Las Vegas Buffet Experience- Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan

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One of my goals while in Vegas was to go to an awesome buffet. We did a lot of research to find one that we'd be happy with. One downside of being in Vegas over Memorial Day was the prices for everything went up a bit. The buffet prices were all a little higher than they usually are which almost caused us not to eat at one while we were there. But! My birthday needed to be celebrated (it's today!) so that gave us an excuse to go to a buffet after all. My good friend Laura pointed out that I celebrated my b-day last year also at a buffet. What can I say, I love to eat.

We chose to go to the Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan. Woooow was it awesome. The buffet was beautiful inside and the food was crazy good.
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My favorites in order are-
Duck Ravioli with Butternut Squash Sauce
Gelato Bar!
Shrimp and Grits
Cold Crab Legs
Shepherd's Pie
Sweet Potato Puree
Shrimp Mac n Cheese (they had a mac n cheese bar where you could add whatever you want to it)
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OMG I ate so much. The buffet also had delicious prime rib, pork ribs, leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, bread, cheese assortment, chocolate mousse, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, and shrimp pot-stickers.

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I thought this buffet was classy and I liked how most things were served pre-portioned. It helped me to not fill my plate too full lol.
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We stayed for about 3 hours enjoying our food and our server was really nice. He kept coming by saying take your time! Stay as long as you want! So we did.
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I would recommend this buffet if you're looking for somewhere awesome to eat in Vegas!!
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Las Vegas!

I thought that leaving the wilderness of the Utah National Parks after being around them for over 3 weeks and going straight to Vegas would be a major culture shock. But, Vegas was a perfect ending to the month of May. Each week and each park just seemed to get better and better. Vegas capped the month off with a bang.

I'd never been to Vegas before but the moment we walked onto the strip I was pretty mesmerized but the beautiful glittering casinos. We only spent 2.5 days in Vegas. We stuck with the Strip and I still feel like there's more to see after hanging out there for as long as we did.
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Beautiful Ceiling at Bellagio
I was also mesmerized by all the crazy people! The outfits... I mean I've never seen such amazingly skanky outfits on some people. I think my favorite outfits were the ladies wearing their bikinis just straight up out on the street clearly not going to a pool, just wearing their swimsuit around town.
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The beautiful Bellagio Fountains
The large drinks that many people walked around with were also awesome. I must admit that I partook in a tall souvenir cup of Pina Colada/ Strawberry daqueri. It was just so hot and I needed something cold. I also realize how boring the rest of the country can be when you can't just walk around anywhere with a beverage. In Vegas it seemed crazy not to be walking around with drink in hand.
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New York New York
Matt and I also were given a total of 8 free drinks at various casinos while playing slots. I'm quite proud of that, we also won a total of $15! Woohoo! I'm just glad we didn't loose any money. I'm starting to believe slot machines are not the way to make very much money.
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Free Drink Score! I'm easy to please.
I will definitely go back to Vegas someday. To sum up what Vegas is like to me, it's like a cruise on land. Leaving Vegas and Utah behind is sort of depressing today. We're outside of LA on our way to Sequoia National Park tomorrow and compared to where we've been, this place is so not pretty. I'm excited to get back into the National Parks! 
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At the Venetian

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Big Money on those vouchers
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Living a More Active Lifestyle- I Love It

Now that Matt are living on the road I’m required to be a lot more active and move around so much more than I’ve been doing the past 3 years on a daily basis.

No matter how much I tried to include exercise in my daily life it just never added up to a good number and hours to keep me feeling awesome.

In college I was required to move a lot by walking or biking to classes, to meals, to the parking lot which was super far away and to do anything. I also exercised but definitely felt slim and trim in college no problemo.

When I started working I understandably got to my desk every morning and only got up to get coffee, get lunch, go to the bathroom, go to the copier, go talk to someone and then to go to my car to leave. It’s so hard when you have a desk job to move your body. An 8 hour workday is a long time to be moving little to none. Even exercising an hour a day is just not enough to keep up with the amount of eating that I would do in a day. (Yes I know I could have eaten less but, when free food is offered at work, it's not easy to say, no, I'll pass! P.S. we had a lot of good free food at my job).

So, after just a few weeks on the road I’ve learned that I have to walk to the bathroom, to get water, to clean dishes, to empty the trash, bike or walk to get to places around the parks and we’re hiking/biking everyday which feels amazing.

Each day also feels so long but at the same time flies by. Each night when it’s time for bed I long to get under the covers and fall asleep because I just can’t keep my eyes open. I have not experienced boredom out on the road yet. I miss lots of internet time but I also know it’s good for me to be away from it way more than I’m used to.

I’m also required to eat what I have in the trailer. When living in our house, I could go to any store whenever a craving struck and get ice cream, pie, chips (whatever) and eat it right then. Now that we’re farther away from grocery stores and we’re staying in lots of national parks we are more stuck and just eat what we already have. Knowing that there's not a grocery store around the corner (or and ice cream shop) I tend to think less about food I don't have access to anyway which is nice.

If I could find a way to work and stay this active everyday that would be the ultimate life!


Zion National Park- The Narrows and Wildlife

If you ever want to be able to find your campsite from a trail high above the park, you should get a polished Airstream-

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Amazing right? Anyway, we're still in the beautiful Zion National Park and I have much more to share about our time here!

Zion exists because of the Virgin River. This river cut through the landscape and made a remarkable place full of beautiful rock, plants and wildlife!
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My favorite hike in Zion was The Narrows. This hike is at the north end of the park and is really just hiking in the river! By walking in the river you are in the deep beautiful narrow canyon cut out by the cold, clear, beautiful Virgin River.

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Walking through the river required me to wear quite a nice outfit-

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The water was about 56 degrees and we were in and out of the river for about 4 hours in ankle deep water to up to my thighs. While the water was cold, the day was hot at almost 90 degrees so walking in the cold water was nice. The views also took my mind off the cold water.

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Really the views inside the canyon are unreal and if you ever get the chance to hike the Narrows you will not be sorry.

There were some points where the river was moving pretty quickly and having a walking stick to help support me was very helpful. I also just wore socks with running shoes and that worked out just fine. You can rent water shoes and pants to keep you from getting wet but that was about $22 for the shoes and $40 for shoes and pants which I’m too cheap to spend.

Speaking of cheap, Matt and I bought 2 river rafts at Wal Mart the other night and have been tubing almost every afternoon! You aren’t allowed to tube in the national park but you can tube through the city just outside of the park called Springdale. You can tube for about 1 hour and then get out at the town shuttle station. The shuttle is free and shuttles people staying at hotels or going out to eat/shop in town to Zion! It’s a great when it’s hot outside so, if you come to Zion, bring a tube! Put it in the river just past the Zion Visitor’s Center and you’re good to go!

Tomorrow we head to Las Vegas!!

Zion National Park- Watchman Campground

The whole time we were traveling to Zion I kept singing the Hynm “We’re Marching to Zion, beautiful beautiful Zion, we’re marching onward to Zioooonn the beautiful city of God!” Have you hear it?? Well, this park is named correctly. It’s beautiful and I’m amazed at God’s creation here.

I will brag a second and say that Matt got us a niiice campsite for the next few days.
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This park is really popular and there were no reservable campsites left. Matt called 2 days before we were arriving in Zion and someone had cancelled their spot so we got an electric campsite on the Virgin River at the Watchman Campground! It’s so nice having constant electricity, what a luxury (we are used to living off battery power and being conservative with the power). The Virgin River is also perfectly clear and inviting.  I love sitting next to it on the sand beach every morning and afternoon.
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If you are planning a camping trip to Zion the Watchman Campground is definitely worth the extra $2-$4 over South Campground. The South Campground is nice too but Watchman is nice to have a reservation and avoid stalking for a campsite at South and it's got nicer bathrooms.
Originally Zion was named by the Mormon settlers and a lot of the rock formations and places here were named by the Mormons. But! A Methodist Minister is also credited for naming Angels Landing (a tall rock formation you can hike all the way up! we didn't go to the top btw) go Methodists!

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Angels Landing is behind us

I think my favorite part of this park is the bikeablitly (meaning it is very bike friendly). Yesterday Matt and I put our bikes on the Zion shuttle bus, rode to the top of the park, did a little hiking then rode back to our campsite. It was such a fun day being outside and zooming around on my bike.
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I’m loving this active lifestyle. It’s crazy to think that just a month ago I was sitting on my booty for literally 8 hours a day or more.
Lastly, the Zion Shuttle is awesome here. There are so many visitors to the park that they require people to ride the shuttle past a certain point to help ease traffic. The shuttle is propane powered and totally makes me feel like I’m at Disney World. There’s an informational recording while you ride around and it stops at all the major stops!
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I’ll post more on Zion soon!

Bryce Canyon Photos

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Here are some final photos from Bryce Canyon. Please notice the Horned Frog!! Go Frogs! (That’s for my school TCU if you don’t know).
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Overall Bryce Canyon was a beautiful park with very bright stars at night. It was a unique mixture of forest and rock. We saw lots of deer and prong horn in this park.

I didn’t like the higher altitude of this park though because it definitely made me feel super tired and lethargic. Since we only spent less than a week there I never really got acclimated to the elevation.

I enjoyed the cool weather. Hiking was much more pleasant in cooler temps and it's nice to open the windows at night to let in the cool air!

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Fairyland Canyon Hike was quite a workout!
We had a great experience at Bryce!

Now we’re at Zion and OMG this park is amazing. More on it later!


Airstream Life Food

Since being on the road (it's been over 2 weeks now omg) I've had to figure out just what in the world to cook and how to make it taste good. For the most part I've used our Webber Q grill to make our meals. I also have an induction cook top I use and a microwave but the grill has proven to be the easiest to use so far since we've been camping in mostly non-electric campsites.

Some staples of our camping meals include chicken ceasar salad (it's delish & easy), fajitas (chicken and steak mmm), pancakes!,  scrambled eggs and bacon, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (so good) and hamburgers (we've had these at least 4 times now).
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When I'm feeling less adventurous we dine on cereal for breakfast and turkey sandwiches for lunch.

When I'm feeling fancy, I've made rosemary pork chops with mashed potatoes and jambalaya with grilled asparagus.
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One of the fun things about cooking in the Airstream is that I take more time to prepare our meals. At our house I tried to make food as fast as I could because we were too busy or too hungry to wait long for our meals to be ready!

I do miss being able to make cookies, cake, ice cream- you know, all that bad stuff that pinterest made me make because it looked (and was) so good.

What are some of your favorite meals that I could make on the grill, fire or cook top? I'm always searching for new ideas!


Bryce Canyon Astrophotography

Howdy, It's Matt writing again on the blog! This week we're staying at Bryce Canyon National Park in Southwest Utah.  Bryce is known for spectacular rock canyons, fascinating HooDoo's (rock spires), and very dark skies!

I've been excited to take some night sky photos since we left the light pollution of the big city and I've definitely come to a great spot.  First off, thanks Dad for my graduation gift of a Canon 40D DSLR camera - it has been a great tool on this adventure and now I've gotten to try it out on the stars!

Now, of course much better photos of my first two images are available on the web by professionals, but keep in mind these were just taken with a DSLR - no telescope used!

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
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M13 - Hercules Cluster
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These are 2 fun wide angle sky photos I took.  I hope to replace the trees with some canyon rock soon!

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Also - if you're someone we've met on the road - please leave us a comment on the blog - we would love to hear from you!