Let’s just agree to ignore the fact that I haven’t written anything since May and toast to the fact that I’m actually putting travel pictures on the web in a timely manner. More later on why I haven’t posted in awhile, but for now – we’re in Vegas!
Some of my very best friends and I decided to accompany Sarah to Las Vegas while she attends the Redken Conference. We flew out a few days early so we could all sight-see together before she starts classes. After a delayed flight in Phoenix on Friday, the three of us girls landed in Vegas, dropped our bags in the room, and went exploring until J’s flight got in. We’re staying in Mandalay Bay, so we took the tram to some of the surrounding hotels to see what they were like – it’s safe to say that other than our hotel, which is pretty spectacular, my favorite so far has been New York New York. We’re going back tomorrow to ride the roller coaster and I could not be more psyched. We’ve been in Vegas a little over 24 hours by this point, but we haven’t spent much time IN Vegas. So here’s what a day looks like when you go to Vegas, but you don’t actually spend any time there.
On today’s agenda was our first bucket list adventure – road-tripping to the Grand Canyon! (TBH, this is the main reason I even agreed to come to Vegas in the first place and it didn’t disappoint.) We were supposed to hike Lower Antelope Canyon in the morning, so we got up at 3:30am and drove 4.5 hours to Page, AZ only to find out that our reservation had been canceled due to the rain. If you haven’t heard of Antelope Canyon, Google it. Then you’ll see why I was crushed that we didn’t get to hike it. Not to be daunted by the bad weather, we stopped for a quick visit to the Glen Canyon Dam since it was in the area. It was pretty cool, but it was freezing and rainy and I was still disappointed about the whole canceled hike thing.
We then drove another 2.5 hours in the rain and snow to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. AND YOU GUYS. It was everything I thought it would be and more. It snowed most of the way there which was a total surprise (but hello, it’s January and we’re at 7,000 feet of elevation, so joke’s on us). Once we entered the park, it looked like we had driven straight into Narnia. And Josh laughed at us for being so pumped about the snow because we’re from Texas and he’s from New Jersey, but he got us everywhere in record time and navigated the snow and ice like a boss, so we’ll probably keep him around. To quote the man himself – Dawg, you the real OG.
LOOK AT IT. JUST LOOK AT IT. It was so beautiful, I could have cried. It was freeze-your-buns-off cold, but I didn’t care because LOOK AT IT. I was cheesin’ so hard and I think the count of “This is amazing!”s that came out of my mouth is somewhere in the thousands by now. The girls decided to keep count on this trip because I tend to get a little nerdy about stuff sometimes, and when I say “This is amazing!”, it means I’m geeking out HARD. I had to refrain from spouting out all of my geology facts and stuff while we were driving because everything was just so dang cool – I mean, rock formations and mountains and canyons? I can’t. Utah, Arizona, and Nevada are amazing and I never want to leave.
We spent a few hours at the Canyon, grabbed some snacks, and headed back to Vegas. Let me tell you a little something about the weather today. It was insane. If it wasn’t pouring down rain, it was snowing like crazy. We saw maybe 30 minutes of sunshine, but I’ll tell you what: the clouds + the mountains are a magical combo.
We were planning on saving our visit to the Hoover Dam until tomorrow, but as it was still daylight by the time we got close to Vegas, we made a quick u-turn and marked the Hoover Dam off our list. We didn’t take a tour, but it was still super cool. It’s absolutely massive, and I would highly recommend a walk across the bridge if you’re not afraid of heights.
All in all, it’s been an incredible 24 hours. I feel like most adventures come at the perfect time, don’t you? Life has been crazy at best the past couple of months, and for most of 2016 if we’re being totally honest. It was a year of learning about myself, of learning how to deal with hurt and disappointment and a bruised heart. But instead of looking back and focusing on the negative pieces of last year and even of right now, I want to look forward with hope and joyful anticipation of what 2017 might bring. I’ve been so greatly blessed by a God who sees all the broken parts of me and loves me in spite of it all, and days like today remind me of how vast is His love and creativity and purpose in all things. I’m going to bed with a full heart tonight. THIS IS AMAZING.