Tuesday the 12th
Dad drove me to Midway Airport in the morning so I could catch my flight to Salt Lake City and visit Tina!
The most accurate fortune cookie ever
Connecting flight in Denver.
Their airport is pretty nice!
Watched Guardians of the Galaxy for the second time right after getting picked up at the airport by Tina.
Wednesday the 13th
Slept in and then had brunch at a bistro I can't remember the name of.
Should've gotten ranch but I decided not to because my entree was creamy.
Very tan, and very pretty Tina with her portobello wrap.
Shared their popular dessert.
I liked the vanilla ice cream the best. Don't think I'm a fan of deep fried fruit.
Finally reached the creek!
Such clean water!
One of many giant fallen trees.
*stolen from Tina*Pretending to be xtreme.
So after running past spider web wrapped trees, Tina and I continued on what we thought was the trail, but we kept climbing up the side of the mountain.
Climbing a steep wall of loose rocks and dirt.
True struggle. True wilderness.
We came to the conclusion that we were way above where we were trying to go so we carefully made our way back down.
Struggling through dense mountain bush while holding onto branches for life.Honestly, if there was no audible creek or if we were stupider, we probably could have died.
But we didn't and we made it!
It was my first time seeing one in real life. Sooo cooling and refreshing!
Cooling and refreshing enough to get us climbing up a random rope we found next to the waterfall.
After sitting at the waterfall for a bit more, we sadly decided that it was time to leave, and headed back.
The way back was just as beautiful.
The first thing I noticed about Utah is how low the clouds hang. I love it!
Dinner after slightly putting ourselves back together.
Thursday the 14th
Grabbed a quick sandwich from a market to eat in the car to prepare for an activity packed day!
First stop: Beaver Creek for some good ol' horseback riding!!
Couldn't take many non-blurry pictures while trying to stay on/keep my camera from getting thwacked by branches. Some parts of the trail were bumpy!
Yowza! What a view! Enhanced even more so by riding a lovely horse!
It was a wonderful hour and I totally want to do it again and again, but wow was it painful. My knees were killing me and I even got a bruise on my ass!
Next stop: Bear Lake!
But first, lunch!
It was really fresh but I wished it was a little bit sweeter. (￣ェ￣;)
And finally, the lake!
We walked halfway down the path and turned around to see this awesome view.
(∿°○°)∿ ︵ ǝʌol
Some parts of the water are so blue and clean, it looks tropical, even!
Definitely the most beautiful place I've ever been in my 22 years of life. It is honestly so perfect. On top of how unrealistically beautiful it is, there's free parking and there are so little people.
So sad we didn't have time to paddle board there. (╯︵╰,)
Final stop for the day: Idaho!
First meese sighting of our lives!
We also saw our first cave!
I think they look like melting castles.
The bridge you cross to and from the cave has an awesome view as well.
Back to Utah!
My cold and rubbery chicken.
Friday the 15th
It was time to say goodbye to gorgeous Utah.
Back on the road to Colorado!
The beginnings of Colorado
Denver sent us the most amazing welcome
Our really nice room.
Dinner in downtown Denver.
Tamarind fizzy. It just tasted like a virgin mojito.
I wanna try original ones even more now!
Pork belly baos. They were the stars.
Donuts and Vietnamese coffee ice cream.
We walked to a bar to try and say hi to Tina's friend but we ended up just heading back home after waiting cause she wasn't answering her phone.
Saturday the 16th
We started heading to Crystal Lake, but traffic was awful, the hike was 8 miles, and we were trying to go out later that night, so we opted for a closer trail.
Tunnel in a cave!
We ended up going to the Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
We chose to hike the Burro Trail so we could get to the City Lights Ridge, but we ended up going the wrong way and decided to just go to Windy Peak instead. It was a difficult trail and it kicked our asses. We ended up hiking around 6 miles instead of the 1.2 miles but it was worth it.
But I'm so glad I did!
It was awesome to just sit above everything and listen to the wind rustle through all the trees.
Back to the city!
We were hoping for late night dim sum but I guess only big cities do that. We settled for what we could have.
Beef chow fun.
Black bean clams.
Very disappointing salt and pepper friend smelt.
We went to the bar we were waiting outside of the night before.
I almost didn't get in because two bouncers didn't believe my i.d. was mine! It wasn't until the second bouncer called his manager to check it that I was let in. Tina thinks it's because of the hair color difference but I know it's because I wasn't wearing makeup. Hahaha!
The d.j. was the best (of the very few) I've ever listened to, and we had a lot of fun dancing until they closed.
We also rode our first rickshaw!
Tina and I always felt like we couldn't do it in Chicago because it was too touristy but after experiencing how fun it is, we changed our minds. They move way faster than I thought!
Sunday the 17th
Checked out of our room in the morning and headed onto Nebraska.
The best beef and vegetable soup I've ever had. I even at the vegetables! And they are super generous with the meat! It was soooo good with their buttered bread.
The. BEST. fried chicken. EVAR!!!! Oh my gosh. Perfectly seasoned and crispy yet the meat is so tender. Still kicking myself for forgetting the leftovers in our hotel room fridge. (ノಠ益ಠ)ノARGHHHH!!!!
Also left this in the fridge. In fact, I forgot all leftovers in fridges the whole trip! OTL
Monday the 18th
Checked out of our last hotel and headed back home!
Made a pit stop at Maid Rite in Iowa first, though.
Had to try their beloved loose meat sandwich. It's basically a sloppy joe without the sauce.
Their handicap bathroom is basically a full bathroom in a bathroom!
There was also a hotel/waterpark, playground, and mini golf course at the stop.
What an unforgettable trip! It couldn't have happened at a better time! I'm so happy I got to go to such beautiful states and experience everything I did! Lots of firsts and a lot more laughs and so much beauty! So many thanks to Tina for driving the entire time (I am a lame) and planning everything! This trip was only possible and as enjoyable as it was because of you, Tina. I know you're reading this, so, THANK YOU SO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU!!! ♡〜٩(^▿^)۶〜♡