My trip to California in Pictures

Have you ever seen the movie “The Holiday”? Well, I feel like I have been living it a little. My friend had to go back to Hungary for a couple weeks so we made a deal that I would¬†come to California to house and job sit for her.

I left Monday afternoon, my first flight was out of this cute little airport…that is it, wall to wall, can’t wait to see the size of the plane ūüėÄ

Cute little airport, isn't it? This is all...wall to wall...can't wait to see the size of the plane:)

I was looking for a quiet little corner where I could charge my phone and computer and sit down a little to calm my nerves. I was getting a little worried¬†about my trip in the morning and after Ben dropped me off at the airport, I think it hit me that I am doing this all alone. I found this cute little area to sit down at…and I think I fit in there 100%…gotta love the planet carpet…at least I can say I was sitting on the top of Saturn for 45 minutes

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When it was time¬†I packed up my stuff and went through security¬†which approximately took 4 minutes…probably an all time record…I am very proud of it! It was boarding time soon and we made our way to the plane…and as you can see the plane was just a tiny little guy. Looking at this picture I am like: How the heck did all of these people even fit on it?

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Then I got bored standing in line waiting so I turned around and took a picture¬†of the view…but there wasn’t much happening behind my back either so the boredom continued…but at least the sky was very clear and blue

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Honestly I do not remember a minute¬†of my flight, I fell asleep before we took off and I woke up when we landed‚ĶBut as you can tell…it was¬†very cozy in there

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I had a layover in Phoenix for an hour and a half so I had time to walk around and take some pictures of the view

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Bye bye¬†Phoenix…

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The next flight wasn‚Äôt too long either which was very upsetting because I couldn‚Äôt finish watching my Grey‚Äôs Anatomy episode ūüėÄ But I had time to take pictures!! (Surprisingly all the pictures I have ever taken from a plane from¬†above the clouds are¬†very similar looking) But these clouds remind me of my childhood dreams…jumping on clouds and running around on the top of them. Just imagine, it would be so much fun!!!!!!

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It is crazy how quickly I made it to California this time. It almost seemed like that¬†the ride from the airport to the house was longer than the first half of my trip. Edit’s friend was kind enough to come to the airport and pick me up.

I haven’t really had the chance to discover the area yet¬†but I will get to that too.

So for now I am back on the tennis court again and so far it has been lots of fun!

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I have been enjoying getting my tennis short tan line back…oh how much I missed that thing…not ūüėÄ

Between lessons I had time to go to the beach the other day. I was¬†just sitting/walking¬†on the beach for hours, staring at the ocean and didn’t¬†even realize the time passing by . Listening to the waves is such a calming experience. There is nothing like it.

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I walked around the area a little bit, I love this neighborhood by the beach

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Around 2 pm I realized that I haven’t had food all day, so I stopped by a coffee shop and got a turkey-cranberry wrap and a green tea latte (because I just couldn’t resist). I wanted to type up and post my beach experience right away so I opened up my computer but they didn’t have wifi in the coffee shop…

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…which actually turned out nice because I ended up putting the computer away, grabbed my book and read for like an hour and then went back to teach tennis.

Tonight I will for sure sleep very well. I am very tired so I can’t wait¬†to curl up in bed, get under the covers and pass out for at least eight hours!!!!

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Horseshoe Bend, AZ

‚ÄúTraveling ‚Äď it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď Ibn Battuta

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I had to start this blog post with this quote about Horseshoe Bend  because this is exactly how I felt, arriving to this wonderful site.

We have heard about Horseshoe Bend before and it was definitely on our list to visit one day. Someone told us that the best time to see it, is during sunset, so we arrived around 5:30 pm into the parking lot. We kind of missed (forgot) the fact that it is still almost a mile hike to the site from the parking lot, so we were a little “disappointed”¬†when we approached the top of the hill from the lot and this is all we saw:

a little packed around the area :)
a little packed around the area ūüôā

At this point our excitement was definitely at its peak. It is a pretty good work-out to the site…walking in the deep sand is alway challenging, but the scenery is beautiful…

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See?! Not too bad…I mean not even close to what is coming…but still pretty

Arriving to the site left us speechless. No picture or description could have prepared us to what was waiting for us there:IMG_9907

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this picture is a little too bright…sorry about that ūüė¶

Even though there are a lot of people standing around with their jaw dropped to the ground, the area is big enough to find your own little isolated¬†place to sit down and just stare for minutes into the nothing. There is no¬†path¬†down to the Little Colorado River from this area, so we could only stare at the lucky tourists who were floating down the river in their canoes…can’t even imagine the view from their stand-point…maybe next time!

I love the colors on this picture
I love the colors in this picture

So like I said we were just sitting next to each other, speechless….there was nothing going on on my mind. I wasn’t worried about things, I didn’t wonder about anything, I wasn’t planning my next day…it was just quiet, calm and incredibly peaceful to be there. If I lived close to that place that would be my thinking spot. ūüôā

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the cliffs are beautifully intimidating

It was so hard to get up from our spot and start walking back to the car. I looked back like 20 times just to make sure I will never ever forget what I just saw. We took so many pictures and I have been going through them a lot but of course, it’s just not the same.

Can’t wait to go back one day!

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Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona – You know…just the lake from the movie, Gravity

Lake Powell is another fantastic site to see in Arizona/Utah. There is plenty to do: chilling by the beach (which we mastered by the end of the day), fishing, boating, water skiing,  jetskiing and camping.

We had to walk down to the lake from an upper rest stop area because the drive gets a little rough closer to the beach. It is very sandy and bumpy so we didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the sand. Of course, it is nothing for the RV’s, jeeps, and trucks, but good old Frosty (name of Ben’s¬†car) might not take that challenge too well.

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It looks like the lake is far away but it is no more than a 10 minute walk and it is very enjoyable…I mean look at the view

It is a wonderful camp site! When we got there, there were bunch of RV’s lining up on the beach…some of them even had a little rock garden in front of them, showing that they probably have been there for a while…

very cool way to travel the country
Very cool way to travel the country

We got very lucky with the weather, it was around 80 degrees that day:

I love that
I love that “little” island in the middle

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Nice to have a¬†Lifeproof case for my iPhone¬†so I got to use it in the water too…too bad that the under water photos¬†didn’t turn out well this time ūüė¶

Fun Facts about Lake Powell:

So peaceful and relaxing
So peaceful and relaxing

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Anyhow, Lake Powell is awesome, if you get a chance, you should go and check it out! Don’t spend years in Arizona/Utah¬†without seeing it…I am definitely guilty of that.

Enjoy!

10 + 1 Things to do in Flagstaff, AZ

I decided to write about Flagstaff, AZ because I do have a little bit of history with the place and also because I got this question a lot in the past: Flagstaff, what could you possibly do there?

Now, it is true that most things that you can do in Flag are outdoor activities, the indoor options are pretty limited but on the bright side, if you like nature, you will never run out of options.

I decided to collect 10 things that people can do in Flagstaff, who knows this might inspire some people to visit this magical little town.

First of all, the coolest thing about Flagstaff is that under a 7¬†hour driving radius there are a lot of¬†“must see” places so even if one runs out of options to do in Flagstaff, it is still easy to go and discover the extended area. (Grand Canyon, Sedona, Lake Powell, The Wave, Antelope Canyon, Havasupai Falls, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, L.A., San Diego and so much more)

I am very proud of this picture :)
I am very proud of this picture, makes me feel artsy ūüôā

SORRY FOR THE LIST BEING A LITTLE VAGUE I ATTACHED LINKS AND WEBSITES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO MORE RESEARCH!

  1. Hike & Bike & Camp(ing) – if there is one thing you don’t ever have to worry about, is that you run out of hills and mountains and trails and forests, and paths that you can hike and bike on in Flagstaff…you wanna go for a 30 minute hike or you feel more like a pro and are ready to take over the world with a 5 hour one? Either way your options are almost limitless…¬†Here is a list of all the trails for you. Don’t forget to pack water, tie your shoes and please don’t get lost! Enjoy the wonderful fresh air and the quiet that helps you clear your thoughts like no yoga class ever.

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    Stopping and taking a picture is always a good cover if you need to catch your breath
  2. Lowell Observatory – oh this is a good¬†one! This is the observatory where they discovered Pluto! And yes, they are all hurt by the fact that Pluto is not considered to be a planet anymore…I mean, even I am hurt by that fact…can you imagine Pluto’s feelings then? If you are interested in checking this awesome place out, click on¬†this¬†to see their website!

    Took this one of the moon through a telescope
    Took this one of the moon through a telescope
  3. Lake Mary – even though I don’t know if people actually¬†swim in it, Lake Mary is a pretty cool little lake…we went there to practice our paddle boarding skills (see below), but you can¬†do fishing, water skiing, sail boating, canoeing and pretty much any water activities you like. But if you are not really up for going in the water you can always just chill by the beach and enjoy the great atmosphere. There are great picnic areas and barbecue grills in the area. Check out their website¬†here!

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  4. Snowbowl – You can hit the slopes of the San Francisco Peaks year-round…for hiking in the summer and skiing/snowboarding in the winter time. The Peaks are located to the north of Flagstaff, not too far just a 20-25 minutes car ride away. It is a must, especially in the winter time! Website¬†here!

    Not my picture, I found it online
    (Not my picture, had to dig something out online)
  5. Frisbee golf/Disc golf officially – a very fun activity with friends or by yourself! I have never played it but I have seen people play it and it does seem like a fun activity…however, I don’t trust my frisbee throwing skills too much…but if you are curious about the rules, here is a link for you:¬†I am a link to the rules of disc golf.¬†I tried to take a picture of a group of friends who were playing disc golf, but they were a little creeped out by me standing there and asking them to look pretty whilst playing so that didn’t turn out too well…

    They were like: sure, you can take your pictures, but you know what would be even better? If you left!
    They were like: sure, you can take your pictures, but you know what would be even better? If you left!
  6. Rock climbing –¬†very hard but super fun I think…maybe I find it so hard because there is no way I can pull myself up with my arms ever…the most pull ups I could ever do with no help¬†were one…but I am very proud of that strong one. If you wanna try yourself out, check this place ¬†out!
    If you are from Flagstaff it is basic I guess that you climb walls…look even this cute little girl made it to the Ellen Show from Flagstaff for her wall climbing skills: ¬†Ellie in Ellen
  7. Flagstaff Extreme – If you like adventure courses and you are not afraid of heights, I can warm heartedly recommend Flagstaff Extreme to you. It is definitely a fun experience but guarantee you will be sore the next day. Like I mentioned, my arm muscles are a little weak so I did have to work a little extra hard at some points but all the laughs and awkward body moves made up for it all. There are adult and junior courses as well for the mini people…but I will be honest (and this happened to me) sometimes those little kiddos will look more athletic and will move better than you as an adult and it is slightly embarrassing. At some points my heart was definitely pounding and I needed to be brave…but again….looking back I have to say: it was a lot of fun! If you are ready for the challenge, you can sign up¬†here.
  8. Museum of Northern Arizona Рwe visited MNA at the beginning of the summer with my sister. It was very interesting to see and learn about not just the whole area (Colorado Plateau) but the Native American culture also. There are several tools, pots and pans, clothing, jewelry on display and they are for sure beautiful. You can check out their website here and plan a visit to MNA to learn more about the Colorado Plateau!

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    man cave paintings
  9. Northern Arizona University – NAU is definitely a must see when in Flagstaff. That gorgeous university gives home to more than 25,000 students. Their mascot is Louie, the Lumberjack, it has 12 NCAA division 1¬†teams and they all bleed¬†blue and gold. The campus is wonderful, the north part is more historical as opposed to south campus where the buildings are more modern. There are constant constructions on campus which means they just can’t stop improving but no worries there are two Starbucks on campus so when you get tired from walking around discovering, you can sit down for a little bit and relax with your favorite drink….which I guess now is pumpkin spiced latte since it is officially fall!A LITTLE OUTSIDE OF FLAGSTAFF:
  10. ¬†Meteor Crater¬†– oh cool¬†meteors!!! Well, this is not exactly in Flagstaff, so I apologize for that…it is about a 45 minute drive to the east but again, it is worth it. Some people say it is just a giant hole so why so excited about it? buuuuut this is not just a giant hole you can dig up in an hour, this is a giant hole made by a meteor! Now, it is not something that happened the other day (luckily) but more like 50,000 years ago but it is still an amazing site¬†to see. Not every day you can tell your friends you saw a meteor crater. There is an interactive discovery center, a little gift shop with rocks and meteor pieces and post cards, and even a movie theater! Plan your trip to visit¬†here!

    See? Big hole! (sorry this is a google-d picture again, I couldn't find mine)
    See? Big hole! (sorry this is a google-d picture again, I couldn’t find mine)
  11. Bearizona РBeeeeeeaaaaaars! Biiiiirds! Wildlife! If you are brave enough and willing to pay the fairly priced $22 admission fee, you can cruise through the wild with your car and have a close-up with these fantastic animals. They have a bird show, where they introduce you to several wonderful birds, an open bus ride, where they drive you through the park and show you around and you can ask the bus driver as many annoying questions as you want, even though they have probably heard it all, they will patiently listen and explain everything to you. Go to Bearizona!