I am increasingly bothered by the lack of Thanksgiving this year. Before we even crossed Halloween this year, news articles started talking about Christmas – whether it was retailers focused on this Christmas shopping, or food news articles skipping the Turkey, and going straight to Christmas cookies and yule logs. Starbucks has even stopped serving “Thanksgiving” blend before Thanksgiving even started! They’ve moved onto “Christmas” dark and blonde blends. Thanksgiving has not happened people!!!!!! What happened to the Thanksgiving that we Americans have celebrated since we were pilgrims? I am afraid to ask what they teach kids in elementary school right now – do they still have a craft day where we made turkeys by tracing our hand on construction paper? Do they have dress up day where kids dressed as pilgrims or silly turkeys? I sure had that in my childhood and it engrained in me the importance of Thanksgiving. Why are we in such a rush to Christmas? Why are we in such a rush to end the year? Does it have anything to do with all the horrific things we encounter in the world that we just want to turn the page and look to the future? Well my take on it is why don’t we just slow the way down, hug our families and friends when the world is so crazy, cherish those moments where we gather around and eat turkey and cranberry and stuffing, and embrace the spirit of the holidays.
Last night, I was able to do so with some of my friends for Friendsgiving. I am thankful for those times where we can get together, eat, laugh, be ourselves, when we are apart for most of the year. These moments occur less and less after we place ourselves in the real world. All the more important to get together and spend quality time with each other! I made these spicy sriracha chicken wings for the dinner and I am so happy with the results!
I challenge you to skip the Peppermint Mocha at the moment, and enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte until Thanksgiving is over.
After my last final, I went on a mini family vacay to Utah – Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon!!! I will talk about Zion Canyon in this post! I was so excited to see the beautiful Zion since I have heard such great things about it. When we got there, we were in a cute lodge, Pioneer Lodge, in Springdale, UT, right outside the South entrance to the park. It was a cute country folk, western lodge with clean and comfy down comforters and pillows. Outside, the little town had other cute lodges, cafes, and shops. But the grand part was that the town was surrounded by the majestic, big, towering RED mountains of Zion. We dropped our stuff off and went into the park. The park is closed to vehicles in the Summer so there are constant shuttles that take you inside the canyon at the Visitor Center. Super convenient! It drops you off at the trail heads so you can take short or long hikes into the canyon. We went to the furthest stop first and hiked the Riverside Walk, which takes you along the Virgin River and winds through the canyons. It was so beautiful – words can’t describe. You need to see it for yourself! We also climbed onto the Weeping Rock, where water runs down the rocks and you are standing inside this cave-like thing and staring out into Zion Canyon. So beautiful! The next day, we went on a hike to the Emerald Pools, all 3 pools, Lower, Middle, and Upper. The moss/algae makes the bottom of the pool green-ish and it is pretty cool because these pools act like little oasis in the mountains. What is cool about Zion is that the canyons are formed through intense flash floods, which is crazy to me because the canyons are so tall, you can’t really imagine water running through at high, fast levels. What is beautiful though, because of the Virgin River and the water, there are tons of trees and vegetation throughout, with signs all over that tell you what certain trees/plants are. Super cool and it feels like I am at a garden or something. Here are some beautiful pictures. I hope that you can someday enjoy it! It is only about 2.5 hours away from Las Vegas!!!
Court of the Patriarchs
View from Weeping Rock
Virgin River/Riverside Walk