And now to write about probably my other close favorite stop on the cruise: Mahogany Bay/ The Isle Roatan in Honduras. First of all this stop is mostly great if you are on Carnival cruise line and really just want a cheap easy beach day. Mahogany Bay itself was developed by Carnival to be a great beach stop for travelers, and great beach stop it was! Other great excursion options included boating, wildlife exploring, and snorkeling.
We went with the cheapest option.

For just 20 bucks a person for the entire day you got unlimited rides on this magical beach chair life, plus a beach chair (with cover if you wanted) snorkel gear and a float pad for out in the water. We made use of all those things!
One of my favorite parts about this area was just how accessible it was. After the 1.5 hour bus ride each way at Belize, it was fabulous to just get off the cruise ship and be at the beach.

The chair life was probably a 5 minute ride and went over some lush gardens and gave us great views of the bay itself. It was also really cool to look over and see our cruise ship just chilling over there!

Behind us you can see the typical port market. They had great souvenir shops and restaurants which we hurriedly made use of to get all our souvenirs before getting back on this ship.

Here’s some more cool views of the gardens and bay straight ahead.

Coming in for a landing…. Later on because one ride wasn’t enough we went for a full ride again and got scorched. It got soooo hot sitting up on those things so be warned.. if you go later in the day reapply your sunscreen and wear shorts before doing so.

Taking off on another ride but I switched partners for Jordan 😉

And back at the end. Gotta love my selfie stick lol

The cruise ship really was that close… First thing first we grabbed our snorkeling gear and hit the beach, It was pretty clear water but not exactly teeming with fish. We finally got lucky and found a pretty huge coral piece where we saw more fish.. but it was still pretty bare but fun for an inexpensive activity. We saw plenty of fish like the one to the right and tons of little purple minnow sized fish!

We also grabbed our float pads and just enjoyed swimming out in the water. i’ll tell you what the weather was perfect! The sun was shining the whole day and it was just hot enough that the water felt AHmazing. I think I actually spent the majority of time out in the water snorkeling, swimming, or floating.

ok so we also took A LOT of pictures while we were out there. There’s a couple real gems including the always necessary “butt” picture. we all just thought it was so cool how close we were swimming to the ship too.  I mean it’s RIGHT there!!! Not many cruise ports do you get to experience this!

Our little swimming area was marked off so we didn’t get out in the way of ships or boats like catamarans. It was pretty convenient for orienting ourselves for pictures.

Looking back at the beach from whence we started. It was a pretty big area and although a lot of reviews said it was stupid crowded for them, it wasn’t really bad for us at all!

Also good news: if you just wanted a free day you could come swim down at the beach for free! You wouldn’t get the snorkel equipment and not sure if they had beach chairs that weren’t reserved but hey just take the awesome nature paths instead of the flying beach chairs and you have one perfect free beach to explore!

In fact, instead of taking the flying beach chairs back we explored the garden trails and they were pretty cool! They were teeming with iguanas, cool views of the bay, benches, and even a couple swings!

Now as great of a day as it was… I only applied sunscreen once or twice… and still got fried! I always forget to reapply until it’s too late and boy… I was red. The best part was since I was out in the water most of the time it was the parts of my skin that was exposed out of the water.. like my forearms on the raft I was pushing around.. or the back of my legs… lol DON’T FORGET TO REAPPLY OFTEN. lesson learned… for this year at least.

Back at the shops they had a Fat Tuesdays with all these big feet and props! We each got a photo with big feet as there were just enough. I was a buccaneer!

Oh and we may have had a HUGEEE Pina colada from fat tuesdays while lazying around on the beach. They were prob the best pina coladas EVER. which topped off one amazing day!

 And the 3rd day/ second stop was especially SPECIAL as it was Belize AND my mom’s birthday! The last  time she cruised to Belize they couldn’t get off the ship due to bad weather so now she got her chance for adventure and You Better Belize it was an amazing time!

First we had to get up super early to ferry in from the ship. There’s our cruise ship floating way out at sea still!

 And then we were in for an hour and a half bus ride each way through the city and then the jungle to reach the play ground of Chukka where we were going to Zipline and Cave Tube! We were sooo stoked!

The city of Belize was.. well a little scary. I was glad to be on a tour bus but our bus guides were super enthusiastic about teaching us the culture and history of Belize. Oh! And how to talk like we’re from the Caribbean. It helped make the bus ride not feel quite so long..

 Once we got into the jungle, we got to take a school bus, may 1/2 mile over some sketchy roads to the Chukka playground! It was feeling like an adventure already!

 On our bus ride there we passed this massive cemetery. I mean huge, it was on both sides of the street and went on forever! I can’t remember the numbers but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s the largest one in Belize.

 And we enjoyed quite a few chuckles over the street signs, the one above in particular.

First up on our adventure was ziplining. We put our excess stuff in the lockers and got all geared up with harnesses and helmets. The guides were all so fun and had great energy!

 The we all got lined up with our group to go learn the safety briefing… ooooooo

 And of course you can see how excited we were (*cough and some maybe a little nervous.) I actually wasn’t despite maybe looking it since I’ve ziplined before. I don’t worry about heights but can sometimes worry about speed. Lucky for us they explained most people don’t even need to break as their lines are all gentle enough you slow down on your own but we had thick gloves to add a little more break if we needed.

 All thoroughly involved in learning about how to come in for a landing… (the most important part)

And here we are all lined up to do the first line. This was pretty much the only waiting period. Once you got going you pretty much hit each line and didn’t stop. We had to make the 2 scardy cats go first so they wouldn’t chicken out. And Birthday girl first! 

Our motto of the day other than you better belize it, was “I’m coming in hot!” And I do make a rather graceful incoming if I do say so myself. 

One of my favorite parts was how jungly it was! I mean seriously the plants, trees, vines were all sooo cool! And while we didn’t really see any wild life… we did see monkey poop! 

I did get a video  of the first couple lines!

After zip lining came my favorite part: Cave Tubing! The only downside here was that we had to carry our tubes a little ways to the entrance of the caves and while it was an easy enough walk… we weren’t all that prepared for it. 

We did get a lot of great pictures with our flash light helmets and huge red life preservers on the way. And we had mixed feelings about our guide. He was so knowledgeable and gave us so many facts on the history of Belize on different plants and wildlife too. The only downside was it took us a while to get to the caves (like we started as almost the first group and ended up being the last) I didn’t mind it at all but they did have a cool gift shop and restaurant we didn’t have time to enjoy afterwards. 

 And we got many gems selfies on our way. 

The river system itself was gorgeous as well. The water was crystal clear and felt great! 

Once we reached the caves, our guide had to lace all our tubes together so we had some time to just swim around and cool off. Seriously a great swimming hole and I do have a deep appreciation for swimming holes… 
 There were two caves one behind us above and one behind us to the right. We started in the one to the right but it sounds like there were river tubing excursions that took you through the other caves as we saw people coming out and continuing on through the next cave while we swam. 
 The opening to Hell as our guide liked to reference it. He said the water was actually quite low so there wasn’t much of a current. I can only imagine these caves with more water in them! 

 Getting ready to shove off. There’s all our tubes laced together. I got to sit in the front to lead the charge.

 Seriously though look how clear that water is! 

My face as we enter Hell…. a little too excited maybe?

Looking back at the cave entrance from whence we came. It was pretty neat seeing all the stalactites hanging from the ceiling and only imagining what kind of world was beneath us in the dark water…. 

It was prettyyyyy dark the whole time but we came upon little water falls and this amazing view where the top of the cave caved in a long time ago and the jungle along with sunlight… makes its way into the cave. Pretty sure I’ve seen many photos captured of this same spot in National Geographic. It was really cool. My picture does not even come close to doing it justice. 

 Sad that our journey would soon be over. Though we felt bad for our guide since there was very little current.. he was litterally swimming and pushing us the whole time and it seemed like quite the job pushing all of us dead weights in our tubes.

A clearer look of what the ceiling looked like throughout the caves.

 After that is was a long bus ride back to the cruise dock where we had to rush and get on a boat to take us back. Lucky for us we ended up on like a speed boat that we got to sit up in the sun shine for. The sun felt great and the water was gorgeous! 

Once we got back to the boat the unloading area was already taken so we had to circle the cruise ship in order to wait it out and get a better position. As we were waiting another boat pulled up and our driver was so funny. We were all talking about how they have to wait their turn and he actually stood up and yelled at the captain of the other boat to wait his turn. It was awesome! I loved the people in Belize with their dark skin and bright blue eyes, they all had such humor and personalities. One day we’ll have to come back and explore just Belize! It seems we only scratched the surface of this amazing country. 

And now for Day 2 of our fabulous cruise/ stop 1: Cozumel!
This was the only stop we didn’t plan an excursion for mostly because we wanted to save money and we knew we could just take a cheap taxi to a nearby beach. ( my mom has stopped off in Cozumel several times in our travel career)

So that is just what we did. We took our time getting off the boat (actually did a work out in the morning) and had a nice breakfast on the ship. Then we walked through the mile long liqueur/ cheap souvenir shop they herd you through at this cruise terminal, and headed straight for the taxis.

One of the cheapest fares and nicest beaches was Paradise Beach so there we went!

It only cost us 10 dollars to come to this beach and we got 10 worth of drinks and food included so really the beach was free! If you wanted you could pay extra to play on all those inflatables but we were fine just relaxing and hanging out.

We spent a nice little while beach side in lounge chairs or in the water or even taking cover for an afternoon rain. We got pina coladas which were unfortunately a little sad along with a couple other lunch items.

One thing we can admit to is this place had some seriously nice bathrooms! 10 is well worth it.

Here’s a couple shots of us in the cruise terminal shopping area. lol There’s always so many cheap souvenir shops and little restaurants it can really make for a fun environment.

We just had to capture some pictures with our ship in the background and with this wild nature display in the middle of the shops…  what can I say… we were tourists 😉

Here’s a look at our lovely lounge area beach side!

And fabulous waiter. He took great care of us and I love how he photo bombed Jordan’s an my photo…. I also love how those menus are so huge they hide our bathing suits!… nothing to see here 😛

Jordan and I were also hell bent on taking a good under water photo… Still not really sure we succeeded in that.

We did however really get to enjoy the pool that was included with the beach fare and as we were getting ready to head back to the ship… we really thought we ought to just have spent all our time at the pool. It was huge and amazing.. and not salt water! Which after the cruise pools and the beach was kind of refreshing.

To the right, check out that photo bomb!

I guess this underwater photo turned out alright…?

Above: Me and my lovely mama posing in front of the Paradise Beach sign.

To the left: Back at the cruise terminal the restaurants have all sorts of fun little photo op spots. I know there’s at least one more spot we got some good photo ops from a restaurant in!

Jordan and I taking advantage of another great view of our majestic ship in the background!

And also me getting more practice with my selfie stick… I was getting there…

Jordan and I with our like 5 dollar pina coladas that were really icees… and melted in less than 2 minutes if you didn’t drink them fast enough… Hey at least we got some pineapple on the side! Fancy!

Ah yes this one was a gem.. I kept trying to use the self timer on my camera with the selfie stick but we never knew how long to stay underwater to get the picture to take… The result? Really strange, just barely above water photos.

Luckily we got some cooler underwater photos in the pool. 🙂

Perfecting my selfie skills and getting us all in the shot with the sign. (They were doubting me too!)

And this one is for my coworkers. At work we like to sometimes say things in weird french accents and put “Le” in front of things… Soo When i saw “Le best” souvenir shop I just had to get my photo op!

Oh how I wish we could’ve swam in that bluer than blue water! Seriously the water where the cruise ships pull in is amazing! All in all stop 1 was a success!

 And now I can finally post about my cruise vacation! (thanks to the efforts of my mom and aunts for compiling all the pictures, as I didn’t want to post and miss any gems!) I took limited pictures since my mom took a million and feel like I’ve waited ages! We went on our girls trip cruise the second week of September and we left out of Cape Canaveral and traveled to Cozumel, Belize, the Isle Roatan (Honduras), and then Costa Maya in Mexico.

All of us (except Lisa) flew in the Friday night before and Lisa was amazing enough to taxi us all from the airport down to Cocoa Beach. We stayed in a hotel right on the beach but unfortunately didn’t get in till late.
Saturday we got up bright and early and were shuttled over to the cruise terminal by 9 in the morning. We had about a 2 hour wait once we checked in before we could get on but it was a pleasant wait and a very fast embarkation. 

We went up to the deck to hang out until our rooms were ready so we got lunch and chatted just enjoying the views. Oh and Lisa got started on her beer bucket which Jordan took a picture with ( just for laughs) 
 Our rooms were ready by like 1 and we were in our swimsuits ready to relax, get some sun, and start exploring the “fun” ship. 

We quickly determined that the place for us was at the bow of the ship right in front where it was a lot more quiet (by the pools they blast music) and a lot more peaceful with less people coming by. The chairs also had cushions which was also a nice bonus 🙂 
 We pretty much all 6 of us would start out in a row and after while break into the reading group, the sunbathing group, and the game group. I’d say 9/10 times there was a Gin Rummy game going on while we were out on the deck. 
 Here’s my Aunt Shelly, Jordan, and myself in our normal area at the bow before we set off… You can compare our more whiter selfs with the tan lovelies at the end of all these posts. 😛 

 And now let’s talk about the BEST part about cruisin… EATING! This was our fancy dinner table we had each night and our seating arrangement as well… not sure how it happened but we always ended up in the same seats. We had breakfast in the other dining room 50% of the time and out on the deck the other times. Lunch was always up on the Lido deck (typically pizza because it was just amazing!) and then dinner at our fancy table. SOOOOO delicious! We’d all get 1-2 starters, 1-2 entrees, and 1-2 desserts at dinner…. 

After dinner we got to… party! 2 of the nights we enjoyed some comedic relief at the comedy club! We sat at a table one of the nights and played cards in between performances. The comedians were great! Honestly some of my favorite performances! 

 Other nights we enjoyed the variety shows in the main auditorium. The first night we saw one it was… well a little scandalous so we didn’t go back for another one of those. But we did get to see a hypnotist who was fairly entertaining and on the last night the grand finale: they had cruisers practice all week and then dress up and perform a song like a celebrity. It was AmAzInG!
Another night we enjoyed some mini golf up by the tail or our cruise ship… Jordan was really excited she could got touch it so we had to capture that moment… 

I think we only played half the holes but it was a great time and we didn’t have to share the course with anyone which was pretty nice. 
Our first day on the cruise ship was a fun day at Sea and then we had one final day later on. For the majority of the day we laid out in the sun reading and relaxing which was heaven but then we also spent a fair amount of time eating…. To combat our heavy eating we took the stairs every. single. time. And let’s talk about that our rooms were… oh on floors 1 and 2 and typically we were hanging out on decks… 11 and 12. So ya that was a lot of stairs you had to do just to go change, switch out your book, or grab something you forgot. Whew! 
  

But in the long run I’d say it was worth it not to gain quite as much wait… oh and to eat that extra ice cream cone. Ya you know you have to when there’s a soft serve machine available 24/7. 

 Cruise ships also tend to have great entertainment during the day. Inside they’ve got bingo going on like all the time and tons of fun trivia games.

Outside on the lido deck they have dance offs and.. my personal favorite… the hairy chest competition! The first round is just based off how hairy the guy is typically, the second round was a dance off, the 3rd round was who had a better “woof” and the last round was who could round up items from ladies out on the deck and make the best woman. Honestly.. Its amazing. you’re just going to have to believe me.
 We watched some of the shoes on the deck and some of them.. from the pool! When you’re busy getting sun burned all day the pools feel amazing! The only downside is.. it is SALT water. Yes ocean water. But the good news is the showers are fresh water so I always just rinsed off when I got out of the pools so I wasn’t sticky. The slide was pretty fun too so all in all, great ways to cool off! 

To the right: We passed Cuba and were close enough to see it!

And now for the real gems: on our second night it was a fancy dinner night so we got all dolled up for some photos on the deck.

Our side of the table.

I tasted lobster for… the first time DUN DUN DUN. It was.. ok I think I’ll stick with shrimp though 🙂 
Of course the one thing you really look forward to when coming down after dinner: your towel animal! There were some great creations including elephants, dogs, sting rays, swans, and everyone’s favorite.. a monkey hanging from the ceiling! 
Jordan and I really like to stand out as tourists…

Lol those floaties we won at a deck party in a dance off! Ya you heard that right… along with those beads. And our adorable cups were supplied by my mom at the start of our trip and they worked wonders at keeping us hydrated… (well at least when I put water in mine… I’ll be honest I drank Arnold Palmers the majority of the time.) 

 The classic towel and robe picture with a twist… Sun glasses! We figured out that we are most photogenic with sun glasses on…. 

Ok I had to put this in here no matter how unflattering it is… On the last night my dessert was incredible, like SO SO good and everyone was standing up to get ready to go so I’m like ya ok and I got up… but then we were waiting for our servers to take pictures with so I snuck a few bites and they thought it was funny enough to grab a picture… but seriously that dessert was too good NOT to finish. 

Top: Our amazing waiters Clifford and German. They were real teasers the whole week but had amazing personalities and we had a blast…  I mean Clifford even wanted the honors of giving me my last mana from heaven bite! 
 Sorry these are a bit out of order… Here we are all lined up although Lisa got a bit hidden behind me.. her legs are in the picture at least! I was a seflie stick tourist in training when I took this one. 
 The view from our window. yes OUR window. I’ll never go back to an interior room. NEVER The porthole room was quite a bit bigger ( almost like a standard hotel room) and the window was actually a pretty good size as well! 
 The view from our window. yes OUR window. I’ll never go back to an interior room. NEVER The porthole room was quite a bit bigger ( almost like a standard hotel room) and the window was actually a pretty good size as well! 
And we each had our own little twin bed which was cozy and nice.I was coming off night shifts which was a little bit of a challenge, but after one night of crappy sleepy, I slept pretty well on after. 

Below are all of our “professionally taken” cruise photos that were bought an scanned in including a few embarkations/ disembarkation and photo back drops they had spread out during the evenings.  

And last latest hike to talk about which was AMAZING…. Frary Peak on Antelope Island!

We went with a group of like 80 hikers! (which was a bit crazy) and it was a little chilly but overall not too bad. I’d only been to Antelope Island once before since it’s quite the drive but glad we went for this hike was definitely a keeper!

This hike isn’t too strenuous but it certainly wasn’t easy. It’s about 2,000 feet of elevation gain over 3.5 miles one way. And while it does have some refreshing flatter areas, I kinda felt like I was moving up hill the whole time and the last jaunt to the summit is VERY steep. I’d recommend poles just for that.

Part of my problem was probably that I was hiking with 80 other people and that honestly pushed me hard. I tried so hard to be at the front of the pack that I didn’t really get to enjoy it… So I recommend going with people you can enjoy this hike with.

The nice thing about this trails also is the mile markers! You encounter one about every half mile and that did help me going knowing how far I was. About a mile or so in you encounter this really cool Rock area. You actually go in and under them which makes it really feel like an adventure!

(also side note: check out those guys in the upper part of this picture… I think they were just passing eachother but from here it looks like they’re dueling up there!) haha

Like I said… I really enjoyed those rocks.. At the top we took a lunch break with everyone before finding out way back down… Now as I mentioned before the last bit to the summit SUCKKKSSS and we didn’t really want to go back down that way. So we chose the adventure way which is picking your way across the ridge back to the saddle. It probably takes the same amount of time and there really are a couple of questionable areas… I don’t recommend getting to the summit that way but coming back from it wasn’t too bad.

And after the hike our clan all headed over to this great place in Layton called Roosters Brewery. Since we were hiking on a Sunday it was great this place was open and the food was seriously heaven sent. I had a tasty burger but looking around at what other people were eating.. I became a little jealous. Supposedly the fish and chips are one of the best tasty things to get there.

So a word from the wise: do this when it’s a bit chilly and a bit windy to avoid the bugs (even in November they still were terrible) and bring hiking poles for the last summit bit unless you are a very steady person.

And now to talk about… our Halloween! This year we choose a Star Wars theme in honor of the new movie coming out! SO we dressed up and I can’t even handle how adorable my dogs costumes turned out.

Monty was an Ewok. 🙂 Which I’ve always thought with his longer hair that he’s rather Ewok like and those ears just make it!

We carved our pumpkins a few weeks prior! I did the Boba Fett pumpkin and Braden did Darth Vader!

On actual Halloween, it fell on a Saturday so I had to work.. :/ but I went home for lunch in order to spend some time with these cute boys! Oh and I was Princess Leia if you couldn’t guess! That brown hood has buns on the side 🙂

My Ollie boy was Yoda and, a cute Yoda he makes 🙂

After work we headed up to Salt Lake to hang out with some friends at their party! It was a lot of fun and a lot less stressful then trying to pass out candy when your dogs can’t even handle a person walking by your house too loudly.

All in all another Great Halloween!

Next adventure (sorry I am SERIOUSLY behind) I finally got to hike Mt. Nebo with some of my amazing hiking friends! We went on a chilly Sunday morning in October after one of the first snows up in the mountains, My lovely hiking friends Katie and Thatcher were kind enough to pick me up so I didn’t have to drive the whole way by myself too cause boy it was QUITE the drive to get down there.

We started about 8:45. (we’d planned on 8 but NO ONE got there in time lol) and it was below freezing at the trailhead! Uh ya… glad I brought a thick coat. Some people bought there dogs which was great! I got to walk Olive (my friends’ dog ) for a while and it was comforting since I love hiking with my boys. We started off Mona Pole Rd. walking along the fence line at a height of over 9,000 feet already. (the North approach)

The hike itself is about 8 miles with an elevation gain of almost 4,000 feet from the trail head but since you go up and down a good couple of times, the net gain if much more. There are some seriously steep portions where this hike really threaten to make me want to turn around. Luckily I stuck it out. Most of our group stopped on the first peak which is just a tiny bit shorter than the final summit ( pic to the right) due to the snow and scary drop off ridge. Most of us had poles but not every one had micro spikes and I felt like I’d be willing to try this one again in the summer when it’s safer. The views were gorgeous and honestly I just love this view with the summit there behind us!

We made quick enough work of it as well. You can see in this picture that first peak is the one we ended up stopping on. It started warming up by the afternoon so we hiked up in snow and hiked back in well.. mostly mud. All in all though it was a great hike with great people! Having a large group and tons of people to chat with made the return journey fly! And I used hiking poles and man let me tell you… they saved me on this hike. I wasn’t even sore the next day! USE HIKING POLES WHEN YOU DO THIS HIKE!

And now finally for my big news! (sorry it’s taken so long) but Braden and I are engaged!!
A little history:
Met: September 2013 (1st date was October 12)
Were best friends for a couple months (I’m not even kidding a girl couldn’t ask for a better friend. He even watched my dogs for me while I went home for Christmas!)
Officially started dating when we went on our “second 1st date” on Valentine’s Day 2014. We went to this awesome little restaurant in downtown Provo called Station 21 where we got bottled sodas and fried chicken with waffles.

I don’t think I’ve ever been around someone who knows me so completely. I don’t have to be anyone but myself. When I posted the picture to the left I had this cheesy quote of how he’s the only person who knows the song in my heart and it is true as can be! He can sing it back to me at this point!

And I can’t even express how much I love and care for Braden! He completes me in areas I may struggled (as in chilling out instead of trying to control every single little detail.) and he knows when I may seem a bit over bearing that I just care… probably a little too much and he tells me! He has nothing but love for my dogs, I mean… he might (MIGHT) even love them as much as I do. And it never ceases to warm my heart when we see a dog out without owners nearby and he asks if I want to pick it up and find its home. I love his support, his gentle nature, and I’m not going to lie he’s about as handsome as they come. I just can’t get enough and I’m excited for forever with him!

NOW: To talk about the proposal… I.. will have to admit I may have been a bit… pressuring. I mean we’d talked about it for a while and I knew it had to happen soon so I may gotten even a little impatient… But (that’s enough about my flaws, let’s talk about Braden’s strength of being totally perfect!)

We had been going on a fair amount of hikes since it was Fall and
well hello Utah fall is gorgeous! And one more I really wanted to go on a morning hike instead of doing our normal workout at the gym! Soooo we planned on doing one of the first hikes we ever did: Dry Canyon… but I overslept and unforuntately we didn’t have enough time to drive down there and it’s a little longer of a hike. So we ended up at Battle Creek Falls which is right near my house and the falls don’t take too long to get to so hey perfect 30 minute hike.
We brought the dogs along and had the trail all to ourselves. We hung out at the base of the falls and for the first bit the dogs kept running off so we were going to head back but then they stuck around us long enough for Braden to kneel down and propose! He said such sweet things (one of which focused on how we have had such a strong friendship and how we will always have that. Even if our relationship isn’t always perfect, we can count on loving each other) And maybe some other things but I was in tears as soon as I saw my ring!
We took a few quick shots before practically jogging back to our car since Braden had his 2nd day at his new job her couldn’t be late for!

Woops! All in all I couldn’t be more excited to start planning the wedding and planning I have been! Keep your eyes out for a Save the Date coming your way soon 🙂

Also for those of you who can’t get over my ring… I can’t either! He did an amazing job! He got it from a local diamond store in Provo called Wilson’s Diamonds where I admittedly have spent some time there drooling over rings with my cousin several times. And it came in this perfect teal (faux wood) looking box! Yellow gold band, vintagey feel, and a somewhat natural design… It’s perfectly me!

ok… so I’m not going to lie Fall hikes are probably the best ever! I love summer and hiking then but nothing is better than fall colors and cool enough temperatures I don’t feel like I’m going to sweat to death.

One Sunday afternoon we ventured up Little Cottonwood Canyon to do my first hike up there ever! We met up with our friends Katie and Thatcher (hikers extraordinaires) to do Red Pine Lake 🙂

The start of this hike is less than a mile below Snowbird and is a fairly large parking area off to the side. Most signs say White Pine as this trail leads to White Pine Lake, Mary Gulch, Upper and Lower Red Pine lakes, and if you’re feeling REALLY ambitious.. the Phieffer Horn. The hike itself is close to 7.5 miles if you go all the way to the Upper Lakes. The beginning is a dream but after about a mile it really starts to climb and we were sweating even with the cooler weather.

Lower Red Pine Lake was SOOOOO much larger than we expected, I’m talking really big for a high alpine lake! We just hung out long enough to take our pictures as the breeze across the water was pretty chilly without sunshine. (also the colors are a bit off due to the lighting but even without the sun that green is gorgeous!)

And back in that grove of trees is where the journey to the upper lakes continue! There’s kind of a “lead your own adventure” with a couple of foot paths but no real trail leading to the lake. You can venture over boulder fields or go the long way round… or heck do a little of both which we did!
The boulder to the right was AWESOME and just inside that grove there.

The picture below is actually the view from one of the higher boulder fields. Down below is the lower lake and I mean.. just look at the incredible view.

I’ll be honest with you, there’s 2 upper lakes both of which are a little small and lack luster but the journey is worth it to get the view of the canyon from so high and a view of the lower lake…. So I recommend at least going a little past it.
Now we hadn’t planned on doing too much more so we didn’t do the summer but from the upper lakes I’m told it’s not too much but a few rock scramble to the phieffer horn… so maybe next time 🙂 Super great hike with super great friends, and capped off with burgers. It was a marvelous Sunday!

Also this Fall we made the wonderful discovery that Monty is a really great swimmer! Especially when ducks are involved! I never really thought he liked the water too much (kind of like Ollie he would get in the water up to like his tummy to cool off and get a drink but thats it) and one day we were strolling around the pond near our house and.. he SWAM! It was kind of a chilly day so no one was around and I know how much they love to chase ducks so we let them off their leashes. Braden and I were just strolling along and all the sudden I hear this huge splash behind us. I turn around and Monty is LITERALLY in the middle of this pond like way out there in pretty deep water chasing the ducks. It was so cute watching his little head bob above the water after the ducks, I mean he tried SO HARD. After about 5 minutes I started to worry he’d tucker out and I’d have to go to the rescue.. that water was not warm my friends. But he chased them out there not one time, not two times, but 3 times! Seriously underestimated this boy’s love of ducks. It was awesome!