Zion & Bryce

After Vegas we started on our four-hour trip to Zion, where a Jeep tour with S’mores awaited us. Between a rental car issue (nothing big, just the BRAKES GIVING OUT ON THE FREEWAY), a stop for boba tea, and a forehead-slapping moment when we realized Utah was an hour ahead, we didn’t make the Jeep tour. Instead, we took our family’s first trip to Cracker Barrel. It felt like a fair trade. Chicken fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and a roll? What reality is this?! Plus, this game of checkers had all the intensity of a red rock Jeep tour.


It was pitch black when we checked in at Zion, which meant we missed all the scenery on the way up, but the starry sky made up for it. They take light pollution seriously at Zion, so  the amount of visible stars rivaled the amount of pictures I took on this vacation. The stars were so spectacular, the only way to talk about them is in cliches. They shined like diamonds. They winked, they twinkled, they peeked and poked, they speckled and freckled and spangled.

I didn’t get a picture, so I made you one in Photoshop.

Starry night

Takes your breath away!

The next day we went on the Emerald Pools hike, which took us first under a waterfall then to the top of it.


The kids bounded in front of us, hopped across the pools on little rocks, scaled bigger ones, and marveled at the sweeping views. It was a magical lesson in perspective. Leo shared his own perspective with us at the trail’s end. “I hope I never have to go on that hike ever again!”

The drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon was even more spectacular than the night sky (the real one, not the Photoshop one). This piece of road must be where someone coined the phrase, “Life’s about the journey, not the destination.”


Miles and miles of that, only ten thousand times bigger. I generally don’t like the feeling of being small and insignificant, but it was a complete joy on this drive.

Bryce Canyon was more magic, mainly in the form of oranges rocks but also in the form of this little restaurant we stumbled on in the town of Tropic.


Finally, s’mores!


The boys played baseball using a broken cornhole set, ate a whole bag of marshmallows, and did some competitive porch swinging in a hexagonal gazebo that had six porch swings hanging in it. Darn it! Forgot to take a picture of that, too, and I exhausted my Photoshop skills in the starry sky picture. At any rate, if I ever get stuck in a Groundhog Day situation, I would like it to be this day please.

The next day we hit up some lookout points…



hiked down into the orange spires…



took some profile pix of V…

PXL_20230411_191133290.PORTRAIT copy

splashed around in the hotel’s pool…


then ditched the boys for a mini hike to Mossy Rock. You have to be careful on these trails though–


there are some real weirdos out there.

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