Washington

Cory and I ended our summer travel with a trip to Washington over Labor Day weekend. This was the first time I had been to the northwest and I really fell in love with it. I mean, it was JUST like Twilight…what’s not to love?
We spent three days crabbing with our family in Sequim, a truly picturesque ocean town. In between crabbing we found some time for other things, like reading, wine tasting and…okay, I’ll be honest. 90% of our time was spent sitting around and eating crab. 

It was an AWESOME vacation that encompassed everything I think a good vacation should: relaxation, new experiences and plenty of quality time with people I love. 
We then spent Labor Day in Seattle, which was cool, but way more 90’s grunge than I expected.

If we’re friends on Facebook, watch for my WA Album – coming this weekend!
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MIA

How can four weeks just fly by, but also feel like a lifetime? Although I mentioned my self-imposed blogging break on A Life with Luster’s Facebook Page, and although I needed it, I still feel panicky about being gone for so long. So much has transpired….

First of all, we made our third trip of the year back to Kansas. It was really wonderful to see so many of our loved ones. It was also a bit hectic, trying to stuff everything into 2.5 days.

It was so hectic, in fact, that I got sick. : ( But on the positive side, right around the same time I learned that The Social Avenue had secured it’s first client contract! : )

Fast forward four days and Cory & I are in Washington for Labor Day Weekend. I totally fell in love with the lush, green coast. It was hard not to when we woke up to this view each morning. I would take my coffee outside and read – the weather was perfect (mid-60’s to 70’s) and the air was fresh with that salt water smell. Ahhh…more on that later.

In between all of that, I’ve been to Pure Barre about 12 times, finally caught up on laundry & got our place back in shape, spent some quality time with our friends and our pups, got into a groove at work and with managing my first client. Now I’m looking forward to life slowing down for the remainder of the year.

For once, we have no out of state travel plans on the horizon (minus a trip home to Kansas for Thanksgiving). We are, however, expecting not one, but TWO guests this fall and potentially moving places. Other than that, it looks to be a quiet little fall for us.

Have a great week! 

The Poudre

A couple of weeks ago we drove up and explored The Poudre for the first time. What we discovered on this cloudy little Sunday, did not disappoint. Here is my amateur attempt at capturing it in photos:
The drive up the canyon.
I was able to catch this little explorer in action.
Mountain cabin.
My love.
Tubers – A to do on next summer’s list!
One SA-WEET, little camper.
Imagine waking up to this.
Rafters.
Our road trippers.
After spending several hours walking & driving around – there was just so much to explore – we even found a great little bar with an outdoor music venue that we hope to be able to check out soon.
Anyone up for a camping trip?

Punta Cana Vacay

We got back from our girls’ trip to the Dominican Republic late Sunday evening and it was truly JUST what I needed. More on that later. 
Almost nothing gives me more pleasure than visiting new-to-me destinations, and I was even more thrilled to be accompanying Alex on her first international trek. When we landed in Punta Cana after a 5.5 hour direct flight from Denver, a smile spread across my face upon seeing the palm trees and turquoise of the ocean. Eight days of tropical vacay awaited us!

Of course, they seemed to fly by. We spent the first three days immersing ourselves in the Dominican way of life: slow & relaxed, no worries and no schedule. We lounged around Erin’s adorable apartment, went to the local beach for lunch, reading and relaxation and enjoyed a sushi dinner.

We walked to breakfast at a Internet cafe by her house one morning and had a delicious pasta and vino dinner at an Italian restaurant near by another night.

We spent a day at the resort that Erin & her husband, Stefan got married at, complete with a Foam Party.

Then we checked into our resort for the remaining five days of our stay. The air-conditioning felt amazing, as did the hot showers & big, plush hotel beds. We blacked out our room with the curtains and slept in every morning.

Our days were spent alternating between the beach and pools, occasionally wandering over to the swim up bar to order a piña colada or dirty monkey. We floated in the ocean and lounged on the pool beds.

We spent one morning getting pampered at the spa.

I read three books. We basically did a whole lot of nothing. Ahhh…it was relaxing. 

We did spent one afternoon snorkeling, a first for Alex & I (you know I’m addicted to firsts), which was really fun. It felt a little challenging at first, but once I got the breathing down, it was peaceful to just float w/my face in the water, kick my flippers and watch all of the pretty fish.

Overall, it was a really great trip and I’m happy to have the Dominican Republic checked off of my “Places to Travel” list!

Orlando

We packed a lot into our time in Orlando last week. If you’ve visited you know that there is just so much to do (all at a price, of course). So in order to keep this post to an acceptable length, here is Orlando in Instagram photos.
View from our room at the Animal Kingdom Resort. Giraffes right outside – so cool!

A walk on The Boardwalk (Disney Resort).

Watching Game One of the NBA Finals at the ESPN bar. My uncle & Cory out front.

A full day at Islands of Adventure & Universal. We even got Cory to ride ALL of the roller coasters – WIN!

And we ended the trip with some fruity drinks, a dip in the pool & a soak in the hot tub.

Until next time, Florida!

Ft. Lauderdale & Hollywood

After visiting my MIL in Sarasota, we rented a car (nicknamed The Mazdarati) and drove To Ft. Lauderdale to pick up my sister from the airport. We had a quick lunch at Bubba Gumps and hit the beach before heading to my cousin’s high school graduation party. 
It was really nice to walk into McKenzie’s party & be greeted by the smiling faces of our family. When you’re with the people that have known you since birth, it just feels right, and moving away from Kansas has made me appreciate our family that much more.
My aunt, uncle & cousin moved down to FL a couple of years ago and we were so happy to finally visit the place that they love & call home. We all ended up playing Wii Bowling at their place into the night. 
The next day we woke up & drove to Hollywood, FL to celebrate my other cousin, Desi’s 21st birthday. She is one of the sweetest people I know & it was so fun to celebrate her…and the fact that she can FINALLY go out with us. : )
Silly Sister. 
This pretty much sums up the couple of days…happy…and exhausting. : ) 
We all slept good that night.

Sarasota

Last Monday Cory & I woke up at the glorious hour of 3 a.m. to hop on a flight to Sarasota to spend a day with his momma. I hadn’t been to Florida since my senior year of high school (almost 10 years ago – wow) and the first thing I noticed when stepping off of the plane was the humidity! How quickly we forgot about that unfortunate weather condition since we’ve been living in Colorado. 
Other than that, the parts of  Sarasota that we saw were beautiful. We went to a little organic cafe for lunch, which was delish, and then spent the rest of our time around the keys (not the Florida Keys though).
Some time spent walking the beach was just what the doctor ordered.

We had dinner on the patio of this picture perfect little beach shack.

The next morning we had breakfast on a patio & then took an early trip to a different key, Siesta Key, which is one of the most popular. It wasn’t hard to see why – the town was picturesque and the beach was beautiful.

Geographically, Sarasota was by far my favorite part of Florida. I really loved the low-key, beach town vibe of the keys and look forward to visiting again in the future!