Portland for the Weekend

Before I embark on my next PNW adventure, I wanted to share a little about my recent trip to Portland back in January. I wanted to see and explore a little more of Mt. Hood and do some more hiking so we hit up Trillium Lake. It’s a very easy hike, although, the incline in snow may prove to be a difficult. Overall, fun and easy hike with magnificent views of Mt. Hood itself.

TIP: it may be tempting to hike/walk across Trillium Lake when it looks frozen over, but be careful! The sun was shining pretty hard when we went and Brandon had taken one step and his whole foot almost sunk in. Luckily for him, I was there to save him 😉 Ha!

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We stayed in a cute Airbnb a little east of the city and it was everything we needed, minus a full kitchen. It was cozy enough! Peep the cute little patio outside.

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Everytime I visit Portland, I want to visit Pip’s because it is absolutely delicious. I have yet to try Voodoo but honestly, I don’t think I’m missing out on much. Pip’s specializes in Chai and these cute, bite sized, cake donuts that are very affordable!

TIP: try their bacon donut, you won’t regret it.

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So I recently got a new camera (thanks Brandon!), a Fujifilm XT-3 and I’ve been teaching myself and transitioning over from Canon. It’s very different and requires a lot more learning but I’ve been getting such beautiful results (all the photos on this post are shot on it). The below shots of mountains are taken from my seat in the airplane – just mindblowing how beautiful they came out!

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For a closer look at my itinerary for the weekend, here is it!

Friday night (arrival day): Dinner at a quick pizza place to-go to eat at our Airbnb!
Saturday morning: breakfast + Mt. Hood
Saturday evening: Boba in Beaverton – MILK+T, a self-serve boba bar, and dinner at Pok PokIMG_7293DSCF3282DSCF3283DSCF3285

Sunday morning/afternoon: Pip’s Doughnuts, lunch at Pine State Biscuits, and exploring the town! We hit up Chinatown (very small, and not much to do tbh) and downtown Portland! Afterwards, we headed to the airport to go home!

Everytime I visit Portland, I always find something I love even more about this quirky city and cannot wait to go back again. Mt. Hood is just beautiful and I need to see more of it!

If you have any other suggestions for what to see in Portland, feel free to leave it in the comment, or if you have any questions for me, ask away!

TTFN!

A Weekend in Arizona and Utah

My first ever trip to Arizona was back in 2012. During this trip, I hit 3 different states over the course of the weekend and it was exhausting but exhilarating. However, I didn’t get to spend much time in each location but luckily for me, I had the opportunity to visit each respective location more than once and so for that, I’m grateful.

Back in April, I had the privilege to visit Arizona and Utah for the third time with some friends and we hit up: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Bryce Canyon!

We set off for our journey around 9pm on a Friday night and made it to Page, Arizona around 4am, Saturday morning and checked into our hotel. *Pro-tip: call your hotel ahead of time if you’ll be checking in late, like really late, otherwise they may cancel your room because they’ll assume you’re not coming.

After we re-booked our room, we settled in to sleep so that we could get up for our 11am tour at Antelope Canyon with Ken’s Tours. I highly recommend Ken’s Tours, not because it’s my 3rd tour with them, but they are the more budget-friendly company. If you’re planning to visit Antelope Canyon, I would recommend going early to beat the crowds and heat because this place is only going to get more and more popular. When I first visited this place back in 2012, tickets were only $20/person and this trip, we paid $50/person and I had to squish with a bunch of other tourists in the canyons.. not that fun. Here are some shots:

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After Antelope Canyon, we headed into the city to find a place for lunch before we headed to Bryce Canyon. The drive from Page to Bryce was about 2.5 hours but it’s definitely do-able if you are just planning to do a short day trip. We left around 2:30 pm and arrived around 5pm, with just enough sunlight to do a short hike: Navajo Loop Trail and watch the sunset over the canyons. The Navajo Loop Trail is fairly short but part of the trail was closed and it was getting dark so we went back the way we started (just a heads up). Here are some shots!

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Afterwards, we headed back to Page so that we could rest up early to make it for sunrise at Horseshoe Bend. Every time I visit Arizona, I always stay in Page because it’s closer to the border of Utah so it makes it easier to visit the National Parks but keep in mind that because it’s a small city, many restaurants close early so when we got back, it was close to 10pm and we could only order pizza, not that I complained haha. We all turned in pretty early, and woke up around 5:30 am the next morning to head to Horseshoe Bend. The last two times I’ve been, I’ve always gone during sunset and so I was very excited to finally go during sunrise and it did not disappoint. We didn’t make it right at sunrise (we were late) but the colors were still amazing as the sun started to hit the rocks.

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Overall, it was a fun and relaxing trip and we accomplished a good amount. If you’re ever traveling to Arizona, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need recommendations. Or, if you’ve ever been and would like to share your tips, let me know! I’d love to hear your experience 🙂

TTFN!

Calgary, Alberta

So I haven’t quite finished editing my photos from Canada but I wanted to share a bit of what I already have and also tell you guys what I did. I spent a total of 5 days in Calgary, and about 4 of those days in Canmore, which is about an hour drive west of Calgary.

Day 1: We landed in Calgary around 12 noon but we didn’t set out for Canmore until about 4pm because of our rental car situation. Tip: consider renting OUTSIDE of the airport especially during the summer because it is extremely busy and a lot of the cars weren’t ready for pick up yet. After we picked up our rental, we got dinner in Calgary and also stopped by a grocery store to pick up some supplies such as water.

Day 2: We set out for Banff National Park and for our first destination: Lake Louise. We had planned to do the Lake Agnes Tea House hike. We had alotted maybe about 3 hours for the hike but it took much longer than that; an additional 2 hours or so because we wanted to eat at the tea house and there was a wait. The hike is very much recommended though, the views are breathtaking.

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After Lake Louise and Lake Agnes, we set out for our last destination: Moraine Lake. This is a very popular spot so be ready to wait in lines and fight for parking as this lake is SO WORTH SEEING. Make sure you do the short hike up to the top (it’s really just a bunch of steep stairs).

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After Moraine Lake, we headed into downtown Banff for dinner. Drive into downtown and you’ll be able to find parking lots for free but keep in mind there are a lot of people around so drive carefully!

Day 3: We planned to do Johnston Canyon upper and lower falls hike and if you’ve seen the many many photos on social media of the lower falls hike, then you’ll definitely want to go. The hikes at Johnston Canyon were much easier than Lake Agnes Tea house. It’s not as steep but it is across a steel bridge which sits on top of the stream so if you’re scared of heights, don’t look down. The hike was pretty fun and was covered for the most part and since you’re by the stream, there was a nice, cool breeze to help you stay cool.

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**Note: unfinished/unedited draft.

I will continue editing photos and will continue sharing when I can! Hope you guys enjoy these photos 🙂 Feel free to drop some suggestions on more places to see in Canada for my next trip!

 

 

TTFN!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park

Finally went camping for the first time this year during Memorial Day Weekend (yay for camping for the 4th time ever too!) and we decided to camp at Sequoia National Park. We went up Sunday morning and we were afraid that we would have a hard time looking for a campsite, but luckily, we didn’t! There were actually a lot of sites open so in case any of you ever want to go camping last minute in Sequoia, just know that there will be slots available.

It was my first time at Sequoia and it is absolutely beautiful. We did Moro Rock, a very intense, steep incline, stair-master type of hike but trust me, the view at the top is so worth it. We also visited the General Sherman Tree, the tallest single stem tree in the world.

For sunset, we went to Beetle Rock. We originally wanted to visit Sunset Rock (obviously for the name and the purpose it’s supposed to serve) but we couldn’t find it. The sunset from Beetle Rock was absolutely breathtaking, hands down, the best sunset I’ve seen so far. My photos do not do it justice.

There is still snow on some of the mountains so nighttime was still quite cold so be sure to bring down jackets and warm clothing. I had such a wonderful time making burgers around the fire and just being one with nature again.

On Monday, we decided to do a day trip up to Yosemite. We figured it would only be a 2-hour drive–boy were we wrong. It was definitely a 4-hour drive but it was so worth it. (Yosemite was much busier than Sequoia so keep that in mind if you’re planning on doing a day trip during Memorial Day Weekend.) We stopped by Tunnel View and got to see El Capitan, Half Dome and other waterfalls all in one frame. We also did the short hike/walk to see the Lower Yosemite Falls and we all got soaked but we all had a great time. I cannot wait to go back to Yosemite and camp and hike. It’s a must-visit for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Here are some photos from the trip! Enjoy : )

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TTFN!