26 July 2016


And yet another beauty I ever so fortunately managed to cross off my bucketlist.

The Grand Canyon certainly lived up to the name and hype. It is incredibly vast and striking, holding such intense grandeur and a truly unique splendour; one that can not be denied. Standing out on various precipices looking inwards one can not help but feel especially small and insignificant.

We perused the Canyon right at the beginning of our trip, after hitting up Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. While venturing out this way, we decided to base ourselves in Flagastaff Arizona, finding it was the ideal balance between two points of interest for this trip; The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. The original plan was to depart Las Vegas and make our way directly to the Grand Canyon. However the night prior we had to drastically change our plans as the weather forecasted a snow storm and advised not to enter the park. 

Of course, being two, inexperienced snow bunnies we took heed.

And while at the time, such modifications to an already rigid and strained itinerary was not fitting, in the end it all work out for the better. You see in doing so we managed to visit the Hoover Dam, a site that was completely overlooked prior, yet one that ended up being utterly cherished. And because we were undeniably enamoured with said site, we set ourselves a good three to four hours behind schedule and thus rode in on the coattails of that dreaded and anticipated snow storm into Flagstaff.

Overall the drive wasn't too strenuous, of course in hindsight it never is. It will be one that will remain forever memorable because the experience was very much delightful. Beginning at the cusp of dusk, sudden patches of white began materializing here and there; ever so mysteriously blanketing fields exclusively to one side of the road. Other times simply content to clump up in batches amongst the scrub. For two Aussies who'd never seen snow prior to that moment the unfolding scenes left us slightly perplexed and presuming. And once the ideal moment arose we pulled over to investigate further. Ganders such as caressing and the haphazard formations of balls and poor attempts at snow angels. Our antics scoring us a chorus of "toots" from fellow passerby's. 

Of course as we continued onwards with our drive that not-so gossamer blanket of white began to increase in density, creeping in from the fields and onto the tarmac. It softly scattered the emergency lane at first then gradually built to encroaching mountainous mounds. The threat of nightfall was imminent and that soft smattering of white turned friend to foe as it began coalescing along the pavement beneath. No longer was the road black, but patched in an omniscient grey.

It remained a novelty for some time. Alabaster streaks contrasting against the road like an impressionist painting; albeit in monochrome. The sides of the highway heavy with the burden of snowfall, increasing in substance as we drew closer to Flagstaff. And just as the we'd presumed the worst, swarms began to dance within the headlight beams, akin to the kind you get driving through the countryside on balmy summer days. Only these weren't mosquitos or flies, they were flurries of snow. What should have been a magical moment turned intimidating as our ignorance of "black ice" loomed unnervingly. 

This was to be our first and last sighting of such phenomena as we drove on the cusp of a waning snow storm. The very same one which first hindered our travel efforts with its nuisance. 

Those feathery flurries remained with us until we finally arrived at Flagstaff. And it was here that we finally got to revel in them. The feeling of snow against exposed skin was a most enchanting sensation and it's one that will haunt me until my dying breath.

Cold, bitting but passionate they are; like welcome, velveteen pins and needles. 

Of course the next morning those obvious joys of snow slowly subsided as reality reared its ugly head once again. We left our substantial hoard of bottled water in the car, and as the temperatures plummeted to an arctic -23°C, naturally our water was not immune and froze solid. I also managed to leave a borrowed Nikon in the glove compartment. It too refused to coorporate for many hours. Best of all I slipped on that dreaded black ice, landing solidly on my back which ignited a former injury. It's safe to say I'll remain ignorant no more on the subject.

Thankfully not all was lost. Since we arrived so late in the night and after the storm our vehicle remained free of intense ice buildup. I honestly don't know how we'd manage if we had woken up and found our Jeep completely entombed in the parking lot as the majority had fared. Watching someone feverishly hack and scrape away at the mountain of snowfall frozen solid on his truck made the hairs stand on my arms.

I think I'd have a nervous breakdown if that was us.

While the snow storm felt like a major inconvenience at the time, in hindsight it was a blessing. In rearranging our itinerary we not only managed to see more than was originally anticipated but also got to experience snow for the first time. Both in operating a vehicle and in person. It also meant the journey to the Grand Canyon was even more pleasurable as remnants of the day before remained present alongside the highway.

The drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is little under an hour and half. Slightly longer for us since my outdated GPS managed to detour us off course numerous times. I can't recall catching any glimpses of the canyon while driving towards it. In fact it felt rather ensconced in vegetation and snow. Aside from general road signs, one would have no idea what lay ahead, were they not expecting such natural grandeur.

Navigating through the park itself was a little confusing at times; despite being provided with a park map. I blame the dazzling display of snow encrusted tress for distracting me. We based ourselves at the Grand Canyon Village were a complimentary shuttle bus is available to escort you to each of the three available lookouts at the South Rim. While you're more than welcome to peruse the grounds, we thought it best to catch the bus considering how puzzled we become solely upon entering the park. I do recommend the bus though, it's highly convenient and you're much more at leisure to explore on foot and depending on the crowds, no need to fret over parking either.

Even while out on the bus, the canyon continues to remain concealed. Everyone seated is in eager anticipation, the air thick with much promise while we all await that moment when the trees part ways and reveal what they've been so desperate to shield.

And when the moment does come, boy is it magnificent.

You can't help but allow throaty "oohs" and "ahhs" to escape. And even with my poor, nearsightedness those swirls of corals and rusty reds are still are sight to behold.

On our first stop we met two hikers who'd camped below in the canyon overnight. We were slightly perplexed at first then curious about how they managed to walk away sans frostbite. However they were quick to advise that the temperature at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is much warmer than what was above it. I suppose the towering walls of the canyon itself create a specific microclimate as it provides a shield for the elements above. Boy did they paint such a resplendent image. One of campfires by a sedative creek and a night sky teeming with effervescence. One day I'd like to return and do the very same thing.

This first point contained numerous trails that led into the canyon itself. We did not venture in however. Being the super klutz that I am, the probability of me flailing off the sides of a cliff was highly likely. Plus my faithful Adidas Originals proved to have little traction against the snow.

Speaking of, for those who know me it will come as no surprise that I actually managed to face-plant in the snow. At the final stop I saw a ravishing scene of overhanging tree limbs overlooking the canyon that I needed to capture myself within. I envisioned the scene perfectly. Me hanging off that tree haphazardly but in the most graceful of fashions looking out into a sea of jagged rusts. As I attempted to manoeuvre over the rocky barrier I misjudged the actual depth of a rock swallowed in snow and lost my footing. Gravity abruptly shoved me into the snow and all in front of a watchful audience. And unfortunately for me there are shameful photographic evidence of such happenings, around fifteen photos to be exact. For the sake of my pride and humility I decided against showcasing them on the blog. However I may just share one of them over on Instagram this week so make sure you're following me on @soniademacedo if you're ready for a laugh.

Each of the three sites held such mesmerising and unique views, so picking which I preferred is an impossible task. The canyon truly is grand, stretching as far as the eye can see. I could have spent weeks upon weeks at each site, inhaling it's splendour and marvel with my being. And while the snow proved to be problematic at times it also created a blissful wonderland. Bleaching the grounds with resplendent alabaster, one you don't see much of when it comes to places like this. And while I expect the same goes during the warmer, drier months, contrasting rusts even more hypnotic, I quite enjoyed seeing the Grand Canyon during the winter days.

There's a certain charm and allure when it's frosted like this.
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  1. I've always wanted to see this. It's majestic.

  2. The canyon looks so beautiful with the snow! I can't believe it was that could though - I can't even imagine it, given as it never gets to negatives temps here in Queensland. The snow does look pretty and picturesque but it would be a different game driving and living with it, so I'm glad it didn't ruin your trip.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. As always, your photos are amazing. I never thought there could be snow over there. Fortunately, everything went well.

    Jasmine x

  4. The Grand Canyon are so beautiful and peaceful great images.

  5. But Sonia, I don't go to IG anymore! You should have posted those pics here! hehe...Anyhoo, these pictures are breath-taking. TBH, I never knew it could get that cold there, and that they get snow storms. As a Canadian, digging your car out of snow and sheets of ice is pretty much tradition, but glad to know you escaped it:D

    PS You're knee-deep in the Kdrama rabbit hole too....bwahaha! We should totally form a group. I loved loved loved TGL! Cha Seung Wong is da bomb:) Rowena said he's doing the show Three Meals again so I'm looking forward to watching that. And she also recommended City Hall which he's in...that's on my to-watch list.
    And thanks for the heads up on Oh My Venus. Ji Sub and Min Ah are both such great actors. It was actually showing on one of our local channels here. I was supposed to watch that, but watched MISAENG instead. Have you seen this post I did? http://scarberianfashionlover.blogspot.ca/2016/07/incomplete-life.html
    Currently watching W and Signal, and now also watching Korean horror movies (which are sooooo good). Signal is freaking fantastic. That's another one Rowena recommended.

  6. Nice post :)
    I am in love with your blog :)


  7. Beautiful photos - sounds like such a fabulous trip. I can't believe it snowed this time of year! We're not too far off here in Colorado so that's surprising that it was so cold when it's 90 here, lol.

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

  8. Love your writing, Sonia! The Grand Canyon has always been one of my favorites! It seems no matter what time of year you visit, you feel the awe of nature's beauty! Great photos, thanks for sharing your experience!

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  9. wau wau wau that view is stunning and I have another thing on my bucket list amazing

  10. Oh geez, Sonia, it's a wonder that you didn't seriously injured yourself. LOL! You're a klutz like me! Haha! I can imagine your fascination with snow, I remembered the first time I saw snow too. I was in complete awe!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  11. I know that part of the country is so different, you kind of feel like you are on the moon the landscape is so different the North east of the PNW. Gorgeous photos.

    Allie of

  12. How fortuitous that you also got to experience your first snow on your visit to the Grand Canyon. I bet it really enhanced the experience. You were really lucky that your vehicle didn't ice over. You really managed to capture the magnificence of it all in your photos.

    Yes I forgot that there were two versions of Fated to Love You. You want the 2014 one. I watched Oh My Venus. It wasn't one of my faves because I found it very formulaic. You'll see a pattern with some of these dramas the more you watch. Of course I can give you more titles. City Hall, The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, Let's Eat, Prosecutor Princess. Enjoy!

  13. Wish I crossed off this destination from my bucket list very soon too, Sonia! How dreamy! You have no idea how much Id love to be there, always see such stunning pics and so are urs, u look also very happy though imagine also the cold! xo

  14. Wow these photos are amazing! I guess you had a wonderful time!


  15. Thank you so much my dear :D

    OMG, you alwaus have the best places to visit. Incredible photos!

    NEW DECOR POST | Marble Bathroom Ideas.
    InstagramFacebook Oficial PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

  16. Such beautiful photos ! The views are amazing and love your jacket.
    Liza Corner o Instagram o Facebook

  17. wow amazing pics

  18. I was there last April! It's so cool to see it with the snow! Beautiful pictures Sonia! ;)

  19. Such an insanely pretty place but so crazy with all the snow though! And sounds so cold! Xx


  20. I felt like I was at the Grand Canyon looking at your photos and reading your post. What a memorable experience.


  21. Thank you dear have a good time kiss

  22. I've never been to the Grand Canyon before. But what?? I had no idea there would be snow there! It looks so awesome in the photos!!


  23. These pictures are stunning! I want to go to the grand canyon again! Ive only been when I was young!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. wow!! amazing scenery!!

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

  25. can't wait to travel there


  26. It's really weird to see snow on this place, as I always imagined it as a desert somehow. The photos are lovely! The sky is blue, and the contrast it makes with the red rocks is so picturesque! Well done on the photos, S!

    Sun and Sany - Bulgarian travel and leisure blog

  27. so glad you had a wonderful experience there! it is truly a place that must be seen. Bigger than I could have ever imagined!

  28. Wow, an amazing view...going there is one of my dreams ! Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion and beauty blog

  29. Amazing photos! Gorgeous landscapes!


  30. The Grand Canyon truly looks majestic! I just found and posted a picture on my Instagram of the most stunning twilight in Monument Valley as well. There are so many gorgeous sights in the area and it sounds like Flagstaff was a good idea. I love the pictures you posted though I bet the one with you in the snow would have been a fun addition as well ;)

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

  31. Sonia, despite all the challenges ... you made the best of it. These pictures of the Grand Canyon are breathtaking! What an experience! So glad you were able to take this off your bucket list. I love how you wrote your name in the snow! You'll never forget this trip.

  32. Grand Canyon is also in my bucket list and hopefully someday soon I will be able to cross it off from the list :) The view is spectacular and how amazing it would be to watch the sunset from there. I hope you didn't injure yourself badly, well in places like that you have to be more cautious and I am such a clumsy person so I would probably do something stupid to hurt myself. Amazing photos, Sonia! x

    Ela BellaWorld

  33. The Grand Canyon is amazing and you got such beautiful photos! So glad you got to see it. :)

    -Emily www.coatandcoffee.com

  34. Awesome photos! Looked like a fun trip <3



  35. Cool!
    Oh is this snow? Wish I was there... too hot in Athens!


  36. These pics make me want to revisit the Grand Canyon! It's one of the most impressive places that I've seen.


  37. Grand Canyon is definitely on my bucket list.
    I'm so damn jealous!
    Hope you're well.


  38. Things are always better in hindsight, lol. Gosh how amazing are these images! Nature at it's best. Are you at the bottom of your bucket list yet? You must be close girl! And we continue to live vicariously through your posts. But oh no, hope your back feels better. So sorry you misjudged and fell but I'll be stalking your instagram all week, gotta see that photo hahah. I hope you enjoy the best of weekends.


  39. these photos are just breathtaking! amazing post dear
    www.rebelrebel.co | Bloglovin x

  40. Your photos are just beautiful! Putting the Grand Canyon on my list now :)

    xo Soo | www.BrownEyedToast.com

  41. Sounds like you had so much fun there! I don't usually go well with snow so I avoid it as much as possible. Thus, I live in Las Vegas :P I wish I got to go with you there! I went about a month ago, and it was just so delightful. Do you know which part of Grand Canyon you went to? I went to the West Rim. Anyway, I'm thinking about going back but on another side.

  42. Wow, your blog is amazing! I love it! xx
    Would you like to follow each other? If yes, please follow me on the both of my blogs and let me know in the comments of my newest posts so I can follow you ASAP.
    Have a great day!

    Vildana from Living Like V & Stalia Is BAE

  43. Wow, your blog is amazing! I love it! xx
    Would you like to follow each other? If yes, please follow me on the both of my blogs and let me know in the comments of my newest posts so I can follow you ASAP.
    Have a great day!

    Vildana from Living Like V & Stalia Is BAE

  44. I really like how you've mentioned the vast location making you feel small and insignificant. Although obviously you're not at all insignificant, I also get that same, refreshing feeling at sights like these. There's something so liberating about remembering just how small we are, and how so long as we're not hurting anyone, nothing we do *truly* matters. Beautiful imagery as always Sonia, by the way, just incredible :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  45. Lovely photos! Makes me wish I was on vacay! I've never seen snow myself.. and if I was there, I'd join right in with the snow angel making!! Hope the fall didn't hit you too hard xx


  46. What incredible photos! Sorry to hear that you slipped and landed on your back, hope you're OK now

  47. Wow wow wow babe! These photos are incredible! I'd love to go to the Grand Canyon one day, it really looks magical in the snow! Definitely need to check out your Insta for those hilarious pics! Hope you're okay though! Xx


  48. Grand Canyon is on my bucket list as well! Congrats on making this come true. It's a true beauty and I cannot imagine how hard and cold it was there but I'm sure the view was all worth it :)

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  49. What a wonderful place! Hope you had a great time (:


  50. This place is definitely one of a kind...
    Love the photos


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