Denver day!! My mom came to Colorado for a long weekend to help me pick out my wedding dress…YAY! I had an appointment at Emma & Grace Bridal in the Five Points/Curtis Park area of Denver so we decided to make a day out of it. Tyler and I rarely go to Denver (blame it on the Boulder bubble) so it was really fun to explore the city. Tyler and Joe went to the Denver Nature and Science museum while my mom and I picked out my something new! Emma & Grace is an adorable studio with a relaxed, welcoming vibe. Everyone was so nice and Lynn was especially helpful. I went in there with literally no clue what I wanted and within trying on 6 or 7 dresses, I already had it narrowed down to 3!! It was like she read my mind haha. I am a pretty quick shopper so we were in and out of there in about 40 minutes. I am seriously in love with the dress I picked out and cannot wait to wear it on my wedding day!! It’s perfect. After we found my dress, the boys picked us up and we celebrated at a nearby Mexican restaurant on the rooftop patio with margs and tacos!
After lunch, we all went to the Denver Botanic Gardens! I cannot believe I’ve lived here for 5 years and have never been…It’s SO magical! We all loved it and want to go back. There so many little gardens and paths, I could get lost in there all day. I was obsessing over the beautiful dahlias and water lilies. The Japanese gardens were also incredible and serene. I highly recommend going if you’ve never been or if you are visiting the Denver area!
We took a day trip to Colorado Springs this weekend! We’ve passed through on road trips but never really spent much time so it was nice to explore a new part of Colorado. The Springs are at higher elevation than Boulder and has a more western feel. We hiked the main loop trail at Garden of the Gods and it was stunning! The rock formations are towering and bright red. It’s a must see if you’re in the area. Pikes Peak sure makes for a gorgeous backdrop! We also drive through Manitou Springs and hiked around. We love the Springs and definitely plan on coming back!
Over the weekend we camped at the summit of Boreas Pass near Breckenridge in Summit County! We were all itching for an extended dose of mother nature so we packed our packs and hit the road. Spontaneous camping trips are so fun! It was not a far drive from the Boulder/Denver area at all and it was so incredibly beautiful! We camped pretty much right at tree line so around 11,000 ft. There were even still a few patches of pink (bacteria) snow on the mountains. We found the perfect camping spot nestled in the trees with a stunning panoramic view. There were tons of wild bluebells, indian paintbrushes, and purple daises all around. We ate completely paleo while camping- cashews, apples, sliced turkey, hard boiled eggs, and cracklins/pork rinds. It’s most efficient to bring protein rich foods backpacking and camping. I love unplugging and running around with Tyler and Waldo in the mountains!
I want to share some more pics from our Aspen vacation and from my Dad’s wedding on top of Aspen mountain! We had so much fun. It was great for our family to all be together in such a beautiful place. We ate lots of good food, drank lots of champagne & sparking rosé, enjoyed the Aspen farmer’s market, tubed the Roaring Fork river, some daredevils of the group (not me haha) cliff jumped at Devil’s bathtub, and just relaxed! The Roaring Fork valley is definitely a special and stunning place. I feel like it’s necessary for me to take a week off from work a few times a year just to unplug and get back in touch with myself and my family.
Now more of life lately since we got back from Aspen! Life has been SO wonderful lately…there is truly so much to be grateful for every single day we wake up!! I love summertime in Colorado, pretty much everyday is gorgeous with the occasional afternoon shower which puts me in such a relaxed state. I also got a raise at my job!! I was super stoked on this because it’s the first real promotion/raise I’ve ever received!! Maybe that’s TMI for the blog but whatever, this is a place where I can share stuff like that. Waldo has been so sweet and snuggly per usual which I absolutely adore about him. It’s pretty amazing that I have a 105 lb. lap dog who looks intimidating but is actually a huge, spoiled baby.
Tyler and I were not exactly good about keeping to Paleo when we were on vacation…we were bad haha. It’s always really hard to unless we are the only ones which is not often the case. But what matters the most is how fast and how well you bounce back after having some cheat meals. We immediately resumed back to strict Paleo upon returning home and I feel sooo much better!! I mean yeah that ice cream cone made me feel awesome at the time but afterwards I felt fat and I did not feel great physically. Instances like that remind me why we eat Paleo in the first place; we just feel better. This week we kind of started to transition to low-carb Paleo (with one Paleo sweet treat a week- on Sundays!). We are doing this to help us both cut down our weights (not the number on the scale but the fat on our bodies) so that we look good for upcoming events and for our wedding!! Operation wedding body begins. For diet, we will be sticking to strict Paleo, low-carb with some built in cheat meals. For exercise, I will continue to go to my CorePower classes and do more sculpt and circuit classes. We are also going to join a gym near our house because it is most accessible for us and we both need to start lifting more weights! I love my yoga so dearly and I could never go without it but my body has really been craving more cardio and weights sooo gym here I come! I am also thinking about doing ClassPass where I can go to a bunch of different yoga, pilates, barre, and kickboxing studios. If anyone has ever done ClassPass, let me know how you like it because I am really interested! Comment below.
Tyler and I have also been doing a lot of wedding planning! Our venue is set for our ceremony and reception at Chautauqua. We booked our wedding and engagement photographer, Tina Joiner, who does great work. We’re taking engagement pictures in mid September!! We reserved a block of rooms at the St. Julien for our guests. Other guests will stay at the Chautauqua cottages and cabins. I made an appointment to go look for my wedding dress in Denver at this super cute place called Emma & Grace Bridal!! I am so excited!! My hairdresser and her sister got their dresses from there and they are so pretty. My mom and Tyler’s mom are going to fly up to help me pick out my something new! My bridesmaids and I have also been discussing my bachelorette trip. We are thinking Napa and I literally couldn’t be more pumped!! I am looking at my countdown app right now and we are exactly 10 months and 26 days out from the wedding!!! This is probably the most exciting time of my life. Ever. There are already 2 events planned thus far (other than the wedding obviously) which are: bridal shower the day after Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge at my awesome aunt’s house and announcement/engagement party the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge at one of my sweet bridesmaid’s houses!! Both parties will be so much fun and I can’t wait to see all my friends and family. Here are some pics from life lately!
The #1 thing we wanted to do while in Aspen was to hike the Maroon Bells! It’s the most photographed place in Colorado and for good reason. It’s been on my Colorado to do/bucket list for years now. I was seriously in awe the whole time just soaking up the vast beauty of the lush valley surrounded by 14,000 ft peaks and aspen groves.
My brother Robson, Tyler, and I parked at Aspen Highlands and took the local bus up to Maroon Lake. The bus comes every 15-20 minutes and they do this to limit the traffic that drives over the aspen groves root system. Not sure if this is really true or not haha because we saw a few RV’s and other cars driving up so I think they just do it to limit the number of people parking at the trail head. We were actually glad that Waldo was not with us on this hike because the bus was pretty crowded and standing room only by the time we got on.
Maroon Lake is stunningly beautiful! It’s turquoise blue-green and crystal clear. The wildflowers were blooming EVERYWHERE. Again, I am obsessed with Colorado’s wildflowers- we saw daisies, columbines, lupines, Indian paint brushes, blue & purple bells, berry patches, sunflowers, etc. It was a wildflower wonderland. I love fresh flowers but I am pretty conscious and respectful about not picking them so that everyone can enjoy them and so that I don’t disturb the natural habitat. The massive, snowy peaks behind Maroon Lake are breathtaking.
We hit the trail and headed up past Maroon Lake to Crater Lake. It’s a 3.6 mile round trip hike. The elevation gain is not too bad at all (less than 1,000 ft) but the trail had a lot of loose rocks on it so you have to watch your footing the whole time which is nothing new (thank you hiking boots/ankle support). We passed multiple huge aspen groves on the way to Crater Lake. Crater Lake was even more beautiful than Maroon Lake! It was a more vibrant turquoise and I spotted about 5 waterfalls up on the cliffs and peaks! It’s pretty much right at the treeline. We found a nice log and chilled by Crater Lake for a while just absorbing the beauty and high country sun. Robson decided to head back down the trail at this point but Tyler and I continued on West Maroon Trail which is a pass that can actually take you all the way to Crested Butte. We obviously didn’t go that far (that is a multi-day backpacking excursion) but we hiked probably another mile or 2 beyond the peaks and into the valley. The crowd thinned out significantly after Crater Lake (I think we only saw like 2 other people) so that was nice because the rest of the trail was pretty crowded. West Maroon Trail is prime bear and moose territory so we stayed alert and had our eyes and ears open the whole time. We crossed over creeks and rock fields, hiked waist deep in wildflowers, and got great views of huge waterfalls on the cliff sides. Highly suggest West Maroon Trail! Overall, the Maroon Bells were amazing and unforgettable. If you are ever in the Aspen area, go see and hike them! We might even have to go back in the fall when all the aspens turn bright yellow.
Tyler and I recently arrived to Aspen for our family vacation/my dad’s wedding (which is today at The Little Nell up on the mountain- another post on that to come). The first full day here we hiked and explored the Grottos!! It was so freaking cool!! It’s up Independence Pass (probably the world’s most beautiful pass) a few miles from Aspen. When I was researching it, it honestly didn’t look that awesome but let me tell you, it’s underrated! It’s not a long trail but there’s a lot to see and do. The Roaring Fork River runs along the trail so there are tons of beautiful river spots to hang out at and foot bridges to cross and cascades that were literally roaring! Tons of wildflowers which are my favorite. The best part by far were the ice caves! You have to climb down in between some sketchy crevices to get to them but it’s so worth it! There are these huge glaciers down there. Highly recommend this hike for anyone in the Aspen area. Check out our pictures below! We have a bunch more adventures planned for while we are here so stay tuned!
Our first high country summer hike this season was to Crater Lakes in James Peak Wilderness! It was exceptionally cool and sunny which made for perfect hiking weather. This was my first real hike where I brought my new camera and it was so much fun taking pictures along the way. Tyler even enjoyed it too! The wildflowers were blooming and there were tons of creeks babbling everywhere from all the snow melt. Truly peaceful. I spotted a few wild columbines and some sweet hydroponic alpine flowers. We crossed over probably 10 foot bridges which are always fun and make me feel like a kid again. We started at the East Portal Trailhead near Rollinsville and it was a 6 mile roundtrip hike with about 1,400 ft elevation gain. The trail was heavily forested but still had great mountain views. We chilled at lower Crater Lake for a while and let Waldo swim/run around. We also climbed some rocks and played on the snow fields. It was really fun sliding down the snow! After a while, I noticed that Waldo’s paw was bleeding and realized that he cut it open somehow so we had to bust out the first aid kit. It was my first backcountry first aid experience and I managed to clean it off and bandage him up pretty nicely! We decided to head back down after that and thankfully he wasn’t limping or in pain. He’s such a tough and sweet boy! He never lets us see him sweat, that’s for sure. We had a great time and plan on backpacking/camping in James Peak Wilderness sometime soon! All the pictures below were taken with my canon rebel camera. None of them are edited due to my lack of expertise in that area.
Over the weekend Tyler and I went to Boulder Falls for the first time ever!! We made the choice not to bring Waldo since we were unsure of the trail conditions and since it’s technically closed. I like to follow the rules (sometimes) but in my opinion, you can’t close nature. C’mon Boulder! The weather forecast wasn’t looking promising to do much else outdoors so we decided to say screw it and adventure anyway!!! I’ve been dying to see Boulder Falls but it has been closed for almost the entire 5 years I’ve lived here. I came to the realization that people safely visit all the time and just go around the closed off rope sign. It was a great day to visit because 1) we were the only ones there so that was really nice and 2) it has been raining recently + snow melt so the falls were raging. The canyon was all foggy and mystical, it was so romantic and relaxing. Pics below 🙂
I had the amazing opportunity to write an article/blog post for enlighzen, an outdoor/zen themed website that features guest bloggers! Definitely go check out their website and Instagram. Here is the link to “Enlightenment via Adventure” https://www.enlighzen.com/enlightenment-via-adventure/
Hope y’all enjoy it! I would appreciate any feedback so feel free to comment below. This is a picture from Isabelle Lake when the wildflowers were in full bloom!