Two 2015 bucket list items: visit a country I had never been to, and visit a place within the US I’ve never been. The first of that list I checked off in my trip to Rio de Janiero in Brazil last September, and the second I was able to fit in through my first road trip! Here are some of the highlights.
The trip lasted 6 days. It was San Francisco -> Las Vegas, NV -> Sedona, AZ -> Grand Canyon -> Los Angeles, CA -> San Francisco via the Pacific Coast Highway (for the first stretch).
The first night / Vegas was unremarkable since we went there only to rest before arriving to Sedona, which I was most interested in. I had never heard of this place until a friend mentioned it, and it was perfect for what I was looking for. This city is surrounded by a breathtaking landscape of huge red rocks, valleys and mountains. It’s also known for having four “vortexes”, which are said to have masculine and/or feminine energy. It’s a very spiritual place likely because it’s literally surrounded by amazing scenery and views.
My favorite vortex was the church built into the red rocks because I was able to use this space for introspection and reflection. We visited on New Years Eve, so I brought a notebook into the church and wrote down all the things I’m grateful for from 2015, what I wanted to leave behind and how I wanted to grow in 2016. I think this year is going to be stellar.
After Sedona, we visited the Grand Canyon, which was also a first time for me. I think this photo is beautiful but it also doesn’t do the real-life version justice – the view is insane. Very deserving of its name. It was a pain-inducing 16 degrees F, and I was silly enough to wear normal clothes and wrap myself in a fleece blanket.
After stopping by the Grand Canyon in the morning, we drove down to LA to visit some old college friends. This was my third time in LA, and the first time I actually enjoyed it, probably because I was hanging in cooler areas with cooler people. We hit up Koreatown for some food, and randomly befriended these cute Asian girls when looking for a dessert place. One of them literally taught me how to do Asian make up, putting on my make up in a car! See what she taught me? Yay to new friends.
Also, we made a quick stop at Rodeo Drive, where I mostly window-shopped and made my first luxury make up purchase from the store directly, rather than a retailer like Bloomingdale’s or Sephora. I am excited to tell you about this experience and product in another blog post!
We spent most of the time in Santa Monica, and decided that I LOVE it there. I think it’s so adorable. It feels smaller, younger, more down-to-earth and cooler, which I love. I also love the proximity to the beach and the shops and restaurants at the Third St Promenade.
To finish off the trip, we drove up the PCH and stopped in Santa Barbara for some amazing Mexican food, then drove the remaining 6 hours back up to SF. Very memorable and fun trip, a great way to start off a new year.