Hello friends and happy Monday! I had quite an exciting couple days and I’m reporting back! Let’s start with Thursday since that’s when I called it quits with school work and started weekending by seeing one of my favorite bands, NEEDTOBREATHE, in concert at The Wiltern in LA with my best friend. I don’t have a super trendy spotify playlist to share like some bloggers do, nor do I talk about music that often, but it’s definitely one thing I have to have in my day. This band has helped me through some yucky times in my life (as cheese ball as that sounds) so it was a total experience to see them in the flesh instead of just hearing them in my ears. Sarah and I drove down to Korea Town at around 4:30 pm to park in the spot I reserved on Spot Hero and then went on the lookout for a good happy hour. We found some amazing (and strong) margs at Mama Lion , had 2 each, got a hummus plate to share, and headed into the concert! We shared a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake after from In-n-out because after standing for 4 hours singing you need to refuel.
We finished packing and slept at my house before leaving bright and early for Zion Friday morning on the road at 7 am. On the way we did some road side attractions to make the time pass faster and before we knew it we were meeting 5 of my grad school friends at our camp site (glamping) before heading out for a small hike to stretch our legs and get acclimated with the park.
(Here was our main tent- we slept 3 girls in the king bed and one on a cot on the side + 3 in a side teepee with 3 nice cots with double sleeping bags and fluffy pillows all provided for us. The bathrooms were really nice as well and we planned the meals ourselves but we could have bought them at the camp restaurant if we wanted to.)
(View from that photo above if you look outside- this was sunset Sunday morning!)
That evening we went to the Canyon Overlook Trail for a 1 mile walk and smiles.
(The red rock was just stunning. I had been to Zion previously as a teenager as a CIT for one of my first Y camps (think PB and J for 5 days straight, dirty tents, and minimal showering) and this was totally more relaxing to get to decide the agenda and pace + wine and gal pals?!)
We came back both evenings to this- socks, sandals, and wine chat. I had dinner duty Friday night and made pesto GF pasta + a massaged Kale salad (we have one celiac and 1 gluten intolerant so we do everything certified GF)! I forgot to snap a photo of that.
We also had s’mores but I also forgot a phot of that but I’m pretty sure you know what one of those looks like! Under Canvas provides all the s’more stuff for you so that was nice. All we had to bring was the GF crackers for our GF ladies. There was a beautiful outdoor and indoor fire pit!
Up around 8 am Saturday to nosh on a granola and yogurt bowl (after 2 cups of coffee) – I also had a PB and J before hiking because this didn’t hold me for that long.
(Purely Elizabeth + siggi’s + fruit)
Around 9 ish we laced up our hiking boots, prepped food for the trail and headed out!
Saturday was Angels Landing, the scariest hike I’ve ever done. Not only is this hike rated strenuous but you are exposed to drop offs on either side of the chain you are holding on to for the vertical trek to the top of the landing. The beginning of the hike was filled with gorgeous outlooks like this and a nice paved road. The switch backs are no joke but it was too beautiful to matter.
I’m not going to lie, quitting crossed my mind mid trek up the chain and rocks because my legs began to shake when I had to hoist myself up sandy rocks with strong winds and some light rain beginning to come down. The scary part was letting go of the chain to let other hikers pass while you step to the very side of the trail where one mis-step could lead to a slip for sure. I wanted to keep pressing though and I was so happy to make it up there!
(See! No more fear!)
I headed down early with Sarah and let my grad school friends stay a while since Sarah was having a hard time staying calm (totally understand why!). We began the trek down and met them mid way and decided on beers after the hike since some nice Australian travelers we met suggested the Brew Pub next to the park opening.
We then decided after resting for an hour to take a little easy hike to look at the mountains since we couldn’t really focus on scenery when we needed to focus on saftey on Angels Landing.
Around 5 or 6 pm we headed home to chili cooked by Lalita on the right there! I had 3 bowls because I was HUNGRY.
Lots of wine and girl talk for hours and then bed around 11 pm.
We were up early Sunday to pack up the site and get in a moderate level hike that morning. We decided on The Watchman. This was a perfect amount of uphill to break a sweat but then beautiful views and a very easy rest of the way. I think it was 1.5 hours for us- we walk fast.
(Breakfast was chilaquiles!)
(Best friend photo!)
Around 12 Sunday we stretched out, took off our dusty boots, and then sat in the car for 7 hours… I hate driving. My butt gets crampy and I get cranky. Long drives are not where you will find happy Connie but I had so much fun with my gal pals it was so worth the drive both ways! I was so appreciative of the beauty inside the park and I’m especially grateful for my friends! Grad school would be nothing without them and I feel lucky to have these ladies every day of the week to make jokes, bring snacks, create study guides, and put a smile on my face. My best friend there was such a plus!
Lunch was this and it was so refreshing after a weekend of minimal veggies, wine, and sweets! I think one of my favorite things about intuitive eating is letting these weekends go by without a second thought. Never did it cross my mind that I should be eating a salad rather than that chili or that I should not have that second s’more or third glass of wine because it all felt so right. Part of intuitive eating is eating and drinking what feels right vs. what you think is right. Sometimes our thoughts around food can be distorted when we give too much power to them. I know my body used all the energy I gave it (even when that was 3 sandwiches in a day) to get me up those mountains and now it will switch over to tell me what I need to get back into school mode- I just have to trust it.
I would 100% recommend Zion for anyone.