four corners monument

Four Corners Monument

Before you read this post, let me first apologize for the awkward photos. We had been driving for hours (I believe we put 1,700 miles on our car just that weekend), and the sun was extremely bright — hence the tired, squinty looks. And with that disclaimer, let’s get to it. We decided to check out Four Corners Monument while we were living in Arizona because some of B’s co-workers had mentioned the area. Plus, I really wanted to stand in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona at the same time. Four states at once… that sounds dirty. The monument area had picnic tables, benches, a stand selling fried bread, and Navajo vendors selling other handmade goods, and although the actual monument wasn’t that magnificent and the area was basically empty (aside from the random tourist), it was a fun experience. Plus, the drive was gorgeous! I can’t tell you […]


Filed Under: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Travel, Utah25 Comments

visit hoover dam

Visit Hoover Dam

Welcome everyone. I am your dam guide, Rachel. Now I’m about to take you through a fully funtional powerplant, so please, no one wander off the dam tour and please take all the dam pictures you want… you get the point. I was going through Lightroom and completely forgot about all of these photos. We visited Hoover Dam on our way to Vegas from Scottsdale, Arizona and even though I had seen many photos online and glimpses of the dam in movies, I wasn’t prepared for the actual size of the structure. It’s huge! Hoover Dam is located right off of Highway 93 so it’s perfect for families traveling through the area, and extremely convenient because you’re able to drive your vehicle and park right next to the dam which is what we decided to do. I was also told that if you drive over the dam and walk back, […]


Filed Under: Arizona, Nevada, Travel26 Comments

exploring sedona arizona

Exploring Sedona Arizona

Recently, I’ve been looking back on our photos from Arizona. Because I grew up surrounded by corn fields in Iowa, moved to busy Washington, DC after college, and then to green and lush Scotland after that, being in the desert was such a huge change for me. When you’re used to being surrounded by some sort of greenery, experiencing a landscape of tan, red, and orange is strange. And it’s even stranger when an Iowan like me is among cacti. That was weird. Since my husband and I sold both of our cars before moving abroad, we only had one vehicle for a while after moving back to the states. I remember driving Brandon to his office in Scottsdale and seeing wild horses roaming around the desert. I found everything about it to be crazy… and beautiful… and I wanted one of those damn horses! One of our favorite adventures […]


Filed Under: Arizona, Travel43 Comments

grand canyon national park

The Grand Canyon

I can’t believe it has been 14 whole months since we left Arizona. Our corporate rotation was a whirlwind to say the least, and it just dawned on me that I haven’t even shared any photographs from our awe-inspirig trip to Grand Canyon National Park. When we first visited the park while living in Arizona, we drove around with Malcolm (our Westie) on the Desert View Drive scenic route and made a ton of stops to check out the sites. This was a quick way to take everything in, and since it was so hot on that day, it was nice to hop back into the air conditioned vehicle. We also talked to visitors from at least five different countries and they all had the same sentiment — wow, a place like this actually exists. Not only is the depth somewhat terrifying (we seriously saw a guy hiking on top […]


Filed Under: Arizona, Travel20 Comments

desert botanical garden | phoenix, az

A few months ago, while we were living in Arizona, we purchased a Groupon to the Desert Botanical Garden. Since I’ve lived mostly in the Midwest and on the East Coast, being in a desert environment was fascinating. The garden is jam-packed with different varieties of cacti, flowers and other desert plants to study and photograph and since it’s located across the street from Camelback Mountain, the views are stunning. When we made the trip, Philip Haas’ The Four Seasons fiberglass statues were being displayed inside. These four sculptures represent winter, spring, summer and autumn, and include flowers, branches, fruits, vegetables and other objects. As you can probably tell from our photographs, the heads were massive!  The Botanical Garden has a full-service restaurant called Gertrude’s and a small shop near the entrance/exit with artwork and a variety of plants. We had fun picking out a small cactus, succulents and a ceramic pot […]


Filed Under: Arizona, Travel18 Comments