With Vancouver's rough winter weather this year I was yearning for a quick sunshine getaway and Lake Las Vegas really fit the bill perfectly. We're planning an intensive Europe trip since we have a wedding in Portugal this summer but I couldn't wait till then to see the sun. We've been to Vegas quite a few times, done the whole strip/nightlife thing (my stagette, and countless others) and that wasn't really what we were hoping for this go around.
The goal was sunshine stat and check off a bucket list item: see The Grand Canyon.
One of the other extra's we got to see was the Hoover Dam - it was "huge" and "tremendous" hehe. But sadly I didn't see Optimus Prime or any other Transformers while we were touring around.
Staying at the Westin Lake Las Vegas was awesome, their property grounds were fantastic and reminded us of many other resorts we've been lucky enough to visit. I'm really excited to go back again after their hotel receives the new renovations we heard about. They offer complimentary kayaking and paddle boarding on the lake - I wish we had more time to have taken advantage of that while we were there. Laying poolside was a top priority and soaking up the rays while I was reading Brene Brown's 'The Gifts Imperfection" (which is a fantastic read thus far). Brene Brown's book is all about cultivating vulnerability and being authentic. Things that I strive to be in my every day life and with our business. I'd like to make a point to share more of that from time to time on the blog with you. We are more than just photographers and I'd like you to get to know us a bit better and share my heart with you.
We will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary in Portugal this summer (eeeek so excited!!!) and we've learned a lot. Being married is like owning a car - you have to take care of it. Like taking care of a car there's regular maintence and oil changes. Being married I've learned it's important to constantly take care of our marriage and do the work so when things get bumpy you know how to always reconnect. Even making sure we get reminded of this, because hey - we're not perfect. One way we do this is taking breaks to reconnect. It doesn't always have to be costly vacations all the time - it can be simple as a date night, cuddles on the couch or a quick getaway or camping even (somewhere or time where your not doing chores). Each marriage is different and nurturing it will look different for everyone. Whenever I find that we get caught up and forget about us, I try really hard to plan date nights or time away for us. We have been hustling pretty hard this winter and the weather was really getting to us -- Nevada was a chance to press the reset button.
The Grand Canyon has been on my bucket list and it had always bugged me that I've been to Vegas many times but I hadn't seen the dam or the canyon yet. I thought we would just see the West Canyon but then we planned to drive to the South Rim and finally make it happen. In hindsight I wish we booked a night out there as there is cabins at the South Rim and I think that would have been incredible to see the stars over the canyon but driving our convertible mustang rental and listening to tunes was pretty fun. We even stopped in at a "In-N-Out" burger joint in Arizona on the way to the Grand Canyon and got the vegetarian alternative - Grill Cheese sandwiches... it was pretty rad. The "not so secret" menu is where it's at. But I dunno, Tripple O's burgers are pretty much amazeballs and still my #1 - American's don't know what they're missing when it comes to 'poutine'.
The Grand Canyon
Wow. Just wow. I felt like the first 15-20minutes I spent just trying to soak in the grander of it and the depth of field that was looking at. It went for miles and trying to make out all the nuances of the cliffs, erosion and spotting the river beneath was a lot to take in. The Grand Canyon was spectacular and totally worth the drive to the South Rim. This trip only has me even more excited to see the North Rim in the future and the Antelope Canyon, Arizona (while singing Britney Spear's - "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman").
We walked along side the trail at the South Rim taking it all in just a couple hours before sunset and I recommend not going in the middle of the day due to light unless your going to do the hike to the bottom and back up. We were researching when to go and countless reviews said to go in the early morning or late afternoon and I could tell why - the light reveals so much more about the canyon. Plus well, as photographers we love late light. I sat on the edge and just was in awe at what I was looking at. At times I felt like my mind couldn't quite comprehend the vast size of how enormous this canyon was and that I was only experiencing one view. One of my favourite moments at the South Rim was watching people on other cliffs in the distance and seeing the scale of how small we were in comparison. I felt full of gratitude while I was there. Being able to come and finally see one of the natural wonders of the world together after our crazy year. I want to be better at practicing gratitude and being present in the moment and I feel 2017 will be that year for me. With emotions bursting at my seams while I sat and felt the sunset (a cold one mind you, as we're up to 7100 ft or so in elevation) I felt so small and full of wonder but with a huge appreciation for creation.