Utah | {my life}

I am not one to splurge on big things. The occasional Starbucks. A pedicure with a friend once in a blue moon. Actually the blue moon may happen more frequently. lol

But when one of your dearest friends is about to turn … 29 (wink, wink), then you and five of her friends get on a plane and head to Utah for a retreat.

There was a tiara and feather boas. Good, healthy food. Wonderful people showing us new activities like Nordic Walking, which I love. I took my first Zumba class with Megan, a very energetic woman that runs a Zumba night club in St. George. She was awesome. There was swimming, hiking, hammock-ing (although I did fall out of it the first time. It was awesome!) and even a cooking demonstration.

When we flew into Salt Lake City, the snow was flying sideways. We all looked at each other. We didn’t have snow clothes. The weather we were expecting was high 60 to mid seventies. We boarded our plane to St. George. There was no snow. There was John. He carried our bags to the shuttle for us. He gave us water and lemon scented wash clothes. He pointed out the sights and history of St. George, including at Mormon chapel that was dedicated in 1877. We learned about Dixie.

We were amazed when we arrived at the Red Mountain Resort and Spa. It was beautiful.

Here are my Instagrams from the flight to and over Utah, John, and our first night.

Dinner was amazing. I had duck for the first time. For dessert, I had the brüléé banana split. TO DIE FOR!!! Then it was off to the room to hang out and decided what classes we would take the following day.


My good friend, Lauren, aka The Urban Hippie, and I got up early and watched the sun come over the ridge. We took our cameras, I mean phone cameras, out and began accumulating memories.

Instagrams of the sunrise, cacti, rabbit is the building we were staying in. Hot chocolate since I do not drink coffee. Breakfast. Then we began exploring the resort as the others were eating breakfast. The indoor pool. Hammocks. Blue skies. Plants. The Labyrinth. A stone desert tortoise since the real ones are still bromating. A conch shell in the desert.


Then it was time to get our walk on. I have never Nordic walked. I actually get hip pain after a few miles normally. But this kept my posture right. They are on my wish list.

Then we took a cooking class from the executive sous chef, Shelly. She showed us how to make an Indian Black Bean Stew. It was so YUMMY…. I can’t wait to make it for my husband. He loves black beans.


Hammock time and good times.


Love this shot. Moon rising over Utah.


The next morning, we got up and I actually used my real camera.


It was time for the the birthday girl’s actual birthday. We began with a morning hike through Snow Canyon State Park. Our tour guides were John, yes another John, and Priscilla. Both were so knowledgeable about the area and pointed out the place where Robert Redford bathed in the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). John did an awesome impersonation of The Duke as we pulled into Upper Galoot. “You ol’ galoot!”

The sandstone was amazing. The sand was so powdery soft.

Miss Kim looks dreamy on the rocks.

The lichen that clung to the rocks was beautiful.

Miss Lauren shooting the scenic vistas.



The ladies!

Denise, Terri, Kim, Lyanne, Lauren, Susan and me.

While some of the ladies went off to conquer more hills, I stayed behind. Bad knees and all. So I photographed a raven that had found an apple core. The ladies trans-versing a hill.


I learned about some of the flora in the park. One in particular was resurrection moss. It looks brown and dead until you pour water on it. It immediately turns green.

We found all sorts of prints in the soft sand.



Hanging out. Dinner on our final night, our celebration night, was amazing. I had the salmon. The potato was sad to be on the dinner plate (look closely).

Seven beautiful women, all with special gifts, talents, and so much love to give.

A birthday wish.



The last sunrise.


Thank you Utah for a great little escape.

Thank you to the ladies that made the trip grand. So glad to get to know each of you just a bit better and look forward to the next big thing.

Happy 29th Birthday Lyanne! You are truly an inspiration.


– Jen