Arizona: part three 

At last, the final post of my Arizona trip! As I’m writing this, it’s the first day of fall. All day I’ve been thinking about what an incredible summer I’ve had and I feel so lucky I got to spend it with my family and some of my closest friends. Nevertheless, I am SO excited for fall. I can never pick a favorite season, but I think fall would be in my top two.

Anyways… here’s the final post of my Arizona trip! It’s a biiiit longer than my previous ones, FYI!

We went to the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) and spent a few hours there. I had actually been there one of the last times I visited Arizona. It’s SO big, I don’t even think we got to everything! It’s a really beautiful museum and the way they have it set up is really neat. Each room is a different continent and there are sections with countries throughout that room. Each section is filled with the instruments from a specific country. They give you headphones that automatically let you listen to the song or piece that’s being played on the TV and it changes through each section as you walk around. That probably makes zero sense, but trust me – it is VERY cool!

Beatles guitar!

I love this photo… that’s Camelback Mountain! You get the perfect view from upstairs in the museum.

After that, we relaxed for a while. Then we went to an Asian market that was a super cool experience. I had never been to an Asian market before and there were so many interesting fruits and all sorts of crazy food there. We left with a bunch of stuff, including GIANT POCKY! It’s SO good. I love pocky, but giant pocky is ten times better. After that, we went to a Chinese restaurant right next door to the market. I learned that I’m not a huge fan of shrimp and I STILL can’t use chopsticks! 😦 Someday!!! LOL. Other than that, the food was VERY good. We tried this soup that’s apparently a popular dessert in China. I was not expecting to love it, but it was delicious. It didn’t taste much like soup because it was super sweet, but I had never tried anything like it!

The next day, we checked out OdySea Aquarium. We were going to go here a few days before, but instead went to the Heard Museum because it was SO CROWDED! We went on the right day AND got there super early, so it was pretty perfect. The aquarium is pretty new and it’s one of the nicest ones I’ve ever been to…it’s also HUGE. I don’t go to aquariums often, but when I do I am always blown away.

If you ever go here, there was one cool “exhibit” I really loved that you should check out. I don’t remember what it was called, but it’s in this little theater that moves around and takes you through different tanks so it kind of feels like you’re actually in the tank. I LOVED it!

Nemo!

OK, so this was probably another one of my favorite parts of that day. There’s a sloth in one of the first hallways when you’re walking through, and the first time we walked by it it was sleeping. Then we walked past it again and it woke up! Apparently it’s super rare for this sloth to ever move around, but this guy went up the ropes and back down for a few minutes and it was the cutest thing ever. I got a video and it’s seriously one of the best videos on my phone. I hadn’t ever seen a sloth in person and now I love them so much!

Oh – the penguins were also super awesome. They are such cool creatures. I love the way they swim!

The otters were the funniest!! We got there just as they were coming out for the day and it was so cute.

After we got back we went swimming (again 🙂 ) and made lasagna for dinner.

The next day, we decided to check out Butterfly Wonderland. It’s the largest butterfly conservatory in the U.S. and it’s right next door to OdySea. I always think butterfly gardens are super fun and they’re a great place to bring your camera!

OMG. This photo. I am so proud of myself. These particular butterflies are absolutely gorgeous, but the minute they close their wings they’re neutral and blend in with the others. The second I took this it closed its wing! Ahhh! It made me really happy that I got this shot. Isn’t it just the prettiest?!

After that, we walked through Old Town Scottsdale for a while to look for gifts and souvenirs. We stopped at The Sugar Bowl for some ice cream after and I am so happy we did! When I was younger, The Sugar Bowl was one of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. I still love it!

I got the Dusty Road Sundae! (I think that’s what it’s called.) Chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge, malt, whipped cream, and a cherry. Yuuuum!

And, alas, here we have the final day… *sigh!* This day was actually one of my favorites. We went to Desert Botanical Garden first. It’s absolutely amazing there, but we only walked around for a little while because it was way too hot! Definitely go in the earlier hours of the morning or the evening if you decide to go! I love this photo of the prickly pear cactus.

And this is one of my favorite photos I took the whole trip! Just LOOK how beautiful it is there!! I can’t get over it. I love New England, but going to new places always makes me so happy because the environment is so much different.

Ouch, I would NOT want to fall into that! Lol.

I don’t have any photos, but after that we went go-karting! I had never been and it was actually really, really fun. I was sooo scared at first because I had never done anything besides bumper cars in my life, but it turned out to be a blast.

After that, we went to lunch and then to SMOCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art). I had seen photos of this place online because currently this light exhibit is the big thing there. It’s a pretty small museum, but they’ve got a LOT of interesting art there and an AMAAAAZING gift shop!!

It was around mid-afternoon by then, so we headed back and got all of our things together to get ready for our flight that would leave at around 10:30pm.

It suddenly started pouring and it went on for quite a while. The power flickered on and off for a bit too. Before the storm, we ordered pizza, and apparently the power had gone out at the pizza place, too! Luckily, they had made ours just in time.

When the rain stopped, we saw the owl in the backyard saying one last goodbye to my brother and I. 😉 On the way to the airport, a rainbow appeared and we saw another beautiful AZ sunset. The perfect way to end the most incredible trip!

So, there you have it: my trip to Arizona. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone, but it was also one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. I am so, so, so grateful that I got to visit my family and learn and see so many awesome sights there. I hope to visit again soon!!

I hope you enjoyed this little travel series and that you all have a wonderful weekend!

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A Day at the Fair

A Day at the Fair

Every year I look forward to my town’s fair. This year I went on Friday and it was so much fun. I’ve gone every year of my life and I hope I never miss a year. I love seeing my friends from school, stuffing myself with endless amounts of fair food, riding the creaky carnival rides, and photographing it all along the way. Although I left with a headache, sunburn, AND heartburn, it was totally worth it. 😉 (Oh, and here’s my fair post from two years ago #cringe. LOL.) 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day: 






Happy September! I hope you’re all having a great long weekend and enjoyed these photos. 

My trip to Arizona: part one

My trip to Arizona: part one

This summer (and year, for that matter) has really put me out of my comfort zone for a few reasons. Towards the end of July, my brother and I took a trip out to visit our family in Arizona… alone! Yup, no parents.

I have always loved traveling but I had never traveled alone before this trip. The idea of it never really scared me, but once it actually became a reality the nerves took over juuuust a little. I’m happy to say that I made it there and back and my first trip traveling alone was a success and so much fun!

I took about a million photos so I decided to not do a giant post and instead separate them into a few different ones! This post will be our first few days and the Grand Canyon.

We headed to Boston and our flight got delayed because of rain and it left at around 10pm. I just love this colored glass at the Boston airport!

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The plane ride was about four and a half hours so we got to Phoenix at around one AM. I (thankully) was able to sleep and wasn’t cursed with too much jet lag! We flew on JetBlue so there were TVs… unfortunately I did not ask where the headphone jack was on the way there but I later found out they’re right under the armrest, so pro tip for anyone who is looking for it next time you’re on the plane! 😉

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As I mentioned above we were staying with family which was so nice!! The first day we slept and just hung out and swam in the pool. Then at night we headed down to Chase Field to see a Diamondbacks game. They were playing the Atlanta Braves and, sadly, lost. I learned a lot about baseball… like, a lot! I played softball for a whole season years ago and still didn’t know the rules of the game! I also had about a million mini-heart attacks because we were right in the strike zone for the lefties and seeing those balls above my head was so scary. Thankfully, I made it back alive to tell you the story. 

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The next day we went down to Scottsdale Fashion Square for some shopping (mostly window shopping, actually!) That was a lot of fun because I don’t go to malls too often AND it was air conditioned. I mean, that’s kind of a must for any place in Arizona because it is SO HOT there!

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Boba tea! This was some sorta watermelon strawberry blend. I can’t remember, but it was good!

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We swam a LOT. Almost every day! Mostly in the early morning or late afternoon so it was a little cooler. I loved swimming at night because we could watch the sunset! Oh – we also heard AND saw an owl! More on that later…

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The next day we headed up to the Grand Canyon. We drove about two hours up to Prescott and stayed overnight there. The scenery changed so much as we headed up towards the Canyon! It felt like we were in a totally different state.

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Prescott was a super touristy town but it was really nice to walk around and check out all the fun gift shops and art stores. For dinner we ate at the restaurant right next to our hotel called The Barley Hound that was delicious. This salad was just part of our meal and it was spinach, beets, candied pistachios, and goat cheese which is my favorite! I could eat this salad every day.

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This is where we stayed, Hotel Vendome. I had never stayed in a hotel quite like this one. You could totally tell it was pretty historic from the claw foot tubs to the pull chain toilets but it was so nice. I would totally stay there again if I ever go to Prescott again! Plus it’s in the middle of the downtown area of Prescott and right next to The Barley Hound and another nice cafe that we went for breakfast the next morning.

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The next day we drove another two hours up to the Canyon! I have been to Arizona a few times before but had never been to Grand Canyon. I was so excited to visit my first national park, and this one totally did not disappoint. Seriously – we had the best experience ever!

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OMG a photo of me?! On my blog?! This is a historic moment. I rarely post photos of myself but oddly enough this post has two. TWO! Give me some credit for that, ok?!

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How amazing is that? If you haven’t seen the Canyon, you must go. I feel soooo lucky I got to experience it. It’s seriously the coolest thing ever.

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 Soooo by the way, guys, I baaaaasically hiked the Grand Canyon.

Well… maybe half a mile of it. My cousin, brother, and I hiked just a little bit of the first trail. Was I sweating my butt off by the time we got back up??? You know it. But honestly it would be soooo cool to go down there and actually hike and camp there. On my bucket list! Someday…

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OK, so right as we were getting ready to leave, a thunderstorm starting to come in faster from the other side of the canyon. (SO COOL, RIGHT?!) We had seen the clouds and heard some thunder a bit earlier that day, but it didn’t really seem like it was going to pass over us. Well, IT DID! We were planning on taking sunset photos but we weren’t sure if the clouds would clear up. We drove around and stopped at various points but found the absolute PERFECT place to stop. As soon as we got there the rain started to slow down and the sun began to set.

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And, BOOM. Basically the most perfect sunset ever. The weather that day was crazy and I basically experienced it all: hot & sunny, cold & rainy! It was kind of hard to capture the amazing-ness of it, so these photos will have to do.

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Oh, yeah. THERE WAS ALSO A DOUBLE RAINBOW. AHHHH!! 

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When you realize you made it out of the Grand Canyon without falling in… #yaasssss #iDidIt #proud 

LOL. So there’s part one of my Arizona trip! More to come this week. I had the best time ever and am super excited to share more. Happy Friday!