Red Rock

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Only about twenty minutes out from Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. We drove through the canyon on a winding road taking in the vast, sweeping views of the mountainous terrain. The red rock really does stand out against the earthy hues, with the only other color coming from the blooming desert flowers. There were many points along the road where we pulled off to the side to snap photos and enjoy the crisp blue skies against a jagged skyline. You definitely don’t get anything like this in Florida! We chose to hike the Ice Box canyon trail which ends at a waterfall. Unfortunately, due to the lack of rain, it was more like a water-trickle, but it always is satisfying to make it to the end of a difficult trail. I would certainly come here again if I’m ever back in Vegas and do a different trail because I just fell in love with the views!

B

 

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Las Vegas

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I took my sister to Vegas for a week to see her best friend and we spent a day or two walking down The Strip exploring all the hotels, malls, and casinos. There is so much to do here it was rather overwhelming. I really loved the 360 views from the top of the High Roller which we rode at sunset to catch Vegas in all its nighttime, sparkly glory.  The view was just as brilliant as the one from the top of the Stratosphere where we enjoyed cocktails on one of our last nights in the city. We also visited the Seven Magic Mountains, which is a local art installation not too far out of the city. At that point our feet were aching but there was just still so much more to see and do. With a good nights rest we were refreshed and ready for the next day.

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Portland

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We visited the city a lot during our stay in Portland and got the chance to see a few things touristy and a few things recommended to us by our friends that live there. I feel like no matter what you decide to do or eat here you cannot possibly go wrong. We spent some time exploring the Oregon Zoo, got a bite at Voodoo Doughnut, enjoyed some hot coffee at Stumptown, played arcade games at Ground Kontrol in Chinatown, got more coffee, ended up lost in Powell’s Books, then found more coffee. We got to the top of Pittock Mansion for that amazing view everyone talks about and had the most amazing dinner at Urban Farmer (c/o Antoine the badass chef). I would move here for the food alone, but the nature is pretty solid as well. Portland was great to us. Thank you to our friends for inviting us and showing us around, we will definitely be back ❤

B

P.S. Yes, I had to wear my hipster glasses the entire time because one of my contacts broke and I didn’t bring any backups (like an idiot). Luckily it worked well for the vibe. Never again though…

 

Japanese Garden

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Visiting Portland’s Japanese Garden was quite the experience. There is something very calming about walking the paths among the twisted trees and mossy ground that make you feel like you are in a fairy tale land, though that may just be Portland’s aesthetic. It was very quiet in the garden and there were few people about, but I think that’s just because it was a Monday in the dead of winter ;P. I’ve heard that this garden and the rose garden are in full bloom in spring, which would be a beautiful sight to see (and yet another reason to return.)

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