Travel: The Grand Canyon {South Rim}

Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

One of the things that allured us to vacation in Vegas was the proximity to the Grand Canyon – a place neither of us had been, but always wanted to see.

We originally had planned on taking a day trip to the North Rim, but thank goodness I did a bit of research beforehand, because apparently the North Rim is only open seasonally from May 15th - October 15th each year.  Since we were visiting May 1st - 7th, that wasn't going to work out.


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

After a bit more research, we decided to explore the South Rim, which is about 280 miles (or a 4½ hour drive each way) from Vegas.  We read online that the South Rim is ‘less touristy’ than the West Rim, and its views offer more of what you think of, when you think of the Grand Canyon – whether that’s true or not I can’t say since we didn't go to West Rim, but I can tell you the South Rim was breathtaking.  My photos don't do an ounce of justice to this magnificent wonder!

Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

I’m not going to lie – the drive was a bit boring, but the desert mountains are fun to look at, especially coming from the Midwest.  The landscapes out there are just so different than what we’re used to.  On our drive, we spotted javelina, pronghorn, & wild horses, so that was kind of neat.

We stopped in Kingman, AZ to fuel up, and got robbed by stopping at the first gas station we saw.  Seriously, we paid $0.25 more per gallon than if we’d just drove a few more miles; there were much cheaper gas stations in town.  So watch out for that!

After passing through Williams, AZ, it’s just a bit further until the park entrance.  The South Rim is part of the Grand CanyonNational Park, so there’s a fee to get in.  We pre-purchased the $30 entrance fee in Tusayan, AZ, at the National Geographic Visitor Center to bypass the long lines at the entrance gate.

Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

Once in the park, there are numerous parking areas, but it’s highly recommended to park and take the free shuttles for sightseeing, which is what we did.  We found this short video helpful when planning our trip: How to See the SouthRim in 4 Hours or Less.

I was surprised by how much was in the park – lodging, grocery, restaurants, etc. – I guess I didn't know what to expect.  What even further surpassed my expectations was the Grand Canyon itself.  It’s SO MASSIVE.  Pictures can’t even begin to exude the magnitude of this canyon...


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

We hiked a few paths around the canyon & spotted mule deer & elk bedded down -- they didn't even care we were there (they must be so used to people).  We also saw a few creepy crawlers & lots of different birds -- Zac was in heaven.


Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days

Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days

Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days

Grand Canyon Wildlife - South Rim | My Darling Days

We lucked out with the weather, too.  It was slightly cool with a brisk wind at times, but the warm sun helped us to never feel too cold.


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days



Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days


Grand Canyon - South Rim | My Darling Days

I highly recommend adding the Grand Canyon to your bucket list!

Happy Sunday.



Love Stephanie's idea of an instagram challenge, focusing on one color per week.

I know Valentine's Day was like, 4 months ago, but these homemade baby-inspired Valentine's Day Cards are TOO cute!

Drake White:  this song, this song, & this song.  And this song.

Have you ever looked at this hashtag on Instagram: #myinstagramlogo?  People are so darn creative!

Only Amber could make this outfit look good.








Travel: Las Vegas, Nevada: The Strip

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, Nevada --  home to over half a million people in the Mojave Desert, but most well-known for it's 4 mile Strip on Las Vegas Blvd, which hosts magnificent hotels & casinos, as well as endless energy & entertainment.  You can find a little bit of everything on The Strip.

Zac & I decided to find out what the buzz was all about, so we booked a trip to Vegas.  We aren't gamblers, and I'm not a huge drinker, but we decided on Las Vegas mostly because it's a part of the United States that we've never been (the desert southwest), and Las Vegas is in relatively close proximity to other area attractions we wanted to scratch off our bucket list (Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, etc.)

Below are photos from our day & night on The Strip, but first: 

My Top Five Pieces of Advice for Perusing the Vegas Strip:

1.  Wear comfy shoes.  We put on 11 miles in just half a day walking the strip -- trust me, your feet will thank you!
2.  Never pay full price for a show/night club.  There are promotors out everywhere.
3.  Drinks are expensive.  It's just the way it is.  
4.  Avoid eye contact with anyone who looks freaky.  They're likely looking to sell you drugs, prostitutes, or beg for money.
5.  Please, leave your kids at home.  I couldn't believe the number of kids I saw... especially at night.


The Mirage, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Flamingo, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Mural | Stree Art | Las Vegas, NV | My Darling DaysFlamingo,, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


The High Roller Wheel -- a great way to see The Strip. Can you believe that each pod can hold 40 people?

High Roller Wheel, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Caesars Palace,Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


Inside Caesar's -- I love how they make it look so real!

Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


Same goes for The Venetian.  Truly makes you feel like you're in Venice, Italy!


Venetian, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


We had lunch at Toby Keith's Bar in Harrah's -- good food & worth the stop.  (Be prepared for the chaps the waitresses are wearing, fyi ;)  I guess anything goes in Vegas!)

Toby Kieth's bar @ Harrahs, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


Any & every kind of themed slot machine imaginable... though this one was my fav... because, obviously...

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


These next few photos are from inside the Bellagio, which was probably my favorite hotel/casino lobby that we ventured into...

Dale Chihuly's 'Fiori Di Como', displayed on the ceiling inside the Bellagio (to learn more about Chihuly, click here):

Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days
I can't wait to make this image into a print!

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden was featuring their spring display called the Japanese Tea Garden -- amazing!!

Bellagio, flowers, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days









Stunning, right!?  


M&M World -- we got to sample the new flavors: Honey Nut, Coffee Nut, & Chili Nut.  Naturally, the coffee one was my favorite!  

M&M World, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days



And now, for The Vegas Strip at night...  The PG rated version ;)

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

New York, New York | Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Tropicana, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days
My *almost* dream car!

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Excalibur, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


The Fountain Light Show at the Bellagio is a must see!

Fountain light show, Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days

High Roller Wheel, Las Vegas, NV | My Darling Days


Make sure you check out Fremont Street if you're in town -- Zac & I actually enjoyed that area more than The Strip.  There's live music, tons & tons of lights, and everyone is just there for a good time.  Way less creepy people, from our experience :)


What's your favorite part of The Strip?