Last year I watched as Grayson headed to California with some of his best friends as I stayed at home and tried to live vicariously through his experience and vowed to join him the next year..
Gray didn't believe me for months, I didn't have a ticket, I didn't really prepare but I kept saying I would go.. 6 days before we left I bought a ticket from Craigslist and it all became real.
Soon enough we were on our way, 5 of us squished into one car ready for the sun and adventures Coachella had waiting for us!
What kind of road trip is it if we don't stop in Vegas for In-N-Out?
The food at Coachella might be the thing I will miss the most... I couldn't stop eating at every vendor - if Gray and I were willing to stand in the mile long lines
The list of artists we saw is long, and Coachella has a full schedule making it tough to see everyone you want, but still I got to see so many of my favourite artists like The 1975, Halsey, Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim, Disclosure and SO MANY MORE!
And best of all, I got to spend the entire trip with my best friend and favorite, Gray - I couldn't have dreamed up a better trip and I am so grateful that I was able to have such an amazing adventure with such amazing people!
Until next year Coachella - you treated us too well
Im not sure about you, but when I think about my family jetting off on an almost two week long vacation in Hawaii I get pretty excited! Ive heard of many families struggling with the stress behind trips and the anxiety that comes when trying to please everyone all the time. My family experienced its share of stress on our most recent trip to Hawaii, but that doesn't mean big families can't travel together. I realized from my experience that there are a few tips on how to keep everyone happy on a family getaway.
Life really is all about just going out there and experiencing things you may have never thought you would. I experienced this super crazy redneck circus called Country Jam in Grand Junction last summer, but when Grayson got the opportunity to win us free tickets for this year I knew it was fate to go at least once more. Last year my group camped out for the four long days of the festival, and by random fate were camped just a few spots from Grayson and his friends :) I would like to say that last years event was the beginning of our crazy adventure to becoming a couple! We didn't spend much time together or even talk much at Country Jam 2014 but I would like to think that it's the reason we popped back into each other's minds. So coming to Country Jam again together meant more than spending a few days at country concerts with friends but celebrating where our relationship has grown this past year, he means the world to me and going with this group of his friends made the trip incredible!
Grayson group of friends he is very close with are many from high school and even more of their friends they’ve all made throughout our college years, and I fortunately got to know these people on this 4 days in very close quarters… Being so close forced us to love each other and Im actually quite glad that it was them, if I had to be with anyone in tents and 12 foot camping spots I got pretty lucky with these people.
Four days of country music is actually not what I would say my favorite/first choice in music but honestly its a wonderful way to spend summer days, country reminds me of warm days and lemonade and camping; country jam puts that all together and adds friends, what more could you ask for??
The line up consisted of many huge country artists, a few a day but we only made it to 2-3 each night. Thursday we saw Parmalee and The Band Perry, Friday was Frankie Ballard and Keith Urban, Friday Billy Currington and Tim McGraw and finally Sunday was Toby Keith, WHERE I GOT HIS SET LIST holler at your girl.
Overall, Country Jam 2015 - one for the books no doubt.
Thank you friends and artists for creating an incredible trip!
Day 1- Sunday
I never thought I would be the one to pack up swim suits and sunscreen and head off to Hawaii for almost two weeks with my family, but luckily I was wrong. We booked the airplanes, reserved condos and set up rental cars. The next step was waking up at 3 am to leave for the airport.. TEN HOURS of traveling. I wanna say it wasn't hard, waking up at three and riding in planes for over 8 hours but it was. Im clearly a wimp but wow was it exhausting! All I wanted was a bed to take a nap, until we landed and I felt the Hawaiian air, in that moment I wanted to become a mermaid and hula girl all at the same time.
While waiting for Mike and Dani to pick up our rental cars we decided that lunch was definitely the next on our list for the day, and not lunch just anywhere but the brewery my mom and Mike visited last time they were here. But how fun is that for the children who only get to experience the burgers... Per the advice of our waiter there was a glass beach just down the road of the restaurant that accompanied tide pools full of crabs and little friends that we had to see, so of course we made the walk after we paid our check to our first adventure in Hawaii.
Boy was it beautiful, its hard not to think you're in a wonderland here no matter where you are on this island.
We finally pulled ourselves away from the beach to head off for check in to our beach condo just west of Lihue for just one night. After checking in, Marissa and I decided that if we have just one night in this cute area we should definitely explore! We walked through a shopping center and into the Marriott Resort - which we were not staying in and I do not recommend sneaking into resort pools - down to the chairs and set up camp to relax and enjoy the pool right off the ocean. Although the pool was tempting at first we ran down to the ocean, and spent probably an hour swimming in and out and pretending to be mermaids - I will admit I am still 8... It was maybe 6 or 7 that night and we were exhausted. Finally we heading to the condo hoping for some dinner to be made, and relaxed with our family and Mikes buddy Patrick arrived to join the fun. This trip was beginning perfectly and nothing could ruin this motion picturesque life I was living - even sleeping on the pull out couch.
Day one Kauai in less than 5 words - worth it.
You know how in movies people will just buy a plane ticket and run away for awhile? Well last week I was the girl in that movie. I spent hours on the phone with my best friend going over every detail of her summer in Colorado - she's living here for the entire 3 months - and while trying to decide when she would drive from New Hampshire down to Denver we made the snap decision for me to fly out and road trip back home with her. Really couldn't get any better than flying to New Hampshire and road tripping more than half way across the country right?! I flew out just a few days after finals ended - thank goodness because boy was I ready for a break! With just those few days to pack up and move out of my house and back into my parents houses and pack up for my trip it was a busy weekend for sure! After a midnight flight and 9 hours of travel to Boston I finally landed. My best friend and I had yet another movie moment where we saw each other in the airport and ran into each others arms - it was wonderful. We spent the day exploring Boston and even had lunch at a fun restaurant where the waiters were purposely rude and gave us interesting hats -
We were on our way back up to Bedford NH to Brookes family home for a few days to prepare for our long road trip. We spent three days with her family who is basically my family and buying lots of snacks for the car - oh and getting ice cream :-) we spent a day in Portsmouth at a yummy pizza place and buying some fun things for our trip
Early Thursday morning we packed up her Volvo and headed out on our road trip extravaganza.
Day 1: Bedford, NH -> Niagara Falls, NY -> Cleveland, OH
We started of our road trip the way anyone would; with a selfie. Then headed off on the road. only 10 minutes into the trip, on the highway, we killed a squirrel. IT JUST RAN IN THE HIGHWAY THERE WAS NOTHING WE COULD HAVE DONE! We tried to brush off the loss and keep moving. It really wasn't very long to get to Niagara Falls, maybe 5 hours! Red Bull can really make 5 hours feel like 20 minutes so we flew through our first chunk of driving and arrived at the Falls. MY GOODNESS was it a sight to see, so gorgeous and so much more than I ever imagined. We may or may not have snuck up into the viewing deck after they closed it to more people, but it was worth it because woah. Finally we pulled ourselves away from the falls and headed off to our first nights hotel just outside of Cleveland. We got to our hotel around 10:30 and for some reason sitting in a car all day made us so exhausted I think we ran around jumping on beds for only 10 minutes and got in bed.
Bright and early Brooke and I headed off to out next destination, De Moine Iowa. But of course knowing us we had to use some of our time for adventure, so clearly stopping in Chicago was our plan. Same as the day before we had just about 5 hours of driving into Chicago and 5 hours out to our last nights hotel. Chicago is a city I have visited previously but never have I ever been with my best friend all by ourselves and capable of anything. With all of this freedom we chose to walk around Millennium Park and stare at a giant silver bean - and we also ate lunch at an Italian quick serve place and WOW was it yummy for like $6 bowl of basil pesto. Maybe if Brooke didn't shake her Italian soda and spray it all over our table we wouldn't have had orange infused noodles, but it made for a fun day! That night we got to our hotel and I just honestly had never been so grateful for the experiences life hands me everyday. I was on a road trip with my best friend across more than half of the country and ya know what, not many people get that opportunity. It was humbling truly.
The extent of Brooke and I spending days together usually involves lots of unhealthy food, watching way too much Spongebob for 20 year olds and laughing harder than I ever have, so seeing her really was the perfect start to summer - especially when I know I will get to do all of that for weeks to come. Having your best friend move away in the middle of high school can be really tough, but Brooke and I have never been closer and I wouldn't dream of having a friend better than her. I am so grateful to have her back and excited for the adventures that await us!
Through all of the adventures and days full of fun I strive to remember to radiate love every moment that I can - and to stay grateful for every curve ball life throws at me.
Kansas is not exactly the place I would dream of when planning a weekend road trip getaway with my lovely boyfriend, but for some reason when Grayson told me he was headed for Kansas State University for the weekend and wanted me to join I'm was so stoked. For days leading up to the adventure I was giddy... It's silly to be giddy about Kansas, and people may have made fun of me for talking about my plans every day leading up to the trip - but man was I excited! On Friday it began as any normal day, a few hours of early morning class - ew - and of to work for 4 hours, luckily I am working in a preschool class so the kiddos helped put me in an even better mood, I was very ready for our weekend road trip. A quick meeting with my landlord and future roommates to sign a lease for my Junior year house which turned into an hour started to make me anxious to leave.
Finally I was home and packing my bags, Grayson and I were off and ready to begin our 8 hour journey to our lovely next door neighbor state. A few stops for snacks and gas made the trip feel like forever, luckily Grayson drove most of the way there! We pulled up to K-State around 2 am... hoping that Graysons buddies were still awake and still willing to let us sleep on their couch - oh were they awake! We caught up with them for over an hour, and finally got some shut eye! We had an exciting day planned for Saturday, it was Fake Pattys Day at K-State - a fun holiday the college kids celebrate every year a week before St.Patricks Day. Lots of green shirts and pinching later we were in the heart of Manhattan Kansas in Aggieville, where the party really was. We spent the day people watching and eating Olive Garden. Not traditional Fake Pattys Day but honestly who can resist those breadsticks? Grayson drove me around campus and showed me all the places he spent his time when he attended K-State, its a beautiful campus and I'm actually kinda jealous... That night Graysons dorm roommate and best friend in Kansas brought us to his Fraternity Chapters Fake Pattys Day party and it was so fun seeing how Greek Life is at other schools, I even met a Sigma Kappa! I had buckets of fun meeting all of Graysons old friends and seeing where he spent his first ever semester of college, but it was already Sunday, we said goodbye to friends and it was time to head back home.
An 8 hour drive can get tedious, so Gray decided to make a quick pitstop in a little town he said I would love, Lindsborg - the most Swedish - ish place I've ever seen, oh it was wonderful. This little town felt pretty closed up, even for a Sunday - so we walked around and checked out the gift shops, looked at too many Dala horses and debated buying mini Swedish flags. Happy to spend a little time on the drive stopping somewhere fun I was ready to head home. The longest drive I've ever experienced was shorter than that drive... I was ready to be back in my own bed.
Weekend getaways, even to just Colorados next door neighbor, are something I am very grateful for. Long drives can be tough - but they remind me that I have the ability to go on small adventures everyday. Life truly is just one big adventure and I couldn't ask for anything more.
For many users of Snapchat, across the world this weekend there was a public story of the X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. I was lucky enough to be a part of one of those snapchat stories, unfortunately none of my submitted snaps made it but I still felt pretty rad for being a part of it all. Being the avid mountaineer and adventurer I am, I have always dreamed of taking a weekend trip up to the pricey hollywood of the Rocky Mountains to stand in the freezing temperatures and watch these athletes who are celebs to me throw their bodies in wacky ways to show of their mad moves. So of course I took the opportunity to drive up with a big group of friends and squish ourselves in a tiny hotel room for a night. Worth it, right? Absolutely. Spending less than 48 hours in the mountains and 12ish of them being in a car with those rad friends was a hug highlight and best start to a semester a girl could ask for. If anything makes you want to drop everything in your life and pick up your snowboard and be the most cool boarder on that mountain it is X-games. Watching a 14 year old girl win the gold medal for Big Air Skiing makes you kind of feel like a mountain sports failure.. but does she get to spend all day in bed watching Netflix ever? I bet not, I wouldn't trade Netflix for anything, even a gold medal and I'm not embarrassed to say that.
Other than frozen toes and noses while standing literally on the side of a mountain - the half pipe was quite the walk uphill - theres nothing more I could have asked for, but knowing me, I had to find another adventure to smoosh into our trip. Staying in Glenwood Springs? I think - Hanging Lake. But its 20 degrees and the trail is flat sheets of ice and snow - no problem. my unprepared wardrobe of uggs and flannels can handle it. So off we head, after loosing Fran and Nati taking a video for the entire way up the little over a mile hike which took up about 2 hours, we reached the top and for the first time I saw one of my favorite locations FROZEN. A FROZEN WATERFALL AND LAKE, man was it gorgeous.
Let me tell ya, hiking down hill on ice and snow is not as easy as uphill, and uphill was kind of a disaster... 1/4 of a mile to go, so close to the car and warmth and I choose to take a path separate from my group that looked less icy - wow was I wrong - boom straight onto my back I slipped on a rock covered in ice, after a few minutes of breathing it out and telling myself I was a rockstar for not actually breaking anything I got back up and finished the hike. A bruised booty and scrape down my arm later I still have a funny story and a great adventure with friends to make up for it, even if it hurts to sit down for a few days. Finally after almost 5 hours in the car with massive traffic we make it to Idaho Springs, and I don't believe there is a way to drive past Idaho Springs without stopping at BeauJos for some killer pizza and honey. Five stuffed bellies pilled back in the car and headed home, two hours later were all home and in bed and I speak for the whole group, I think we could have slept for 3 days straight after that trip.
I am back in Greeley now and running across campus from class to class continuously grateful and humbled by the opportunities life hands me - from an incredible adventure to the people I spent it with - thank you for everything Aspen, you treated us well.
I started off this holiday break on a plane... My father, step mom, and I flew west to California for 6 days. Happily eager to sink my feet into the warm sand I haven't seen in almost a year I was willing to miss four days of the last week of the semester. Unfortunately this trip wasn't exactly for the best reason. My incredibly hilarious and charming grandfather past away two weeks before the end of my semester. We were flying out to spend some days with my Gammy and family and to celebrate my Poppys life with some good friends. Other than the reason to fly out, I had a lovely time going on coffee dates with my aunt Julie and picking up my little cousin Taylor from her high school water polo practice two minutes from the ocean (which looks like it came right out of a movie) and remembering my Pops in wonderful ways. He was the funniest, most caring, and best car racer on the planet and I miss him everyday.
After landing back in Colorado to the first real storm this season, I was ready for a family filled holiday season. After countless Christmas parties with too many drunk uncles it was soon Christmas morning. After having a pre-christmas at my dads house-because my step brothers were flying to LA to see their dad-and maybe some more hot cocoa, I was cuddling with my sister opening gifts. We had a fluffy guest this Christmas as well. One of my best friends - Franny - was in Costa Rica for the holiday and left her rambunctious but adorable puppy Herschel with me. After he ripped all of the wrapping paper off of every gift under the tree, Christmas had seemed to be over. But my step dad stepped away for a moment and came back with a pad of paper and pens for each of us. We all knew what was happening but nobody acually seemed ready. My step dad informed us months earlier that soon we would be picking a family vacation, but in an interesting way. Each of us write down our dream getaway and dropped it in a hat... Last exotic trip pulled from the hat wins... Simple right? Not exactly, after winning BOTH round one and two, we went to a round three. In the end my moms trip was chosen. HAWAII! So this summer, stay tuned for a recap on a super rad excursion to the paradise of America. We plan to hike and camp for the whole trip so I'm stoked for the adventures ahead!
The rest of my winter break consisted of spending time with my family, and friends. Of course I fit in an Avalanche game with Gray as well! I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday season and is excited for the new year! I'm ready for some new adventures and a wonderful semester at school
New Years to me was not meant to be a moment to reflect on my past year but a good time to enjoy myself in the moment I was in. I spent New Years Eve in Grand Lake with my incredible boyfriend and a few sorority sister and friends. Two nights in a cute little cabin on the mountain overlooking the lake and a firework show a midnight, sounds perfect right? Other than frozen pipes for three days, having to walk 15 minutes to town to go to the bathroom and having a friends car breakdown and get towed out, it really was the perfect holiday. Spending each morning at the tiny cozy coffee shop in town with Grayson and some yummy chai lattes was the best start to lazy days in the mountains. Along with being with my sweet bf and wonderful friends, everything was wonderful. Being in the mountains and just enjoying the clear air and cold breeze was truly all I needed to clear my mind and heart for the new year.
Thank you Grand Lake and thank you friends for making 2015 New Years one for the books
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