Kayla and I love being a photography duo. But we are much more than that. We are best friends and also cousins….and roommates. And yet listing all that, doesn’t even really explain it.
I am older by a couple years but that didn’t stop us from being attached at the hip when we were kids. It was a soul connection from day one. I called her Kayla Bug and she called me Baby Laura. We daydreamed together as kids, lived in our imaginations, ran through forests and explored rocky beaches, gazing into tide pools and daring to touch the crabs. We would sneak out at night and climb onto the roof to look at stars and ponder our lives together. Always wanting the same dreams. Not knowing one day we really would share them together. I lived in a small town in Washington State and she lived in a small town in California. We always longed for more visits and sometimes she would cry when we said our goodbyes. When we were apart, she would receive my hand-me-downs and proudly wear my old things, we would sometimes write or talk on the phone but mostly just wish we could spend more time together. As we grew older, we were still always just as excited to be together. Still daydreamers. We’d grab our sweet Julia Rose (Kayla’s little sis) and take a raft to Rattlesnake Lake, where we all laid out, eating cheese and crackers, drinking ginger brew with our legs in the water. We are so much more than a photography duo.
Our futures were so connected, so intertwined. All our wonder has led to this. And it’s better than we ever imagined.
We love what we do and we love doing it together. We still spend nights, laying up on the roof, dreaming big. But now there is a glass of wine (or two) involved and we make our dreams plans.
Laura Goldenberger Photography is ever growing, ever changing and evolving. We are so excited for this year, so grateful for our rad clients and so inspired to take our craft to the next level.
Now that I’ve given you our story, I wanted to share a glimpse into our lives. We LOVE to travel and find so much inspiration in doing so. We wanted to take a little road trip but we didn’t have much time and wanted to keep the budget as small as possible (because we have some bigger trips coming up). So we grabbed my boyfriend, Adrian, booked some cheap motels and loaded up the car for a road trip. We stocked up on Trader Joes + Whole Foods goods, rented books on tape from the library and brought one digital camera, one film camera and one polaroid.
It ended up being one of the best trips of our lives.
Today I am showing part 1 of our adventure. I also thought I would leave you guys with some info about our trip in case you should plan to visit after seeing this (and you should). I found a little challenging to find great guides when I was planning so here’s my contribution:
First stop was the Grand Canyon. It was just as beautiful and incredible as you think it will be. Kayla dropped her phone into. Goodbye forever phone! There are hikes you can do such as Skeleton point on the South Kaibab trail, we also hear it’s nice to go to Zuni Point but we were pretty tired from a very early morning and were happy to just explore the rim trail. We ate from our supplies that day and stayed at Red Feather Lodge. The lodge was cheap enough and close to the Grand Canyon so it did the job.
The next day we headed to Zion National Park for two nights. Put this place on your bucket list right now. Pictures do not to it justice. I felt disappointed with every photo because it just cannot capture the magnitude of it. You just have to go see and experience it.
We are outdoorsy, and love to hike, so Zion is a paradise. Our favorite was Observation Point. This is one of most incredible hikes we have done to date. It’s 8 miles round trip, has areas of cliffside trail (which can make anyone a little dizzy), is extremely scenic and has a huge payoff at the end with the best view in Zion. You can read more about it here.
The Narrows kept coming up as a favorite hike of many. We did attempt it very briefly but you have to trek through water and it was FREEZING. We learned very quickly this was not a winter hike even though it was a hot day. That water burned it was so cold. So if you come in the summer time, it seems that is also a must do.
Angel’s Landing was the other major hike we kept hearing about. But upon further investigation, I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s a very intense experience for anyone with any remote fear of heights. Though I was tempted, I decided Observation Point was a better choice. If you can handle your heart beating out of your chest on a hike, you can learn more about it here. It looks incredible!
There area also lots of pretty, little hikes you can check out such as Emerald Pools Trail and Riverside Walk.
Zion has such a cute town, right outside, called Springdale. We loved everything about it! We stayed at the cozy Pioneer Lodge, it felt like a cabin, fit our budget and was centrally located. We had a great dinner at Amigos, coffee and lunch at Cafe Soleil and a huge breakfast at Oscar’s Cafe which was ideal before hiking all day. We also had a memorable conversation with the lady working at Zion Rock & Gem and I finally got a salt lamp and picked up some cool gems.
Next stop was Bryce Canyon. Such a unique and gorgeous place! We hiked Peek-a-boo trail and highly recommend it. It’s 5.5 miles of the heart and soul of the canyon. We also drove around the park and stopped off to see the lookouts and walked along the rim for a bit. But you really gotta hike down into it to fully experience the beauty. We did a full day of this and then headed to our motel. We stayed at America’s Best Value Inn + Suites in Tropic, Utah. It wasn’t as close to the park as the other motels had been but it was a little adventure (and most importantly cheap). When we got there, our key was in an envelope on the door waiting for us. We got situated and then went to go grab dinner somewhere. Okay…so there is NO where to get food in the off season. Do not show up to Tropic without some rations. It was 7pm and there wasn’t a grocery store or restaurant open for miles. Luckily we still had some grub from Trader Joes that held us through the night. Breakfast was also not an option because everything was still closed. I went to check out and even the motel wasn’t open so I just left the keys in the room. I’m sure in the on season, people open their doors but it felt like staying in a ghost town. So if you happen to travel through in the winter, you best bring some snackies and water.
Pt.2 will be on the blog tomorrow!
Photos by Laura, Kayla AND Adrian (teachin my man to rock it out) ENJOY!