the great west

road tripping is my part time job. i take pride in the fact that people ask me to ride along with them when moving away. they pay me in treats and free housing. i make sure they understand we'll be stopping at every scenic view area.

this adventure brought me to vegas. there's something about the west that appeals to me. mostly i'm fascinated with the fact that piles of dirt and rocks can be pretty.

when you hear "las vegas" you picture sparkly neon lights, gambling machines and bachelor parties. i would like to encourage you to take a step off of the strip next time. hey, you'll save some money!

we drove three hours north of vegas to camp out in zion national park.

angel's landing is the scariest, most intense hike i've ever done. google it, i double dog dare you. turns out i'm affraid of heights. my friends made it to the very top. i made it 3/4 the way. i turned white and clung to a nearby tree for dear life. i think the people that complete it should win a medal.

the moon was sooooo big and bright. i could take pictures in it! this is my favorite one:

we made pizza pockets over the campfire and slept under the moon. no tent. i think it dropped down to about 38 degrees that night. we woke up to three mule deer staring at us. they are larger and ganglier than the deer i'm used too. i miss the days when you could sleep on the hard ground and not wake up and feel like every bone in your body is bent backwards. but it was more than worth it.

ps. can you believe that is the moon???

help send this couple to peru!

This year, one of my clients, Curt and Laudan are doing something a little different for their honeymoon in November. They wish to volunteer at an orphanage in Cuzco, Peru. Travelocity is offering them a chance to win a Travel for Good voluntourism grant. All you have to do is click on the link below and hit the green " YES! love it" button.


thanks, guys!!

matthew jase | newborn session

these were taken when matthew was eight days old. his mom wanted to capture his cute little newborn wrinkles before they disappeared. welcome to the world little man!

big sister maddy loves having a baby brother around. in case you're wondering, god is the big red circle in the sky, making it rain.

10 reasons why i love road trips

i need to speak to you about something. there is this thing that i live for and dream about. road trips. you know? the thing they often make movies about. in my book, a road trip is anything longer than two hours spent in the car. here are ten reasons why this thing that i love is a thing that, well, i love.

reason 1.

yelling "rrrrrroooooad triippppp!!" to your friend. dreaming about the open road. knowing soon you'll be in better weather. arguing about how great your road trip mix tape will be. planning things that never actually happen.

reason 2.

waking up at the butt crack of dawn.
i'm normally so excited i can't fall asleep anyway. i don't know why i try. but i still do and after two hours of half sleeping,  i wake up and hop around in the dark gather my things and write a goodbye note on the fridge. yes, i actually even enjoy* that part of it. and maybe it's a little evil of me. but i like that my roomies will wake up and see yes, indeed, i'm gone again. and they have to go to work and not be on an awesome road trip. let me please add that there is a note on my fridge that currently says "off to get my tan on in hawaii" with a drawing of them sizzling in the sun.

*if you don't try to enjoy every part of the journey you maybe won't love road trips so much. in this case, flying might be a better option for you.

reason 3.

even though you're driving through boring iowa and nebraska at least your having great conversation.
there's something about the open road and changing scenery that makes you think deep thoughts, step out of the usual routine and evaluate life more clearly. maybe you think about the things you should change about yourself. this is important and good for the health of your soul.

reason 4.

good company.
whomever you're riding with is most likely awesome, because they too, love a good trip on down the road. this gives you a common interest to begin building a wonderful friendship. open up the sun roof. now you may begin to create inside jokes, or sing along to songs, even though you can't sing worth beans. because this is the safety nest. it's safe to say or sing anything you want.

reason 5.

you can eat fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
go ahead. have a sausage egg mcmuffin and stop again in two hours for a double cheeseburger meal. ask for extra salt. because the people 10 cars ahead of you are doing the same thing. they will make a joke to you and say "so, you like mcdonalds, huh?" and everyone can have a giggle. this is all very normal.

reason 6.

listening to your epic mix tape (CD).
maybe you added some joke songs. perhaps you googled songs that are about the city you'll end up in. try to determine whose mix fits the trip better. it's important to listen to the entire cd several times. this way, in the future you will hear one and instantly transport back to this great time on the open road.

reason 7.

wondering how you ever survived life with out a smart phone.
for real. how did we ever get from A to B? did we really use actual maps and pull over and point to the "key" and discuss the best route? all i do is type the city name and follow a blue blinky dot. this requires zero brain activity.

reason 8.

calling/texting an old friend you just remembered lives in that town, and maybe just maybe, they'll let you stay with them for free tonight.
you're exhausted and slightly delusional from running on two hours of sleep. your probably getting cranky because you missed a few turns. do everyone a favor and stop driving now. reunite with your old friend, eat a real meal of food. sleep a full eight hours. if you're lucky they'll send you off with a bag of snacks in the a.m.

reason 9.

feeling perplexed by the effects of altitude even though you've experienced it before.
it's the rocky mountains. the air is indeed thinner. i know it bewilders you every time. drink a lot of water. stay away from caffeine. you're going to get a headache. your car will act different too. i know it's gorgeous, but don't try to go on a mini-hike. you won't get far at all.

reason 10.

reaching the final destination.
hopefully there was a moment of deep joy and wonder just as you caught a glimpse of point B. that  sunsetting on a mountain peak in the distance or the sparkly skyline of your favorite city. i really love when you see the ocean in the distance and it looks like it's floating up in the sky. maybe you're driving in the hills and the hills theme song really comes on the radio. soak in this very magical moment.

happy travels my friends.

megan marie.