Favorite Places, life, photography, travels

SW Road trip.. the Grand Canyon

Have you ever seen something so fantastic that it almost brought tears to your eyes? That was the Grand Canyon for me. We made the trek from Santa Fe to Grand Canyon National Park and thank goodness, made our way towards lower elevation… I learned (the hard way) that I’m extremely sensitive to altitude. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon nor have I ever even seen it from the sky, so really, I didn’t know what to expect… I obviously knew how huge it was but on our way there I was wondering if we’d be able to see it from miles away. We entered the south entrance of the national park and still the canyon was no where to be seen. After we quickly check in to our campsite and pitch our tent, we hop back into the car to the view point. We drive towards it and oh my goodness, there it was.

You look at something like the Grand Canyon and it just makes you feel so tiny and at the same time so gracious to be able to witness such an amazing natural wonder. It’s crazy, I really did almost cry. We didn’t hike to the bottom this time around but we will definitely next time we visit, we really just walked up and down the trail along the edge of the canyon. My favorite part was eating an ice cream while looking at the Grand Canyon, now that’s something everybody needs to do at least once in life.

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Drinking beer, bird watching, walks, talks and hot dogs, it’s the good life! It was a nice break during our road trip to camp for a couple of days and prepare ourselves for the final shenanigans in Phoenix.

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Daily life, Favorite Places, life, photography, travels

SW Roatrip… Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM. The second destination of our southwestern road trip. Santa Fe is everything you think Santa Fe would look like. It’s pretty incredible, again with the super blue sky and the amazing old architecture.. everything was so picturesque. I really loved it here, except for the high altitude, that really kicked my butt to the max once we arrived… man, it was bad.

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Can you believe how blue the Santa Fe sky is?

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On top of the hill on Paseo de la Loma

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Santa Fe, you made me sick, but that won’t keep me away from you, you’re too gorgeous.

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life, photography, travels

SW Roadtrip… Albuquerque, New Mexico

Our first destination on our southwest road trip was Albuquerque, New Mexico. And yes, we’re obsessed with Breaking Bad. So here’s a fun fact, did you know that Breaking Bad was originally set in Riverside CA? Crazy right? They ended up in Albuquerque for tax purposes. This is what the creator Vince Gilligan said about the decision to relocate “California skies are usually blank, blue skies or a marine layer comes in and it’s gray,” he said, “but Albuquerque has these cumulus clouds that give you a scope of the distance out there. It’s amazing.” And what he says is so true, the skies are much more blue and the clouds are really something else. The southwestern landscape is really my favorite.

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Chris is waiting for the red Toyota Previa.IMG_3939

This wasn’t part of our tour. This was our airbnb hostess’ car.. pretty awesome right?

So if you find yourself in the ABQ  this is the website that we referred to for the different spots: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/travel-tips-and-articles/a-do-it-yourself-breaking-bad-tour-of-albuquerque

 

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Daily life, life, photography, travels

Southwest Road Trip… SD to ABQ

I absolutely love road trips. Chris and I have been taking a road trip every year that we’ve been together. This last one was around the South West (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Grand Canyon the Phoenix) and now I’m having withdrawals and wish I could be back. You just drive around for hours, taking in the scenery, sometimes you see a small shack on the side of the road and wonder about the history of that place, like who used to live there, if you lived there where would you go to get groceries? Then you wonder about the other people on the road and where they’re headed and I like to imagine telling them what our plans are…. kinda weird. But that’s what I like to do. Here are a few photos of the first leg of our trek, from San Diego to Albuquerque.

cactus^^Typical Arizona and their sagueros. Tonto National Forrest^^

treesIMG_3916Pit stop somewhere in AZ… Funny, I don’t really associate pine trees with Arizona, but here they are, lots of them!IMG_3918The dinosaurs made us pull over. (Holbrook, AZ)

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 The mentos at this gas station were as old as these gas pumps.IMG_3928

It took us about 12 hours to get to Albuquerque, which was awesome to get over with on the first day of our 11 day expedition. Next up is Albuquerque and our DIY Breaking Bad tour with plenty of green chiles and altitude sickness to go with… yikes!

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Daily life, Goals and Aspirations, photography

365 photos…

At the start of this year I made a goal for myself for 2014 – for everyday of the year I have to take a different photo (on that day.) Here are a few that I’ve taken so far:

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The point of this challenge is to practice my photography and the end result will be a huge collection of photos from everyday of this year… it’s a win-win!

It was at first difficult to remember to take a photo, and to squeeze in a good picture either right before work or after work while the sun is out. I even had to set a daily reminder, but now it’s become part of my routine.

Anyway, please check out my photo blog and follow along! http://crystal-everyday-2014.tumblr.com/

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Daily life, Gardening, photography

House update…

Our house…It’s been more than 2 years now. That went by quick! A lot of progress has been made towards our front yard, well especially since Chris and I at one point bought a new plant every week for a few months. The front yard is quickly filling up with our plant babies. It’s so gratifying to watch! We’re also starting to propagate our plants to make MORE plants.. what?!?!! Plants are so cool.

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That dr. suess looking tree (Euphorbia lambii) only had 1 of those leafy heads when we bought it, now it has 5 big ones and there’s a couple baby ones! So cool! It’s going to have a killer silhouette once it’s bigger.

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These aeoniums are the toughest little plants! These ones were all tiny and shriveled up when we got them from a friend… now look at them!

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this lavender grew 10 times it’s size since we planted it. this was one of the first plants we planted!

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Yes, you grow bougainvillea! The photo below is the boug when we first planted it you can’t really tell in the photo, but it was tiny… now it’s nicely trailing up the house! I love it!

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I can’t wait until this wall is fully covered by this plant (amazon sunset, parrot’s beak) it has really pretty orange flowers that hummingbirds love.

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This guy is still a baby… a scary spiky baby. But isn’t he so cool!? I love the grey. Do a google search for pachypodium geayi and you’ll see what he’ll grow up to be… do it!

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This is Chris’ dragon tree. We can’t wait ’till this guy gets bigger, it seems like it’s taking forever but the growth is there, we’ve noticed a few more leaves and that the trunk has gotten a little thicker.

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Those were a few of our other plants… and there are more of them, so MUCH more… Sometimes we like to go outside and just look at them all. Are you as crazy as we are about plants?

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photography

family photoshoot

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This family is so funny, they’re very theatrical…  My brother from another mother, Greg, texted me one day saying that he had an idea for a family photoshoot (zombies, super powers, and sonic booms) and asked me to photograph them. It was fun! We have to start brainstorming ideas for their next family photos… something to top this one.. pirates? ninjas? privates vs ninjas?!

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