Sunrise Hike at Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon

On the last morning of our trip to Vegas we headed out to Red Rock Canyon for a sunrise hike. Do you remember how we do a New Hampshire Hut-to-Hut hike every summer? Well it’s Zan’s uncle Tim who organized that every year and it was Zan’s uncle Tim who was in Vegas at the very same time we were. Hiking is Tim’s favorite way to exercise and we were happy to tag along. Luckies!

It is so nice to have family in a faraway place while you’re traveling. We were able to see a lot of family on this trip (people we don’t often see AND people we do!) and it was just the best. Tim knew a just-right trail that was perfect timing for our morning. We got the the Canyon just as the sun was making it’s mark against the sky and we reached the summit of our hike while the light was golden and gorgeous…

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So beautiful! Hands down one of the highlights of our whole trip.

 

for Jenna, in May

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My friend Jenna is having her first baby in just a few short weeks! She asked me to help her document this fleeting time and I could not have been more honored to give her this gift. Jenna, Lindsay and I went to the Arnold Arboretum together last Tuesday to walk through the spring greenery and the famous May lilacs. The Arboretum is hands down one of the loveliest oasis’ in the city. It was a perfectly warm and breezy spring night– the light was just right and I am pretty confident I helped capture some magic. :)

I am so excited to share these photos. I am so happy with the way they all came out, plus Jenna is just absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

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Downtown Las Vegas + The Strip

Las Vegas

Oh man, Las Vegas.

!!

What a fun little adventure. :) We went for two nights over our trip to the West Coast and saw a LOT in 36 hours. While we were visiting we stayed at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino because they had a pretty good deal on rooms during the time we were there. As it turns out, many hotels have all different kinds of rates at different times, so we just looked for one that wasn’t too ridiculous as we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time in our hotel. We never do on these types of trips! Too much to do! TOO MUCH TO SEE!

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On the first night of our stay we came into town on the later side and grabbed a quick dinner before heading to the Mirage to see the Cirque Du Soleil show LOVE — a tribute to the Beatles. It was really good and my first Cirque ever! I loved the music and of course, the movement and acrobatics wowed me. Seriously, WOW!

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The next day was when Zan was working, so I dropped him off in the early morning so I could have the rental car and then I went to find breakfast at Makers and Finders in Downtown Las Vegas. I had read about it in the Townske guide I mentioned before and it was the perfect place to start my day. I had a really delicious oatmeal, fruit, and honey bowl and a lavender latte — which was amazing. Highly recommend. :)

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After that I had my 10:00 tour at the Neon Museum which I wrote more about here. Again, I loved this tour. So cool to see the old signage and lights. Such a fun piece of typography history.

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Next up, I needed some lunch. I decided to try PublicUs and am so glad I did. It had such a cool vibe and great food too. That open faced fig and prosciutto sandwich is the meal of my dreams.

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I had a great time walking down Freemont Street, which was the first ever paved street in Las Vegas and where many of the first casinos were located. So much old school in this city! I loved that.

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The Container Park was another cool attraction to stumble upon — a shopping and food center made entirely of old shipping containers. There was a park for kids inside and many places to eat and sit to take a break from the sun.

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After walking around downtown Las Vegas I headed back to the strip to spend some time wandering around the Bellagio…

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The center courtyard was a wonderland of flowers and origami art and Japanese inspired decor. I was in awe from the minute I walked inside. Museum quality, I tell ya. That hotel is incredible.

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When Zan finished with work for the day he and I continued to walk the strip, exploring this and that and trying to just take it all in. There is so much to see and we didn’t really have an agenda which was nice. We just wandered the length of the strip stopping wherever looked interesting. We walked around the hotel New York, New York, went to the Coca-Cola Store and sampled different cokes from around the world, and eventually ended up back at the Bellagio for dinner.

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This is the Chihuly installation on the ceiling of the lobby in the Bellagio. INCREDIBLE! (I had to say it again.)

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For dinner we met up with Zan’s uncle who was in Vegas for the NAB conference, which was happening at the same time that we were there. We ate at Lago in the Bellagio and it was really magnificent. It was tapas-style, which is always my favorite. Really truly delicious food (I LOVED the mussels!) and we had the best view in all of Vegas — I am convinced!)…

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We sat right in front of the famous fountains! Every 15 minutes they go off with a different “choreographed number”, if you will. I loved every minute of it. From there we took a walk through the Venetian hotel, which is amazingly set up just like Venice. Since we went there on part of our honeymoon it was really fun to see. They even had gondoliers taking people on rides through the “Grand Canal”. Ha! This place is such a trip.

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The morning we left Vegas we got up before the sun to hike at Red Rock. I have lots of photos from our visit there and will do another post on that next. So many photos! I am trying to break them up for the sake of scrolling. Before leaving the city we had breakfast at Bouchon inside the Venetian hotel. It came highly recommended and was the perfect way to end our stay before heading back to LA.

Vegas, baby! I loved it!

Las Vegas // The Neon Boneyard Museum

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!!!!!!! Welcome to Las Vegas !!!!!!!

I have never, not once in my life, had the desire to visit Las Vegas. Never ever. I didn’t expect I’d ever go and as far as I was concerned I didn’t need to, have to, or want to. You know how it goes.

But also, you know what they say. Never say never.

So, of course I recently found myself there. The way of the world, I guess! And it was wonderfully fun and so… ‘MERICA. Right?! Even though there are all these different hotels claiming to be PARIS AND VENICE AND ROME! Las Vegas is so classic America. And I am glad to have seen it!

The first day we were there I decided to take the non-traditional route and skip the slot machines. This was the day Zan had to work all morning and I didn’t want to leave him out! (Just kidding. ; No gambling for us!) I had actually done a little research/memory searching and had remembered seeing some favorite bloggers previously post about the Neon Museum so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I also saw it recommended in a guide in a new app called Townske I’ve been trying out recently. (Try it if you haven’t yet– I used it to do some research for our trip and think it’s pretty great!) After all the bright and color pictures I came across, I was sold! Pastel colors, old school vibes and funky typography. That’s my kind of dream.

Here are some favorite photos I snapped while I was there. So so many good ones, I couldn’t help but include them all…

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Such a cool place! I loved it! 

// A few tips: I visited on a Tuesday and had no trouble getting tickets the night before. Weekends might be busier so look into booking a few days or even maybe a week ahead. I also tried to go early in the day to avoid the desert heat– it got up to 86 degrees the day I was there! Luckily, they have umbrellas to use as a sort of make-shift shade and I gladly took one along with me on the tour. Overall a great guided information session with interesting info about the history of the famous Vegas lights.

And soon! More great Vegas memories to come!