Las Vegas to Zion National Park

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Michael and I woke up at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Bright and early, thanks to the time zone change. As we continued to rest for a few minutes, we heard Nora start to stir, so we got up to start the day. Thankfully, she slept through the night without issue, despite being in a strange hotel crib. (I don't know why I continue to be surprised by how adaptable this baby is, but I am. Every time.)

After we showered, got ready, and packed up (with all of the moving around we're doing, the packing/unpacking is going to get OLD--I can tell already!), we went downstairs to take a little walk around the casino before checking out.

Nora was happy to watch me play a few minutes of penny slots (we weren't very lucky), and people watch. There's something strangely fascinating about the people sitting at the Black Jack tables, drinking spirits at 7:30 a.m. Ahh, Vegas.

We went back upstairs to retrieve our luggage and hit the road. But first, we made a pit stop for a photo op at the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. This was something we never did during our first trip to Vegas, so it was something Michael really wanted to do this time. Especially with Nora.

Nora's faces in self-portrait pics = Priceless

After hunting down a Walmart and stocking up on essentials like baby food, water, and an abundance of snacks, we head out on the highway, making our way to Utah and Zion National Park.

The drive is very scenic, but wow--there is pretty much nothing out there! Good thing we had plenty of gas and didn't need a bathroom. :) In all, it took us just under three hours, and Nora slept for 2+ hours of it. Little snoozer needed a good nap!

We arrived in Springdale to find a cute little village with shops, restaurants, and hotels. We were struck by the beautiful mountains surrounding the entire area. Gorgeous! I mean, check out the view from the hotel parking lot:

We got checked in and settled. After such a great nap, Nora was extremely happy, so we had to snap a few pics of her while she enjoyed her lunch.

Oh, my heart.

Our hotel is located just outside of the entrance to the park (super convenient!), so after lunch, we decided to walk over to the park to get the scoop. The entrance fee is $12/person and is good for seven days, so we purchased tickets and went on in. After studying a trail map for a few minutes, we decided to explore Watchman's Trail, a moderate level trail.

It was in the low-60s here today, which we thought was still kind of chilly when we started out. However, as we got moving, we realized it was actually pretty warm! We started shedding layers pretty quickly, and I really wish I had worn shorts!

Thank goodness for Nora's sun hat. The sun was harsh, and Michael and I were unprepared, with no sunscreen. Thankfully, we ended up with a little sun on our faces and arms, but no burns. At least we now know better for tomorrow!

The hike was beautiful, with stunning 360-degree views. It's times like these when you look around in complete awe of the beauty of the Earth!

Nora napped the entire way up. Gotta love the Ergo carrier! Tomorrow, I want to try her in the "back carry" position. Although I made it up fine, there were times that it felt very difficult to lug a ~15 lb. weight on the front of me! :)

We saw several of these little lizards scurrying about along the trail.

Eventually, we reached the top of the trail, with a viewpoint of the Towers of the Virgin, lower Zion Canyon, and Springdale.

Smooches! A cute pic that Michael snagged as I kissed Nora at the top of the trail. *Love*

By this point, it was late afternoon, so we began our descent to get down and get FOOD!

Michael and Nora are in this pic; they are just very small! :)

The trail took just about two hours roundtrip. Not bad for Nora's first-ever hike! :)

We stopped back into our hotel room to clean up just a little, then headed out for dinner. We decided to go to Zion Pizza & Noodle Co.

We grabbed a table out on the balcony--how could you NOT eat outside when this is the view from the dinner table?

Nora rounded out the day by being an angel at dinner. We enjoyed a Spicy Southwestern Burrito pizza, which was different than anything we've ever had before, and really good!

Another fun-filled day in Zion planned for tomorrow!


basebell6 May 2, 2011 at 12:11 PM  

your trip looks like it would be ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she sure is happy where-ever she is! :) great phots!

Sandy May 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM  

You are so lucky to have such an adorable and flexible baby! Is Nora wearing an amber teething necklace? How is that working and can I ask where you got yours? Thanks!

Wishing on stars May 4, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

Wow, those pictures are so beautiful, but I have to say the most beautiful picture you posted is of you kissing Nora. That is just the sweetest thing ever and really makes my "waiting to have a baby" so difficult lol

Also love the first pic of her on the bed. She is such a doll!

I'm glad you guys are having fun. I haven't been there before but it is on our list.

Michelle May 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM  

Nature is amazing. Wait until you see the Grand Canyon!

Heather May 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

Thanks, all. It was so, so beautiful. As pretty as the pictures look, they just do not do it justice!

@Sandy--Yes, that is an amber teething necklace. We're not sure exactly how it's working, since we haven't seen any teeth pop through yet. We're reserving judgement for now. :) We actually had it on her because it's a natural pain reliever and we figured we could use all the help we could get with her ear infection! And, for what it's worth, she did not seem to be bothered by her ears, even when we were on the plane at high altitudes. We got the necklace from Inspired by Finn.

Megan,  March 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM  

Stunning photos! I'm planning a trip to Zion in late June, could you tell me what the name of your hotel that you stayed at is?

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