Category Archives: Travel

Creepy-Kitschy Flintstones Bedrock City Theme Park in Bedrock, Ariz

9th November 2014

I’ve always had a thing for roadside attractions. I’m the annoying one in the car on a long road trip who sees a sign for some bound-to-be-a-tourist-trap destination and it’s all I can do but huff and puff until there’s an agreement to pull over and check it out. It’s always worth it, I’ve found. At the very least, you have a story.

Anyway, the creepy kitschy Flintstones Bedrock City Theme Park located an hour north of Flagstaff in Valle, Arizona, totally fits the bill. Fortunately, the weather was fantastic on the day I happened to stop by. Powdery blue skies with wafts of clouds streaming above. Paired with the pale brown Earth and the pops of color from all the little rock houses baking their way toward dilapidation under the Arizona sun, one may very well call this place, on this particular day, a mighty photo op. The trip even inspired a Flintstones mani that I shared on xoVain. Ha! Enjoy the photographs. :)

Wendy_FlintstonesManicure_HERO[Get the how-to here.]

Pictures from the theme park:


DSC_0008 DSC_0012 DSC_0016 copy DSC_0033 copy DSC_0047 DSC_0059  DSC_0075 DSC_0091 DSC_0105 DSC_0110 DSC_0121 DSC_0132 Wendy_FlintstonesManicure_Park1   Wendy_FlintstonesManicure_Park4 Wendy_FlintstonesManicure_Park5



Magic Views: Camping on BLM land in the Sonoran Desert

11th June 2014

The pictures I’m posting today are actually what inspired me to start blogging again in the first place. I feel like I’m always doing things and going places and taking pictures of everything, but for the longest time I didn’t have anywhere to post them. Finally, after David and I’s “Campsgiving” — a full-blown grill out in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving meal — I decided it was high time I jumped back on the blogging bandwagon.

David and I have spent several Thanksgivings on BLM land, now, and this past year’s was probably our most successful little outing. Though, I’m pretty sure we encountered a bobcat growling and hiding in some distant shrubbery that sent both of us into a serious fit of panic. They say that you’re not supposed to run when you encounter certain wildlife, but my first instinct — after hearing that growl for the second time — was to kick it into high gear and run as fast as I good. At least it was invigorating?

Anyway, we watched the sun set that day, after our big fancy campfire meal, and then packed it all back into the car and drove the several hours back to a more populated area. Enjoy the pictures!

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping

thanksgiving desert camping



all that space to ourselves!


we essentially prepared everything beforehand. I opted for some salmon, David opted for ahi tuna.


we also made carrots and rolls from scratch, which we cooked in the cast iron dutch oven.

desert campfire

i made the potato salad before we left.

desert campfire

complete! looks pretty darn good if you ask me.

desert campfire

desert campfire

sonoran desert

ohhhh, how pretty the sonoran desert views are.

sonoran desert

<3 BLM land.

sonoran desert

a hazy sunset.

sonoran desert

sonoran desert

found this in the dirt… no idea what it is. Some kind of worm shell?

arizona BLM land

handsome guy alert


arizona BLM land

the dusty sun sets don’t get much prettier…

arizona BLM land

arizona sunset

setting, setting, setting

flipping off the sunset

flipping off the sunset. David is a peculiar one.

arizona sunset


arizona sunset

and goodnight.



NYC seen through my iPhone

8th June 2014

I recently returned from a splendid trip to NYC, where I stayed with my college friend (and sorority “big sister” — haha), Lauren! We ate, we drank, we sang, we saw, we laughed and we had a great time. I was also able to meet up with some of my fellow writers from xoVain, including Marci, Danielle and Tiye, and I hung out with Joe, one of the only people from high school with whom I still keep in touch!  I even met with one of my “bosses,” if you will, Mirela, who runs the website, where I’ve written for over three years.

Anyway, I’m sharing my NYC trip via my iPhone — because who wants to lug around a heavy camera when you’re sprinting from village to village in the big city?

IMG_6310 IMG_6311 IMG_6334 IMG_6347 IMG_6375 IMG_6385 Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetIMG_6407 IMG_6398IMG_6429 Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetIMG_6470

Asian Oasis in the City: Phoenix’s Japanese Friendship Garden

24th May 2014

I can’t remember the first time I heard about Phoenix’s Japanese Friendship Garden. One thing I can tell you, though, is that far too much time elapsed between me finding out about it and actually going. David and I finally ventured there not too long ago, though, and I was even more impressed than I thought I’d be!

Despite it being located right in downtown Phoenix, the  Japanese Friendship Garden felt like a quiet sanctuary away from the busy world. I also appreciated all of the thought  that went into the garden’s design. It’s meant to be a place to relax, meditate (however you choose to do so) and just take a break from the go-go-go of everyday life. If you’re visiting town or a longtime resident, it’s definitely worth the humble admission fee of $5 to enter.






A Long Weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea

20th May 2014

In a previous entry, I wrote about an exciting trip that David and I were taking as part of a writing assignment I received. The destination: California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, a tiny, European-inspired village nestled against the Pacific’s white sand beaches. It was a much appreciated change of scenery from our desert dwelling and we were so lucky to have our accommodations and dinner covered by the Hofsas House, a Bavarian-esque, family owned and operated B&B.

You can see more about my trip at this blog post I wrote for the Somewhat Simple blog, which I’ve been writing at for some time now.


I also did a nail tutorial on xoVain inspired by the sights we saw on the 17-Mile Drive:



I wanted to share some additional photographs here. Why not?! Consider it a story-by-way-of-pictures. :)

DSC_0022Cottage of Sweets

DSC_0030The White Rabbit

DSC_0036The White Rabbit

DSC_0042Hand selected cheese in our room. :)

DSC_0046And local wine!

DSC_0102Breakfast guest

DSC_0085Pretty Carmel Beach

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetGreen?!

DSC_0095 copyBedroom fire (two nights in a row, even!)


DSC_0187Oh, yeah!

DSC_0124The Lone Tree on the 17-Mile-Drive.


DSC_0127 copy

DSC_0139DSC_0196Lots of wine…! We even spoke with local wine makers, which was a blast!



Horse Shoe Bend, Colorado River and More

18th May 2014

OK — one final installation from our trip up to Page, Arizona. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t found much time to edit photographs. I finally got through the rest of the photographs from that trip, though, and I wanted to share them here. Enjoy! :)

DSC_0321It’s hard to do Horse Shoe Bend justice in a single picture, but it’s a pretty magnificent sight. Clearly, it gets its name from the horseshoe like shape created by the Colorado River.

DSC_0330To view Horse Shoe Bend, you need to climb up a steep-ish cliff (part of which is covered in super fine desert sand — that is a workout!) and then you can peer over and down. There were all sorts of cool rock formations all around the area, including the above.

DSC_0311I’ll never get sick of cacti. :)

One of our nights in Page, David and I decided to go to a scenic overlook to watch the sunset. We had lots of time to pass, and we were the only ones there, so we really took it upon ourselves to run around and explore. We found sweet flowers, collected pretty rocks, and took a photograph with the Colorado River stretching out and melting into the desert behind us.

DSC_0399Pretty desert flower peeking through the rocky earth.

DSC_0408Does anyone know what kind of rock this is?






Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona

1st May 2014

Following our departure from Page, Ariz. — where David and I navigated the stunning Antelope Slot Canyon — we decided to take a detour to Coal Mine Canyon on our way back to Phoenix.

Coal Mine Canyon is located on private Navajo Indian Reservation land just beyond Tuba City. You’d never, ever know it existed if it weren’t for wanderlust bloggers who’ve previously visited the area. Even when you’re mere feet away from Coal Mine Canyon, it’s hard to see it because, well, it’s a canyon!

When we arrived, we were the only ones there. Well, there were a few cows grazing nearby, but I suspect they weren’t as into this hole in the ground as much as we were. In a way, I found it to be both terrifying and freeing to stand in front of such a massive, gorgeous canyon all by ourselves.

Fortunately, we arrived just in time, as one of the nastiest dust storms I’ve ever experienced was rapidly brewing. That could have been why it was so windy at the canyon, but I suspect it’s always windy there. David and I played in the wind, as best as you can do so, by running back and forth and leaning into the ground while the wind pushed against us. Liberating, to say the least. :)

I did manage to capture a few snapshots. Enjoy!






Obligatory “It’s so windy!” shot:

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset


Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

7th April 2014

Last weekend, David and I drove up to Page, Arizona to explore more of what the Great West has to offer. Page, located just 10 minutes from the Utah border, is a place we’ve been meaning to venture since moving to Phoenix in 2010.  The tiny Arizona city is about a four and a half hour drive from Phoenix — one that takes you straight through Flagstaff — and is quite pretty.

My original pull was the grand “Wave,” also in Page, but after doing research, we discovered it is practically impossible to see it. The Wave only allows 20 people in per day and they have a lottery system set up where you pay for a chance to go. You have to literally win The Wave lottery to even see it! Maybe someday.

Anyway, another geographical pull to Page, if you will, was Antelope Canyon. My Aunt Clara had spoken of the impressiveness of this natural wonder shortly after we moved here and I’ve been meaning to explore it ever since. Nearly four years later…


Stunning, right? Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon made of soft sandstone. The nature of this stone — and its location on the Navajo land — has made it particularly susceptible to water/sand erosion over the years. That’s what causes its notable soft twists and turns.

AntelopeCanyon2AntelopeCanyon3DSC_0218Antelope Canyon has two “sides:” an upper and a lower. For some reason, the upper is more traversed and, as a result, more expensive. I think it has something to do with the way the light shines into the Upper Antelope Canyon, but the Lower Antelope Canyon supposedly has more photographic opportunities in terms of twists, bends and coloring. It’s also brighter. We only explored the lower, and oh my heavens was it beautiful.

I brought my camera with me, naturally, and opted for the “self guided photographer’s pass tour,” which costs about $60, but is worth every penny.

It’s easy to get trapped behind your camera, but I made a concerted effort to bring the camera away from my face and view my surroundings through something other than a viewfinder.

DSC_0045If you ever pass through northern Arizona — or if you’re looking for a destination that makes you feel a certain awe — I highly recommend a trip to Page, Arizona and, specifically, Antelope Canyon.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, including my favorite one from the day shown first in the below series:

AntelopeCanyon7AntelopeCanyon8AntelopeCanyon9AntelopeCanyon1DSC_0138 DSC_0183 DSC_0199 DSC_0276

Antelope Canyon wasn’t the only thing we explored on our visit to Page. Stay tuned for some more pictures!