Memorials and Monuments in Washington D.C.

My first visit to Washington D.C. had been nearly 20 years ago, but the experience of seeing the Hope Diamond and First Ladies’ inaugural ball gowns stayed with me all of these years. Friends and acquaintances who have lived in this city loved the abundance of activities and sites to explore and continually share their enthusiasm for the area. Learning I would be re-visiting this city for Arts Advocacy Day, I was eager to arrive and explore every inch of Washington D.C. While photos of the memorials and monuments along the National Mall and Memorial Parks can be seen just about anywhere, seeing them in person is what makes a stronger impact. Continue Reading ›

The Art of Zion National Park

Living in southern Utah usually elicits questions surrounding the two popular National Parks Bryce Canyon and Zion. People often tell me, “I’m so jealous you live in Utah! I love Utah!” and they continue to tell me how much they admire the unique landscape and scenery of this part of the United States. I’m not surprised or rolling my eyes at their comments, but living somewhere we often neglect being tourists in our own backyard. Making a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park usually means you have to plan a day to make your way up the canyon and I hadn’t thought much about visiting Zion after my fateful hike on Angels Landing. However the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary changed all of that, and to my surprise I experienced Zion like I hadn’t before. Leaving a place I’ve known for years and then returned to, I have a refreshed perspective and see things I didn’t before. Working in the arts I find the process is the same. After spending days at the office finding the latest videos and podcasts about Shakespeare and making plans to see shows, I sometimes need a break and a visit to Zion National Park provided more for my creativity. Continue Reading ›

Why You Should Visit U.S. National Parks

It seemed like a miracle, but finally I had reached the top.  Looking out around me, I was in complete awe of the towering cliffs and the canyon open before me.  My feet were tired, but it didn’t seem to matter as I stared at the beautiful red rocks surrounding me.  I had just finished climbing and hiking Angel’s Landing, a trip I agreed to when my roommates from the Utah Shakespeare Festival asked to join them and a few friends in Zion National Park.  At first I was eager and up for any adventure, but little did I realize how out of shape I was and the difficulty of Angel’s Landing.  Holding onto chains and climbing the rough rocks after hiking numerous switchbacks, I wondered if there would ever be an end.  Luckily, I didn’t give up and even after I lost my toenail, I still continued to visit U.S. National Parks.  But my journey to visit U.S. National Parks didn’t begin at Angels Landing.  For years I had been visiting National Parks including Grand Canyon, Colorado National Monument, and dozens of historic sites on the east coast.  Although some of this enthusiasm came from desire to see all of the sites in my Passport book, it has become even more of a priority because of the recent 100 year celebration of the National Park Service.  In honor of this centennial, I’m sharing a few insights and reasons about why you should visit National Parks: Continue Reading ›

Pittsburgh: Beyond the Steelers

When I told friends I was visiting Pittsburgh, most responses were a mix between curiosity and uncertainty. Known for being a blue collar and industrial city, Pittsburgh may not seem to have character or charm. However, I found quite the opposite. While others may choose to travel to New York City or Washington D.C. further east or visit other northeastern cities like Chicago or Boston, Pittsburgh has art, history, and culture all its own. Pittsburgh may seem to only attract sports fans for the Steelers or an occasional Pirates fan, but there’s more to this city than what you’d expect. Although my main reason for visiting involves watching the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Pittsburgh Pirates, I find there’s more to discover in this unique city. Continue Reading ›

Floating on the Gunnison River

Even though the grand tour of Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota has come to a final destination in Colorado, that doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop looking for National Park Stamps.  Although I used to live in Denver, Colorado for several years and found any opportunity I could to get more stamps, I missed out on a few in Western Colorado.  So, to make up for lost time, I join my mom and dad on a boat tour of Curecanti National Recreation Area.  Although I’m apprehensive about getting motion sickness along the Gunnison River, I’m determined to enjoy this trip and experience more of Colorado’s beauty and some unexpected controversy.  Want to see what I mean?  Then join me as I follow the Gunnison River to discover some of nature’s spectacular scenery: Continue Reading ›