Seattle – Part One!

Okay, I hope you’re all caught up with the Moab blogs because we’re moving quickly along with our holidays this month!

Rob’s parents have returned to England (boo!) but have been replaced by my parents, and my aunt and uncle (yay!). Rob and I had a few days to adjust and get some work done, and now the lot of us have made our way over to Washington State. We’re staying in Seattle for the week, and we’re very excited about it! As is now the norm, be prepared for many pictures…

We flew in yesterday afternoon and got set up at our holiday home, and today is the end of our first day actually exploring the area!

We started off by getting a bus downtown and exploring the famous Pike Place Market:


Pike Place Market is one of the iconic landmarks in Seattle, and has existed since 1907. It’s right on the waterfront, and has a very impressive range of stores! Lots of fresh fruit, tea, seafood, spices and the buskers provide the live jazz. There’s also a very lovely urban garden on the roof which was a pleasant surprise.

After enjoying the Market we wandered a little further afield, and quickly found a lovely little park. This was right next to the water front and very serene, despite being so close to the city center:


It was also next to a very tasty seafood restaurant, which we decided to try out for what will hopefully be the first of many fishy lunches…


I had a big bowl of mussels, and was very pleased with my choice 🙂

Once we were nourished we continued on, and finally got our first view of the famous Space Needle!


We were eager to get closer, but resisted the temptation since we wanted to take a quick peek at the Olympic Sculpture Park along the way. This is very much what the name suggests – a big, beautiful sculpture park right by the water.

More art 🙂

I haven’t described it in detail since there really isn’t much to say that the pictures don’t say already, but I definitely recommend giving it a look if you’re ever in the area.

After the sculpture park we made our way inland, and got to the base of the Space Needle! It’s a really lovely area, and happily covered with free wifi courtesy of Microsoft (Bill Gates has a house in Washington!) so we didn’t have to struggle to much to find our way. Behold!


The Space Needle is 605 ft tall, but surprisingly (alarmingly) narrow… only 32 ft wide at the narrowest part! We’ll definitely need to get some good views of Seattle at some point during our visit, but today we were not brave or patient enough to scale the great heights. Instead, we decided to have a look around the fabulous Chihuly Garden and Glass!

Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit showcasing the work of Dale Chihuly, a Seattle based artist who works with glass in a natural setting to create beautiful pieces. We didn’t know much about it going in and were a little skeptical, but my goodness was it stunning.

One of the first pieces that we came across was this large column, which was made up of lots of individual glass pieces and very beautifully displayed:



The column filled the room it was in at about 15 ft tall, and the dark walls and reflective base made it seem even larger. As you can see it’s also very carefully lit, so the whole piece is illuminated.

Another piece that stood out was the Persian Ceiling, where the glass pieces are arranged above and the light filters through them:




Dad and I were both taking pictures the whole time, as you can see in the picture above 😉

Another awesome piece was the Underwater Scene, that took up a room the size of our whole apartment:




Oh, and the boat floating on the water containing sculptures was awesome…


As was this chandelier!


Okay, perhaps I should calm down with the Chihuly…




Just kidding, we haven’t even gotten to the gardens yet! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Seriously, this Chihuly guy you guys
The glasswork was incorporated throughout the garden
Plus you could see the Space Needle!
How could I not take a million pictures of this?!
Plus the greenhouse! Have you SEEN this greenhouse art?
❤ ❤ ❤


Okay, okay, I’m done for real now. But I loved it, and couldn’t resist sharing far too many pictures with you all 🙂

More soon! xx

Moab – Part Three!

Hi All,

Welcome to the third and final part of our Moab weekend!

On our final full day we went to the spectacular Monument Valley, down at the Utah – Arizona border. It was just over a two hour drive, but most definitely worth the time spent.

First stop, Mexican Hat! This is a rock feature just to the North of Monument Valley, so named because it looks like a person wearing a Sombrero. Observe…


As well as the resemblance to a person in a sombrero, Mexican Hat also continues our theme of unlikely rock formations that seem very precariously balanced. We stood to view it for a while, and then continued to admire it whilst enjoying the jam doughnuts that we bought with us for the journey.

Om nom nom ❤

After our doughnuts and scene viewing we continued on, and got our first view of Monument Valley…


It’s very remote, and you can see the large monuments from a long way out. It’s a very iconic scene that features in lots of movies and posters, and it was very exciting to see it in person 🙂

We drove slowly closer towards it, and stopped to take many, many pictures on the way. We also stopped off at one of the Navajo jewellery shops on the side of the road, since the Navajo in the area are famous for amazing silver and turquoise jewellery. We picked up some beautiful jewellery and had a nice chat with the people there, which was a strong start to the visit!

Here is another shot of three of the large monuments, with some teeny cars and people in the foreground to give you the scale:



My favorite formations were the East and Western Mitten Buttes, which are the two large monoliths off to the right. These looks quite a lot like hands, and are considered to be like the hands of a deity protecting the valley.

To continue exploring the area properly we next headed in to the Navajo Tribal Park. This allows you to donate to the culture and see restricted areas of the park, included the 17 mile Valley Drive between the monuments. As a bonus it’s a little less touristy than most areas, and in theory looks basically the same as it did 3,000 years ago.

Okay, the flags are new…

We got in our car and set off driving down the extremely bumpy road. No tarmac for the Tribal Park, just big bumpy dirt roads that you could only access if you had an SUV. Thank goodness we were renting, our poor Subaru would most definitely not have made it!




I wish I had stunning facts for you, but as with the previous parks what you see is pretty much what you get! Everything was massive and beautiful and remote and I loved it – I think these red stone scenes and mesas are my favorite type of landscape, even more so than the lovely mountains and lakes of Colorado (dare I say it).

After fully exploring the park and having our bones thoroughly shaken up by the drive we headed back to Moab for the evening! We had a very tasty meal, and then got to try our hand at some night time photography… We headed back into the Arches, and sat under the window arch to watch the sun set. A very relaxing evening! I managed to get a few pictures in the semi-darkness, which I was quite pleased with:

My first stars!

But clearly still a long way to go with the night photography, since I couldn’t really get any pictures once it got much darker. I will continue to practice, and hopefully have some better photos to show you soon!

The next day we said a sad goodbye to lovely Moab, and headed back to Fort Collins. On the way though we stopped into Breckenridge, which is a very nice and very well known Ski Resort. Unlike a lot of ski resorts though, Breckenridge is big enough and awesome enough that it continues to be an excellent place to visit all year round despite the lack of snow.

We walked around the town looking in the various shops and art galleries for an hour or so, and I treated myself to what was a truly ridiculous Iced Raspberry Mocha at a French Bakery in town:

Literally translates to ‘The French’…

It’s hard to see in the picture, but it was basically a very nice iced mocha with a few scoops of freshly made raspberry mousse on top. There are no pictures of me actually consuming it, since this happened too quickly for photographs to capture.

After some more walking around town, we finished the holiday in the truly excellent Breckenridge Brewery. We have had a few of the Breckenridge Brewery beers before since they’re available at a few places in Fort Collins, so we were very excited to see the original Brewery!

As with all things Breckenridge, it turned out to be extremely cute…


We drank a range of drinks, including Avalanche and Agave Wheat, both of which you must try if you get the opportunity. We also split a large plate of very tasty looking chicken wings, which were exactly as messy to eat as you would expect!

All in all, a magnificent long weekend 🙂

More soon! xx

Moab – Part Two!

Hi Again,

On to our second day in Moab, we continue to explore the beautiful mesas of Utah!

Whilst Rob and I have visited Moab a few times before these have only ever been quite short visits, so we’ve only seen a little of the town and the Arches National Park. Just a little way further out is Canyonlands National Park, which we’d heard is spectacular but never visited. Like Arches, Canyonlands is very accurately named!

Canyon time!

The park itself is massive, at 527 miles squared, so we only visited the North side of the park which is called ‘Island in the Sky’.

As with Arches, capturing the scale is basically impossible. Zooming in on the above picture gives you a little more idea of the scale, but only slightly…

Much canyon

For scale, the first level below (the White Rim) is 1,200 ft down, and the lower canyon goes down another 1,000 ft.

We loved it, and took many pictures!

Thank goodness for my husband and his long arms ❤

As with the Arches we did a nice mix of short walks and stopping at viewpoints, although mercifully we abstained from doing any longer hikes since the heat was still a toasty 105oF… Rest assured we were well marinaded in both sun cream and bug spray, and weighed down with plenty of ice water!

Let the short hikes through the sand begin…


Our fist stop was one of the most famous views from the park, the lovely Mesa arch. Not as big as the Arches from the first day, but it does frame a view of the canyons very nicely. We got a few nice pictures, and managed not to fall off the completely-unfenced-off-in-any-way canyon edge!



It’s not tooooo far down…

It’s hard to get the scale of the canyons, but it is very easy to get a beautiful picture. The colours are just stunning, and the sky is very blue so high up. Once we finished our photography and battled off the strong sense of vertigo we continued off on our short hike. A very sweaty two miles total, then back to the car for the sweet, sweet touch of the air conditioning!

After cooling off we soldiered on, over to the Green River viewpoint. The Green River, which flows into the Colorado River, is a beautiful 730 mile long river that runs in part through the canyon. It’s a pretty massive river, but looks rather small from the viewpoint…

Can you see it??

We gaped at this in awe again a little longer, and then on to the next viewpoint! And it’s a good one…


This viewpoint overlooked White Rim Road, which you can see in this picture is the narrow, winding road that absolutely does not look safe in any way. We discussed it briefly and agreed that regardless of what the road led to, we didn’t want to see it. Happily though at this viewpoint we saw the first fence we’d seen all day, so decided that we were willing to get close enough to the edge to get a team photo:


It’s not the sturdiest of fences, but at least it was there!

A little further round were what were technically fences, but could more accurately be described as little piles of wood…


Happily the great view mostly made up for the sharp drop!

After our little walks and our great views we were ready for some refreshments, but unfortunately for us the National Parks Service here in America generally doesn’t provide snacks in the parks as a way of cutting down on littering. This is probably a good thing overall, but at the time we were hungry hungry hippos!

Fortunately, a gift from the gods. We left Canyonlands National Park to explore the nearby Dead Horse State Park, and were delighted to see that they had a food truck parked at the entrance! We pretty much threw our wallets at the truck, and refreshments were purchased.

Plus a bench in the shade! Bliss!!

After drinking as much Coke as we could manage and then rubbing the cold cans on our faces, we headed on to actually explore the park that we’d come to see.

The name of the park is probably the least appealing name I’ve ever heard for anything, but the park itself is very nice! There were no dead horses anywhere we could see, so hopefully all was well…

The main attraction of the park is the viewpoint at Dead Horse Point, which is stunning as promised. Again, brace for pictures!



The sun was just starting to go down at this point so the lighting was stunning, and you can see in the picture above at it was raining way off in the distance. Behind the rain on the left you can see the La Sal mountains, and just in the front you can see the salt drying pools. As well as that Green River makes an appearance again on the right!

These were stunning views, and we stood and stared. I confess I was briefly distracted from the stunning views by this extremely cute Chipmunk who was having a nap under a rock, but look at his little face. I couldn’t resist…

Such, such cuteness.

We went on another short walk along the viewpoint, and got to see some slightly better views of the salt pools, which are a really excellent shade of blue.


You can see that the rain is now really coming down on the mountains! They’re almost completely obscured.

Last picture! Although again, I have about 1,000 more should you want to them 😉


Once we were done being amazed we got back into our car and headed back to town. Next thing to see, Monument Valley!

Until next time…