Secret Santa in Zion

Day 54: Rest Day in Zion

Another rest day in Utah means another national park, this time Zion! I’ve heard nothing but great things about all the national parks in Utah, and I’m glad we hit almost all of them in the state. Bryce Canyon is the overlook of the canyons whereas Zion is viewing the canyons from below. Both beautiful parks! I only wish we had more time exploring the national parks. Looks like I’ll need to come visit them in the near future.

IMG_4771IMG_4827As soon as you pass the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel, you’re in Zion country. There’s so much to do: Angel’s Landing, the Narrows, Emerald Pools, spend all your money at the visitor center, explore the hidden gems of the park, horseback ride through the river, etc. We got to the park a little later than expected since a lot of us slept in, but we made it. Michael, Kevin, and Abigale hiked Angel’s Landing as soon as we found the visitor center. As much as I wanted to do the hike, I had to eat breakfast first. Casey, Zac, Athina, Lauren, Kat, Sasha, and I ate at Café Soleil before hiking the Emerald Pools. I really wanted to hike the Narrows and visit the Subway, but Sasha told me the Narrows requires a permit to hike. You have to essentially make a reservation and make sure the hike is open on the day you visit. It’s a strenuous river hike through the Virgin River.

IMG_4819IMG_4800IMG_4801After all the groups returned from Zion, it was time for Christmas in July 4K style. A month ago, Sara and Coral came up with the idea of doing a Secret Santa exchange with the team, which turned into a Christmas in July celebration on July 25th, our rest day in Zion. Lauren set up a mini Christmas tree in a shock top bottle with mini ornaments, Sasha and I played Christmas music from our laptops, and the rest of the team placed their secret santa presents under the tree. We had 3 top-notch performances: 1. Sara, Lauren, Athina, Julie, and Coral performed 10 weeks of 4K (in the style of 12 days of Christmas); 2. Rachael performed 4K baby (in the style of Santa baby); 3. Sasha and Athina did a Jersey rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. All performances were distinctive and unique to the memories we experienced on the trip so far. They had us on the ground, laughing from their lyrics. It’s tough getting decent wifi to upload videos on YouTube, but will post them on my blog once I do. Sit tight and be on the lookout!

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Most team members told each other who they got so they had a better idea of what to get their secret santa, but I enjoy the surprise factor of the gift exchange. Coral was the only person who knew about my secret santa cause she looked at the slip of paper once I picked it out of the hat. Gotta love her! Everyone on the team put in a lot of effort into getting their secret santa thoughtful presents that relate to what they like and who they are. I drew Lauren from the hat. Every time I rode with her, I would discreetly ask her questions about what she likes and would closely pay attention to what she wanted from souvenir shops. I found out she likes bees and honey, loves stickers, and wanted something from each state we biked through. She didn’t have anything from Kansas and Kentucky, so I decided to get her a personalized Kansas bikeplate (essentially a mini carplate for your bike) with her name on it, a Kentucky and California pin, and a sticker from Yosemite (only cause I knew she didn’t have it yet. We still have a couple days till we visit Yosemite). Amy chose my name out of the hat and knew I had a thing for collecting car plates from the states we biked through. She got me a Utah bike plate and a postcard.

IMG_4896So much love from team San Fran 2013. I can’t imagine living without them. We all ask ourselves why does this summer have to end? Guess that means we’ll just have to make more memories outside the 4K world and plan for bigger adventures. I love my 4K fam! IMG_4941

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