Monday, December 19, 2016

seahawks at packers

It has a been a lifelong dream of Anders and mine to visit Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. This might be confusing to you as it has been well documented on this blog that we are HUGE Seahawks fans. It's true, but we have a soft spot for the Packers too. We love their story and their history. The stadium was built in 1957 and still maintains a lot of its old charm, and we have always wanted to see it in person. We finally got our chance when the Seahawks played the Packers last weekend in Green Bay, so we headed out there with our good friends! While the outcome of the game was horrendous (we lost big time) we still had a wonderful time. It even snowed giving us the full Wisconsin experience! On top of that, Packers fans might be the nicest fans in the world. They treated us so kindly and were all very welcoming.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Wisconsin. We'll get ya next time.
 The boys gearing up for the cold
 Tailgating, Wisconsin style

 No actual seats at Lambeau, you have to sit on bleachers. Brrrrrr!
 Warming up
 I was the most excited about seeing Pete Carol, our coach. I love him!
 Apparently this guy is a Green Bay legend

Sunday, December 18, 2016

7 magic mountains

While we were on our SW road trip we drove 10 miles outside of Las Vegas into the desert to see Ugo Rondinone's public art installation, 7 Magic Mountains. This was one of the top things I wanted to see on this trip, and it certainly did not disappoint! The exhibit consists of 7 towers of stacked boulders all painted in bright, neon colors ( took 5 years to make!). They really stand out against the brown of the desert and sneak up on you as you head out of the city. This installation is only there for 2 years (ending in May 2018) so please, please do yourself a favor and check it out if you are in the area!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

happy holidays

My bestie, Kristina, and I at our office holiday party. We love any excuse to put on fancy clothes.
Happy holidays!

page, arizona

We took a detour to Page, Arizona specifically to hike Antelope Canyon. To be honest, when I researched going here, I thought I had stumbled upon a secret hike only few adventurous souls knew about. It turns out that Antelope Canyon is VERY well know and has tour buses of eager hikers showing up on the hour, all day long. You can only access the canyon with a guide, and the tour companies have it down to a science. While the pictures make it look like we are alone, there were actually throngs of people being shuffled through the canyon in front and behind us somewhat diminishing the whole experience.'s easy to see why so many people make the trek to see the canyon. It is simply beautiful with bright, red, swirling rock. If you don't mind being one of thousands entering the canyon then I recommend going. You have two options to choose from, lower antelope canyon and upper (we did lower), and it's a fairly easy and flat hike and will take you about an hour to get through it. We used Ken's Tours and had a great experience. The guide makes frequent stops for picture taking and while you are encouraged to be quick about it, you still have ample time to get photographs.
The other thing to do in Page is to check out horseshoe bend, a very impressive canyon bend indeed. Just be careful, there are no guardrails!
Horseshoe Bend

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Petroglyph National Monument

We went to Albuquerque on our SW road trip specifically to see the hot air balloon festival, but while we were there we also checked out the Petroglyph National Monument. Petroglyphs are designs and symbols that have been carved into rocks. They were created by Native Americans and Spanish settlers and can be found all over this region. The ones at the Petroglyph National monument are 400 - 700 years old and are found right in the city of Albuquerque, so you don't have to drive far. You can also access the carvings by some very, very short and easy hikes. I loved exploring the drawings. While some of the carvings represent obvious things (like a snake) others were totally baffling. It's hard to believe these drawings are still here after all this time. I highly recommend seeking them out if you are ever in the SW area (there are also plenty by Santa Fe, western Colorado, eastern Arizona, and Utah). Here's a look at some of my favorites.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

albuquerque international balloon fiesta

We made specific plans to hit Albuquerque, NM for the International Balloon Fiesta, and it did not disappoint. I'm not sure I would recommend going to Albuquerque for any other reason than the fiesta, but this event, which draws people from all over the world, was one of the highlights of our trip.
We were told that people start getting to the park at 4am. Since we didn't want to miss out on anything, we too set our alarm for 3:30am to be able to hit the road by 4am. What this got us was very, very close parking and that's about it. We sat in the freezing cold for over an hour before any of the festivities began. And while there was coffee and food stands open, it was a long, cold wait. At 6am, the "morning glow" started where about 10 balloons lit up the dark sky with their heated air. It was beautiful, but I'm not sure it was worth the early wake-up.
The real fun began at 7am with the mass ascension. I have never seen anything like this! Over the course of a few hours, hundreds and hundreds of balloons filled the air. You are allowed to walk on the field and go right up to the balloons as they are prepped for take-off. It is the craziest spectacle. There are standard balloons, but also balloons in all kinds of shapes and sizes (such as Darth Vader, a pig, a pirate etc.). It reminded me of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The mass ascension happens all over again at 7pm in case you want to come back in the evening for round two. So, my recommendation would be to sacrifice the good parking for not having to get up super early. I would just make sure you leave in enough time to get to the park by 7am, which could take up to an hour with all the traffic.
If you do find yourself with extra time in Albuquerque, we enjoyed the following:
Dog House Drive In - a small, but cute hot dog shop that was featured many times in the show Breaking Bad.
Speaking of Breaking Bad, we visited The Candy Lady who made all of the "meth" for the show (which was actual candy). She has lots of Breaking Bad souvenirs, and you can purchase the blue rock candy used in the show.
Featured on the Food Network, the Monte Carlo Steakhouse is a total win. This is not your average steakhouse as you actually enter through a liquor store. It's got an old school vibe with big leather booths, dark lighting and a dive vibe, but the prime rib is amazing and the drinks are stiff.
If you want to see some amazing petroglyphs, Albuquerque has some impressive and easy to reach ones right in the city. Check out the Petroglyph National Monument. The hikes are very easy and very short allowing you to see lots of petroglyphs without much effort.
Here are some photos from the Fiesta. I couldn't stop!
The Morning Glow