We made it to Zion // Day 1

Yikes this was a long day. It started in Boston and ended in Utah. There is something so incredibly punishing and rewarding about a 6 AM flight - especially when you live in the burbs. Everyone was a trooper from start to finish. Our goal for the day was essentially to get to Zion and maybe do a hike.

A lot of the hotels that we had been looking at led us to believe that we were traveling during an off-peak season, but the park was still incredibly busy. So far we are in love with the natural beauty of this whole place.

Funniest parts of the day? (1) When Jake got caught at the Vegas airport playing slots underage. (2) Looking at pictures last night and realizing I made a super weird face because I had seen a chipmunk. Kerrianne laughed so hard she cried. (3) Kerrianne constantly on the hunt for "scat" and identifying where it came from.

Flight & Car
The flight was really as expected - except it smelled like farts nearly the entire time. Jake slept pretty much the entire time and I hammered away on the internet thanks to the free wifi. Wrote a few blog posts and looked at 5-panel interior doors.

The real win was our rental car. Hertz gave us a BRAND new Jeep Grand Cherokee with all the bells and whistles. The steering wheel is heated. Giant sun roof. Satellite radio... and it had 3 miles on it. So we named it Ruth - and everything we do with her is the first time. Like, I was the first one to ever eat Arby's chicken tenders in her. But seriously, she has a lot of buttons that I don't know what they do.

The park was just under 3 hours from Las Vegas. When we left Vegas, it was like "cool this seems like the desert".... and then the landscape changed. There is no way to take pictures of it. Our goal was really to just get a lay of the land and maybe do a hike - but save any "big hike" for the next day. So we pretty much did everything that you could do in a car - the rest you have to do by the park shuttle. On our way out of the park, we did see a group of mule deer in the valley. Kerrianne nearly leapt out of the sunroof gazing at them.

Checkerboard Mesa // furthest point we drove into the park. initially not super impressive, but when you actually read the sign about the history it's pretty neat. The name was given to it by one of the early park rangers.

The Tunnel // apparently this was dug in the 1920s - and is beyond impressive, but also very narrow. I also didn't know where the headlights were on the car so that was a fun, scary moment.

Canyon Overlook Trail // we absolutely lucked out and got a parking spot here. It was only about a mile long trail, but with lots of ups and downs, and narrow edges really took longer than expected. Would absolutely recommend this to other people.

 Hotel & Dinner & Dessert
We are staying at the Majestic View Lodge in Springdale. Although Kerrianne had done a lot of the research for the trip, this was my pick. It was super affordable. The rooms are totally fine. But - it is pretty close to the main road. I'm not sure that I would recommend it during peak season.

The hotel did not get great reviews for food. I believe one TripAdvisor review specifically said to stay away. We ended up at "Bit & Spur" for Mexican. The chips and salsa absolutely hit the spot while leaving room for ice cream. One of the most entertaining parts of these trips is watching what Jake wants to do and finds fun - and turns out he's really into ice cream. We ended up grabbing some local flavors at Bumbleberry. I had Couger Tracks, Kerrianne had Emerald Pools, and Jake had Coyote Moon. And, they had us put a pin on their visitor map when they heard we were from Boston.

Tomorrow? Packing up and heading to Bryce!

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