Wir Lieben Oktoberfest!!

Yesterday, my friends and I drove the steep, winding road up Little Cottonwood Canyon to reach Snowbird Ski Resort for Oktoberfest.  Prima!  The mountainous drive to the resort was breathtaking: fall colors, snow, and pine trees against a bright blue sky.  I wanted to stop so many times to take a picture, but was following some friends up the mountain and didn't want to lose them.  
When we reached Oktoberfest (after a crazy 2 minutes of a man getting his arm stuck in the shuttle bus door that was about to start driving... yikes!) we were greeted with polka music, garlic fries, bratwurst, and plenty of lederhosen and suspenders.
It got cooler and windy towards the end, but most of our time there was pretty warm without a jacket, even though the surrounding mountains were already covered by a light dusting of snow.
We also saw lots of people riding the Alpine slide (I'm not scared of heights but that thing seriously freaks me out) and the ski lifts.  Brian and I had come to Oktoberfest last year when we were just Utah babies (we had our one year Utah anniversary at the first of this month!) and we rode the ski lift together.  Right now, Brian is in Texas visiting his family and so we wasn't able to come along yesterday.  Luckily, our friend Brian ate a bratwurst for my Brian.
Here's where we ate- right next to the big tent with polka dancers inside.  There were piles of snow on the ground around our table.  Someone told me that because we are already getting snow in mid-September, we are in for a long winter (but I don't really mind that).  My goal this year is to go skiing several times with my husband- he needs to get out on those slopes!
This is one of my favorite pictures from the day- so festive!

Brian is really enjoying his time in Texas with his family right now. I've talked to him several times and always ask for in-depth details of everything they are doing.  I love spending time with his family in Texas and wish I could be there.  I have such sweet memories there from the time Brian and I were dating, then engaged, married, and then spending time in Texas right after we got back to the states last summer.  Brian's mom always makes her home feel so comforting and welcoming, and I love getting to spend time talking to all of Brian's family there and hanging out with them.  Can you tell I'm a little jealous that he is there? :)  Also, puppy Samantha is getting special privileges and getting to sleep in the bed while he is away.

Congratulations to our friends Ashley and Creighton who just had the most gorgeous baby girl!!!  She is so sweet!


Angels Landing in Zion makes your knees shake

I almost forgot the document our favorite hike in Zion here on the blog.  It was such a fun day.  Brian and I love to be outside.  We make it a priority during the workweek to spend time letting Samantha play outside and love to spend our weekends hiking beautiful Utah.  It's time for us to spend together and get away from the usual day to day routine.  Zion was right up our alley, and we purposely chose some of the more challenging hikes so that we could get some great pictures from high up in the mountains.
The hike starts out with this twisting, turning pathway straight up.  We stopped to look at a tarantula, take some pictures, talk to some people who were coming back down.  We kept passing the same people, then they would pass us, back and forth.  This part of the hike was actually better going up than going down.  On the way down it hurt my knees so bad and I kept having to walk backwards to make them feel better (Brian wanted to hold onto my arm when I did this so I wouldn't walk off the side of the mountain!). 
Brian wore his enormous mailman hat on the hike so of course I was obligated to make fun of him a couple of times :)
  The Angels Landing hike took us about 4 or 5 hours, I can't really remember but it seemed like a long time.  Everyone was warning us to take hats and tons of sunscreen, which we did, but this day was not super hot and we had some cloud cover while we were hiking most of the time.  We did make sure to drink tons of water/gatorade and we brought snacks for along the way.
Then we got to the part that I thought was the top
...Which turned out to not be the top at all, and the most treacherous part was still ahead.  It looks pretty scary before you start tackling it, but I saw some kids way off in the distance hiking the hardest part and then I knew I would probably be just fine.  Once you get going, you realize that it looks more difficult than it really is, but you really do need to be careful when doing this hike and hold onto the chains and rails that are built in to the rock.  We took it really slow during some parts just to be safe.  When we reached the top, I actually kind of felt sad that it was over because it was so exhilarating. 
 At the top, you are rewarded with the most beautiful view.

 Yep, this is the part that makes your legs shake.
 We did it!  Our plan was to reward ourselves with a huge dinner and lots of dessert when we got back down to the city.

The view from the top overlooking the entire canyon was well worth the hike.


Favorite things

Love these!
I made my first Polyvore board!  My friend Sarah made an awesome list of her favorite things the other day and I wanted to share some too!  Next time I need to put the little numbers on the board to make it a bit more organized.

 Under Armour sportswear: I bought these Under Armour pants the other day after trying them on in the dressing room and they felt like wearing little fluffy clouds.  I've been wearing them every second that I'm not at work or out doing something- new favorites.

 black and white striped leggings: I saw these Gap pajamas on a blog and want to pick up some after I go try them on. Comfy pants are the best for winter and you can wear them out with boots over them and not even care.

Gucci by Gucci for her: Oh, I love this perfume.  They actually discontinued it but I bought some online earlier this year when I ran out of it.  Brian originally bought me this perfume for my birthday while living in Taiwan and it just brings back great travel memories when wearing it.  The sense of smell is so powerful when it comes to memories.  This scent is better in the winter and fall because it's really musky.

Body cleanser: I could only find the picture for the Organix Moroccan Oil body wash, but I actually just use the hair oil every day and it is so great.  If you use a big dollop when your hair is still wet, it will make it super soft and cut down on drying time too! I also love their coconut scented shampoo and conditioner. 

Mossimo top: I have been obsessed with these Target tanks for about 4 years and wear one under whatever I'm wearing just about every single day- sometimes two in the winter to be really comfortable and warm, and then my friends make fun of me for wearing so many layers :)

The Mat- Lululemon yoga clothes are actually not my favorite.  They are cute, but just so expensive to get all sweaty in yoga class (sweat stains are too dumb for a $50 tank top!)  I like to wear old tank tops to yoga class that are still cute but I don't have to worry about messing them up.  But my yoga mat on the other hand... I've been using cheap, regular yoga mats for years.  Then during one class, I borrowed a Manduka mat and was an instant believer in high end mats.  It felt so much better on my knees, didn't get slippery when sweaty, and didn't ever slide around on the floor.  I've been researching mats a lot lately, and have decided to get this one for my birthday next month.  In fact, my mom is going to be here in Salt Lake over my birthday and we are going to go buy it together.

Capri Blue Volcano Chub Cup This candle will make you never want to leave your house.  And big plus, it's not super feminine smelling (Brian likes it).


Neff's Canyon, Utah

 After church and brunch with some of our friends this morning, Brian and I decided to take Samantha to Neff's canyon so we could see the fall colors.  We were a weekend or two early for the majorly impressive fall colors, but about 10% of the trees were already starting to change.

Neff's Canyon is just south of Millcreek Canyon, and is much smaller than the other canyons in the valley.  We were really impressed by the hiking trails, and we saw a ton of other people with their families and dogs there.  We saw that it's also really popular for cross country skiing in the winter.

Brian is getting ready to go back to Neff's Canyon this evening for a trail run while I go to my yoga class.  I'm trying to persuade him to bring my iphone to take pictures from the top of the canyon so I can share them!
On the way home this afternoon, we stopped to go grocery shopping and I got this.  
Which immediately reminded me of this HA!


Wandering Spirit

I was looking through pictures of our year living in Taiwan on my computer and oh I got such a tingly feeling of nostalgia in my stomach.  We loved that year.  It was my first year out of college and our second year married.  We had just moved overseas for the first time and it was such an exciting time.  Everything was new and different, sometimes frustrating (language barriers, getting lost, cultural differences and misunderstandings), but it was such a beautiful experience and so cool to be doing all of it together with my husband.
Can you believe how gorgeous our city was?
Sometimes Brian and I get so restless, sometimes to a fault.  We love the adventure of living in a brand new place with new surroundings, languages, dynamics.  We love the new smells, climate, and food.  We love finding the local hidden treasures and driving places just to explore.  While we are so happy and content with our home in Salt Lake City, and all of the wonderful people and places (mountains!) here, we talk all the time about how someday we will live overseas again.  I think this makes my family members roll their eyes sometimes :) (probably because they have to hear it all the time!)  But Brian and I love to dream about living in Taiwan again someday, or Thailand, China, Europe... there are just so many cool places out there.  These pictures of Taipei make me smile and fuel my passion and love for travel.
Brian riding his scooter while borrowing our friend Rosa's teeny tiny helmet.
Hanging out in our apartment in Neihu on the new yellow couch we had just bought- we were so excited about it!  This was the same couch we watched all six seasons of Lost on.  Brian and I ate out every night in Taiwan because the food was so cheap and we didn't really have a functioning kitchen.  Didn't mind that!
My friend Jenna, and I would always ride the MRT to meet each other and shop, drink milk tea, explore the city, eat shabu shabu, and get our hair washed+massage+styled.  Such good memories!
Hiking day in the mountains behind our apartment.

 Government raid!  Me and my friend James running out of our school without even time to put our shoes on!
 Hiking together in Pinxi.
 101 beauty
 Our beautiful neighborhood in the setting sun. I have an obsession with high-rise apartments, especially with the mountains behind them.
 Soccer during teacher training in the middle of Taipei.
 My birthday dinner and I was showing off my ring.  Brian took me to Chili's, which was the perfect thing.  American comfort food was the best birthday surprise, and he brought all my gifts our families had sent me from home and I opened them at the table at Chili's- so sweet and fun.  Also, I remember the waiter spoke English really well and sang to me.
 Cold scooter travels all bundled up.  We would always travel during the weekends.  I wish I would have written more about Taiwan when I blogged back then instead of just putting up mostly pictures.
 This picture made me super nostalgic- leading exercise time with my coworkers at my school, Hsin Hu.  One of my favorite parts of the day while teaching kindy.  These were the best coworkers in the world and we had so many fun times together- it seems like I was cracking up laughing all the time while working there!  Still miss these guys- they are the very best and gave me some of the best memories.
On a trip with Brian, Heather, Rosa, and Mia.  We stayed in the coolest little hostel that had this board in the lobby.
Taiwan, we love you.