Dads and the Outdoors

In anticipation of my week off from school and work, I was looking forward to one thing: being completely alone. I couldn’t wait to finish craft projects, sort through my belongings, clear out my closet for donations, and go on adventures. While I was eager to go on my outdoor journeys solo, a walk along Cedar City’s Ann J. Gardner Canyon Park trail with my dad convinced me to invite him to join me in my excursions. Joining him for a fishing trip at Yankee Meadow and hiking Kanarraville Falls ended being more than what my dad refers to as “Father-Daughter bonding time.” While I’ve spent just as much time outside with my mom, I found these two outdoor opportunities left me with a few life lessons from my dad: 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 ›

Costa Rica Highlights

The more time I spend with family, the more I realize one thing is evident: We all have a passion for world travel.  So, when it came time to pick the perfect location for a wedding, my cousin Jasmine didn’t settle for her hometown.  Instead, she looked far and beyond.  Her and her fiance’s pick?  Central America’s ecotourism hotspot, Costa Rica.  Immediately various cousins, aunts and uncles jumped on board and our travel group quickly began to grow.  On a cold, rainy and extremely windy evening in Chicago, my mom asked if I’d like to join.  Hearing gusts of wind moaning outside my bedroom window, I responded instantly: “Yes.”  Although I had been to nearby countries in South America, to my delight, Costa Rica had plenty of adventures I hadn’t experienced yet.  Camera ready and armed with sunscreen and bug spray, I was ready to take on the opportunities Costa Rica’s cities had to offer. Continue Reading ›

City or a Country Girl?

For as long as I can remember, one thing has always been a priority in my life: adventure.  I’ve always wanted to be on an adventure in a new and unique place and constantly dreamed of it.  Eagerly daydreaming of possibilities from my books and diligently putting extra change and birthday money in my piggy bank, I always found ways to prepare for my great escape.  Growing up in a small town in Southern Utah and then heading to a small town in Colorado for college, I was anxious to experience city life.  I was thrilled to live and intern in London and I headed to visit family in San Francisco to see if it might be my residence after college.  Indecision held me back as I made my way to Denver, a small city that became my home base, and I continually yearned for more in a city.  Even though I had two brief summers in San Diego and most recently I finished my time in Chicago, my sense of adventure still isn’t satisfied.  It seems as much as I love being in a city, I yearn to be out in the wild and the unknown.  In the middle of downtown Chicago or in Lincoln Park, I enjoyed finding patches of green and even ventured outside of the city to find gardens and conservatories.  Was I not a city girl, after all?  Did I only think I wanted to be in a large metropolis but was really a country girl at heart? 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 ›