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The Hoover Dam in Pictures

We stopped at the Hoover Dam in July, on our way to visit Mark’s cousin Marta in Phoenix. We were able to snap a few pictures before it started to rain. And thank holy heck it did because I don’t think I could have enjoyed this magnificent man-made monstrosity any longer. We jumped back into the car and exchanged our, “Aww, too bad we didn’t get to take the informational tour” and “Damn, I wish we could have made it to the gift shop” regrets with secret smiles of mutual relief.

Hoover Dam 1

The Hoover Dam is majestic in a very intimidating “man harnessing the power of water” sort of way.

Hoover Dam 17    Hoover Dam 11

 

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Goodbye God, I’m Going to Bodie

Welcome to the Wild West!

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We left Nevada in early August, stopping on our way to explore Bodie, California, one of the country’s best preserved ghost towns. Once a great gold producing boomtown, Bodie is now a historical landmark. You aren’t actually able to enter most buildings, so we wandered around, peeking into the windows of the old mining town’s houses, shops, saloons, schools, and churches.

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10 Must-See Spots & Things to Do in Brazil

[GUEST POST] 

For over 4 years, Susan has been managing the blog and social media accounts for InStyleSwimwear.com, a fashion-forward online designer swimwear boutique. Whether you’re planning an exotic getaway to Brazil, the Caribbean, Hawaii, you name it, InStyleSwimwear.com will have you looking stylish as can be.

So you’re finally through all the holiday parties and gift-related bills and it’s time to start thinking about this year’s resolution to travel more and see some awesome places. It’s often overlooked, but there is one South American country that deserves some serious consideration when you’re researching airfare. If you’re into beautiful beaches, spicy and delicious foods, fun and friendly folk,s and sexy nightlife, start packing your bags for beautiful Brazil!

Need some help planning your itinerary? Here’s a crash course of the top ten things you need to check out once you’re there.

Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. If the thought of an overblown Latin American Mardi Gras makes you want to get up and shake your groove thing, then this is a must-see for you. If the thought of seeing flamboyantly dressed men and women smothered in feathers, sequins, bright colors and little else sounds like your kind of people-watching, then this is a must-see for you as well. Basically, it’s one of those things that would be inexcusable to miss if you’re in town because you are guaranteed to create some vivid memories for years to come.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Christ the Redeemer Statue

One of the largest and most iconic statues in the world, this huge replica of Christ overlooks Rio with open arms. It stands over 100 feet tall by itself and considering it’s perched on top of Corcovado Mountain, it’s literally about as close to Heaven as a man-made structure can be. Needless to say, this is a photo-op you can’t pass up.

Brazil beaches

Hundreds of Miles of Beaches…

There are too many public access points to name just one, but it would be hard to be disappointed with any of the white sandy stretches that border much of the country’s coast. Dotted with lush greenery and palm trees, you can just as easily lounge under a cabana at an upscale chic resort or strip down completely at a nude beach! Copacabana and Ipanema are pretty well-known beaches across the globe; the latter was even the topic of a hit song in the 60’s.

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Vegas, Baby

After our little trip to LA, we spent about a week in Mesquite with my parents before we started getting antsy. More open road, more things to see, more new foods to try! Our six month wedding anniversary was approaching (not a thing, we know, but we were desperate for a reason to get out of town) so we decided to spend a night in the epitome of class and culture. Yep, you guessed it, glamorous downtown Las Vegas!

Boo, you say? We know, we know. Gluttony, greed, lust – Vegas is the epitome of sin. Who would want to celebrate six blessed months of matrimony among all this gloriousness?

Well, we did. And what we did was what we do best: eat and drink. And smile a lot at each other. And swoon about our love. It was actually pretty romantic, if you can believe it.

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Our Night Under the Desert Stars

One afternoon, while staying with my parents in the small desert town of Mesquite, Nevada, Mark and I drove my dad’s truck far out to the middle of nowhere to watch the sunset. We blew up our inflatable mattress and slept in the bed of the truck under the stars.

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The spot we chose was so remote we climbed to the top of the highest rock and saw no other signs of life. It was so quiet, if you held your breath, the only sound you could hear was the inner workings of your own body.

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If you’ve never seen a desert sunset, you need to add it to your must-see list. There is a fiery intensity that you’ll never experience anywhere else.

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Los Angeles in Photos

“Los Angeles is not what you see in the movies; it’s like Detroit with Palm Trees.” – Donald Draper

“Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for the trip to San Francisco.” – John Lennon

LA

Katie’s parents agreed to pick us up in LA on our way back to the mainland from Hawaii, so we decided to stay a night with her great aunt, who lives in Long Beach. We spent a nice morning catching up with her and Katie’s mom’s cousins, then took off to explore LA a little bit. We did some pretty touristy things, that we wouldn’t recommend to anyone: The Hollywood Hills Tour, a very crowded Farmer’s Market, and Venice Beach.  We had  a bit of anxiety about crowds everywhere, and ultimately headed back to Mesquite earlier than we had planned. Just like in Manhattan, we felt like we just skimmed the surface, missing all the good stuff LA must have to offer. One day is really not enough to find your own little niche areas of such a big city. We could really use some insider knowledge on what to do, what to see, where to eat, where to stay, etc. Please do tell us your favorite things about LA. I’m sure we’ll be back now that we live in the state. Until then, palm trees always make for pretty pictures. Enjoy!

Beverly Hills hotel

Sunset Blvd

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