starring Tina.
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!
Awful sweet and sour chicken for brunch.

The most accurate fortune cookie ever
 Seriously though, I hadn't seen Tina since April!

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.

 Did it right and got animal style everything this time!

Wednesday the 13th
Slept in and then had brunch at a bistro I can't remember the name of.
 Pretty ceiling!

 The most depressing salad I've ever tasted.
Should've gotten ranch but I decided not to because my entree was creamy.

 Chicken Diana or something. I liked the cream sauce a lot.

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.

 After digesting a little bit, I went on my very first hike!
 Such a shame the camera can't do justice for all the beauty that was seen! (But you can click the pictures for bigger, better view-age :D)

 The awesome bridge someone was thoughtful enough to modify for easy passage.

 Cool mini fall behind the giant stone.

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.
 Where are we?!

Climbing a steep wall of loose rocks and dirt.
 Seriously doubting this is the right way.

*taken by Tina*
True struggle. True wilderness.

 A picture of what we climbed that doesn't show how giant it was.

 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!

The Adam's Canyon waterfall!

Blood, sweat, confusion, 2.5 hours and three mosquito bites on my face later, 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.
Realllllly steep. 
 We probably shouldn't have, but Tina and I laugh in the face of danger B] Hahahaha!

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.
 One of my favorite snaps from this trip.
The first thing I noticed about Utah is how low the clouds hang. I love it!

 Houses, the city, lake, and even more mountains in the distance! Crazy!

 The beginnings of the trail.

I did that! Adam's Canyon Trail, moderate difficulty, and 3.5 miles!

Dinner after slightly putting ourselves back together.
*stolen from Tina*

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!!
 Horses and their wranglers waiting.

 Was super excited cause I hadn't been on a horse since the fifth grade!

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!
 Our wrangler was super nice too! I think her name was...Stephanie?? :X

Water break

Too cute!
 Our horses for the morning, Rio and Captain. Rio kept farting and Captain kept pooping on the way! Ahahaha!

 Too cute! (≧∇≦)

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!
 Tina was driving and driving, and then suddenly the lake revealed itself. It was one of the most incredible moments of this trip!

But first, lunch!
 Made sure to get their famous raspberry shake (it's supposed to be the best).
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.

 Almost there! But already so beautiful!

(∿°○°)∿ ︵ ǝʌol

 Look at the clouds and the mountains and how blue the water is!!
Some parts of the water are so blue and clean, it looks tropical, even!

 It's also really shallow so you can walk really far into it and it will only come up to the top of your thighs!

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. (╯︵╰,)

 Last snap before leaving. Another favorite.

Final stop for the day: Idaho!
First meese sighting of our lives!

We also saw our first cave!
 Super cool stalagmites and stalactites.

I think they look like melting castles.

 Stairway to heaven from hell.

 Hahaha this was the best of the four a fellow tourist took for me.

The bridge you cross to and from the cave has an awesome view as well.
 Adorable cows out and about.

Back to Utah!
 Idaho gets to enjoy Bear Lake as well!

Dinner time~
 Giant Thai iced teas!

My cold and rubbery chicken.

 Tina and her crummy birthday dinner. Yep, it was TINA'S BIRTHDAY!!! ☆*・゜゚・*\(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆

 Friday the 15th
It was time to say goodbye to gorgeous Utah.
 Our last moments on the street Tina lived on for the last four months.

Back on the road to Colorado!
 Train on the mountain!

 Windy Wyoming.

 Love the clouds just sitting on top of the horizon

The beginnings of Colorado
 It was super cool seeing rain from a distance! You could actually watch the drops fall!

 Clouds touching the ground??? (◕o◕)

Denver sent us the most amazing welcome
Couldn't get it on camera, but it was a complete arched double rainbow!!! And you could see the violet rays. When do you ever see the violet rays!? And, it was hanging over the place we were trying to find. WAT! Tina and I will never forget that moment. It was the most magical moment of my life. Wow. Just wow.

Our really nice room.

Dinner in downtown Denver.
 The lady chef was from Evanston!

 It was really nice.

 Complimentary sesame rice cracker. The salsa dip thing was a bit sweet for me.

Tamarind fizzy. It just tasted like a virgin mojito.

French onion soup dumplings.
I wanna try original ones even more now!

Pork belly baos. They were the stars.

Their version of carbonora.

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.
 Cool sights though.

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!
 It was super cool inside too!

 Casinos in the mountains!

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.
 Cute bridge.

Cabin in the mountains!

 We were lucky the weather was nice and cool because I was beginning to doubt if it was worth it. If it was a really hot day, I don't know if I would have made it.

But I'm so glad I did!
 The view at 9000ft.
Probably the coolest polaroids I'll ever have.

It was awesome to just sit above everything and listen to the wind rustle through all the trees. 
 After some reflection time, we sadly headed back down again.

 Had lots of thoughts race through my head to distract me from the pain in my hamstrings, particularly those of thanks to mother nature and people who made it possible for me to hike these beautiful trails. Hahaha

Back to the city!
 Denver's cute little skyline.

Late dinner.
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!
 Our rickshaw biker's name was Rick and he was awesome as well!

 Hahaha not very sober selca.

Sunday the 17th
Checked out of our room in the morning and headed onto Nebraska.
 Sooooo empty!

Dinner stop!
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.

Tina's steak.

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!!!!

 Really sweet and moist black forest cake.
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!
 Tina and I thought it was cool.

There was also a hotel/waterpark, playground, and mini golf course at the stop.
 Look at that form!

Wagon riding weee~~

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〜♡

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