If you've been reading the blog over the past couple weeks, you probably saw a sneak peek of our spring break trip to Enchanted Rock. Today I wanted to share a more in-depth look at our mini-adventure.
We had an early spring break this year - the first full week of March. We hadn't done much traveling since we got back from our honeymoon, so we decided we would use that opportunity to go somewhere on Our 2018 Travel List.
Enchanted Rock happens to be about an hour from where my in-laws live, so we drove down to stay with them on Sunday morning and made the trip to Enchanted Rock on Tuesday. We got to the park around 9:30, paid the $7 each for entry, and picked up a map of the trails.
Unfortunately, Daniel had been having some neck pain all week, so the climb up the steep rock was not too fun for him. I was fully prepared to attempt to trek to the very top - I hear there are little pools of water and caves to explore, not to mention the amazing view! However, once we got going a little ways it was clear Daniel wasn't in the best shape to do it.
We still enjoyed the view from the spot we climbed to, though!
Once we descended the rock, we pulled out our hammock and picnic basket and settled between two trees for a bit. We actually took a nice nap. When we woke up we got soft serve ice cream from the little food truck at the park then walked the creek bed at the base of the rock.
Overall, it was a really fun trip. The weather was perfect, and the park was nice. We saw lots of families with young kids - even a woman with a baby strapped to her front climbed right past us with her toddler in tow! We hope to go back some time and actually make it to the top.
What fun adventures did you enjoy over spring break?
Have you ever been at a social gathering and been asked that age-old question - if your house was on fire, what ONE thing would you grab? I've probably been asked that question at least a dozen times in various ice-breaker situations, but my answer has been the same since early middle school.
I would save photos.
There are several reasons that I consider photos to be some of my most prized possessions. To get a bit vulnerable, one of those reasons is that I only have a handful of pictures of my mother, who passed when I was young. I know there weren't iPhones back then to take a trillion selfies, but I wish there were more pictures of her.
So here's what I've decided - I don't ever want to leave my camera at home if I'm gone for any considerable amount of time. Of course, now we do have iPhones and I can take 1,000 or more pictures in a day if I really want to. However, if I go on a trip, even to a family gathering, I think it would be silly of me not to pull out the decent DSLR camera I own to snap a few quality photos from time to time.
Photographs are literally visual representations of memories. There are so many emotions and thoughts that overflow at the sight of them, especially if they capture moments with loved ones. Obviously I don't want to be hiding behind my camera the whole time my nieces are gathering Easter eggs instead of actually experiencing those cherished times, but a few quick snaps can prove to be invaluable mementos.
Along with the few photos I have of my mom, I'm thankful to have pictures of my great-grandparents and pictures of my dad when he was young. I also cherish the photos of the year we lived in Brazil when I was a kid, pictures of me and my siblings acting out the Nativity at Christmas, and pictures of my sweet nieces and nephews as tiny infants.
These are moments that I can't ever go back to, but I can "relive" with joyful nostalgia every time I flip through an old album.
Besides capturing cherished moments with family and friends (like my cutey sister above), I also think it's important to take photos of my travels. My husband and I had the incredible opportunity to drive to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon, and I look at those pictures often. That trip was amazing, both for the quality time we got to spend as newly-weds and for the awe-inspiring views we got to take in. Pictures may not be able to fully capture the beauty of what we saw, but they are still stunning!
So whether I'm headed to a family holiday or on a roadtrip or even a short weekend getaway, I'll be packing my camera to take along (or at least remember to pull out my phone for a quick snap or two!) because the photos are invaluable.
Does anyone else tote their camera around, too? Any other reasons you value taking photos?
Hello! Checking in from Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. We're enjoying the weather and the views over here! More pictures and info to come!
Lydia & Daniel
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As you’ve probably guessed, my husband and I love to travel. We currently have some tentative travel destinations for 2018, though nothing set in stone. It’s exciting to think about the places we might go in the future!
As we travel more and more, I’ve become interested in checking out travel accessories that I think would make our travels easier or more enjoyable.
Here are Five Travel Items I Want.
Weekender duffel bag
I have a duffel bag I bought for pretty cheap at Walmart a couple years ago when I was in college that I have been using for most of my travels, but it’s kind of small and I don’t anticipate that it will hold up for too terribly long. So, I’ve been checking out some replacement options. These are two really cute ones I might consider!
I love to journal most days, and I definitely value taking note of my experiences while I travel. It’s a great way to remember all the neat things that happen and the places you go! While this isn’t necessarily specific to travel, my heart swoons at nice leather journals. This one in particular is especially lovely.
I have a Canon Rebel T5 camera that I like to take on my travels. It shoots great photos and captures all of our memories. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good camera bag to keep it in. I bought a leather purse online when I first got the camera that ended up being too small. Here are a couple bags from Oliday that I’m interested in at the moment.
The second bag is technically marketed as a diaper bag, but I think my camera could easily fit inside, and it’s super cute.
I have to admit that I’m not a very experienced hiker. My husband and I hiked a measly three miles at the Grand Canyon on our honeymoon and that was plenty for us! Nevertheless, I enjoy it, and I’d love to do it more often (and further than three miles).
That being said, it might not be such a bad idea to invest in some boots. These are probably not the most high-end boots, but for a low-key hiker like myself, these might do the trick.
Unfortunately, Daniel and I don’t even have a tent! Most of the camping I have done has been with friends in college, and someone else always had a tent, so I’ve never had the need to get one for myself.
I think this two-person tent would suit us well on our travels, along with our two-person hammock we frequently use.
Hopefully Daniel and I hit the road pretty soon on our next trip. Who knows, maybe I’ll have snagged a couple of these travel items by then!
Do you have any tried-and-true travel accessories you use? I would love to hear your recommendations!
P.S. If you’re looking for some more travel items and inspiration, you can check out my travel board on Pinterest here or click below!
Maybe you haven’t heard, but I totally definitely married my very best friend one month ago (!!!) Not to be cliche, but our wedding was beautiful and magical, and I honestly couldn’t have hoped for it to go better. I haven’t written a post about that yet, but I’m going to get around to it!
Update: Here's that post about Our Winter Wedding!
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a bit about our lovely honeymoon at the Grand Canyon!
We decided to make it a road trip, which made for a 16-hour drive stretched over two days, plus three nights at the Grand Canyon, and another two days back. We like to listen to a lot of different kinds of music, as well as podcasts, and we packed some good snacks, so we enjoyed the ride.
We started out in a little town in Texas where my parents live and where we had our wedding. It took us about 9 hours to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico where we stayed for the night and where we saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which was super rad!) We stayed at a very cheap hotel that night, which we admittedly decided not to do again (ha!), but it saved us some money for the rest of the trip.
On a friend’s recommendation, we also stopped in the little tourist town of Williams about an hour away from the canyon where we strolled around some shops and had a burger and milkshake at an old-school diner. It was very cute and worth the stop!
When we finally made it, we were pretty pleased with The Bright Angel Lodge, where we stayed for three nights. It was right on the South Rim of the canyon, so we woke up bright and early the next morning and walked just a few feet to the edge. It was absolutely breathtaking!
That day we enjoyed strolling around the top of the canyon where all of the touristy things were, like gift shops and museums. The views were incredible, the shops were cute, and we took a lot of pictures. We had lunch at the lodge, which was cozy. Later we caught up on Stranger Things then went into town to get some snacks for the week.
That night we walked just a little ways down a trail head to sit in a little nook and look at the stars. The sky was just so clear! Unforgettable. The next morning we went down to that same nook with hot coffee, lots of layers, and a blanket and watched the sunrise over the canyon. We also enjoyed seeing a buck saunter up the trail and stop right in front of us!
Since we were totally ‘wowed’ already by the views from the top, we had a seriously good time when we hiked down the Bright Angel Trail on our third day. We put on some layers, packed a backpack, and headed down. We stopped at a rest house on the trail and had lunch and a thermos of hot tea while chatting with a nice Australian guy we met, then we went back.
We only hiked three miles in all, but we are not experienced hikers whatsoever, so it was plenty for us. The hike back up was killer! Obviously it was uphill, the whole way. We laughed to ourselves as we passed cheery, gung-ho people on their way down the trail. "That was totally us an hour ago. Turn back now!"
Not going to lie, the thought of getting to see the Indian Gardens nine miles down sounded pretty tempting, buuuut, that wasn’t really happening for us. (Maybe someday?)
The morning we left, it was snowing, which was honestly the cherry on top of the whole trip. We got a few more Christmas gifts at the gift shop, snapped some pictures of the snow, and prepared for the long journey home. While we were really happy to be home and were so ready to start our new life together, it was bittersweet to leave the beautiful scenery and relaxing environment behind.
We hope to go back for an anniversary someday and/or take our future children there for a vacation. I wouldn’t mind going back in the winter again when there aren’t so many people and it’s not scorching hot. It was perfect!
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? I’d love to hear about your travels!
My husband and I love to travel. Our biggest adventure yet was our honeymoon at the Grand Canyon. We drove, which made for a long 16-hour trip stretched across two days of travel, but it was totally worth it. We had some pretty great tunes, packed some good snacks, and enjoyed the road trip.
Now that Daniel has started back up at seminary and I’m substitute teaching (and hunting for a full-time teaching job in the fall), we likely won’t be making any trips quite so far away for a while. Sad day.
Buuut, we compiled a list of places a little bit closer to home that we would like to travel to this year or in the future. Here’s our list!
We currently live in Waco, Texas, so for reference I’ve listed how far away these places would actually be from us.
P.S. They're in no particular order.
Overall, I think this list is pretty doable. Some of these ventures would definitely have to happen in the summer months when we have a little more time on our hands, but I hope we can get around to putting most of these trips on our calendar for this year or next.
What about you, any road trip plans in your future? Have you been to any of these places? We would love to hear about your travels or any tips you may have
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Kindergarten teacher
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.