Some Travels of 2017

So I normally don't post personal blogs... but I had such an amazing 2017 that I just can't resist sharing some of my favorite moments. Cell phone pictures and all. This could get pretty long.... so bare with me! 

I've lived in New York State my entire life and never had the chance to got to New York City... CRAZY RIGHT!?!? Well, I finally made my way there in January to meet up with one of my bests from North Carolina! I'll be honest, the city life is definitely not the life for me. Despite that, we had a really great time site seeing and partying it up a little bit! I always say that I don't ever want to go back... but it's definitely going to happen when its warmer outside. I really hate being cold! HAHA!

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My favorite trip of the year was by far my first trip out to the West Coast of 2017. 
I'm going to start by giving a shout out to my travel bestie, Cari, for always being down to hit the road basically whenever the thought crosses my mind... which is probably way too frequently. And also for taking all the photos of me on every single trip that we go on. (Check her out! Cari Hughes Photography)
The first trip we took this year, we flew to Utah to meet up with the lovely Morgan of In Frames Photography. She let us stay with her for a few days and we took some AMAZING pictures of some really great people and each other. Forever thankful for meeting this chick.. for real. She's the bomb.com.

We hiked around (literally struggling to breathe from the elevation), and took in all the beautiful scenery that Salt Lake City has to offer. It really is SO beautiful there.

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Cari and I booked a white water rafting/ camping trip through The Grand Canyon, which was the main reason we decided to take the trip. We left Salt Lake City and headed right to Zion National Park. Let me tell you, this place..... was the most breath taking place that I have ever seen in my life. Yes, I shed a few tears driving into the park. It left me completely speechless. Photos don't even do it justice. If you ever get the chance to go, TAKE IT.

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After Zion, we hit the road and drove to Las Vegas to gear up for the white water rafting trip the following morning.. we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. We had ONE bag of clothes, shoes, etc. that we could bring on the trip with us. The bus picked us and a group of others up in the morning and we headed to a small airport. We got on a plane that fit about 8 people and flew over the Hoover Dam, out to a ranch in the middle of absolutely NOWHERE. We got to the ranch and took a helicopter into The Grand Canyon where they dropped us off at the raft. It was so intense and nerve wracking. But, it was the BEST time of our lives. We slept under the stars on a cot and sleeping bag, woke up in the middle of the night to see the milky way right over our heads. We didn't even sleep in a tent... that's huge for me because I feel like tents actually protect me. But there were NO bugs at all. It was awesome! We sang good tunes by the fire at night and even had a few beers. If you ever want to hear more about the trip, just shoot me a message. Western River Expeditions was absolutely INCREDIBLE. 

After the rafting trip was over (that was the saddest day of my life, I swear), we hopped on a bus and headed back to Vegas. We had ONE night in Vegas and we wanted to make the most of it. 
We went out and got a little crazy... just like you're supposed to in Vegas right!?!? And then got back on the road the following morning and headed to Horseshoe Bend. Y'alllllllll if you've never been here before... just go. It's amazing. Its something so simple, yet there's so much to it at the same time. 

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After Horseshoe Bend, we drove right to Moab. On the way, we decided to snap a sick picture of us with our jeep that we had already spent endless hours in. In the process we got "stuck" in the sand and couldn't move... by stuck I mean the parking brake was on and the jeep wouldn't move. We were actually scared to death though.. HAHA! 
We got to Moab, stopped and grabbed a bite to eat at literally the ONLY restaurant we could find within 100 miles. Asked our waitress where the closest Walmart was so we could buy some pillows and blankets and she literally LAUGHED in our face because the closest one was 70 miles from there.... To save money we slept in the back of the jeep. We had one blanket each, a few hand warmers and our jackets for pillows... and literally FROZE to death. Worth it for the views we got to see in the morning at Arches National Park.

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We left Moab and headed to Denver, Colorado. We didn't do much of anything there but walk around the city and grab some dinner. Probably a big mistake on our part since every single person I have ever talked to absolutely LOVES Colorado. Guess we're just gonna have to make another trip!?!?!
We then drove to Wichita, Kansas where we got a super cheap Airbnb to stay in for the night. Continued our journey on to Missouri in the morning where we met up with some other photographers to do a styled couples shoot. Now, if you know me you know I'm always talking about friends that I have from a photography group on Facebook... well, I make it a point to meet as many girls from that group that I possible can. So thats just what we did. We met Alex Bolen of Shutter Darling Photography and Karilyn Joy of Karilyn Joy Photography. We had so much fun shooting with them and we were SO sad to leave. 

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We left Missouri and headed to Cari's home in LaPorte, Indiana. We were so exhausted that it was just the best thing ever laying in bed and finally getting a good nights sleep after being on the road for over a week. In the morning I finally got to meet her mama and then her gramps took us out to breakfast! After a super long and amazing trip together we had to part ways.... BOO. I drove all the way home to Buffalo and ended the journey there. Again, BOO. 
It sure was nice to get to see my puppers and sleep in my own bed though! I didn't think I would ever want to do another road trip again after that. So many hours in the car.... but who was I kidding!?! It was the best time of my life. And then we did it again.... more on that in the next blog. 
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. This was just a small touch on the adventures of 2017. Part 2- coming soon.

Thank you for supporting my work and always encouraging me to keep going. I love you all.

Xoxo, 
Emily