31 August, 2023

3 best podcasts that you should listen to today

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Podcasts are like a radio talk series or audio blogs. Podcasts are usually themed around a specific topic and are free to listen through podcasting apps. 

What's great about Podcasts?

I have recently started listening to podcasts. I always try to learn more about health, mind, body, soul and how to lead a meaningful life. There are many podcasts where the host explains scientific terms in a simple way with examples. 

Podcasts are a great way to pass time during driving / stuck in traffic. I also listen to them while cooking or cutting vegetables or folding laundry. 

How to access podcasts?

In my android phone, I installed 'podcasts' app. I search for good podcasts and subscribe to them. I open this app and play these episodes whenever I want to listen. This app is free with many podcasts.

Pin it for later!

Here are my favorite podcasts that I suggest you listen to today:

1. Huberman Lab

Iam amazed by this podcast and the information it gives about latest researches. 

Huberman Lab discusses neuroscience: how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body control our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health. This might look like a boring pure science when you read about it, but Huberman explains science is very interesting way in simpler terms.

He brings all new science researches about neuroscience to the audience. He does a lot of interview with other scientists and researchers on interesting topics like tips for longevity, how  smells impact our biology, how to improve fitness, how fasting impacts our health, how sleep helps in good health, what is the correct way of drinking water etc.,

I find his talks very good and I feel involved. His talks make me think beyond the topic and also help me to incorporate a few tips in my everyday lifestyle.

2. On Purpose with Jay Shetty

You might have seen him on social media a lot. Jay Shetty is a British podcaster and a life coach. He is the author of #1 New York Times Best seller - Think Like a Monk

His podcasts are majorly about how to avoid negativity in life, How to stop over thinking, How to relax your mind etc., He gives many practical tips and tools to reduce anxiety,  and to achieve success. I like the practical approach from his podcast. We can learn many tips from his podcasts and implement them. 

He also interviews famous personalities including the US President Biden. His positivity and curiosity interests me in his podcasts.


3. The Mindset Mentor

This podcast by Rob Dial is about finding motivation and focus in our lives. He talks about various topics related to personality development like improving communications, reducing anxiety, improving positive mindset, improving productivity and realizing the power of optimism.

Rob is a coach, speaker and viral content creator. He is based in Austin, TX. 

His podcasts really change the way we think and they make us a better person.

Have you tried any podcasts? if so, which podcasts do you like in wellness category? Please do share your recommendations.

Until next time,

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023

29 August, 2023

The Unbroken Horizon by Jenny Brav - [Book Review]

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Book Details: 

Title: The Unbroken Horizon

Author: Jenny Brav

Genre: women's fiction, historical fiction 

Source : A free advanced review copy from the author

Print length: 422 pages

Publisher: Atmosphere press


What if the key to your wholeness lay in your wounding?

2011: Sarah Baum is a white humanitarian nurse who's worked in conflict zones for years. When recurrent nightmares of being a scared Black girl hiding in the forest cause her to make a near-fatal mistake, she's faced with her biggest challenge yet: how to heal from her past. And who is the girl in her dreams?

1914: Fourteen-year-old Maggie Burke flees the land where her family works as sharecroppers after witnessing the lynching of her brother and father. She eventually finds her way to New York and later Washington, DC, where her personal demons finally catch up with her. Will she have to give up everything she thought she wanted to follow the wild, poetic voice wishing to emerge through her?

Alternating between Sarah's deep dive into her childhood and ancestral wounds, and Maggie's journey from survival to forging her own path, The Unbroken Horizon explores the ways humans survive, heal, and even thrive in the face of individual and collective trauma.

Purchase Link:


Try Kindle Unlimited to access millions of books. 

My Review:

There are 2 parallel stories that run in the book - Maggie and Sarah's lives. These two women are from different timelines , and backgrounds. I usually love these kind of stories with strong women characters in different timelines. This blurb seemed interesting for me to pick this book.

I love how the author portrayed both the characters and their inner troubles. I liked reading about different concepts discussed in Sarah's counseling sessions with Patrick. I really enjoyed reading about how a therapist can guide people to positive thoughts and make their life better.

Maggie's life is full of problems and a lot of hurdles in each step. I really liked how she overcame her problems , gained knowledge, education and became a popular author. I love the poems mentioned in the book.

What would have been better?

The narrative might have been better. The author couldn't hold my focus till the end of the book. It became boring at some point. This might be due to the fact that I get bored with non-fiction. This book is not completely fiction, it portrays the times when racial discrimination was at its peak in US. This is not a fictional story with twists.
The switching between the 2 stories is little tough for me to follow. I felt like the story is going on a very slow pace.

My Review: 3/5

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

About the Author:

Jenny Brav was born and raised in Paris, France, to American parents who instilled in her a love of words, a sensitivity to the human condition, and a passion for travel. She did humanitarian work in Asia and the Middle East before settling in Oakland, California, where she practices holistic healing. 

In her spare time, she writes poetry, dabbles in vegan cooking, chases waterfalls, and caters to her calico cat’s whims. 

The Unbroken Horizon is her first novel. It brings together the themes that are close to her heart, especially how we find wholeness within our wounding.

Until next time,

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023

27 August, 2023

3 Beautiful Scenic View points in Austin

Austin is the State Capital of Texas and is a music lover's paradise. This place is also famous for hiking trails with many beautiful lakes and parks around. 

Since we moved from Colorado springs, we still search for scenic views, especially the best lookouts anywhere we go. Iam glad to find these beautiful scenic View points in Austin. With lady bird lake in the heart of the downtown, rolling hills and several state parks around, Austin is scenic when compared to other cities in Texas.

Pin it for later!

Here are 3 beautiful View points in Austin:

Mount Bonnell:

This is the spot we take all our visitor friends and they are always amazed at the beauty of Austin. This is the best place to watch Sunset, but getting parking is a little tough.

You can take the steps or hike from the right to a view point with the view of Lake Travis, Pennybacker Bridge and the surrounding areas. It's an easy hike / walk. Read the travelogue here.

Overlook from the top of Mt.Bonnell

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook:

I have seen this Bridge and Overlook in many Austin travel magazines, news channels and blogs. This seems like an Austin trademark kind of place.

The trailhead is just before the Pennybacker bridge/ 360-degree bridge. There is not a lot of place to park cars and the Sunset is the busiest time.

Trust me when I say this simple hike with little elevation will blow you away. The view of the bridge, lake and the surrounding houses is a treat to watch. It never disappoints.

Oasis on lake Travis:

Another trademark place in Austin. It's a must-visit. Either having date night or just strolling around, it's completely worth the trip.

The road leading to Oasis is also beautiful with many ups and downs.  I can see why they say Austin as rolling hills.

This is a beautiful place to have special dinner with a view. The shops and the sculptures are also wonderful. Read the full travelogue here.

Restaurants with a View

Have you watched these places in Austin? How do you like them? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023

24 August, 2023

Goblin Valley State park : Cute Goblins and Hoodoos

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a fun place to stop while visiting the Mighty 5. Goblin Valley will sure blow you off with thousands of cute rock formations - Goblins (mushroom shaped rocks) and hoodoos. 

Pin it for later!

How to Reach?

Goblin Valley State park is around 100 miles from Moab, Utah and 80 miles (1.5 hrs) from Capitol Reef National Park making it an easy spot to cover when you visit Arches/ Canyon Lands/ Capitol Reef National park.

To Rent a car

Read the previous travelogues here:

Zion National Park - Part1

Zion National Park - Part2

Bryce Canyon National Park

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Capitol Reef National park


The distinct shape of these rocks are due to an erosion resistant layer on the top of soft sandstones. These formations encourage your imagination as there are many shapes to see. These are formed  due to water and rain whisking away the rock grain by grain creating the hoodoos that we see now. This process took more than millions of years and this landscape still continues to change.

Cool Mushroom / Goblin

We spent half day in the Goblin valley state park. We started from Torrey in the morning after breakfast, reached the Goblin valley around 11 am. We visited the park in Early June, so it's pretty hot. 

Things to know before you visit:

Entrance fee is $20 / vehicle. There are restrooms at the entrance booth. There are no restrooms near the parking area. From the entrance booth, when we drive further, the road forks. If we take left, we cross the rock formation 'Three Sisters' and reach the parking lot.

The parking lot has an observation point with picnic tables. It's good to have a snack watching the Goblins if it's too hot to hike. Stairs lead to the Goblin valley from Parking lot.


This place is remote and weather is unpredictable. We visited in early June but still it is very hot. There is no shaded area around other than the observation point. 

So, drink plenty of water and carry sunscreen, hat and some snacks.

I use Neutrogena and my kids use Coppertone sunscreen. 

Check these Sun hats for Men and Women

This trail mix bag is our go to snack for every hike. 

Love Chobani yogurt always. Filling and cool for summer.

Where to find Goblins?

There are 3 valleys , but most of the park is unmarked and it is difficult to navigate. The first few Goblins that you see when you get down the stairs is Valley 1. This is a fun place even for little kids. The goblins are small , cute and dense. They can even climb on some.

Does it look like a Duck?

Valley 1

We walked further away from parking lot  until we reached a wall and had to go around it right side to reach Valley 2. Here we can see a lot of hoodoos and Goblins which are larger in height. There is a marking to denote it's Valley 2, but it is barely visible. 

There is Valley 3 when we go further, but we couldn't understand better path. Valley 3 has a trail called Goblin's Lair, which is a narrow slot canyon. We couldn't go that further due to heat. 

We retraced our steps navigating towards the parking lot and returned to Observation point. We had a snack and started back to Las Vegas to complete our Southern Utah trip.

If you have kids, try to cover this destination and spend 2 to 3 hrs. Kids will thank you for that. My kids enjoyed taking photos with these goblins and also climbing on them.

Until next time,

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023

15 August, 2023

5 Fun things to do in Capitol Reef National Park

Top post on Blogchatter

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Capitol Reef National Park in Southern Utah is a little remote and so, is less visited when compared to the other Utah national parks in the mighty 5. But, I would say, it's uniquely beautiful and has a lot of fun things to do. 

Capitol Reef is a few minutes west of Torrey. The park's expansiveness , majestic canyons and sweeping views are unbeatable. This park is surrounded by a geographical feature called Water pocket Fold (100 mile long wrinkle in the Earth's crust). The park got its name due to the white dome in the park which is similar to the State capitol domes and the cliffs forming a barrier like an Ocean reef. 

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking solace in a breathtaking environment, Capitol Reef offers an unforgettable journey that redefines the desert experience. Prepare to be inspired, awed, and humbled by the hidden wonders that await in this remarkable national park.

Park Entrance:

Entrance fee is $35 per vehicle. 

We have our America the beautiful  Annual Pass which costed around $80. It's a good deal if you want to cover multiple national parks in the same year. This year, we covered 6 national parks so far :-)

Pin it for later!

Read the previous travelogues here:

Zion National Park - Part1

Zion National Park - Part2

Bryce Canyon National Park

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument


This landscape is formed due to deposition and uplift. 

From National Park's website:

Capitol Reef National Park’s geologic story reveals a nearly complete set of Mesozoic-era sedimentary layers. For 200 million years, rock layers formed at or near sea level. About 75-35 million years ago tectonic forces uplifted them, forming the Waterpocket Fold. Forces of erosion have been sculpting this spectacular landscape ever since.

For me, it's amazing to see different layers of rocks since 200 million years.  These sedimentary rock layers denote different times, different environments and eco systems. 

Goosenecks Overlook

How to Reach?

We flew to Las Vegas, drove to Zion, Bryce, Escalante and reached Torrey to visit Capitol Reef National park.

Here are some flight options to Las Vegas:

Where to Stay?

Torrey has a lot of options to stay. We stayed in Broken Spur Inn and Steakhouse, which is very good hotel with clean rooms, restaurant, pool, laundry, play area for kids, and beautiful views.

Check out all accommodation options near Capitol Reef:

5 Fun things to do in Capitol Reef National Park:

1. Experience the beauty of the park through Scenic drive

The paved 8 mile scenic road gives a wonderful introduction to the park and the Water-pocket fold feature. There are many pullouts and view points on the scenic drive. Chimney rock(5 mins walk), Goosenecks overlook(0.2 miles), Panorama point(0.6 miles) and Sunset points are easy to reach with short hikes.

The best of Capitol Reef! See the Layers

The White Capitol dome 

Chimney Rock

This scenic drive is not a loop. There are 2 more scenic drives which are dirt roads - Capitol Gorge and Grand Wash.

Capitol Gorge drive is very beautiful and shouldn't be missed. You don't need a 4 wheel drive. It is like driving through a canyon with canyon walls slowly narrowing the road further. 

2. Watch the petroglyphs

When you turn left from the visitor center to Fruita historic district, you can drive to Petroglyph point. This petroglyph panel contains around 200 petroglyphs created by Fremont tribe around 700 to 1300 AD.

You can also watch petroglyphs in Capitol Gorge area.

3. Eat the famous home made pie from Gifford House

We loved the Apple pie and peach pie at Gifford house. Gifford house is a few minutes away from visitor center. Home made ice cream and Cinnamon rolls are also available.

These pies are very popular and so they go out of stock if you go very late. 

We enjoyed these pies every day after hiking or in the evenings in-between hikes. 

The park is also home for Fruita orchards planted by Mormon settlers in the late 1800s. During harvest season(mid June to October), visitors can pick fruits from orchards. Unfortunately, no fruits were ready yet to pick when we visited in early June. 

4. Hike the Hickman bridge and Cassidy Arch

Hiking Trails in Capitol Reef national Park:

Hickman Bridge

Hickman bridge is a popular trail in the Capitol Reef National park. This is around 2 miles round trip. The initial section is very steep. This might take 2 hrs but you can walk below the huge arch and it is well worth the effort. 

2 small bridges on the way to Hickman Bridge

This is a moderate hike. You can see the Capitol Dome from the trail. The trailhead is on the Fruita scenic drive a few minutes away from Petroglyph point. 

Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch trailhead is at the end of Grand wash road scenic drive. It is the most difficult hike to do with kids with steep inclines and dropoffs. We couldn't do it as we were tired from previous day hikes in Bryce canyon national park. 

This is 1.7 miles steep and tough trail. But, you can walk on the arch as well if you can hike.

We could see the arch from a view point on Grand wash scenic drive. 

Pioneer Register and Tanks

This is the easiest hikes in Capitol Reef. The trailhead is at the end of the Capitol Gorge scenic drive. 

This is 1.6 miles round trip hike and add 0.6 miles to reach "Tanks" - Naturally formed water holes. You can watch the canyon walls narrowing on the pioneer register hike and see Mormon settlers' names carved on the canyon walls.

Capitol Gorge drive

The hike to Tanks is not flat and there might not be water in those water holes in summer. The trail is not very clearly marked and you need to climb rocks to reach them.

5. Explore the historic Fruita district

Pioneers have settled in this area in 1800s. They have also maintained fruit orchards growing apples, peaches, apricots , pears, plums etc.,

National park service has preserved old Fruita School house, Gifford house , barn and is maintaining the orchards.

The other remote areas to explore in the park are Cathedral Valley and Cohab canyon. Cathedral valley overlook and the temple of Sun and Moon rock formations are popular. 

We didn't get time to drive to Cohab canyon, but there are moderate trails to fantastic view points of the canyon.

Near Cathedral Valley

Cannot get tired of these views

We loved the experience in Capitol Reef. This is really the mighty one of the 5 Utah national parks. I think, no where else we can see the geology and Earth's wonders this close.

Let's meet on my next travelogue about Goblin Valley State park.

Until next time,

08 August, 2023

One day at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a protected landscape which spans across 1.87 million acres public lands in Southern Utah. This monument is on the way from Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National park on scenic highway 12.

Read the previous travelogues here:

Zion National Park - Part1

Zion National Park - Part2

Bryce Canyon National Park

Escalante National Monument:

In the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton described the Grand Staircase as a 

"huge stairway ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon northward with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps." 

These steps rise 5500' from the floor of the Grand Canyon to  Bryce Canyon. The distinct steps are the Vermilion Cliffs, the White Cliffs, the Gray Cliffs and the Pink Cliffs.

Pin it for later!

How to Reach?

We flew to Las Vegas and drove to Hurricane to visit Zion, stayed in Panguitch to visit Bryce Canyon National Park and drove from Bryce to Escalante by renting a car

Here are a few economical options to fly to Las Vegas:

Where to Stay:

We took accommodation in Circle D motel in Escalante. It's clean and perfect. No breakfast but the rooms are well maintained. This is nearer to Hole-on-the-rock road.

Here are some options to stay near Escalante National Monument:

Hiking Trails:


On highway 12, on the way to Escalante, there are many interesting spots to visit. Cannonville is around 20 mins from Bryce Canyon. This is considered to be an easy hike to watch slot canyons. Start at Willis creek trailhead and after first 1.3 miles you will be in the narrow part of slot canyon. 

Kodachrome Basin State Park :

This park is about 7 miles from Cannonville. There are multiple hiking trails in this park, but Grosvenor arch seemed interesting and easy to hike. Grosvenor arch trail is easy 0.2 miles trail but the drive through dirt road to reach parking lot might be a little tough. This double arch is seen in a lot of Escalante travel brochures. 

Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Cedar wash arch in the same area is 1 mile hike. You can pair it with covered wagon natural bridge.

We couldn't cover Cannonville and Kodachrome Basin State Park as it's very remote and needs a lot of driving on dirt roads, but we will do these trails some other time.  

Escalante monument is remote and have many primitive roads to drive. We reached Escalante in the evening from Bryce canyon national park. We checked into our hotel and started our drive to 'Hole on the Rock' road.

The'Hole-in-the-rock' trail extends from Escalante to Bluff. It is a short cut used my Mormon pioneers to cross the Colorado river. 

Devil's Garden:

Devil's Garden is a good family friendly place to visit in Escalante National monument. You can visit the visitor center and drive 12 miles on Hole-on-The-Rock road from Scenic byway 12 to reach the parking lot for Devil's Garden. 

Hole-on-The-Rock road is very washboard and so ,you have to drive slowly. Expect a lot of driving time even though it's 12 miles. You don't need a 4 wheel drive though.

From the parking lot, it's a short hike of 0.4 miles in between hoodoos, rock formations and arches. This arch is so huge and looked spectacular. 

This place was very nice during sunset, but we couldn't stay long as the drive back to hotel is tough on this road without day light.

Love this pic.. looks dramatic :-)

Peek a boo and Spooky Slot Canyons:

These slot canyons are at dry fork road when you drive 26 miles on Hole-on-The-Rock road from Scenic byway 12. Since the road is primitive and it's already evening, we couldn't go to these canyons on that day.

This total hike is 3.5 miles loop. You have to hike 1.4 miles to reach Peek a boo gulch, after you exit this canyon, you have to hike 0.5 miles to reach Spooky gulch. This is a tough hike to do with kids and the place is remote too. But, I heard it's one of the best hikes as kids will enjoy these slot canyons. Just plan ahead, carry more water and snacks. Give it more time.

Lower Calf Creek Falls:

The next day morning we planned to cover Lower calf creek falls and Anasazi State park museum on the way to Torrey. But, we were super tired after the hikes from Bryce and Zion, so couldn't attempt to hike 6 miles to visit Lower calf creek falls.

Escalante Natural Bridge:

This is a 3.5 mile loop trail to reach the huge Escalante Natural bridge. But, it's tough with younger kids as there are multiple river crossings to reach the bridge.

The drive from Escalante to Torrey was fantastic. The roads, scenic views,  ups and downs, rock formations etc., were very scenic. 

Just before reaching Torrey, the scenery changed a lot. Many Aspen trees and mountain views were similar to the scenery in Colorado.

Here are some food options around:

  • Circle D Eatery
  • Escalante Outfitters Pizza
  • Nemo's
  • Kiva coffee house - best hot chocolate
  • Magnolia's street food - food truck , breakfast burritos
  • Burr trail grill in Boulder between Grandstaircase and Capitol reef

Our Next stop is Capitol Reef National Park. We definitely under-estimated this park thinking it won't be as good as Zion or Bryson. It proved us wrong. Capitol Reef is beautiful and there is a lot to hike there.

More details on my next travelogue.

Until next time,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...