March 1, 2015

Horseshoe Bend

While I was in Arizona last month, I stopped by a popular hiking trail that leads down to a spectacular overlook of the Colorado River. This section of the river is called Horseshoe Bend. It's conveniently only a few minutes away from Antelope Canyon, so it was the perfect addition to my trip!

The trail itself is an easy 15-minute walk downhill. Once you get to the cliffs, you'll notice that there aren't any rails or gates to keep people away from the edge. This is both exhilarating and terrifying. I noticed a few parents holding onto their kids (I don't blame them!). I thought it was pretty great to be able to shoot photos and enjoy the views without anything in the way.

Anyways, here's a short video clip from Horseshoe Bend below. And check out other posts from my trip to Arizona here (Antelope Canyon) and here (Wahweap Overlook).

February 23, 2015

Sugar, Yes Please

Are you hungry yet? I've been wanting to practice food styling, so last weekend I purchased a couple of delicious pastries from N7 Creamery to play around with. FYI Their salted caramel cream puff is probably the best cream puff that I've ever had! Let's just say that these treats pretty much disappeared as soon as I put my camera down!

February 20, 2015

The Pie Hole: Los Angeles

The Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles is home to a number of food gems, including the Pie Hole. Located on a street that's filled with beautifully painted murals and colorful street art, the Pie Hole is the perfect spot for an afternoon dessert. When I first walked in, I had no idea what to order (everything sounded delicious!), but I finally settled on the bananas foster pie. I'm a sucker for anything banana-flavored and I was not disappointed! My friend ordered the Mexican chocolate pie and it tasted just as good! The best part is that the Pie Hole serves a pretty good portion of pie, so you'll never leave feeling hungry. I can't wait for my next slice!

PS Don't forget to check out my index of restaurants and shops under the Categories section!

February 17, 2015

These Things Take Backbone

This is Lower Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon located nearby the city of Page in northern Arizona. I used to recognize pictures of it as a desktop wallpaper option for Windows haha. Photographs are great and all, but nothing beats experiencing a place like this in person.

To get to the bottom of the canyon, we first had to climb down a few sets of steep stairs. Once we were down there, I couldn't help but stare at the intricate flowing lines that covered all of the walls. My tour guide explained that they were formed through years and years of erosion. And the colors! The rock is bathed in spectacular hues of color when the light is just right. The tour through Lower Antelope Canyon is only about a quarter of a mile long but it feels like it's much farther than that, especially since you have to weave in and out of narrow passageways while taking in the canyon's incredible history. Just trust me, you'll never see anything like it anywhere else in the world.

Below are some tips for when (not, if) you decide to visit:

+ There are actually two sections of Antelope Canyon that are open to the public: Lower Antelope Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon. I went to Lower Antelope Canyon, which I heard was less crowded and slightly cheaper to visit. I'd love to hear from anyone that's been to Upper Antelope Canyon!

+ It's against Navajo tribal law to hike into Lower Antelope Canyon without a guide. This law is in place to prevent vandalism and to keep hikers safe from flash floods. I'm not sure if the same is true for Upper Antelope Canyon, but either way, there are plenty of tour companies to choose from. I had a great experience with Ken's Tours and would definitely recommend them!

+ A lot of people suggest hiking into the canyon between 11am-1pm for the best light, but those times also vary depending on the time of year. I was there between 12:30pm-1:30pm and thought that the light in my photos looked great. It's always helpful to check your tour company's website for recommendations!

+ Last but not least, don't forget to compare Arizona's time zone to your own when booking a tour. This tip comes from personal experience. As I was driving from Las Vegas to Page, the clock on my cell phone randomly jumped an hour ahead. I forgot that Arizona was in a different time zone! All of a sudden I found myself an hour behind schedule. Luckily I was able to move my reservation to a later time so that I wouldn't miss my tour! Phew!

February 13, 2015

Places Like Paintings

The photo above is my absolute favorite. Whenever I travel, I always run into elderly couples who are doing likewise. I'd like to think that that'll be me in the future.
I recently made a road trip out to Page in Arizona to check off a couple of places from my travel bucket list. On my way out of the city, I spotted a sign for the Wahweap Overlook and immediately turned off of the highway. Little did I know that when I reached the top of the overlook, I'd be treated to some of the most beautiful panoramic views that I've ever seen. They seriously look like paintings to me. I didn't even know about this place when I planned my trip but it was the perfect way to end an afternoon of hiking and exploring. Expect more photos (and more adventures) soon!

February 7, 2015

Flower Studies: Tulips

On random acts of kindness:

Earlier this week, I was given a dessert for free at one of my favorite food spots. I insisted on paying, partly because I actually wanted to break a $20 bill, but the cashier refused and went ahead and gave me the change I needed anyways. This person unknowingly made my day! My friend pointed out that maybe they needed to give away the dessert because somebody had changed their order. I choose to believe that the worker was just being nice. The point of the story is that you never know how one small gesture can affect another person. To be honest, I was kind of having a rough week and that simple act of kindness completely turned my attitude around. I was, and still am, extremely grateful.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  ~ Leo Buscaglia

Previous Flower Studies posts: