and off again on Saturday and for a few moments the sun came out and it was breathtaking. The sun acted like a spotlight and it was a really pretty.

lightsThe next moment it is cloudy but the snow capped mountain make for such a great background.

mountainThe entire trip we were hoping to see a bear and we talked to another guy on the road who mentioned he just saw one past Sabel Mountain. So we were adamant that we would find it. We had our eyes peeled and we did see it! It was absolutely surreal and I could not believe. I was in shock.

bear bear
It did not seem affected by our presence or the buses that stopped by. We were about 100 yards away from it or a football field. We felt safe in the car and it was amazing to enjoy the bear’s company and not fear for my life. 🙂 I cannot imagine seeing one while hiking.

1bearbearrAnd if it seeing the bear wasn’t amazing enough, Denali also treated us to a rainbow to end our beautiful day.

rainbow1This was the view of Sanctuary River and it was so pretty to see the leaves changing colors.

river11I love that it is so light out even at night time in the summer, it is just so cool. And gives you so much time to be outside and get things done!

watchWe tried to get dinner at 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern but they were closed so they suggested Prey which was right down the street. It was really good and a super cute restaurant. DY9rc6dVl4vB8ulXNWT6Lrfm4jb1oRLO3LMRxxjVRoM=w681-h907-no



One of Dave’s outfitters he worked with said that 229 Parks had the best food in Denali. So after getting there too close to closing the night before, we made sure to make reservations for brunch the next morning. It was really good and we always love to support local establishments that have sustainable practices.

229The food really was delicious and the omelette Dave got had lemon zest in it and it was so good! Bc20aR6Lh9gSHD_HY_xf_d5IfetcLXBqyBwyyi_RMcs=w681-h907-no

After brunch we headed back to Fairbanks with a quick stop back to the coffee shop for drinks for the road.

F20XY0SgvPhff6aUv2658VcrdWHpCf-fqVxRPUC20Yg=w681-h907-no We stopped by Fred Meyers again to grab some snacks for me for the plane ride home. We had dinner with Dave’s work friend Ross at the hotel’s restaurant Lavelle’s which was also really good. I had the scallops and calamari and Dave had the lamb. Then we caught up with our friend Johnny CC, it was so good to see him I can’t believe it’s been over a year. Soon we will all be reunited in Seattle. 🙂

That night Dave dropped me off at the airport at close to midnight and I made it home to LA at 9:30am with another layover in Seattle.

(I know some of those details aren’t super important or interesting to you all but I want to remember these things when I look back on this trip, so thanks for bearing with me!)

Alaska is a huge state and I still can’t believe I got to experience it with Dave. I totally get why people love it up there. There’s so much to see and do. Granted we only had a few days together but it was so awesome and just what we needed. And now I get to check Alaska off my bucket list! (But of course I’d love to go back and see so many other parts of the state.)


Linking up with : waiting+on+Wednesday+link+up+button+5-26+versionhap-pinninghappy

Travel Thursday – A Week Out West Part 1

So I should have blogged about this trip a long time ago. It’s from July 2014, so exactly a little over a year ago. (Blogger of the Year award!) I had it saved in my draft folder and never got around to it. 🙂 It’s just the way it goes sometimes, let’s be real. I have good intentions they just aren’t always executed correctly or in a timely manner.

Last July we were invited to wedding in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’d only ever driven through it, so it was fun to spend a little time there this time. We decided since we had a little free time, to make a trip out of the wedding. So we planned a little time with friends in different states, went camping, and hiking.

Day 1 – We drove from LA to Glendale, Arizona to visit one of my best friends, Vi, and the other half of Say Yes to Happy. We ate at True Food Kitchen and then had frozen yogurt at Menchie’s.


Day 2 – We drove from Glendale, Arizona to Taos, New Mexico. We met up with our friends from Denver, Colorado at a roadside campsite in the Carson National Forest. (They were my first participants of my Interview Series!)

unnamedOur view in the morning.

unnamedDay 3 – After waking up to the sound of the flowing river, we packed up our tent and headed into town. We ate at the Bear Claw which was delicious. I highly recommend it, it’s a cute little cafe. Then we were off to go for a hike. We got a recommendation from the waitress.

It started drizzling while we started hiking. We hiked for about an hour and then had to head out to Albuquerque for a rehearsal dinner for the wedding we were attending.



unnamedThe sunset that night was so gorgeous and the scenery was great. I’ve only driven through New Mexico so it was nice to spend some time there and see what Albuquerque is all about.

And next week on Travel Thursday I will share part two of our week out West, including the rest of our Albuquerque trip and Zion National Park.

Have you been to these areas, what did I miss and should check out next time?

Linking up today with :


Travel Thursdays: The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah

unnamedI’m a little late in posting this, but a few weeks back I talked about our trip with our friends Ryan and Casey to Horse Shoe Bend in Page Arizona. This was a pit stop on our road trip from Albuquerque to LA. Next week for Travel Thursday, I’ll fill you in our entire trip and break down the days. It took a little bit of planning between the 4 of us to make the trip happen, but it was totally worth it and I’m so glad we did it!

Fun side note, National Geographic just named this hike one of America’s Best Adventures.

We woke up early at 5:45am (as much as we wish we were, we are not early risers) but we packed up our camping gear and headed to the shuttle. We took the 7:30am shuttle and took it for about 15-20 minutes to the Bottom Up hike, or the Narrows as people call it.

naHere we are before we headed into the trail, with our walking sticks in hand.

Once you hop of the shuttle there is a bathroom to the right as well as a water bottle fill up station. Then there is a path you follow that is about a mile long that leads you to the trail head.

unnamedThen at the end of the path there is a couple of steps then you cross the river and start hiking! You can go for as long as you want and then can turn around, it is not a loop trail. You can also do the entire hike which is 16 miles and camp overnight but you need a permit to do that.

I was a little nervous going into it because you are walking in the water over rocks and the river pushes you at certain points. But the shoe and sock rental along with the walking sticks made me feel a lot better and safer.



unnamed-2Dave the consummate photographer 🙂

2It is a truly beautiful place. The views are stunning and it makes you feel so small and humbled.

5As you can see the water levels changed in different parts of the hike. Sometimes it was just by your ankle, other times it went up to my knees and mid-thigh. It also depends on the rain levels for the time of the year.

There was one section of the hike where the boys decided to go chest deep into the water. Boys will be boys 😉


8I remember being there and fully appreciating it and taking it all in, but looking at these pictures is really amazing and mind blowing.

3We each carried backpacks with snacks and water, nothing too heavy.


7Dave had a dry bag to keep his camera safe.



6Ryan and Casey using their swords to fight haha!

na1Here we are at the end of the hike, and you can see how crowded it got and how sunny it was by 1pm.

We hiked 2 and 1/2 hours in then headed back out. So we hiked for a total of 5 hours, from 8am-1pm. It was a little tiring at times, but so gorgeous and definitely worth it.

We loved this hike so much in fact, that we are doing it again this October with my brother and his new finance, and my best friend Melissa and her boyfriend Nico. It’s going to be so nice to revisit this beautiful place before we move up to Seattle this fall. Anyone else planning to be there in October?

It was a gorgeous hike and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about doing it! Let me know if you have any questions about the hike, I’d be happy to answer them!

Linking up today with :



Travel Thursdays: Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona

July of 2014, we had a wedding to attend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our good friends Ryan and Casey were planning to visit us in California, so we thought it’d be fun to do a road trip with them and hike the Narrows in Zion National Park.

They flew into Albuquerque and met us. The Sunday after the wedding we took off for Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona. I’d see pictures of it on Pinterest and wanted to incorporate it into our road trip. Luckily it was close to Zion.

rtIt was really epic and beautiful in person. It was also super hot that day on our little hike down there from the parking lot.


111I mean, how gorgeous is that?!

1Ryan safely checking out the ledge. It can be pretty scary and dangerous, especially if you have kids. There’s no gate or fence to keep you from falling, so definitely be careful when you’re here!


12Of course we took a jumping photo here 🙂

jNext Thursday I’ll share the Zion part of our trip with the amazing Narrows hike.

Today I’m linking up with Stuff & Things with Kadar Hower and Hodges Podges:


Travel Thursdays: Street Art/Murals All Over the USA

Back in 2012 on one of our second major road trips we visited my cousin Chris in South Dakota. We met up with him in downtown Rapid City and after lunch he and his friend walked us to to Art Alley. It is such a colorful place with really cool artwork.




IMG_0090I saw this mural while we were walking around in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York and I loved how colorful and how fun it was. It was my first time to NYC in 2012.

578601_10100748029739529_776156408_nOn our road trip to San Fran from Chicago in 2012 we drove through Bishop, California which is a big climbing community, and at a random gas station this was on the wall.

IMG_2675In 2013 on a road trip to Colorado we were driving out of downtown Denver and came across this awesomeness.


207115_639621626457_5592381_nIn case you missed my post about us Jumping for Joy.

In December of 2013 we went to Austin, Texas for our friends’ Kristina and Patrick’s wedding and hung out in the South Congress (SoCo) area. This is a pretty famous staple of the SoCo area and it was fun to see in person. There was a line of people waiting to take a picture here.

CaptureIn December 2013 for Dave’s birthday we decided to drive up to Santa Barbara for the day to explore. While we were walking around town after lunch we came across these gems.


unnamedMarch of this year when we went on our LA to Seattle Road Trip, I looked up a few murals in major cities that I wanted to see.

Here were my favorites from San Fran:



img_20150301_170239Portland, Oregon had some awesome ones:



This was from a random street in Brooklyn during our trip in New York this past May. I love to travel and move around to experience new towns, but I am always a little homesick for Chicago IMG_20150501_111422This little snail was also from Williamsburg after we ate at the Rabbit Hole.


As you can see, I really enjoy finding murals/street art in different cities and states. It’s unique to that area and adds a lot of pizazz and color to a place.

Any fun murals in your city I should check out next time I’m there?

Day 10 Portland to San Fran

So after being on the road for a week and a half, it was time for us to head back so I could get back to work. We planned to drive from Fox Island to San Francisco which is 750 miles and about 12 hours without traffic. We thought we’d break up the long drive with a quick stop in Portland.

On the way up to Seattle we stopped in Portland and went to this gallery called Screaming Sky. There was a print there I was thinking about getting so I wanted to stop in and grabbed it. If you are in the Portland area I’d highly recommend going here. They have such cute prints, magnets, pins, cards, etc. And if you’re not in that area check out their website, you can shop online.


IMG_20150310_122235Here is the print that I picked up. I added this gem to our gallery wall that I’ll have to blog about in the near future.

IMG_20150310_122344We stopped by Case Study Coffee Roaster on the way out because Dave loves his coffee and we still had a long way to go. It was super cute inside.

IMG_20150310_123038On the way back to the car we passed Cupcake Jones and I couldn’t resist. 🙂 Who doesn’t love mini cupcakes?

IMG_20150310_123509That completed our stop in Portland and for the rest of the night we were in the car, singing, talking, and listening to podcasts all the way to San Fran where we met up with Jesse and G again.

Day 9 Seattle & the Gum Wall

After we stayed at our friend’s place in Fox Island, we headed into Seattle to be tourists and look at some neighborhoods we are contemplating. But first up was breakfast and our friends recommend Portage Bay IMG_20150309_130645



I had the yogurt and granola and Dave had the pancakes which comes with a selection of toppings that you help yourself to up at the kitchen bar.


IMG_20150309_122708Once breakfast was done we head into a few neighborhoods and drove around. Our friends live in West Seattle and Ballard. We visited Hayes and Kate and saw their area and their adorable house. It really set the standard high for me for our next place in terms of what I’m looking for. I also realize I need to step up my decorating game because their place was so well put together.

I’ve been to Seattle three times, visited the gum wall twice, but never put my gum on the wall, so this time I did just that!

We brought our little friend (who still needs a name) to Pike’s Place with us and he posed for a few pictures. 🙂

IMG_20150309_135246I love fresh flowers and love that Pike’s Place has so many! I love tulips.


IMG_20150309_140615Here are some pictures of the famous gum wall. Yes I know it’s gross, sticky, and has lots of germs but it’s such a fun tourist spot that I really enjoy.


IMG_20150309_140723There are parts of the alley that are covered and other parts not so much.



IMG_20150309_141036 And one more shot for the road 🙂


After our tour of Seattle we went back to Jared and Marlee’s, Marlee and I went for a walk. Then we all ate dinner together and talked some more about us moving and the future.

We’ve known Jared and Marlee for about 5 years now and we’ve been through a lot together in good times and in bad. We’ve seen them in Chicago, Michigan, Colorado, Washington state, we worked in Washington DC with them visiting frequently, we all lived in LA together for a year, Dave and Jared have been to Afghanistan and Peru together for work, we’ve seen them get engaged, married and they just had their first kid. We love having them in our lives and are so grateful to have great friends and this will be another adventure to add to our list.

Day 6 Lake Wenatchee, Washington

I started a new job this week so I’ve been a little busy and have been slacking on my blogging. But I’m back again and wanted to continue with our LA to Seattle road trip. Day 6 of our road trip brought us to Lake Wenatchee, Washington. Our friend Pablo was working on a documentary about Andre Kajlich, who is a double amputee and an ultra endurance athlete. And this June he will attempt to be the first solo hand-cyclist to cross the Race Across America (RAAM) finish line that includes a 3,000 mile, 12 day ride that climbs 170,000 feet, and crosses 12 states. 16193_10155333899605217_6489480879215349307_n Andre was kind enough to invite Dave and I to stay at his family’s cabin and the next day we filmed Andre training on his hand cycle. This is the view from his backyard deck. IMG_20150306_102537 Pablo and his sister Maria flew in from San Francisco and Dave and I drove from LA. It was really cool to meet up in Lake Wenatchee and to meet Andre and his wonderful wife Mariana. One of my favorite things about Dave working in the film industry is the amount we get to travel and the incredible people we get to meet.

Here’s a picture of Dave and Pablo filming out of the back of the rented van. 🙂

IMG_20150306_120508 Lake Wenatchee has beautiful wooded roads with rolling hills and is a great training ground. IMG_20150306_124411 IMG_20150306_124906

The water was freezing, but wow was it beautiful to look at! IMG_20150306_102533

IMG_20150306_105708 It was a long day of filming and I was able to talk and get to know Andre and Mariana. They are both incredibly kind, inspiring, and warm people.

photo 1

Check out this amazing trailer Pablo put together!

If you want to follow along on Andre’s journey check on the documentary’s website here and follow Andre’s blog here. That night after they finished filming we headed to another cabin we rented with some friends that was on the Skykomish River.

Day 5 Cannon Beach & Astoria

We stayed the night in Cannon Beach and in the morning we found a super cute cafe called Sea Level. (3116 S Hemlock StCannon Beach, OR 97110)


Here is the inside of the shop. Everyone is there was very friendly, and gave it a real small town feel. We had a quiche and an acai bowl.




After our quick breakfast we head back to Haystack Rock and Dave took some pictures on his Infared Camera. I’ll have to do a separate post with his pictures because they are awesome.



From Cannon Beach we drove further up the coast and ate again. We found a cute coffee shop on Yelp called Street 14 Coffee (1410 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103.)


I just had a bagel with bacon on the side, because why not right? 🙂


This coffee shop is on the corner so it has nice light coming in.



From lunch we went to the Goonies house that sit up on a hill. Dave was very excited to see this house. I have to admit I’ve never seen the entire goonies movie, only parts of it. I know it’s a classic and I need to see it in its entirety.




From Astoria, we drove to Lake Wenatchee in Washington to help a friend film a documentary, which I will talk about tomorrow. It was a great meeting of the minds. The film world that Dave is in and I dabbled in, has introduced us to some really amazing people that I love, respect, and look up to.