Drinking my way around Berlin

In many ways, I left a little of my heart in Berlin. It is a big city, full of diverse neighborhoods and lots of history. Despite not really understanding the language I felt right at home.  I went in May and the weather was amazing. We had a few days of rain but it always cleared up in time for a walk around. One of my favorite things about Berlin is that everyone walks around with a beer in hand. Here in California, you really won’t see that often. It is definitely frowned upon to walk about with an open container. Not so in Berlin, everyone you pass walking down the street, whether it’s parents watching their kids at the park, coworkers/ friends walking to dinner they all have a beer in hand and I LOVE that vibe, so laid back, so me.

I was staying in the cutest neighborhood and the best hostel, Minimal Hostel.  I chose to stay in a hostel since I was traveling alone and wanted the opportunity to meet people and hang out with them. In the neighborhood of my hostel was a cute craft beer bar, Lager Lager. I hit this spot up a few times. Always bustling with many people and a great spot to pick up an interesting beer for later. IMG_5194IMG_5193IMG_5192

Another spot close to where I was staying, O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum was another spot with good wine and beer! Very cool interior also.IMG_5321IMG_5320IMG_5319752CEE89-4C98-4AB4-B718-09E5F173C3C9

Another fun spot for cocktails is Geist Im Glas, this is a super cool place where you can tell the bartender what flavor alcohol combo you like and she will create a drink for you! They have a great outdoor area but after a certain time, they ask that you head inside as to not disturb the neighbors. IMG_5229IMG_5228IMG_5227IMG_5224

Another great place for green juices, coffee, tea and various food is the Marheineke Markthalle on Bergmannstraße. I like going to markets cause I can point to things I want if I am not sure how to say it in German.IMG_5204

I loved the Brlo Brwhouse – so much so that I went to it twice while I was in Berlin. It is in Victoria Park which was a really cool spot to people watch, bike, walk and relax!IMG_5241IMG_5240IMG_5242IMG_5243IMG_5244IMG_5246IMG_5257IMG_5258

In Summary, a few places I really enjoyed for a drink are :

Lager Lager

O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum

Geist Im Glas

Brlo Brwhouse

Fav Things in the Bay

This past weekend I had a couple friends visit, last minute, in the middle of the week… which can be the best kind of visits… the best places are way less crowded on a Thursday!

The weather had been rainy all week but we were lucky to have sunny skies over us on the day they were visiting.

First Stop… Beauty’s Bagels! Yes, it is a bit hipstery ( whatever that means…) but it isgenuinelyy delicious and one of my favorite places in Oakland for breakfreast.

I always take people here who are visiting and they always love it. I love the Veggie bagel but this particular day I tried the fried chicken and let me tell you… it was some of the best friend chicken I have ever had.IMG_4411

After fueling up, we headed to Tenessee Valley for a hike!  This is a leisure hike that you can make more challenging or longer as you see fit for you and your group.

Always layer!FullSizeRenderIMG_4416756FF0A7-DC46-484F-A84C-7CD04E432AE9IMG_4418IMG_4422

Next stop! One of my ALL TIME fav mexican restaurants I have ever been to, The Sausalito Taco Shop. The crema, the micheladas, the seafood… yes PLEASE!IMG_4445

After lunch, it was time for some beer! We headed back across the Richmond Bridge for one of my fav breweries ( are you sensing a theme? Of course I would take my friends to do my favorite things! ), Fieldwork in Berkeley.

I am NEVER disappointed here and I always take home a crowler, growler or apparel! … I just love it!IMG_4447IMG_4449

Next stop, Rare Barrel… If you LOVE Sours…where have you been??? Get to The Rare Barrel. The server asked if we were on Spring Break… We took it as a compliment… life should be one long spring break!IMG_4456IMG_4454IMG_4457

After heading home to clean up we hit my neighborhood brewery, Temescal.IMG_4488IMG_4494

Love the beer garden here… dreaming of Summer already!IMG_4502IMG_4495

SO glad that these two came and visited me! It allowed me to visit my favorite places with two of the funniest people I know!

Come back anytime!IMG_4510

We then headed to one of my fav Korean spots, Bowl’d BBQIMG_4512

After that, we hit one last brewery, Woods in Uptown Oakland. Love the fire pit vibes they set up!IMG_4513IMG_4514

Additionally, if you want to dance on a Thursday night, head to Era Art Bar… always a fun time!

And… there you have it! A few of my favorite things… in the BAY!

Carlsbad is quite RAD

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Just finished spending a weekend in Carlsbad, where the sun and fun were found in plentiful amounts. Everytime, we visit our friends in Carlsbad I feel like we find new gems. beeratthebeach

Have a beer with a view at Dini’s by the Sea.blueocean

Lots of Sake to be had at Blue Ocean. Great Miso.barrelrepublic

I haven’t been to a Barrel Republic yet but I did enjoy being able to pour as much beer as I wanted… seems like it could easily get expensive! campfireIMG_4371

Campfire is new to the Carlsbad scene and while I can’t speak for the food, the cocktails were amazing.

We spent our night in the teepee which was a really fun way to close out my friends birthday! Highly recommend this place for cocktails – really close to the coaster station in Carlsbad. campfirecampfireIMG_4321campfireIMG_4320campfireIMG_4327

Gotta hit up Lola’s for a breakfast burrito. Really one of the cutest little places.lolasaysholalolas

The Succulent Cafe is also a newer addition in Carlsbad and would be a cool spot to work on your laptop or read a book. Very relaxing and beautiful.succulentsinsideofsucculentcafelattetimecooltableatsucculentcafehave a succulent day

I love Carlsbad and highly recommend a visit if you get the chance! Easily accessible via coaster and connects with Oceanside, Solana, San Deigo etc.

Favs on Friday : Food and Drinks

My fav mocha…. and I am not even a mocha person, but the mocha at Blue Bottle is made with tcho and is ohhh so good. Pair it with a waffle and you have a decadently sweet breakfast.bluebottle

My love affair with Firebrand continues. Not just a bakery – they serve up amazing breakfast and lunch fare… They also recently started serving beer and wine in the evenings. Need to check it out soon. firebrand

Another place I love every time I go but I just don’t go enough is Drake’s Dealership.  Went here for lunch and may have had a little too much to drink, but the beers were SO good. drakes

If you love German food head to Gaumenkitzel in Berkeley. This is my second time there and I LOVED it both times. Great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike with an extensive beer and wine menu. germanfood

Branching out from the East Bay for this last one! The Jug Shop on Polk in the City has an AMAZING selection of beer, liquor, and wine. They also put on wonderful tastings. My friend and I went there for a sour tasting and we were blown away by how extensive and delicious it was. As you can see I went home with quite a bit!! jugshopsourbeer

Enjoy!

Hike, Blade and Beach

Our next morning started out at a newer SLO fav, Scout Coffee. They now have two locations in San Luis and we went to the shop on  Foothill Foothill. The decor is on point and their homemade almond milk will make you sing.

I tried the scone with scallions and goat cheese which was delicious. The vibe was LOUD… I don’t know how someone could study there but maybe on a weekday it would be less rambunctious. scoutcoffeeimg_3454scoutcoffeeimg_3456

After our coffee and pastries, we headed to Avila to hike the Ridge Trail. This time we parked closer to Pirates Cove… off Cave Landing.

We started at the hill of doom, much better going up than down.hillofdeathavilaridgetrail

Once we caught our breaths… well once I caught my breath we selfied 🙂bestiesavilaridgetrail

SO amazingly beautiful and vast. Once we were leaving we noticed that it had gotten a lot more crowded. We were lucky that we had so much alone trail time.avilaridgetrailwildflowersofavilaridgetrailavilaridgetrailpeace

After our hike, we put on our blades and rolled down the Bob Jones Trailbobjonesbladeseash

Once in Avila, we stopped for lunch and brews and then headed back on the trail to finish our 5 mile round trip blade sesh.midbladelunchatcustomhouseavila

Saturday Night, we had plans to camp at Montana de Oro State Park.   This is probably one of the most beautiful places you will ever go in your life. mdomdosunsetmdoimg_9237montanamdoimg_3499sunsetbestiesmdosunsetatmdoyummysunsetatmdo

Is this real life??? Views and Brews?!! On this somewhat stormy Saturday Night Libertine Pub in Morro Bay was pretty empty but a live band came on at eight that brought in more of a crowd. We enjoyed dinner and a few brewskies. libertinepub

What a fulfilling day!

(SLO)ME

Last weekend my friend and I took a trip from the Bay to the Central Coast. We lived together in SLO during college and were looking forward to a weekend of all our favorite SLO area things.

First stop Firestone, dinner and a flight were a must after nearly three hours in the car. Have really been loving the sours coming out of Firestone. firestoneflight

Next morning up and ready to go early, gotta get our Black Horse and SLO Donut Co. fix.  They even have gluten free donuts these days… so no excuses not to go!blackhorseandslodoco

Chels and I both had work to do in the morning but once the afternoon rolled around we were raring for a hike!  We found the Cuesta Ridge Botanical Hike and couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it before. Equal parts up and downhill but filled with epic views from start to finish!cuestabontanicalgardenimg_3387cuestabontanicalgardenimg_9152

Even waterfalls! cuestbotanicalgardentrail

A well deserved summit Brew! cuestabontanicalgardenimg_9155cuestabontanicalgardencuestridgetrail

Wooooweee does life getter better than these views! So amazing.cuestaridgetrail

What is my favorite thing to after a bunz busting hike? Drink a brew or two of course…

We headed to Bang the Drum Brewery. Great space, indoor and out. Really friendly staff and most importantly great beers!bangthedrumbbangthedrumbbrewingimg_3439

We went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading downtown for the night.

On our way DT we stopped at Central Coast Brewing for a couple baby beers.centralcoastbrewingimg_3444centralcoastbrewingimg_3443centralcoastbrewingimg_3445

Next stop, Barrelhouse Speakeasy. This is one of the coolest spaces I have ever been to. A fully functioning barbershop and then a full on taproom downstairs.

Super crowded on a Friday night but really fun.barrelhousespeakeasyimg_3446barrelhousespeakeasyimg_9202

Looking forward to sharing the rest of our weekend this week!

My top favs in Indonesia

I am finally getting ready to share my Indonesia and Malaysia trip here and going through the photos and my journal from the trip are really stoking my need for adventure and travel.

Here are a few top memories from the trip…

All packed up and ready to go! One carry on for three weeks. The truth of the matter is I probably had too much.indoorbust-3weeksina-carryon

Our first meal in Indonesia, and quite possibly the best meal of the entire trip. This simple and cheap meal still lingers in my dreams.

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The most amazing iced coffee from Crate Cafe in Canggu.cratecafecanggu

When GoogleMaps takes you to a remote village and an Indonesia man takes you into the rice fields…ricefieldsindo

A cool, not so secret waterfall, Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud.

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Dicing and Slicing our way to Balinese Cuisine Cooking Professionals!

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We drove all night to see this crater at Sunrise.kawahijenjavaindo

Just a casual gecko joining us for lunch.madenewfriendsongili

Lowest of low tides on Gili Air.lowtideislandlife

Beach art on Gili Air – coral and Bintang bottles.giliairartbintang

You don’t see a goat… or any animal on the back of a motorbike often.justgoatforit

My Birthday! Which included a street side serenade – magical!kutabeachbirthday

A little oasis on the side of the road. kutabeachlombok

A few friends at the beach in Kuta Lombokbisononthebeachlombok

Sometimes the best views take a few (hundred) wrong turns. Getting to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall was an adventure.

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Drop Inn Cafe … when you are done dropping in on waves you can drop in for a sweet treat. dropinncafelombok

Ratu Boko Temple in Yogya. It was an adventure getting there… but Sunset did not disappoint.yogyakartaindo

At 1/15 coffee I tried an interesting combo of espresso, lime and sparkly water coffewithseltzerandlime-indo

A flip flop hike to watch the sun go down.sflipfliphikelombokindo

A few of my fav moments … get ready for the breakdown in the next couple weeks.

Favorite Things this week

Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week! oakviewfromoffice

SO lucky that I get to view this every day as I workout! Wake up an hour early to live an hour more!

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What is better on a Monday night than copious amounts of Gin…?! LOL

With a friend visiting from out of town you tend to get out a little more and this is how I found myself enjoying Gin cocktails this past Monday at Whitechapel on Polk in SF. I am through and through a beer girl but I happened to pick two cocktails that were surprisingly great!

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Lunch at Firebrand… SO GOOD. I want to live in this Bakery, so delectable. lunchatfirebrand

Planning a SLO trip with my bestie! Filled with the very best things… blading, hikes, camping, breweries! YAY

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Forbidden Island Tiki Bar in Alameda is always a fun spot! All about that Monkey Pod drink.forbiddenisland

One of the most amazing Mochas in all the land… at Blue Bottle Cafe. Go and enjoy!bluebottle

My all time fav backyard hike… not literally backyard but 10 minutes from my house. It is an amazing challenge with bay views and it never gets old to me! claremonttrailberkeley

Always trying to have no/less screen time once I get home from work… tried my hand at some watercolor painting and had a blast! I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon but its fun to try my hand at different hobbies!watercolorpencilfun

Palm Springs is better

Generally speaking when I am going to plan a vacation, I like to pick a place where I can eat good food, drink good drinks, be active ( in some capacity) and maybe throw in some time by the fire or on a hammock!

Palm Springs is a place that I had not been to since becoming an adult and as a Northern California dweller it takes a bit more to get there than from LA or SD. So when one of my Best Friends suggested we take a trip there for her birthday I very enthusiastically said , “YES”! 

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There was one caveat though… we were going in SUMMER! You might be thinking who in their right mind goes to the desert in the summer? Well people who love a good deal, and in the summer, Palm Springs has amazing lodging deals. 

We took off from foggy San Francisco in the morning and landed in Palm Springs at potentially the hottest part of the day… walking off the plane was a rude awakening to say the least.

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We assumed (wrongly) that we would be able to get a rental car since its summer… no one is in the desert right? Well without a rental car to our names we would have to uber/lyft/taxi/shuttle all around town.. which turned out to be a good option. The shuttle is great! Highly reccomend looking into it when you are there as a form of transportation. 

We stayed at the Saguaro. If you aren’t living under a rock you have already seen its brightly colored, palm tree laden grounds all over instagram. 

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I would reccomend staying at this hotel if you LOVE to party all day and into the night… the pool parties are very popular here but also extremely annoying if that isn’t your steeze. 

If I were to go back I would potentially stay at the Parker or The Ace

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Once settled at our hotel we took a car service to Elvis’s Honeymoon Hideaway . We had booked a tour prior to arriving which I reccomend if you are interested. I haven’t made it to Graceland yet, so being somewhere that The King lived was a magical experience. It is hard to believe that this home is owned by a couple ( who are selling btw). To me, it seems like this house should be a museum. It is amazing though how little has been updated. The home maintains its original charm and finishes.

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peeking over the fence into Marilyn Monroe’s Palm Springs house!

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After our tour we were famished and in need of a bite to eat! Another note about Summer is that places close in the middle of the day/ or for the season so be prepared to not get to try all the places you have dreamed about on yelp/instagram.palmspringsimg_8783

A must do : Date Milk Shake! Delicious but really, really sweet!palmspringsimg_8790palmspringsimg_8789palmspringsimg_8793palmspringsimg_8791

I don’t remember the sandwich place we went too but it was really good and air conditioned! Very important.palmspringsimg_8785palmspringsimg_8788palmspringsimg_8787

Now time for more A/C and some tiki drinks and the historic Bootlegger Tiki.palmspringsimg_8796palmspringsimg_8799

Every table was full around 4 pm on Friday – prime Happy Hour time!palmspringsimg_8800

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Love a good door detail!

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Las Casuelas is a fun spot for live music and margs!palmspringsimg_8816palmspringsimg_8822palmspringsimg_8820

Ready for day two! We started the day off with a breakfast reservation at Norma’s at the Parker ( ohh lala! ) Another summer tip – wake up early and nap during the hottest part of the day! Not rocket science!… but I thought I would share all the same!palmspringsimg_8826palmspringsimg_8825palmspringsimg_8829palmspringsimg_8828palmspringsimg_8832palmspringsimg_8830palmspringsimg_8837

After an amazing breakfast we strolled around the Parker grounds. Beautiful! palmspringsimg_8839palmspringsimg_8841palmspringsimg_8840palmspringsimg_8844palmspringsimg_8843palmspringsimg_8845palmspringsimg_8846palmspringsimg_8848palmspringsimg_8847palmspringsimg_8852palmspringsimg_8850palmspringsimg_8855palmspringsimg_8856palmspringsimg_8851palmspringsimg_8860palmspringsimg_8858palmspringsimg_8857palmspringsimg_8871palmspringsimg_8869palmspringsimg_8865palmspringsimg_8872palmspringsimg_8875palmspringsimg_8877palmspringsimg_8876palmspringsimg_8878

Next stop! Saturday morning Famers Market! and look what we found … Beer Tasting! I love to try some good local beer on all my trips so when we found Coachella Valley Brewing Co – I was stoked! Purchased a few beers for back at the hotel where we were headed for some R & R. palmspringsimg_8882palmspringsimg_8880palmspringsimg_8885palmspringsimg_8884palmspringsimg_8891palmspringsimg_8890palmspringsimg_8889palmspringsimg_8888palmspringsimg_8887

For dinner we headed to Birba. We went before the dinner rush and were able to be seated without a reservation. palmspringsimg_8893palmspringsimg_8896palmspringsimg_8895palmspringsimg_8897palmspringsimg_8898

Our meal and drinks were beyond! I highly, highly reccomend. palmspringsimg_8903palmspringsimg_8905

Next stop, Bar!palmspringsimg_8907palmspringsimg_8906

Beer Cocktails? Yes, I will try you.palmspringsimg_8909palmspringsimg_8912

Then onto Tropicale, at this point of the night the air is balmy but cool enough for outside sitting and walking.palmspringsimg_8914

One final drink and some live music at the Amigo Room.palmspringsimg_8920palmspringsimg_8918palmspringsimg_8922palmspringsimg_8924palmspringsimg_8927

Day 3! Ready to indulge … yet again.

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fun colorful halls at our hotel!

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Elmer’s is a chain.. but a highly recommended chain so off we went to try it out!palmspringsimg_8937palmspringsimg_8936

After our filling breakfast we went to Moorten Botanical Garden. We thought it would be early enough to beat the heat… but we weren’t. We thought we were going to pass out after walking around, but it was beautiful! palmspringsimg_8939palmspringsimg_8938palmspringsimg_8940palmspringsimg_8942palmspringsimg_8941palmspringsimg_8943palmspringsimg_8947palmspringsimg_8946palmspringsimg_8944palmspringsimg_8948palmspringsimg_8950palmspringsimg_8949palmspringsimg_8952palmspringsimg_8953palmspringsimg_8955palmspringsimg_8956palmspringsimg_8958palmspringsimg_8957palmspringsimg_8959palmspringsimg_8961palmspringsimg_8960palmspringsimg_8963palmspringsimg_8964palmspringsimg_8965palmspringsimg_8967palmspringsimg_8966palmspringsimg_8969palmspringsimg_8971palmspringsimg_8970palmspringsimg_8973palmspringsimg_8974palmspringsimg_8972palmspringsimg_8976palmspringsimg_8975palmspringsimg_8979palmspringsimg_8978palmspringsimg_8980palmspringsimg_8982palmspringsimg_8981palmspringsimg_8988palmspringsimg_8987palmspringsimg_8989palmspringsimg_8992palmspringsimg_8996palmspringsimg_8995palmspringsimg_8993palmspringsimg_8991

After lounging pool side for the majority of the afternoon we got ready for dinner and drinks!

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We went to The Purple Palm for drinks, I tried the Rio Rita with Ghost Pepper! Delish!palmspringsimg_9005palmspringsimg_9006palmspringsimg_9008

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LOL

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After our drinks, we headed to Workshop kitchen + bar for dinner.palmspringsimg_9014palmspringsimg_9016palmspringsimg_9018palmspringsimg_9021palmspringsimg_9020palmspringsimg_9019

Again, our food was amazing. Prices were a little high but all great quality food.palmspringsimg_9025

For a final night cap we hit Kings Highway … for our second date shake of the trip.palmspringsimg_9026palmspringsimg_9030palmspringsimg_9029palmspringsimg_9028

Amazing Wall Weave!! Swoon.palmspringsimg_9032palmspringsimg_9034palmspringsimg_9033palmspringsimg_9031

One last view of the pool… looks so relaxing… before anyone arrives!palmspringsimg_9039palmspringsimg_9041palmspringsimg_9045

We headed to Cheeky’s for brunch – we barely made it before they closed for the season!!palmspringsimg_9046

I love a good Bloody Mary and this one came in a glass boot – talk about in love!palmspringsimg_9049

Great breakfast and amazing service!palmspringsimg_9053

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around antique shops and galleries.palmspringsimg_9056palmspringsimg_9054

Needing a break from the heat we went to Customs Coffeepalmspringsimg_9057palmspringsimg_9059palmspringsimg_9058palmspringsimg_9064palmspringsimg_9063palmspringsimg_9061palmspringsimg_9065

For our last lunch we hit Sherman’s Deli in Palm Springs – what a delight! It was so delicious.palmspringsimg_9066palmspringsimg_9068palmspringsimg_9067

After our meal we headed back to our hotel and off we flew back to the Bay!  I had an amazing time in Palm Springs – the aesthetic, the food, I loved it all! I will definelty be back… would I go again in the Summer… tbd.

Zion – Angel’s Landing in Winter

Our first full day in Zion and we needed some fuel so we stopped at Cafe Soleil .  I ordered the breakfast burrito and dirty soy chai latte ( chai latte with shot of espresso! ). Very filling and great. zionnationalparkimg_2227

Next we headed to Zion Outfitter to inquire about hiking the Narrows the following day. How much for gear rental, weather conditions etc. This place was recommended to us by our bartender the night before as having the best equipment for the Narrows. I don’t have anything to compare it to but I had a great experience with everyone who worked here. I highly suggest purchasing your crampons beforehand ( much cheaper!) but they also had the good crampons not just yak tracks.

Finally headed into the park, lines get longer the later it gets. Loved this ‘RL GOOD’ license plate!  After stopping at the visitor center and getting information about trail closures etc…  we decided to start hiking at Lower Emerald Pool Trail and see how we were feeling. We had NO.. I repeat NO intention of hiking to Angel’s Landing. The park ranger specified how dangerous it was and that if we were to fall there would be no rescue party – yowzaaaa so we decided we would just build our own hike and see where it would take us. zionnationalparkimg_2230

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PC : John Thomas

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From Lower Emerald Pool Trail to The Grotto Trail and Kayenta Trail then finally towards Angel’s Landing Trail itself. Once we were there we decided to just see how far we could go.. we all had crampons and hiking poles which made ALL the difference. People were hiking without but I don’t know why you would.zionnationalparkimg_2243zionnationalparkimg_2249zionnationalparkimg_2254zionnationalparkimg_7679zionnationalparkimg_7681

MADE IT TO THE TOP! WOOHOO – Amazing feeling, can not begin to describe! Don’t think I would do it again but it was invigorating. I almost feel that in the winter it might be better… this is because with the crampon you really dig into the snow instead of just climbing on rock.

I would definelty reccomend Angel’s Landing in winter but you 100% should have crampons and hiking poles! zionnationalparkimg_7682zionnationalparkimg_7686zionnationalparkimg_7689

Someone even took the time to make a snowman!

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PC : Chelsea Thomas
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PC : Chelsea Thomas

Heading back down – on the way up this trail was full of people… now it is deserted.

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SO many switchbacks! I don’t know how I would have survived this without my poles or crampons.. I will keep saying it.. they were lifesavers!! zionnationalparkimg_7698zionnationalparkimg_7703zionnationalparkimg_8293

Felling really amazing after this hike!zionnationalparkimg_8298

Spotted some wildlife!zionnationalparkimg_2255

Now headed to Zion Mountain Ranch… our home for the next two days! Time to relax. zionnationalparkimg_2389