Nothing like good ol' nature
to enjoy America's Independence Day...

This year, my family hit the road to Mammoth Lakes, California to celebrate the day America gained their independence. The drive up was much longer than I expected, but the next couple of days made the hours in the car all worth it.

Most of our time in Mammoth was spent hiking along the many beautiful trails that led to even more breathtaking views. Various shades of green and brown dominated the scenery and the sky remained bright blue the entire time we stayed in the mountains. I was continuously carried away by God's creation and stood in amazement while viewing the various pine trees and lakes that scattered the land. Some highlights were: Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls. All natural and handmade by God's own fingers!

Despite the popularity of Mammoth (the 4th of July weekend is supposedly their busiest holiday), it was nice to take a break from the city--or suburban--life and breathe in the fresh air while working out our bodies. Even without the snow, Mammoth in the summer seemed alive: people were everywhere, the birds were high in the sky, and the leaves of every plant were stretched out to the sun.

I hope your summer is treating you well so far!

Check out some more photos of my trip HERE on flickr!

Adios amigos, 



What's up with the Park Family and nature parks?

We just really enjoy traveling OK.

No, really. My dad can literally drive for 8+ hours straight without dying--given that we have a bathroom break somewhere in between. Because of my dad's wanderlust, my family has been blessed with the opportunity to say we've been to many locations across the nation. I think the travel bug actually bit me when my parents decided to take a teeny, tiny 2 month old me to Las Vegas. From that day on, I've been here, there, and everywhere(ish) and I only hope that I am able to continue my dad's influence on me forever until I die..(to visit all 7 continents is actually on my bucket list, given that I am physically able to travel to Antarctica and the Arctic).

After Christmas Day, my entire family took a visit to Joshua Tree National Park to enjoy a small speck of God's creation. This desert area is filled with an array of Joshua trees, or yucca brevifolia, whose roots reach deep into the ground and allow the plant to live for hundreds of years even in the dry, rain-less weather. There are also rock formations that one can climb about--there were even some climbers bravely attempting to free climb the giant boulders.

A trip to this place is definitely worth it especially if getting fit is on one's New Year's resolution list! The fresh desert air is a plus when hiking and this park offers plenty of benches for a meal break. Use this to help plan a trip and to know more about the history of the place.

Thanks for reading & see ya'll in the new year,



Celebrating a very Merry Christmas away from home 
and at a warm, inviting Palm Springs..

While most folks spent their Christmas unwrapping presents in the morning and sharing a feast at dinner time, my family decided to head on over to a much warmer and sunny Palm Springs. The weather was perfect, not your average Christmas winter chill, but a record-breaking 80+ degrees that called for some dips in the pool.

My baby cousins were definitely the highlight of this trip, with their adorable smiles and baby chatter that is sometimes too unintelligible to understand. It's amazing how fast those little girls grow! Trying to take the right picture of them was not a hard task since they lit up and made cheesy, cute faces for the lens.

I'm so thankful for my family and this year's Christmas was another amazing experience celebrating Jesus' birth. For those who celebrate the holiday, I hope you had a blessed time as well!

Look out for my next blog post concerning what I did the day following--coming soon!

Enjoying the SoCal winter,



Visiting the Valley of Fire on a not-so-fiery winter day...

The "White Domes"

Can you spot the elephant?

With Christmas just around the corner, my family decided to take a short trip to Nevada to visit the "Valley of Fire." Despite the name, the state park was a good 63 degrees--warm enough to wear only a light sweater and scarf.

This hidden gem in Nevada was absolutely breathtaking and my camera really could not do its natural beauty justice. The sandstone formations were a combination of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. This payed off very well actually in my photos: the contrast between the bright rocks and the clear, blue sky made for a photogenic nature shot.

Each area of the park contained special features such as the "White Domes," "Elephant Rock" and much more. We couldn't get to all of the locations, but just by roaming around random places outside of the hiking trails, we were able to get a fun and memorable experience that I believe would not have been obtained had we rushed ourselves trying to take pictures of every tourist spot.

It was a blast climbing up and down the rocks, seeing how far up we could go and just take in God's awesome creation. The immense size of the valley itself was overwhelming and I only wish I had an accurate picture of how ginormous some rock formations were compared to our tiny human sizes. If you would like to know more about this park, click here for a historical background and here to plan a trip for you and your family and friends.

Hope you've had a great break!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-Hat--Urban Outfitters
-Jeans--Cheap Monday
-Boots--Dr. Martens 1460

Excited for tomorrow,

Rachel Park