A New Year above the Rest

Happy New Year!

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A little delayed…but better late than never?!

The past few years my friends and I have chosen to get outside for New Years Eve. Instead of the usual midnight toast, we prefer to be dancing around a fire swigging champs.

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This MUG deserves its own post! Created by my truly talented bestie Ceramics Life For Me. We hiked Whitney this year and she gifted this mug to me at Christmas – can you believe it?!

In the past, we have gone to Joshua Tree.  It is freeeezing in the desert in Winter – who knew? If you go be prepared so you don’t freeze your bunz ( like I did). The following year we did an epic road trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion.  It was epically amazing and a truly special way to start the New Year.  This year we stayed a little closer to home and went to Yosemite.  The first time I went to Yosemite was in 8th grade for Science camp and have been consistently going back since. Yosemite is beautiful in every season and has activities whenever you can go. Rafting in the summer, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, hiking, and backpacking. No matter how many times you have been, each time is a new and fun experience.

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We had planned to cross country ski to the Glacier Point Hut, but since there was no snow our trip got canceled. I still REALLY want to do that at some time but lucky for us we ended up doing something equally beautiful and grueling, Clouds Rest.

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I have thought about doing Clouds Rest before but in the summer permits can be a challenge. A lot of people do it in a day, in fact most of the reviews you will read talk about doing it in a day but my friends and I decided to do an overnight backpack which turned out to be a great idea. Still challenging…have you hiked the mist trail… glad we took two days to cover the trail.

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Jessica the most amazing navigator… how many more miles??!! ARE WE THERE YET?

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Wait… I have to get up around this? HOW?

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View of Half Dome – such a beauty and terror all rolled into one!

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Sometimes going down is just as scary as going up… Where is the trail?

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This is me at the top – insane, scary tiring but all around awesome!

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Always enjoying a summit beer!

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Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp was pretty desolate on Jan 1 and we had the campfire to ourselves where we sipped whiskey with sweet and spicy tea … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it and Chelsea built the most epic fire!

It is amazing to be able to share these experiences with some of the most important people in my life. Thanks to them for encouraging me and waiting for me to make sure I don’t lose the trail – I am so blessed! Happy New Year and Cheers to all that 2018 brings!

 

 

Zion – The Narrows in Winter

You may be going into this post thinking… The Narrows in the Winter?? It must be freezing and well you might be right… It would be cold without the proper gear.

We were recommended Zion Outfitter by a local for having the best Narrows Gear. Like I mentioned in my previous post – the staff is super friendly here, they fixed a crampon that I didn’t even buy from their store! Great service.

Another important tid bit is that you need to start as early as possible… I know its hards but it will make your experience so much better! Towards the end of our hike icicles were dropping which is terrifying.

The park ranger told us that a man got a perma dent in his head from an icicle falling on him. So set your alarm, get your booties in gear and get in the water early. You will also see way less people. We saw maybe 10 total while we were in the Narrows and a whole slew of people were coming in as we were leaving.

Falling icicles, no thanks…Get an early start – no melting ice!

Also… an amazing resource was a post from Just a Colorado Gal about her experience hiking The Narrows in the Winter. Great inspiration!

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We found this map super helpful … well super helpfulish. I think we were walking faster than it guestimated. At any rate helpful to have!img_2901img_2902zionnationalparkpuxg5473zionnationalparkwhiw6512

All geared up! So cute and so dry!zionnationalparkoskk4427zionnationalparklwjd8993zionnationalparkimg_8415zionnationalparkimg_8414zionnationalparkrzvt0001zionnationalparkimg_8392zionnationalparkimg_8393zionnationalparkimg_8391zionnationalparkimg_7825zionnationalparkimg_8428zionnationalparkwvzm6915

I wasn’t expecting how much walking there would be outside of the water… many areas you could walk on dry ground.zionnationalparkimg_7836zionnationalparkimg_7838zionnationalparkimg_7837zionnationalparkimg_8448zionnationalparkimg_8445zionnationalparkimg_8452zionnationalparkimg_7840

Another potentially helpful tip would be to bring extra gloves… I fell in within the first 5 minutes so one of my gloves were wet the entire time. Actually, not terrible but if this would be a deal breaker for you… and you are falling prone than bring extra gloves. I think I fell a total of 3 times … maybe 4. hahazionnationalparkimg_7839zionnationalparkimg_7843zionnationalparkvyak6145zionnationalparkimg_7865zionnationalparkimg_7867

The views were truly unlike anything I have seen before. It was outer-wordly. zionnationalparkimg_7860

They say the camera adds 10 pounds… but I might say 20 lbs in this photo!zionnationalparkimg_8459

The best hydro sneaks – kept our feet SO dry!zionnationalparktaxt8745zionnationalparkimg_8454zionnationalparkimg_7886

Beautiful!zionnationalparkimg_7888zionnationalparkimg_7895zionnationalparkimg_7892zionnationalparkimg_7891zionnationalparkimg_7890

If you prepare for The Narrows in Winter you will have an amazing experience. This will be an experiencing I remember for the rest of my life.

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

A love letter to the state of Vermont

This title really should be a love letter to Vermont, Beer, Fall and Cider Donuts.

I am so full… full of happiness and beer.  The foliage here really gets to me. It is so beautiful and in California we have leaves change but maybe not at this magnitude… it is different.img_0676img_0678img_0691

Loved seeing all the spooky/halloween/fall decor in from of peoples houses.img_0693img_0694

Have you ever been to a diner in the back of a hardware store? Well I hadn’t until we ran across Sarah’s Country Diner. If you are in Cabot and hungry you should definitely stop in. What a fun experience! They even had locally made Kombucha – excellent!img_0695

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So this is where Sunflower Seeds come from?!img_0700img_0703img_0706img_0708

FINALLY, we made it to Hill Farmstead Brewery. I have been wanting to come here for a few years now and it was everything I dreamed of. Decadent beers, organized growler fills and pours made for an enjoyable experience.img_0714img_0718

Stumbled upon an Apple Pie Festival at a local high school! What Luck! Sharp Cheddar Cheese – yes please! Wishing I was having this again. img_0692

Rock Art Brewery was a great stop! I am so glad we made it a priority. Great Beers, super knowledgable staff that described every beer and the order we should drink it. The downstairs bar area was filled so we went upstairs where there were two large rooms. My friends and I had a great time sampling and spending time with one another.img_0721

Lost Nation Brewing  is an awesome brewery. Having been before on a Sunday when it was way less crowded I was completely taken off guard by the line out the door. It was popping on a Saturday. My suggestion is that if you want a flight and food (which trust me you do!! ) you should go on a Sunday or be prepared and okay to wait. I love their beers and the flight is a fun experience. Their kitchen turns out some amazing grub so its a must do!img_0727

Will be dreaming of this little airbnb view forever. What a dream.img_0736img_0740

Cider Donuts and Hot Cider, not too much just enough!img_0744

After gorging ourselves we wanted a little hike, but let me tell you this hike was anything but little. It was pretty intense with a little rock climbing but the views along the way were well worth it! Seemed to be dog friendly as we saw many pups along the route.img_0750img_0767img_0769img_0785img_0786img_0789img_0790

Burger and Beer for lunch… doesn’t get much better after an intense hike. Prohibition Pig is another must do for me – great service, beer, and food.img_0799img_0796img_0797

On our way home, we made it to one last brewery, Long Trail. I have had their beer before but this is my first time at the brewery. I LOVE the outdoorsy vibes – so up my alley and their beer was delicious. img_0801img_0802img_0803

I have probably used, delicious, amazing, must do way too many times in this post but thats honestly how I feel. My jeans may be a bit tighter but what a magical weekend. Now…when can I get back??!

A Week in Photos

Lucky for me Firebrand bakery is right next to my office. I am OBSESSED. It is so delicious.

This was a ginger cookie with REAL chunks of ginger! I also purchased a golden raisin and fennel baguette which we paired with Pumpkin goat cheese… and let me tell you it was a real dream.img_0814

Dinner party thrown by my amazingly talented friend. The cheese board started it all!

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Finally tried Brown Sugar Kitchen last weekend. Everyone that worked there was super friendly but I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the food! Maybe it was too hyped up – I still think you should try it, but have realistic expectations.

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Went to a Pumpkin Patch, it is definitely easier to get Pumpkins at the grocery store but much more fun to go to the patch!

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I have been working out at my company’s baby gym and loving it. It is nice not fighting for equipment!

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Loved this Stone Collab.  It is from last year…so if you haven’t tried it yet I highly reccomend you do! img_0867

Links I Love

no-working-link-has-been-provided-so-the-dispute-cannot-be-investigated-please-make-sure-to-include-a-working-link-in-your-report-sLove this article from Outside about building your perfect home gym! They correlate each item with activities in the outdoors where you will use the same muscles.

Don’t have time for breakfast? Think again. Here are a few quick and protein heavy breakfast ideas. I love to do hummus on Dave’s Killer Bread with chili flakes or Tapatio or Cholula on top. Yum and filling!

Remember our Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing earlier this year? Well I will have to do it again with Halloween Candy!

Can’t wait to get my hands on this six pack of Patagonia Beer.  This beer is different in that it uses a type of wheat that can grow back season after season. Making it more sustainable.

Can’t wait to try this DIY for more luscious brows and lashes! Need to get on it asap.

A rainy day in NYC

Usually when I am traveling I dislike the rain. The rain means that whatever activity I had planned will be affected. The rain can really put a ‘damper’ on things, you feel me? However, I am really coming to appreciate going indoors for entertainment.

On this rainy day in New York City we decided to check out the Met. Lucky for us it wasn’t too crowded and we went right in!

I have been told that the Met is America’s premier art museum and it did not disappoint!

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The floor tile might not be art to all but I really loved the pattern.

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Really cool ceiling installation.img_0453

Art Deco fireplace that made you stop and stare… they sure don’t make them like they used to!img_0462img_0464

A little workout inspo …img_0465

It was interesting to see armor at different times in history.img_0466img_0473img_0478

After all that museuming a girl can get hungry, we yelped and found The Penrose. 10/10 reccomend! Amazing cocktails and food!

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I had the Beet Bloody Mary and it definitely made my life. So delicious.img_0486img_0488img_0491

Can you believe I haven’t had Chicken and Waffles??! Well I picked a great place to try it – so delish!img_0492img_0493img_0494

I loved how they had different vibes through the restaurant. Really cool space and it will become one of my NYC must dos.img_0495img_0498img_0501

No trip is complete without park walking and Banana Pudding from Magnolia’s Bakery.img_0507

A City view from Harlem.Breathtaking. img_0508

A cool little beer spot … a beer turned into 2 and 3 plus dinner!img_0529

Earl’s Beer and Cheese, a great selection of Beer and amazing food. The beer cheese is outta this world.img_0530img_0531img_0532img_0533img_0535

A little late night stroll to burn all the beer and cheese! img_0538img_0539img_0543img_0544img_0546img_0552