Studio House on Richmond

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The other day I was walking around our neighbourhood and I saw a for-sale sign for this cool looking building at 548 Richmond St West. I did a bit of research and as well as visited the site they advertised on the sign. It turned out that the house was home of Studio Innova, and it is a little gem of modern architecture right here downtown. I loved it so much I wanted to share the images with some of you (images are not mine! If you are the owner, please let me know and I will give you credits or make this post private) and keep it on record for some inspiration.

Antelope Canyon

Light beam, Antelope Canyon

We had about 10 days left on the road and Mig and I were starting to get excited about the things we were going to do and people we were going to see when we got home. That said, we tried to remain “in the moment” in order to properly savour the special things we were seeing and doing. Page, Arizona, is a small tourist town and we were lucky to find accommodation without a reservation. Even more lucky that we found a place with a pool! It was ridiculously hot and all we had on the agenda was a tour of the very famous Antelope Canyon and a quick sunset visit of the famous Grand Canyon bend called “Horseshoe Bend”; the rest of the time was for resting up for the long drive home (and I had to finish an article I was working on), so the pool was key.

We both have mixed feelings about our experience of Antelope Canyon. It is, without question, a stunning place and no surprise that photographers come in droves to try and capture its beauty. However, the magic, wonder and solitude portrayed in the images of this famous slot canyon are hard to actually experience when you’re there in person. One can only visit the canyon by guided tour and considering how much it costs one would expect to have a (more or less) intimate tour with a knowledgeable guide, as well as time to take it in and take some photos. But this was definitely not the case for us. We were herded through the relatively short canyon like cattle, alongside 4 or 5 other groups, with a *very* limited amount of time at each “photo opportunity.” Our guide shared some interesting facts and he was nice enough on the surface, but really he seemed bored with his job and annoyed with tourists in general.

We were certainly impressed by the amazingly narrow, water-washed, underground tunnel, as it were, and its fragile, textured, sand walls. And we did our best to tune out the noise and ignore the crowds to appreciate this (supposedly) sacred place, but it wasn’t easy (as it was in other tourist destinations like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Bryce, for example). We are still happy to have gone, though. It’s just interesting that often times we struggle to take photos that do justice to the beauty around us, where as this time I think our photos actually depict a more beautiful moment than what we experienced. Perhaps this is because it’s easier to block out the “noise” in a photo than it is in person, in order to reveal (exaggerate, even invent) something magical, unique and extraordinary.

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Zion and the annular eclipse

Striations in rock formations of Zion

Next on our itinerary was Zion National Park. Our plan was to do a day trip from Panguitch (near Bryce), which was a bit of a drive but made it so we didn’t have to pack up and move out of our great little cabin (see photo). Well, it turns out that Zion is absolutely massive (especially compared to Bryce), and by the time we arrived (at the north entrance) and drove through the park to the south entrance, we learned that we still had an hour on a shuttle bus to get to the walk that would take us to see the first part of The Narrows. It was also 39 degrees celsius! So, we decided to bail on The Narrows! Instead we took advantage of the popular tourist destination to walk around the parking lot in search of license plates that we had yet to see (and take a photo of, seeing as Mig decided to turn our game of collecting all 50 U.S. license plates into a photo project). Thus, the photos we have for you are taken from the drive. The views were still pretty impressive, we thought! To top things off, I noticed a herd of bisons on the side of the road. Naturally, there was a bunch of photographers already there shooting away with their massive lenses. We had fun taking a few shots, and vouched to come back to Zion better equipped and prepared next time.

We also have a photo of a solar eclipse, which happened at the end of our day-trip to Zion. Once again, we found ourselves in the right place at the right time for photo opportunities, because southern Utah was part of a narrow section in North America from where one could see it (see gallery below). There was a lot of hype about this eclipse because it was, in fact, an annular eclipse, which means that at some point the moon was going to be perfectly aligned with the sun, creating a “ring of fire.” Mig got a pretty cool shot of it, in my humble opinion.

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