monterey and big sur

i am not so good at giving gifts. they stress me out. it’s just not my love language. for example, poor tyler got three shirts for his birthday, two of which were just…. gray t-shirts.

since he was turning 30 this year, i had to redeem myself somehow, so i did what i do best. i planned a surprise trip! i told him to get a friday off work and not to scheduleanything for the weekend. he tried to guess where we were going all month long, but i wouldn’t give any clues. i’m a jerk, what can i say.

we packed some bags, i was completely vague on what he should bring, we loaded up the car early friday morning and i drove west… totally throwing him off the trail of where we were going until we pulled into a park n jet! at airport security i gave him his boarding pass right before we had to hand them to security. i had toyed with the idea of blindfolding him and making him wear headphones the entire flight, but figured TSA would not be so keen on my charade.

so anyway, we ended up in san francisco! but that wasn’t our destination. once we got there we loaded up a rental car and proceeded down the coast to one of my favorite places in california- monterey. DSC_0218we spent the long weekend exploring monterey and big sur. it is the most beautiful country. there’s greenery and crashing waves on the beaches and tide pools and oak trees. and seafood and sunsets. my perfect vacation.

neither of us had ever been to big sur, so we drove that stretch of the pacific 1 that morning and saw all the beautiful vistas, climbed trees, and hiked around for more views. it was amazing! i took a lot of photos and tried to narrow them down, it clearly didn’t work. so here are a bunch of them

here are two of the great views- the first one is the most photographed spot in big sur with a waterfall going directly into the ocean, and the other is the view from the 17 mile drive.

a couple more on the ocean at 17 mile drive, and a photo i took of the coastline from high up in a tree.

point lobos state park is a great stop on the big sur circuit. lots of easy hiking around and pretty overlooks. and! you can’t forget the lone cyprus, which we are pictured with above… even if it is just a kind of overrated tree being held up by stilts and wires so it doesn’t fall over and die.

sunset in carmel, two goons freezing during said sunset on the beach, and more point lobos park.


we had a great trip! up until tyler almost made us miss our flight home because he drove the wrong way over the bay bridge instead of towards the airport because he was too excited to play a song he knew that mentioned the bay bridge instead of watching the navigation. it’s cool. i mean what’s a good trip without a little drama?

EDIT TO ADD: after reading this post, tyler informed me that i didn’t add enough detail to the bay bridge debacle. for instance, the song was called, “jungle” by andre nickatina. and he was feeling the music so much that he was completely oblivious to the fact that we were going the wrong way until our time to destination had doubled. and we had to wait in traffic for 45 minutes in order to pay a toll to cross the bridge again, this time going in the right direction. and we hemmed and hawed about whether or not we should just make a break for it and go through the auto toll lane and get fined instead of waiting in line… and how when we finally got the car back to the rental place, the gas tank was completely empty and we basically threw the keys at the rental car guy, grabbed our bags, and ran to the gate. thanks for jogging my memory, tyler.

july 2017

more hiking more travel more work!

and a bigger electricity bill thanks to the necessity of an a/c unit on nearly 24/7.

we started off the month with a trip to santa barbara for the 4th of july. we spent time with family at the beach, took the boat out on the high seas, hiked around, ate great food, and relished in the 70 degree temperatures.

like… can we move here?

when we got back, my off work days were spend hiking with my parents, friends, tyler… some conglomeration. anyone i can drag to the mountains with me, i will. like… are you sick of all these mountain vistas yet? this particular one was sunset peak near alta. and let me tell you… banana bread on a summit is hard to beat! so are the wildflowers.

food wise, i just have to brag about the PEPPER i grew. yes, one, singular. hoping for more. also we eat so much fake mexican food i’ve made up, it’s a good thing we like random conglomerations of beans, eggs, corn, avocado, and plantains. oh, and here’s a shoutout to kodiak cake mix and our waffle iron. best wedding money purchase!!!

another hike! this time to red pine lake. it was a toughie!

here’s some pics of us being zen and sweaty doing yoga at the capitol. please notice tyler’s immaculate form… and headband.

most weekends are spent trying to escape the heat. one sunday we went up to brighton and saw a couple moose! i live for those 60 degree summer night temps!

and kourtni’s bridal shower! she gets married in a couple weeks, and it was fun to see all her byu friends in one place. living in utah definitely has its perks AKA all the parties generally come to YOU.

and here’s a blurry pic of the one thing i was looking forward to all summer! portugal. the man in concert at red butte garden. it was good, but i was hoping it would be a sitting concert, and it wasn’t. i thought i could count on the people with the tommy bahama lounge chairs sitting in front of us to stay seated the whole time, but no such luck. does this make me old? that i want to sit at a concert?? probably.


sheesh guys, i am all caught up! can you believe it? hope you enjoyed these blurry selfies! thanks for your time! catch ya later!


june 2017

IMG_4604june was busy! my cousin was coming home from a mission and my parents were planning a trip that coincided with my work vacation, so i invited myself and it was the best idea! we went to moab, glendale springs and hanging lake, and then on to aspen, breckenridge, and finally denver, where tyler met up with us. it was the best trip!!! colorado is so beautiful.

these were taken at the maroon bells in aspen. so beautiful! and we only got lost once…

hanging lake and more maroon bells.

pretty colorado scenes, a bike ride through breck, and the continental divide.

a hike to high mountain lakes with snow! and a trillion people.

i made us wear matching colorado shirts. it was everything! and welcome home, chandler!

the rest of june was great. we did some hiking in our own backyard, went to the strawberry days rodeo with friends and our favorite 2 year old, ate nachos outside, and had way too much fun with snapachat i guess.

lindsay and i also went up to albion basin to see the wildflowers…. only if you can’t tell, we went too early. ha! it was pretty nonetheless.

and! the most important part of the month, tyler and i went to see dead and company in concert. tyler’s grateful dead loving heart has never been happier. it was a great show, i just wish i had had worn more tie dye…





oh wait- i went to LA

so before the impending radio silence that comes with school starting, i give you one final trip of the summer.

los angeles!

one of my good friends from the byu days is now a super cool photo assistant (almost main personal assistant! boss lady!) for a photographer in LA, and i guess as she now knows, and so all of you for the future living in cool places know, when you tell me to “come visit anytime!” i take you up on your offers. (also a hat tip to allegiant for having 40$ fares to LA from boise- i mean, you never know if you’re actually going to make it with that airline, but hey, when it goes off without a hitch, you forget about all the horror stories!) 

i arrived on a thursday, and in true good hostess brooke fashion, we had a full weekend of things planned. she had made lists and agendas and schedules with variations, heavy on the vegan restaurants and NOT VEGAN dessert places (she knows me). she also chartered me a ride from the airport by one of her friends who works from home, and she conned him into hanging out with me for hours while she was on a shoot. bless them all, really.

so we toured around and saw the cool parts of the city; the tar pits and the iconic lamp posts (pictured here) at the LACMA, hollywood, beverly hills, etc. we also went to the hollywood bowl for a really amazing concert by the LA philharmonic (right??) where there wasn’t a bad seat in the house, and i was in heaven eating my takeout pad thai under the stars, enjoying everything from bach to bluegrass. (no i didn’t think that up, that was the name of the show. it was a little heavy on the bach and lacking in the bluegrass though, IMO. more banjos! more mandolins!).

also that ice cream? salt and straw creamery; they are based out of portland, but they have a few locations in LA now and it was wonderful. they have quirky flavors, like this avocado and strawberry. it was so good.  

i don’t care where it is, if there are palm trees, i am way into it.

the venice canals. in previous LA trips, i’ve only ever gone to the venice beach boardwalk, which is kind of filthy and mostly just medical marajuana shops, so going inland to the neighborhood to see the canals was so juxtaposed! new life goals include a house off dell ave!

LA is just so…. LA. this is us on hollywood blvd eating froyo that is actually pressed juice masquerading as froyo? it is some weird health-crazed inception. some of it tasted like the aftertaste of vomit, but you do that kind of stuff because healthy and trendy. also, we ate it next to a soulcycle studio where there was a dog outside drinking out of a five dollar water bottle. also, a sign above our heads warned us that sitting on the bench meant we could be filmed without consent for a new series called, “sweat in the city”. have i checked off all the LA stereotypes yet??

so i had the bright idea of hiking up the hollywood sign, because HELLO hiking. i brought a heat wave to the city, so we did this hike in 104 degree weather, so if you were wondering why we are holding our water bottles like they’re academy awards, well it is because we managed to forget water, and the park rangers saved us with these free water bottles. bless you.

behind the LA sign! guys it is pretty up there, but a million degrees and hello smog city.

brunch at TOAST. even if the food ended up just being a bit “meh”, i’m a sucker for a good stuffed bananas foster french toast. and crispy potatoes.

hi hollywood, again. 

a few more photos from the venice beach boardwalk, contemplating getting a medical marijuana consultation or some undies that say “brian’s b*tch” … hehhhhh

oh! left lower- that line we are standing in? upright citizens’ brigade. for those not familiar, this is a comedy show with a troupe of hilarious people, some you might know if you’re into the likes of amy poehler. no, she wasn’t there the night we went, but the guy from baby mama who plays the husband in the gay couple who cries and says, “it’s just gonna be me and two fatties!!” definitely was, and he was hilarious. and if you’re wondering about that obscure reference, well, i do not apologize. the show was hilarious. improv forever!

we went to the getty villa, which is a fancy house museum on a hill. it was pretty and i was obsessed with the pictured floor, mosaic, architecture, and groping. i mean, hey when the sign says PLEASE TOUCH and there are exposed breasts, i mean what are we supposed to do? 

mo getty, mo groping. 

and then we went to the beach! santa monica, to be precise. geez there are a lot of people down there. i guess they all know something we don’t- oh! that CALIFORNIA IS AMAZING. also, the pacific highway is the real deal. 

we brought a cooler of fruit and sandwiches from bay cities, a deli near the beach touting a million cool foods and a million crazy shoppers. my sandwich was pretty good, but the favorite for me was the sign above the line for pick up sandwiches warning customers, “DO NOT ASK WHEN YOUR SANDWICH WILL BE READY. IT WILL BE DONE WHEN IT IS ON THIS SHELF”. fair enough. before my red eye flight back to dc, we hit up the getty museum just in time for sunset. geez, that place! it lovely and modern with clean lines and class. basically, it is everything that i am not. also, there was a big pink moon we got to watch rise up over the city and let me tell you, it was really something.

two of my favorite works; jesus coming into brussels, which i am pretty sure was supposed to be satire, but whatever i like the colors. also, van gogh. ANYTHING van gogh. this one was of lillies he painted in the courtyard of his rehab center. he didn’t intend for this to a work, but more of a sketch. ARTISTS, I TELL YA!

one more of getty at sunset. this one didn’t really bring in the instagram likes. WOMP WOMP WOMP 😉

anyway, believe it or not, all this stuff and all this food was eaten in less than about fifty hours, and all made possible thanks to brooke and her big blow up mattress.

now…. who am i coming to visit next?

beachy keen

DSC_0004  remember how last post i complained a lot? there will be no complaining this post.DSC_0023


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because i went to the BEACH! with my FRIENDS!


and i did a subpar job with the self timer. lol. IMG_5459a few months ago, when it was cold and drab and dark and all i really wanted was to feel the sun on my face, airplane tickets to florida were cheaper than, oh, an uber ride during peak hours probably, so we snagged a few and started counting down the days to last weekend. (we also vowed to get beach ready and quit buying so many tubs of ben n jerry’s…. but, well, whatever feminism tells me that being bikini ready just means putting on a bikini, right? RIGHT!) IMG_5377so we flew to orlando and rented a van.

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jeff drove. eliza took shotgun. it was like mom and dad and the four kids and i was all about it! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 a friend told me we needed to go to st. augustine, florida. he was on point. this city is allegedly the oldest civilization in america, and was discovered by ponce de leon 450 years ago. the town is super cute and spanish, the beaches are pristine and the water is WARM! and there were no sharks. (that i knew of.)IMG_5410also, please enjoy my use of filters in this pic to make us look a little less white. is it working? hehhhh

IMG_5416we rented off airbnb and let me just say that i will probably never travel any other way again. we had a huge house at an affordable rate and there were enough beds and sheets and kitchen space and random christian movies that teach good moral values and entranced us. i mean, maybe we watched the sound of music in its entirety over two nights? yes, we are in our twenties and single. i know. i know. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
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the people were really nice. for instance, one lady literally jumped out of her car to take this photo. people were following us around at the grocery store with shopping carts. the people at church told us we definitely needed to move into their ward. (lol)Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

IMG_5446 one day we went to anastasia island and enjoyed the sunny beachIMG_5444 capri suns, FTW! sadly, afterwards i read an article about how unenvironmentally friendly the packaging is. womp womp. sorry, mother earth. sorry, seagulls! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetthis trip i kinda slacked/ was apathetic towards taking pictures with my food becuase… idk. just keeping you on your toes, people! but we ate great food at the floridian where they put honey in my salad and it was so good i wanted to cry, and gas full service restaurant, where i had portabella mushrooms with parmesan garlic mashed potatoes that could bring grown men to their knees. then we food crawled over to cousteau’s waffle and milkshake bar one night for waffles topped with toasted coconut ice cream and espresso reduction and a million other foodgasmic ingredients. also, the restaurant loved bill murray a la life aquatic, and i was so INTO IT! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

and then, like a beacon in the night, one night at the end of our food tour we happened upon the hippo, and without thinking i just walked in and ordered an avocado coconut popsicle, and it was the best thing i’ve eaten in months. truly, madly, deeply in love with that one.

and amy got the piña colada, which she deemed wonderful. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

the trees in florida are so swampy feeling. i imagined zombies traipsing out of the forest a la walking dead the whole drive. also, the misty effect is all thanks to getting water in my phone. how artsy. how… technologically uncool. 
IMG_5478and then on our way back to the airport we made a pitstop at the orlando temple, just to say we went. we were all sunburned and miserable and having a hard time walking, but we did it. in and out. that temple is a beaut, ps. IMG_5479 but the best part?? the fact that the fountains kinda misted us. ahhh misters.

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temple selfie! put us in the ensign, church!

and then we hopped on another plane headed northward. PRO TIP don’t fly out of orlando unless you want to be packed on a plane with a lot of children detoxing from disneyworld. oh, the screaming.

see how i didn’t complain there? 😉

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suck it, winter.


hey summer it is nice to meet you.

a few days on a tributary of a tributary of chesapeake bay

nope, that title is not a typo.

last week i went to chesapeake bay with a few friends to work at my friend’s boss’s cabin. IMG_2367the place was right on the water, and had so much east coast charm, i almost wanted to vomit because places like these are TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. IMG_2366we spent most of friday working for our keep. i trimmed and hedged bushes, taking all my aggression out on overgrown trees and shrubs while looking like a total badass in high water pants, tall socks, running shoes, and rubber bands to keep the ticks out of my pants, because i am a public health major, and if there is one thing i know, it is that NOBODY GOT TIME FOR LYME DISEASE! IMG_2365the boys shingled a roof. i read my kindle with this view behind me. IMG_2368after a full day’s work, bob took us out on his boat. here we are looking like goobers who definitely don’t know how to tie up a boat to a dock and have no idea what “starboard” means. IMG_2363we tooled around in the water, then docked at a restaurant and ate all the seafood we could muster.IMG_2362 these crab cakes should be renamed CRACK CAKES they were so good. also, bob was such a good sport to take us west coast freaks out. also, he was wearing sperry’s and i felt so privileged to see sperry’s in their natural boat habitat! it was almost a spiritual experience. IMG_2364my favorite time on a lake is either the very early morning when the sun rises, or the golden hour before it sets and the water is all shimmery and dewey and dreamy (i hate it when people say that word. i actually wrote it sarcastically, so please read it that way. THANKS!) also, i took this selfie because i was on a boat, and this is the good side of my face. i’ll tell you about the bad side of my face in my next post and things will make a lot more sense, but take this as photographic evidence that I WAS INDEED ON THAT BOAT WEARING MY CROOKED SUNGLASSES! IMG_2361LIFE ADVICE: when you get old, buy a few houses on chesapeake bay, then make 20-somethings come do slave labor for you. take them out for crab cakes. they’ll think you’re all that and a bag of chips. 


down in the bay pt 3.

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on our last day in california we headed to monterey to check out the town, ride bikes along the 17 mile drive, and ooh and awe at the ocean and larger than life estates that pop up everywhere. oh! and we ate deli sandwiches at a grocery store that turned out to be some of the best in my life. also that tree up there is the lone cypress, AKA the longest living tree in the whole place… so naturally we tree posed next to that lonely tree out there. and the asian tourists gathered and snapped some pics. DSC_0047 DSC_0057 DSC_0060 DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0067

and then we had a bonfire in santa cruz! shane’s family has a secret beach down on the coast, and in the pitch blackness thanks to no moon and all thanks to iphone flashlight and headlamps, we made it to the cliff and literally had to sort of repel and scale that cliff to get down to our spot below. it was hairy… but totally worth it! let me tell you! after we’d set up camp we explored the tide pools and found all sorts of marine-y things like crabs and starfish, sea anemones and FLIES. my cool friends who live in coastal regions taught me how to grab crabs, roast em, and eat em! coolest experience ever. however does this make me a…. hunter? (shudder).

and as quickly as we dove into the fun, it was over and time to go back to utah. back to dry heat and sno cone shacks, back to work and reality. but really… this was one of the top ten weekends on my life thanks to cool friends who like adventures and experiences. i rate a trip by the goodness of the friends, the food, and the laughs. our little californian gaunt housed them all. this is what life is all about, folks!