Utah Hogle Zoo

I just happened to have a Saturday off a couple weeks ago so we decided to go to the zoo because Jeff is on the Dive Team, so we get in for free and we just love the zoo.

When we first arrived all the animals were sleeping boring so after walking all around we decided to eat then walk around again to see if animals were more awake.

We love the new restaurant because it overlooks the elephant exhibit and we watched the baby elephant roll in the mud. We also saw an elephant want to see a trainer so badly that she kept blowing her trunk.

Every time we go to the zoo there is a different animal that we learn more about. Last time it was the female lions and we played with them and it was awesome. This time, it was the rhinos. We learned that the only difference between the white rhino and the black rhino are their lips. We ended up watching them eat for 10 minutes in that little rock peephole. I had never really thought about how big they are because they’ve always been next to elephants and they are little compared to them, but rhinos are huge animals!

Anyway, it was a nice relaxing day and we’ve decided that anytime we go, we will go later in the day when it cools down.

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Utah State Fair

After we had our pictures taken a few weeks ago, we headed to the Utah State Fair – the greatest place on earth!

Just kidding, but it is the prime area for deep fried anything and people watching.

While there, Jeff ended up making a great business contact and as he was conversing, I was taking pictures of the sunset. It was gorgeous and I loved the lights of the rides against the sunset.

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After walking through all the tents, we walked through the animal houses. Our favorite were the goats. There was one that was screaming – we literally thought there was a man screaming. Then two goats were playing and it was hilarious!

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After the goats, we walked through the cows. They had two Bulls out that had information about them. The only that Jeff posed with is 2500 pounds and is 6 feet at the shoulder. It’s crazy being so close to such a big animal.

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The animals were definitely the highlight of the night. We also saw a reindeer, which was cool. After the animals, we just walked around and just watched people.

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Pictures!

I’ve been wanting some pictures of Jeff and I for a while, but not so much that I was going to stop being lazy.

I had joined a group on Facebook that was for photographers in Utah (I think this one was specifically for women) and one girl said she wanted to exchange some images of anyone in the Layton area. So I talked to her for few days, we set up a time and place and we met last Friday.

I am thrilled with how they turned out. We ended up switching memory cards and taking pictures then going home and editing the pictures of ourselves.

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Aren’t we just adorable? Jeff looks so handsome, even though he disagrees…

Now to slightly change the subject, I freaking love my husband!

He is caring and trusting. Sometimes I think I can get away with feeling a certain way and he won’t notice, but he does. He knows me and I love him for it. I love that we can talk about anything and everything. We are open with each other and it makes a world of difference!

I also love that he loves our dogs. He takes time to play with both of them and give them attention.

Okay, that’s the end of my turned sappy post.

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Park City

A few weeks ago, I happened to have a day off so we took advantage of it and Jeff and I headed up to Park City as a little mid-week get away.

We started off our excursion during rush hour in Salt Lake and we figured it would continue until we actually got to Park City, but the traffic was worse than I’ve ever seen it. We were stopped on the freeway as soon as we got to 1300 South and we spent the next hour and a half inching forward. I’m sure a snail could have beaten us!

Since it was a Thursday night, Jeff still had some work to get done so we could enjoy the next day. As we are sitting in the car, and Jeff is making phone calls with his Beats By Dre noise canceling headphones on, a highway patrol car zooms past us in the left hand shoulder. I took it as a sign that there was an accident and we would be waiting for a little bit longer. Over the next 10 minutes there were 3 Salt Lake City police cars, 2 highway patrol cars, a firetruck, 2 ambulances, and an incident management vehicle that passed us in the left shoulder and we had moved maybe 10 feet.

During the long boring inching forward, we were rear ended by a Dodge Ram in Jeff’s BMW – which means the back bumper cried and fell right off. Not really – but I swear you could look at the bumper wrong and it would dent itself. Since we’ve been dating, he has had the bumper replaced 5 times and I believe only one time has been his fault. Anyway, we had been hit and the bumper was bad enough that it needed to be replaced and he wasn’t sure how we should talk to this guy because we were still on the freeway and people shouldn’t be out of their cars – so Jeff called 911 and told the guy roughly where we were and asked what we should do and apologized because he figured it wasn’t as bad as the accident that was ahead of us and the phone operator somewhat chuckled and say “Oh yeah, it’s a messy one.”

It all worked out, the guy that hit us was really nice and offered to pay for the new bumper because it was his fault completely. We drive off feeling better, then we pass the accident. There were only a few highway patrol cars still there, but all FIVE vehicles that were involved in the accident were still there and the incident guys were still sweeping up debris. One of the vehicles was a Ford F350 and the back passenger tire was perpendicular to the rest of the vehicle, a Prius was completely smashed – it looked like it had something to do with the truck’s tire – and two cars were facing the wrong direction and the last one was smashed into the cement barrier. It looked awful and I was surprised that more cars weren’t involved in the crash.

After the crash, it was smooth sailing. We arrived at the WestGate Hotel and had a suite of some kind. There was a steam shower, a jacuzzi in the bedroom, and a full kitchen. A great view of the pool with tons of screaming children. That last sentence was said with sarcasm.

We ate at a sports bar down the hall from our room and during the wait we wandered around the hotel and found an adults only pool and spa – which was gorgeous – the pool had a waterfall and there were no children.

For dinner, we sat outside and we were actually chilly and wanted jackets, which was great for the first days of August. I jokingly asked Jeff if I could try some alcohol since I haven’t done anything that normal 21 year olds do, so he ordered a non-alcoholic beer and it was one of the most disgusting things I have ever tried.

We spent the night swimming and relaxing in the pool/spa and taking a steam shower.

The next morning we woke up, checked out and headed to Main Street. We didn’t realize that it was the Kimball Art’s Festival, so parking was difficult because all the artists were showing up to set up. We walked around looking for a little place to have brunch and finally settled on the Java Cow. It was a cute little place and I loved it. I want to do a photoshoot there sometime. Anyway, we ordered crepes and an orange smoothie and sat back and watched people for a little bit.

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After eating, we walked up and down Main Street and looking in shops and art galleries, along with watching artists set up their booths.

For the most part, it was a nice and relaxing getaway, but Jeff was still getting calls from work and he ended up working most the day.

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Sand Hollow

This weekend Jeff and I drove to St. George to dive in Sand Hollow.

We didn’t have much time so we drove down on Thursday night and stayed with Jeff’s friend from high school. Then we headed back on Saturday night.

On Friday, we drove into Hurricane and stopped by Peach Days then headed over to Sand Hollow.

The dive master ended up having car problems and not coming so Jeff tagged along with some other divers as I stayed on the beach with Baxter. After he dived, we went back to Peach Days and hung out with his friend and his wife.

On Saturday, we headed back over to Sand Hollow and dived with Jeff’s friend.

We explored a VW Bus, and sunken plane. There was also a buoyancy obstacle course, a missile, and a toilet.

It was an interesting dive because it was different than anything I’ve done. My other dives have been in salt water and the fish are more colorful and move quicker. Fresh water fish are still cool, but they are slow moving and all seem to be some shade of green.

The plane was small and I was told that someone died in it – although it seemed to be undamaged. Knowing there was a death made it eery to explore. The constant boat hum seemed to disappear when we were around it. There was no way I was going in.

The bus was awesome. I’ve always wondered what it looks like on the inside. Although it is covered in algae, I still want to own one at some point in my life.

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It’s been a while!

It’s crazy how life gets busy and things get pushed to the back of the mind and forgotten about. 

I’ve been working a ton and have some great ideas coming on this blog about clothes :)

I mostly wanted to share some of the images I took of my uncle’s family. I found the perfect location and I’m excited for more shoots there! And if anyone is located in Utah, I would love to meet up and exchange some shoots. (If you are interested, email me at natashapaigephoto@gmail.com)

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First Hike of the Year

Sometimes it’s difficult to get my husband to go on a walk, let alone a hike. But on Saturday he finally agreed and we took the dogs with us!

I wish I had brought my natural density filter for my 50mm lens for some of the landscape shots, but that’s okay. There were plenty of flowers for me to photograph – and here they are.

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Indignation

Indignation: anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment.

Indignation is also a novel written by Philip Roth.

I’ve had more spare time than I’ve had in quite a while – like a year! So I’ve needed something to do and I’ve started to read.

There is a small book store close to my house where you can buy and trade in your books. I decided to go in and find some books to read over the next couple weeks and Indignation was one that sounded good so I bought it.

I read it in two days.

I regret that I didn’t just stop reading… I just kept thinking something would happen, but nothing ever did. To me, the book was written in segments that didn’t really connect.

It’s about a teenager that decided to leave home to get away from his nagging father. It’s set during the Korean War and the teenager is focused on his studies so he can make his parents proud and so he won’t be drafted as a soldier and have to go to war. While at college, he changed rooms three times because he couldn’t handle his roommates. He also went on a date with a girl that ended in her giving him a blow job then he was too embarrassed to ask her out again. He got into an argument with the Dean because the Dean thought he was antisocial and the teenager (I honestly can’t remember his name) thinks the Dean is making it up and has no right to pry into his life. During the argument, the teenager threw up over the chair he was in and the rug. He was rushed to the hospital and had his appendix removed. While in the hospital, the girl he went on a date with came to visit him and started to give him a hand job and a nurse saw (the college is against sexual contact, so they should be expelled) but the nurse didn’t tell anyone. The teenager’s mom came and visited him in the hospital and met the girl, but told him not to date her because she has a cut on her wrist and he shouldn’t be dating someone who has tried to kill herself. He agrees, but tries to find the girl once he is released from the hospital, but she went home because she found out she was pregnant. The Dean ends up talking to the kid again and accused the teenager of impregnating her, but the teenager couldn’t have because he is a virgin. Then somehow there is a panty raid and kids are being expelled and girls are going home, never to return to the college again. Then the president of the college talks to all the males and tells them they are wimps and the heroes are the soldiers in the war. Then somehow the teenager died and I guess the book was really a flashback of his life.

The narrator changes in the last chapter and I did not like it. It was like Roth forgot that he had to close the book so he gave a brief ending to the teenager’s life as well as his parents. You never learn anything more about the girl he dated, or the school.

It was a well written book, but it was a weak story line. Roth could have gone deeper into the story and character, instead it was like he was hurrying to whip up a story to publish.

Honesty

I love my husband. I really do. But marriage is one of the most difficult, yet joyful and satisfying things I’ve ever done or put myself through.

Growing up, I never figured living with someone else would be that big of a deal. Even when I went to college and lived with roommates, I didn’t think it was that bad. Of course there were hiccups, but I’m strong and stood my own ground, but I guess the biggest difference is that I want my husband to love me back, I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I didn’t care about my roommates, especially not the same way I care about my husband.

This past weekend has been the most difficult time in our marriage. It’s been hard – I’ve been sad, angry, happy, and indifferent. There were even times I didn’t know if we would be able to make it through this road bump, and it terrified me. The biggest thing that I had to remember was to keep an open mind. It’s hard and sometimes not fair, but it’s the only way to make it through.

You also have to be honest. I’m someone that gets angry and quiet. I don’t tell you what I’m feeling because I know eventually it will pass and everything will go back to normal. But I knew this time would be different. Through tears, I explained to my husband exactly what I was feeling and it sucked, but I felt relieved. Sometimes you have to be fair to yourself and let the ones you love know how you feel or it’ll never get better.

On a completely different note, I have been loving macro images. I love flipping my 50mm around because it changes the way you see things. Here are a few of my favorite images that I took in the last week.

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Utah Hogle Zoo

Utah’s Hogle Zoo – “Salt Lake City’s most visited paid attraction.” Sounds thrilling, right? Well,  it was.

I remember in elementary, every year we would go visit the zoo. I honestly don’t know if we were supposed to learn anything from it though. It was just a day out of the building and I enjoyed it. Then in jr. high I hated going because I thought it was a place for little kids to go and in all honesty, the zoo was going downhill. The exhibits were small and old. The polar bear ate a glove and died. Something happened to the zebras and they died. They used to have a hippo, but who knows where it went. They had lions and camels. You could always find the gorillas and apes outside, but I don’t remember the last time I saw that.

Anyway, the zoo was going downhill.

Then, when I met my husband, we went on a date to the zoo and they had just opened the arctic exhibit, or whatever it’s called. They brought in a polar bear, some grizzly cubs, seals and sea lions. They built a few under water viewing areas and it was very cool. They also had a new exhibit for the elephants, which is pretty awesome as well. You can watch the elephants walk around and get in the water and play with a few toys. They also had 3 acres of land blocked off for their safari exhibit and it seemed like forever away until it opened.

Now back to real time, last week my husband took half a day off and we ended up going to the zoo. They had half their safari exhibit open with two year and a half old lions that were so much fun! (It was also the perfect time to go – a chilly Monday.) The lions would run with you along the windows and they were just like our puppies. They were curious about the noises we were making and just wanted to play. They were definitely the highlight of our trip.

We actually saw almost every animal in the zoo that day because it wasn’t a hundred degrees in the middle of summer so the animals were out and more active than I have ever seen them.

So I suggest spending a day at the Hogle Zoo and checking out the new additions.

This is the only picture that I liked from what I took that day because there is glass in the way and some weird reflections.

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