Category / Utah

Destinations Utah

Sand Hollow | Utah

The desert is a curious place. If you ever find yourself in a deserted place, away from wifi and cars, stop and listen. Do you hear the wind gently moving the smallest grains of sand? Do you hear unseen creatures calling to one another? The sun shines relentlessly, knowing you can’t hide. How could you? You’re in the desert after all. Even the shade produced by a nearby tree withers away within itself, surrendering to the sun. Soon enough you start to wonder if you’re seeing things. What was so simple at first – a pile of sand, rocks, and miscellaneous desert plants – soon becomes intriguingly complex.

On our way to Zion National Park, we spent some time in Hurricane, Utah. Alex was still working remotely, so he took advantage of our hotel’s wifi and air conditioning while I explored the area. I kept seeing a sign just across the street for Sand Hollow State Park, and eventually curiosity got the best of me. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I parked the car. Was this a mirage? Rich hues of blue and the brightest orange sand I’ve yet to see fought for my attention. Here, in the middle of the desert, was a beautiful reservoir. There was no one else around except for the worker inside the rental shop who told me it wasn’t high season so I had it all to myself.

I took some photos and enjoyed the scenery, but eventually the sun won, and I went back to our hotel room for water and rest. After telling Alex about it, we decided we would go back later that day when it cooled down. When we arrived, a family of 5 had rented a boat and were inner tubing. We also decided to go in for a dip, and kept yelping and laughing at how slimy and strange the sand felt in between our toes. We floated on our backs and watched as the desert around us transformed from warm fiery hues to shades of cool blue. Wispy clouds became thicker, covering the fading sky. It was truly beautiful.


I haven’t added or intensified any of the colors on these images. What you see is exactly what my camera and iPhone picked up, except for the slight vignette.

If you ever find yourself on your way to Zion and want to stop by Sand Hollow for some fun, you can rent boats, jet skis, and ATVs for the dunes 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Camille

 

Destinations Sips & Bites Uncategorized Utah

Salt Lake City Sweets

Let’s talk about sweets. There are three types of people that eat out: those who order their meal and don’t leave room for dessert, those who order their meal and split dessert with someone, and those who order dessert AS their meal. I’m not ashamed to admit to being the latter. I used to have a naggy little voice in my head that would say silly things like “maybe you should order a salad first”, but honestly, why pay $15 for a salad when I can eat that at home? Can I get an amen?! Life is short, order the cheesecake.

Salt Lake City’s variety of sweets was the perfect excuse to indulge in some afternoon cappuccino and pastries. Usually I’d be exploring the nearest doughnut shop, but after typing “pastries” in yelp I realized that there were going to be some gems in SLC that I had never heard of. Before we talk about those, let’s start with the familiar, shall we?

Banbury Cross Donuts – I came here on a quest to get their blueberry cake or strawberry glazed doughnut, but when I walked in through the door almost all the flavors were sold out. Did it mention it was only 10 am? The interior of the shop is simple and unassuming, so I knew people weren’t coming here for the ambiance –these little morsels of fried dough were going to be tasty. The selection was limited at that time, all they really had left was the typical fare (sprinkles, glazed, old fashioned, etc) but I managed to find a cinnamon crumble doughnut that looked really promising. It was REALLY covered in cinnamon and brown sugar, so beware if you are really sensitive to spicy foods, besides that it was the perfect fall flavor. I also told the worker it was my first time there, and she gave me a free rainbow sprinkle doughnut. If you’re in town and are looking for a little adventure in your doughnut, I would definitely recommend this place, just make sure you come early 🙂

Vosen’s Bread Paradise – This small German bakery was a little slice of Europe. Walking in, I was instantly drawn to the fresh baked pretzels, spezi sodas, and every type of Kinder chocolate under the sun. After reminding myself to keep my eyes on the prize, I ended up getting what I came here for: the maple croliner. Have you heard of the latest cronut craze (the perfect offspring between a croissant and a doughnut)? Well, this is similar to that, but better. The croliner is filled to the brim with fresh, authentic Bavarian cream, and even though the exterior is rolled in sugar and topped with a maple glaze the sweetness was never over the top. This was the freshest cronut-ish pastry I have ever had. Not a big fan of maple? No problem. They also serve chocolate croliners.

Les Madeleines Cafe & Patisserie – Walking into Les Madeleines, I knew exactly what I was going to order. The internet was raving about something called “Kouing Aman”, and being the curious cat that I am I had to go try it. Moment of honesty: I definitely sat in my car by myself trying to find the right pronunciation for “Kouing Aman”. Was is it QUEEN-AH-MOHN, COO-ING AH-MAN?!? Who knows. I ended up just tapping against the glass with my finger and saying “one of these please”, and it worked! Sitting at my table, I stared at the small, funny-looking, too expensive pastry I just ordered and thought “this better be worth it”. I took one bite, closed my eyes, and made some strange sound that made the lady next to me look over her shoulder. My bad, I wasn’t expecting to be tasting heaven today. Actual pastry heaven; pure, buttery, caramelized sugar, moist perfection. The inside of the Kouing Aman is SO moist and delicious, a perfect contrast to its slightly flaky, crunchy, bronze exterior. I found myself taking smaller bites the closer I got to finishing it because I didn’t want the deliciousness to end. I wish I could forget the perfect sweet flavor of this incredible pastry so that I wouldn’t crave it anymore, but alas, life is cruel. There’s a reason why Les Madeleines has a limit of 10 Kouing Amans per customer. If you want to walk all that sugar off when you’re done, the Salt Lake City and County Building is right across the street, and it has a park and outdoor fountains for the enjoyment of the public.

Have you found something delicious on your travels that you wish you could have an endless supply of? Let us know what it is and where to get it on the comment section below. We love trying new things! Thanks for reading.

Bon Apetit,

Camille

Destinations Utah

Red Butte Gardens | SLC

Oh, Monday, please be kind to us today. Do you ever start your week feeling like you need a weekend after your weekend? We have driven a total of 20 hours in the last two days, and today is going to be another (at least) 6 hour-drive day. I’m currently in a coffee shop for an hour while Alex takes an important work call from our car. Our over-packed, muddy, has-anyone-seen-that-apricot-bar-I-dropped-yesterday car. Sigh. The glamorous traveling life.

In case anyone else just finished a hectic weekend, I wanted to share some pictures I took back in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago. It had been a busy week, and I needed somewhere quiet and green, somewhere I could hear my own thoughts, take a deep breath, and eat a bar of chocolate without having to share. Don’t judge 😉

Have you ever traveled somewhere and thought, “I wish ___ was here, they’d love this place”? That’s how I felt when I visited Red Butte Gardens. Walking through the lush gardens made me miss my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. As I sat on the benches under the swaying branches, I imagined how much they’d like to take a break from work schedule, child-rearing, and house cleaning to join me. So today I’m dedicating this post to these 3 wonderful women in my life. I learn so much from you 3, and I’m so thankful I get to call you family. I love you, and I’ll be seeing you soon. Maybe not underneath a swaying tree in Red Butte Gardens, but hopefully just as relaxing.

Here’s to us, Monday survivors; over-caffeinated and pushing through.

Until next time,

Camille

 

Destinations Sips & Bites Utah

Ritual Chocolate | Park City

Fall’s in full swing. The leaves have changed, the weather’s getting cooler, and pumpkin-spice has been infused into everything from lattes to deodorants (Someone, please stop this madness). I have found that few places are more beautiful than Park City during autumn. One day, as I was looking for a warm drink and coffee alternative to enjoy while on a walk, Yelp led me to Ritual Chocolate Factory. Don’t let the word “factory” fool you, this place is small, cozy, and owned by locals. They pride themselves in their knowledge of chocolate beans and ability to bring out its true flavor profile without the overwhelming sweetness that is so common nowadays.

Before you pick your poison, try out all the free samples against the wall. The workers there are  sweet and friendly and will encourage you to try all the flavors. When you’re done, you can pick your favorite and have it melted and blended into one of the many drink options they have available. So delicious! The bars are a little pricey, so I went with the sipping chocolate, which I’m pretty sure is just straight-up melted chocolate magic in a pretty cup. If you want to make a day out of it, check out their website for their factory tour times. One fun idea is getting a hot drink to go and taking the short drive to downtown to enjoy it. Either way, stop by this little gem for all your chocoholic needs 🙂

Did that last picture of the melted chocolate being poured into a cup make your heart beat a little faster? Yeah, me too. I can tell we’re going to be friends.

Happy fall y’all,

Camille

Hiking Outdoors Utah

The Wild Bison of Utah

Antelope Island State Park is one of ten islands in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. As soon as I heard they had free-roaming bison, I packed my bag and headed out the door, hoping I’d get to see them up close and personal (but not too close).

There’s nothing like seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. There are no fences, there are no limits to the possibilities. I was in their turf — a dangerous and captivating notion. If they wanted to chase me, they could. If they wanted to run from me, they could. Instead, we both found harmony, and I was able to capture these images from a nearby trail. It’s moments like these that make me feel an overwhelming appreciation for nature and all of its serene beauty. I could have sat on that rock all day watching the bison eat, scratch their head on their favorite rock, and play with each other.

I hope they make you feel as peaceful as I did while I took them. Enjoy the pictures 🙂

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Until next time,

Camille