It never fails... The days leading up to a vacation, to a time away from work (work that I love, and work that never feels like "work") I always feel like I'm not ready. Or like I'd rather just stay home and do the work I love to do. And THEN I go on these vacations and these times away from "work", and I end up having the absolute best time, and ultimately feeling like I would rather just not work at all, ever again, fun work or not, let's just do nothing.
Essentially, this jacked up cycle happened once again last week. Ohhh Colorado. Despite the fact that no matter the amount of water I drink to stay good and hydrated, I still struggle to keep nausea at bay thanks to your altitude, and fight headaches every single day...I love you nonetheless.
This trip to Colorado was a major special one, for several reasons. My lovely sister in law tied the knot on this trip, and for the first time in my whole life - I stood as a bridesmaid!
The next reason this trip was so special is because Wes and I stayed (with my awesome inlaws) in the dreamiest of cabins in Evergreen, and we both agreed - the cabin itself combined with it's amazing location tied hard on our Playa del Carmen honeymoon. Yep. How strong are those words!? That's just how much we lovedddd this place!
Aside from all the goodness of beautiful Colorado, seeing family and friends at Kelsey and Paul's wedding, hanging out with awesome people, taking endless photos - The list goes on and on. But there's one more big reason why this trip was so special -
It's the reason that on day 3 of our trip, I threw caution to the wind and acted on a newfound respect for the mentality of YOLO. Up I went, with a good friend, in a small, two-seater Kitfox airplane so that I could see Colorado like I've never seen before, and so that I could really practice the belief that you only live once.
Sooo many photos friends, a good mix of camera + iPhone snaps, let's start at the beginning!! -
- We drove the whole way on Tuesday the 22nd, the whole 9ish hours. Straight into Castle Rock we went so that I could grab coffee with a super sweet friend! Stacy is someone I met last year when I was in Colorado for the epic Creative at Heart Conference, which you can read all about that trip - here. I honestly wasn't sure if I'd ever get to see this amazing lady again, but I'm SO glad I did. After visiting with her, we made our way to visit with one of Wes's childhood friends, and meet his new cute little baby girl!
- That first night, we stayed in downtown Denver, at a super cute Bed and Breakfast, The Capitol Hill Mansion. After sleeping in just a tad the next morning, a precious little girl in the lobby led us out to "the secret garden" for breakfast! SO cute!!
- After breakfast, we took off for Silverthorne, deciding to take the scenic route through and over, Loveland Pass. Though I had been chugging water in an attempt to stay hydrated, the quick climb in elevation up Loveland, and my decision (dumb decision!) to get out of the car and hike up a little for a better view, resulted in a majorrrrr wave of nausea, dizziness, and a I-might-vomit-in-front-of-these-strangers moment. I survived, no vomit, just some laying on the ground until my head stopped spinning. Ha.
- Eventually we made our way to Dillon and met up with these awesome people right here. If you have followed my previous Colorado vacation posts, you know that we always try to visit these guys.
Wes grew up with Mark, and I'm so glad he did. Not only did he gain a great friend through all those years, but that friendship of theirs led me to Michele, Mark's wife. These two make up the team of In Photography.....as well as Two Happy Campers. And Michele has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, supporters, and the single best mentor I could have asked for throughout my own photography journey!
The next time we see these crazy kids, they won't be in that house anymore - so a photo on their front stoop with their sweet dogs was imperative!
Equally important was a few random shots of them being them -
The last time we were in Colorado - Mark was dismantling and rebuilding the entire engine from their recent purchase.... A Kitfox airplane. Yep. They own their own plane. See that trips details, and the photos here - Colorado in 2016.
Before we went out this year, Michele had suggested that Mark might want to take Wes up. Seeing as how Wes grew up with his Dad flying planes, it seemed like a legit idea. For me however, I gave zero consideration to going up. I've always been one to air more on the side of "But what if I die".... I'm not sure what happened honestly, but a few days prior to the trip, it hit me... This is possibly a once in a lifetime chance to go up in a plane like this. To see Colorado like this... And who better to take you up than someone who's torn down and rebuilt the very engine of the plane you'll be in, and who knows that plane backwards and forwards?? My reasoning seemed solid. So up I went. And let me tell you - greatest decision EVER.
It's just COOL, right!? All those controls and buttons!! SIDEBAR: I have a thing for buttons. I see them, I want to push them. I did not push said buttons this time, haha.
Seeing our shadow was one of the coolest parts for me!!!
This is easily my FAVORITE shot that I got while up in the sky!! Pretty certain this is going to end up being printed and hung up in our house!!
Mark had told me over and over that if I got up there and decided it was a bad idea, or I started feeling sick - he could have me back on the ground in under 5 minutes due to the planes size, and light weight. But guess what y'all? It was a GREAT decision, and there was no sickness, and we were up there for 40 minutes! I could have stayed up so much longer!!
- Wes went up after I did - and not only did he go up - he FLEW the plane a bit during his time up there!! AHHH!!! SO awesome!!
The time spent with Mark and Michele is never long enough, and those two adventurous souls aren't even certain they'll be in Colorado much longer, so who knows when we will see them again! Totally bums me out, though distance, I'm sure, won't scuff our friendship!
- After that way too short visit, we hit the road again, onward to our next stop and the place we'd stay for the next 5 nights. The magical, the dreamy, Cabins at Country Road. Did I mention that Wes and I both agreed, this cabin, combined with its location, tied hard with our Playa del Carmen honeymoon!? Those words seem so strong and like I'm exaggerating, but I am SO NOT KIDDING!! This place was pure magic!
The inside was SO dreamy and precious! I could live here!
And the outside?? All the nooks and crannies and spots to sit in and hang out at! I WISH our yard looked like this!
See that little CUTE little building on the right? That was a private little library nook....A LIBRARY NOOK!! Is this place made out of my dreams or what!!??
The other side of that gate was the first thing we saw when we pulled up out front on day one - oh how we had no idea the magic that was on the other side! And at night!? They don't bother mentioning that you'll come back to your cabin to a million twinkle lights all over the yard!! AHHH!
The morning after night one in the cabins was the first part of bridesmaids-fun! We, plus the blushing bride went for a quick hike at Red Rocks! Thank goodness for Danielle and her often reminder to take selfies and quick iPhone snaps!
- After all the hiking, it was time for a treat! The whole afternoon was spent getting manicures and pedicures and then going for wine and appetizers at a cutesy wine bar!
- On Saturday morning it was time for the wedding rehearsal! Kelsey and Paul picked such an awesome location to tie the knot at! Once again, thank you Danielle for always taking photos!
- Even though the sun was super high and super bright after K+P's rehearsal, it was nearly impossible for me to NOT ask them to let me take a few pics! I'm SO glad we stole away for a few minutes to do these!
- We all spent the entire afternoon and evening at K+P's glorious mountain home up in Conifer for their rehearsal dinner!
- Andddd we stole away again, for a few more minutes of photos! See their doggy? That's Ivan. And he's the only big dog I've ever loved!
- WEDDING DAY!!! Thank goodness for Danielle - for her bridesmaid dress with pockets, and for her remembering to stuff her iPhone in said pockets! Without her, I'd have no pics from the wedding because wow being a bridesmaid VS a photographer looks a lot different! Love this photo of us girls, taken just minutes before we walked down the aisle!!!
- Kels and Paul's wedding was magical....there really isn't a better way to describe it. So many people had asked "How will you not be in photographer-mode!?", and truthfully, I wondered the same, but! It was soooo nice to be included and to be a part of her special day, to stand with her and to love her and focus only on all those things instead of spending the whole day being a photographer!
- It was a super late night, and a sleep-in morning back over at our cabin! Kels and Paul stayed in a cabin down the creek from us, and those guys woke up to find a buck and a doe riiiight outside their front porch! I practically ran down....especially since Paul had mentioned how friendly the doe was! Here's the buck - looking slightly intimidating, not gonna lie, haha.
- And then below that....!!!!??? The super friendly doe!! Who was indeed, super friendly! She let me feed her leaves, boop her snout, anddd pet her back!! AHHH DREAMS!!
- Remember that precious little library nook?? I had told myself before I left, I HAD to go sit inside and just take it in, whether I had time to read or not, I just wanted to sit inside. Andddd I did! The shots I took while sitting inside on our last day - less than hour before we had to check out and head home - make me deliriously happy, this little building is so dreamy!
And that's it you guys... We checked out of the dreamy cabin, and we (Wes, me, my inlaws, Kels and Paul) all went back up to their house and watched them open cards, cried a little, laughed a lot and recounted the details of their awesome day. We had a quick homemade and true Italian dinner with Paul's family before Wes and I hit the road back to Kansas City, and just like that....this magical and oh-so-memorable week came to a close!
Last thing to show you is the iMovie I put together! See that below!! -