After an amazing time in La Jolla, California, Brittany and I continued our vacation by going on our first adventure together to the Rocky Mountains. One of the highlights from this leg of our trip was going to be the fact that we would get to see Brittany’s brother Jonathan and his family. Jonathan is an air traffic controller at the Denver International Airport, and we were so excited to spend our first night in Colorado with them at their home in Erie.
We departed the San Diego airport after more unexplained delays by Delta (ugh!) and fortunately made it just in time for dinner with Jonathan, Emily and their two adorable little girls. We had the BEST time catching up…it was such a treasure to spend that time with our loved ones.
Estes Park & Rocky Mountain National Park
We woke up early the next morning and headed to Estes Park for breakfast. After a delicious meal at The Egg and I, we decided to continue the “long” way to Breckenridge by passing through the Rocky Mountain National Park. And Oh. My. Goodness. This park offered some of the most magnificent creation we’ve ever seen. We saw the most beautiful, snow-capped mountains, a large herd of elk, and drove up to 13,000 feet where the cold winds cut right through our shorts and flip flops (we were clearly well-prepared for this part of the trip…haha!).
North Star Lodge
We knew we wanted to stay somewhere private and “off the beaten path” in one of the main ski towns, and we ultimately decided on a cabin rental about 12 miles from Main Street in Breckenridge. We arrived at the “cabin” and were absolutely B.L.O.W.N. A.W.A.Y. This place was massive and the views from the living room, bedrooms and balcony were nothing short of spectacular. It may have been due to the fact that the cabin sat at nearly 12,000 feet…that’s the kind of Rocky Mountain high we were hoping for and this cabin (mansion) did not disappoint!
We went to dinner at the Briar Rose Chophouse and both had savory meals. Unfortunately, prior to arriving in Breckenridge I read that altitude sickness is a thing and I had quite the difficulty taking deep breaths on our first night there. A simple walk to our car after dinner had me out of breath! That part was not fun at all, but the saving grace was returning back to the rental where we watched the season premiere of our favorite TV show, Suits.
The next day we decided to stay at the cabin all day and be intentional about not doing much of anything. Brittany and I really struggle at that (read more on that from Brittany tomorrow), but it turned out to be so wonderful. We both felt so refreshed and relaxed by the end of the night!
Breck SUmmer Fun Park
Our plans for Thursday were pretty exciting. We woke up and made our way to Breckenridge Ski Resort to “play” for the morning. Breck (as it’s often called) offered several fun rides and activities for both adults and kids, but the icing on the cupcake for us were the breathtaking rides offered in the gondolas and on the open-air chair lifts. Words and photos just don’t do justice to what our eyes were blessed to see.
Once we wrapped up at the ski park, it was time for us to get ready for our photo shoot that evening. I’ll spare the details on that here because Brittany is going to share more on that tomorrow, but let me just say that this was another major highlight of our “ten days in heaven.” Brittany and I found the most amazing location to share with our photographer and even crossed paths with a mountain goat while we were out exploring!
A Picture is Worth
Once the photo shoot was over, we treated our photographer and her boyfriend to dinner and had just an awesome time getting to know two of the kindest people we’ve ever met. That time was so good for our souls!
On our drive back to Breckenridge, we came around a curve and encountered two ENORMOUS bull elk standing in the middle of the road. If they wanted to, they could have crushed our SUV (they seriously towered over us!). It was a surreal moment…and while fortunately they were not aggressive in the least, we never had a chance to snap a photo of the gigantic creatures before they moved off the road and disappeared into the darkness.
Friday was our last day in Breckenridge, so we decided to go out with a bang and rented a runabout (a type of ski boat) on Lake Dillon. Known as a reservoir for Denver, this large body of water is bordered by the towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, and Dillon and offers phenomenal views of the mountains surrounding the area. While on the lake, we soaked in plenty of sun and even had a few bald eagle sightings (which I was so stoked about!). After four hours on the water, storm clouds started moving in but we were tuckered out so we decided to make the trek back through Denver (and ultimately Erie) where we would stay one more night with Jonathan and his family before flying back to Lexington. We had so much fun hanging out with Emily and the girls…we had LOTS of laughs (and Brittany beat everyone in Candyland!).
Ten amazing days went by far too quickly, but we shared some of our most incredible experiences together over these last two weeks and can’t wait for our next trip (which is actually less than a week away…wohoo)!
Be sure to check back tomorrow to see a very special blog post by Brittany.