travel

Utah Travel Diary!

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Day 1 + Day 2: Zion National Park

Canyon Overlook Trail

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Angels Landing

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View from our balcony at Bumbleberry Inn

Zion was my favorite park from our entire trip! It was absolutely breathtaking. We hiked up to 3,000 feet on the second day, to Observation Point and Angel’s Landing, and it was incredible!

What to Do:

Zion is located in Springdale, Utah. Springdale is the cutest little town with lots of shops and restaurants. Both nights, we wandered around the town and explored after we hiked.

Best Trails:

  1. Canyon Overlook Trail: Very easy trail, only a mile long. You can see lots of big horn sheep and the view at the top of the trail is amazing.
  2. Petroglyphs Trail Head
  3. Emerald Pools Trail: This is a fun trail to see a lot of the park. It takes about 2-3 hours to complete, but it is not strenuous and you’ll see a waterfall, a few overlooks, and some natural pools.
  4. Observation Point: 8 miles, 4-6 hours round trip. This trail can be very strenuous at times but it has one of the best views in the park.
  5. Angels Landing: You need to take Observation Point to get to the beginning of Angel’s Landing.

Where to Eat:

Whip Tail Grill

Red Rock Grill (in park): Good food, can be very crowded and the food takes a while.

Porters (hotel restaurant): Pretty good breakfast, and it’s complimentary if you stay at the Bumbleberry Inn.

Oscar’s Cafe: Really good Mexican food!

Cafe Soleile: Quick and easy – organic healthy options.

Where to Stay: Bumbleberry Inn

  • Free breakfast
  • Pool and hot tub
  • Amazing location and views
  • Really clean and comfortable room (most comfortable bed we had all trip)

If I were to pick one park to go back to, it would be Zion!

Day 3: Antelope Canyon

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This was the only stop we had in Arizona, it was a little bit out-of-the-way of our Utah Roadtrip, but totally worth the drive! These slot canyons are sandstone and made primarily from flash flooding. Our tour guide was so great, he knew all about the history of the canyons and where to take the best photos.

What to Do: Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours. There are is an Upper Canyon and a Lower Canyon. We were told that if you only do one, the Upper Canyon is better. The tours are pretty expensive at $60/person for an hour and a half, so we decided to only do the Upper Canyon.

Where to Eat: R D’s Drive-In and Big John’s Texas BBQ

After Antelope Canyon we drove to Bryce, Utah via scenic byway 12.

Day 4: Bryce Canyon

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HooDoos

Sunrise Point

This was the coldest park we were at, layers are definitely a must, as well as hats and gloves. Bryce was really cool because it was so different from the other parks we had seen so far. The landscape is very different. From Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, you see mostly sand (dirt) and the HooDoos. HooDoos are tall, skinny spires of rock that protrude from basins. Once you hike down into the park via Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail, the landscape transforms into woods and forest.

What to Do: Bryce, Utah is kinda in the middle of nowhere, the town is SUPER small and very touristy. The only thing to really do here is go into the park. However, there are a lot of different things you can do in the park; horseback riding tours, ATV tours, wildlife tours, etc.

Best Trails:

  1. Sunrise Point: Very short, more of an overlook point.
  2. Navajo Loop Trail
  3. Silent City
  4. Queens Garden Trail

Where to Eat:

Bryce Canyon Lodge (in park): Sandwiches and snacks.

Cowboy’s Buffet and Steak Room (hotel restaurant): Not great, but not many options in the area (minus Subway).

Where to Stay: Ruby’s Inn (Best Western)

Day 5: Dead Horse State Park & Canyonlands National Park

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Capitol Reef Resort

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Dead Horse State Park

Petroglyphs

On our way to Canyonlands National Park from Bryce, we stopped at Anasazi State Park to see petroglyphs and a museum with ruins of an ancient Anasazi village known as the Coombs Village Site. Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings.

What to Do: Anasazi State Park and Llama Adventure Tours.

Best Trails: Spur Trail, Dead Horse Point Overlook

Where to Eat:

The Pioneer Kitchen (hotel restaurant): Good food, not too many options.

Castle Rock Coffee (E Highway 24): We stumbled upon this place on our way to Moab the morning we left Capitol Reef and their breakfast is so good! It’s a tiny little cafe by a gas station. If you like coffee, DEFINITELY try the Mexican Mocha Coffee…. amazing.

Where to Stay: Capitol Reef Resort – SUCH A NICE HOTEL

  • Pool and hot tub
  • Large fire pits
  • Great location and views
  • Llamas and Horses: Kept in stables and you could go on tours with them (book ahead of time).
  • They had the best shower!

Day 6 – Day 7: Moab, Utah

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Delicate Arch

What to Do: Arches National Park, Red River Adventures (Morning Glory Canyoneering and White Water Rafting Tour), Shopping and a Moab Microbrewery.

The Red River Adventures Morning Glory Tour was what we did on our last day in Moab. This was such a good experience and was a great way to end our trip. You start with a 3 mile hike (you have guides the whole time on this tour), then you do two rappels through an Arch and down a sandstone chamber. Then the guides will make lunch for everyone by the Colorado River. After lunch, you hop in a boat and go white water rafting. During the time we went, the rapids were on the smaller side, but it was still really fun!

Best Trails:

  1. Delicate Arch: If you’re only going to do one… do this one! The hike takes about 2 hours, and can be strenuous.
  2. Double O Arch
  3. The Windows

Where to Eat:

The Blue Pig: I thought this was the best place we ate on our trip.. then we went to Bachi Burger in Vegas the next day. But still, AMAZING BBQ! Highly recommend this place if you’re in Moab.

Pasta Jays: Delicious, authentic Italian food, and huge portions!

The Spoke

Where to Stay:

Under Canvas Resort: A MUST! It works like a hotel, you reserve either a tent or a teepee. It was such a cool experience! Definitely more glamping then true camping, but you still got to sleep under the stars.

  • Stargazing
  • Fire pit
  • Live Music
  • Bathroom Trailers (very clean!)

Super 8 Hotel

Day 8: Drive Back to Las Vegas

Quail Creek State Park
Ghost Rock Overlook
Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries – Bachi Burger

Stops Along the Way:

  • Ghost Rock Overlook
  • Quail Creek State Park: We stumbled upon this place when we were trying to get off the highway and find a bathroom. It was so beautiful, the water is so blue! We ended up stopping and eating lunch here before getting back on the road.
  • Meadow Hot Springs

Where to Stay: La Quinta Inn

Where to Eat:

Bachi Burger (Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives): This was the best food we had the entire trip. If you like alcoholic drinks you need to try the Molokai Mule and the White Wine Sangria. To eat, the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries were delicious and the “Banh-Mi” Burger was honestly… the best burger I think I have ever had.

What I Packed:

  • Backpack
  • Water bottle: You’re going to need A LOT of water, I packed a 32 oz to refill throughout the day. It’s very easy to get really dehydrated, really fast.
  • Hiking boots and comfortable sneakers: Some days you’re definitely going to want hiking boots. My feet get really sore from hiking boots after wearing them for a while, so it was nice to be able to wear comfortable sneakers on easier hikes and rest my feet.
  • Layers!! The weather will go from 40 degrees in the morning, to 80 degrees mid-day.
  • Dry-fit clothes: Keeps you warmer/cooler, depending on the temperature and dries faster if you get wet.
  • Sunscreen: Even in early April we got burnt a few times.
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Lightweight, packable rain gear
  • Bandaids and blister bandaids
  • Snacks to put in your backpack

What I Wore:

“Travel Everywhere” T-Shirt is from The Parks Apparel.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Big water bottle: Like I said before, you’re going to need more water than you think!
  2. Laundry: I suggest doing laundry once on your trip. I did it on the 5th day so that I didn’t need to over pack like crazy (because we know I can’t help myself).
  3. Buy the Annual National Park Pass ($80/car): The daily entry is $60/car, for every park I believe. The Annual Pass can get you into any National Park and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
  4. Alcohol laws: Utah has very strict (and kinda strange) laws with alcohol. Just a tip, most liquor stores closed at 5:00 pm, even on the weekends. Also, they’re very expensive!

Total Miles Hiked: 36 miles

Total Miles Driven: 1,196 miles

*Shoutout to my Mom for spending months planning this trip! It was incredible!!*

If you have any questions about our trip, or planning your own trip, leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by! Court xoxo

fashion · travel

Mexico Cruise Travel Diary!

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 I just got back from one of the most amazing vacations.

The bf and I just got back from a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Mexico! It was a 5-night cruise aboard the Independence of the Seas. We had so much fun on and off the ship. We have cruised multiple times before, but this was the biggest ship we had ever been on! There was a million different things to do – even a mini golf course, full basketball court, and ice skating rink on the ship!

Tips:

  1. Bring Dramamine or another anti-nausea medicine. This was our third cruise, and every time I’ve felt the boat rocking. This trip we felt the boat almost every night! Dramamine kicks in really quickly and helps with the dizziness and nausea.
  2. Buy the deluxe drink package. If you purchase the drink package before your trip, it’s $44/day. This includes unlimited alcoholic drinks, bottled water, and premium coffee. Trust me, it’s worth the piece of mind.
  3. Choose the later dinner time! You can usually choose to have dinner at 6 pm or 8 pm every night. While 8 pm may seem late, 6 o’clock is going to be way too early during the days your at the ports.

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Our first stop was Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya is the port that was built near Tulum and Quintana Roo specifically to attract tourism. The port is really beautiful and has a beach and pool where you can spend the day, plus some shopping and restaurants. We had done a lot of research before hand and most people said that it’s best to find a beach club near the port to spend the day. The beach clubs are usually all-inclusive with one flat fee for the day. We made reservations at Almaplena Hotel Eco Beach Resort in Tulum. I HIGHLY recommend making reservations here if you’re looking for a secluded and relaxing beach day. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and the beach is breathtaking! The staff make you feel like you’re the only people there, and are so welcoming. Pictures really don’t even do it justice! We spent the entire day there, just relaxing in our own private cabana. The staff brought over whatever we needed and let us know when our lunch was ready. For lunch, they provided a delicious 4-course meal, all included.

We loved the location and the hotel SO MUCH, we are considering planning another vacation and staying at Almaplena, our entire trip.

Tips:

  1. Make sure to make your reservation as early as you can, they only take 10 people per day! *They want to make sure they can give you the best service and experience.*
  2. The hotel is 20-25 minutes from the cruise port, and in the middle of the jungle. (Not a joke). Don’t be alarmed that you’ll be driving on a dusty, secluded back road for most of the trip.
  3. Bring snorkeling gear! There is an amazing reef not too far off shore. You can rent snorkeling gear from the hotel as well.

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Our second stop was Cozumel, Mexico. The port in Cozumel is very different from the port in Costa Maya. The port in Cozumel is much older and there isn’t much to do other than shop. We took a cab to the center of town which offered more authentic shopping from local vendors. We stopped for lunch at Pancho’s Backyard Restaurant; they have THE BEST guacamole and beef taquitos. Cozumel is an island, but the beach was far from the port, so we went in search of a spot to get some drinks on the water.

We stumbled upon a little restaurant called Fratelli’s, to get some drinks. The water was so blue and tranquil! There are many different bars and beach clubs on the water between the port and center of town. Some require a reservation, and some require I set price for the beach club. Fratelli’s patio sat right on the water and was open air so you could enjoy the beautiful breeze. There is also a small beach next to the bar that you could swim in, and the staff will bring your drinks down to the water for you.

Tips:

  1. Bring small bills. Negotiating with cab drivers and street vendors is very common, make sure to bring lots of small bills so you don’t have to ask for change. *American dollars are accepted basically everywhere.*
  2. Most of the shops in the port only sell jewelry and touristy stuff. You can take a $7 taxi into the center of town where you will find authentic local treasures.
  3. DONT DRINK THE WATER – even if they say they use filtered water, it’s best to not get any drink with ice, frozen drinks or water unless it’s in a bottle. My boyfriend learned that the hard way this trip.

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If you have any questions about our trip, or booking your own trip, leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by! Court xoxo

 

Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom | Ray – Bans | Crop Top (Similar)

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fashion · travel

Hiking Mohonk Mountain

 I have been hiking Mohonk Mountain my entire life.

This past weekend I visited Mohonk with my family! Mohonk Mountain is in Upstate New York near New Paltz and the Catskills. The castle resort is a National Historic Landmark and has been around since 1869.

Going to the Mountain House has been a tradition in my family since my mom was a little girl. We go every year to reconnect as a family and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The resort is open year around, and each season brings different activities that you can enjoy. We love to go during the fall as the leaves are changing. In the summer you can swim the lake and in the winter they have an ice skating rink!

This time around we hiked some familiar trails too us, like the Labyrinth trail which takes you to Sky Top – the top of the mountain. We also hiked some new trails that took us to a smaller pond called Duck Pond at the foot of the mountain.

The weather was very cool in the morning and warmed up a little throughout the day, so I wore some layers. I like to wear these leggings when I go hiking because they’re thick, not sheer, keep me warm and give me enough mobility to climb over and under rocks. I highly recommend hiking boots because the rocks are slippery and it could be dangerous to hike without them. I was having a hard time finding hiking boots that I liked. I’m all about practicality, but I also want them to look somewhat in style! (Comeon ladies I know you’re thinking it). Lets be honest, most hiking boots are not the most attractive, but then I found these from Timberland! I absolutely love them, they’re very comfortable, supportive and cute. They’re actually men’s boots, but can definitely be unisex!

My vest is from J. Crew and comes in so many different patterns and colors! It’s a staple to have in your closet for layering this fall and winter. My cream pullover is from Patagonia, and my thermal is from Urban Outfitters (see how else I styled this thermal here). I will also link below my boyfriend Cambel’s jacket from L.L.Bean!

What are some of your favorite actitivies to do during the fall time?

Thanks for stopping by! Courtney xo

Leggings | Boots | Patagonia | Thermal | Vest | Vest (similar) |  Cam’s Jacket

Don’t forget to check out my Rocksbox review and get your first month free with code: COURTMORRICEXOXO