Bucket List No. 8 - Visit the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon might be the national park. Its a place that we've all seen pictures of and have heard stories about, but let me reassure you that there is nothing like seeing it in person. We were lucky enough to catch a sunrise at this amazing place and it was unlike any other experience I've ever had. Watching the canyon fill up with color as the sunlight painted it, beautiful. Even Nora got a chance to take a peek.

Bucket List No. 11 - Take a Cross-Country Road Trip

It has been a long while since I've posted something. Partly it has to do with the fact that I've been adjusting with living out in Las Vegas and things have been pretty hectic. The other reason is unfortunately, I am without a camera for the time being. Someone apparently felt that they needed my camera and lenses more than I did. It is unfortunate, but I feel like there is no sense in being too upset. After all, I am still here, alive and well. It all happened while nobody was home so I am thankful for that. Anyways, the show must go on, as they say.

One of the fortunate aspects of moving out west was the need to bring my car over. What a great opportunity to cross an item off my bucket list, a cross-country road trip. Its not quite coast to coast, but I think New Jersey to Las Vegas qualifies. Luckily I wasn't alone which would have made the trip a long and dull one. We left on a Saturday morning and arrived Wednesday evening, putting behind us nearly 3000 miles of road. Having a romantic Valentine's excursion in the Windy City, Chicago. A day is not nearly enough time for such a big city, but we were able to squeeze in breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast place as a kid, Intelligentsia Coffee, Millennium Park, the Art Institute and a nice dinner. All in all a nice rest from a lot of travel.

We mostly followed Route 66, the Mother Road, from Chicago to Las Vegas and it was definitely interesting to say the least. I'm not sure what I had expected, but the road seemed very lonely and desolate. A piece of American history kind of frozen in place, straddling the lines of the glory it used to be and the obscurity it is today. I am glad that I got to saw it.

On our trip we also go to see the Grand Canyon, but I'll save that for the next post!

Lake Mead

A quick weekend trip to Lake Mead, a national recreation area. We picked up a National Park Annual Pass, so you better believe that I'm going to be visiting more places! I think next up will be Zion Canyon, Utah. Lake Mead is known for some great fishing and hopefully I'll get a chance catch some fish next time around.

Also as we were leaving, we got to catch full moon rise!  It was beautiful and the pictures do not do it justice. Amazing.

Red Rock Canyon

Las Vegas is known for its (I finally learned the difference between its and it's) neon lights and casinos. At least this was the case for me. I came here thinking that all it was is a city full of casinos and never-ending nightlife. While this is true to some extent, Las Vegas has so much more to offer as I've been finding out. In its (again with the proper use!) backyard is a natural playground that is not easily matched. Red Rock Canyon is probably about 20 minutes away and I can already tell that its going to be one of my favorite places to visit. Great hiking, what looks like amazing climbing and a breathtaking view. I already can't wait to go back!

Bucket List No. 35 - Learn How To Surf

Something about surfing had always intrigued me. Maybe it was the thought of being almost completely at the mercy of Mother Nature or maybe it was that I watched Johnny Tsunami on the Disney Channel too many times. Either way I knew I wanted to try it and being in Nicaragua was the perfect opportunity.

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When looking into Nicaragua, I quickly found out that it was a hotspot for surfing. San Juan Del Sur is well advertised as a surfing mecca and it was my honor to make the pilgrimage. We went to the supposedly well known Playa Maderas. It was an awesome little spot with a hostel, a bar and a slackline! Just another thing I got to fail at, but thats another story for another time.

Alright, so no need to bore you with the details of trying/failing numerous times and getting thrashed by the waves over and over again. I think all of that goes without saying for any beginning surfer. I can say that I was fortunate enough to stand up a few times. It was amazing and at the same time terrifying. Even though I was aware of how powerful the ocean was, it reminded on more than a couple occasions. I’m left excited to go again. If you’re wanted to try it, you should! It is awesome! It’s hard to explain, but the thing that I loved the most about it was being at the mercy of the wave. I felt like I was just pleading for one great ride before I had to leave the ocean. I can see why surfers out there are constantly chasing that one perfect ride.

Now I think I'm ready to try some big waves on a short board! Who wants to go? 

Click here to look at my ever changing bucket list.