1,050 Miles Away and 9,000 Feet Up

I’m alive!!


Better than alive. More alive than I’ve felt in a long time Smile

Yesterday evening, after a 17 hour drive and a day spent in Denver, we’re here in Estes Park, Colorado!


We took off from Illinois around 9:30 on Thursday morning, and bypassed our first, second, and third planned stopping points for the day, and ended up in Goodland, Kansas – about 7 miles from the Colorado border. Funnily enough, the drive was pretty easy. I had a decent driving buddy though Winking smile


Actually, I was more of the passenger buddy, but that’s neither here nor there.

We had a great time along the way, stopping numerous times – in no big hurry – for potty breaks, food,


and lots and lots of tea, coconut water, Gatorade, and Vitamin water.

It’s crazy how much we could feel the elevation once we got into the middle of Kansas. When we stopped in Goodland, we were already to 3.000 feet! As the elevation increased, we could not only feel the pressure, but also found that it made us SO thirsty.

It’s funny, once we entered Colorado, we expected to see mountains everywhere. However, for a good hour, it looked just like Kansas, but with more peak-like hills instead of rolling hills.


Then, about 30 miles from Denver we said…hey, do you think those are mountains or clouds?


Turns out, they were mountains Winking smileIMG_8048

We spent the day in Denver where I shopped, Shane followed, and we dined at this awesome Mexican restaurant for lunch:



We both desperately needed margaritas at this point.

Best guacamole ever.


Best tacos ever.


I wanna go back!

We decided to forage on with our journey around 5:00. which, thanks to our poor decision making was right in the middle of rush hour. But our patience was rewarded once we passed Boulder and started heading into – and I mean in to  the mountains.


I think I said whoa a million and two times.

Here’s some pictures from where we’re staying that I’ve taken so far.


We were greeted by about 5 deer in our driveway upon arriving.


hot tub sunset


we stocked up on groceries at Whole Foods in Denver, and had pizza and wine on our first night (the pizza wasn’t good though!)


Forgot to close the blinds in the bedroom and was annoyed by the light waking us up at 6:00, but then all was ok when I opened my eyes to this bedroom window view.


Just some elk…kickin’ it.

Right now we just got back to our condo after making the short trip into “town” for some breakfast and coffee, and we’re planning our very first hike!


I think today’s hike is going to be a fairly easy one since it’s our first one. I’ll probably be popping in on Monday – although my cell says “No Service” we actually get free wifi! This is the first time I’ve been on the net so far, but like I said here, I love using the blog as a means of documenting my vacations!

Have a great weekend everyone! Open-mouthed smile

What wildlife do you see on a regular basis? In Illinois where we live it’s a lot of rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and deer.

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  1. Hike Deer Mountain!! A beautiful hike with a great pay-off view at the top!!

    • Thanks for the rec! I’m currently reading all the blend retreat hike recaps to see how I should dress lol

  2. Ahh it looks amazing there! I was born in Boulder, but haven’t been back since I was a baby so I’m just going to live vicariously through your awesome photos. Can’t wait to see the rest of the trip. Have so much fun you two!! :)

    Also, I still can’t look at photos of you and Shane without thinking you’re posing with Justin Long :p haha

  3. sounds perfect!! glad to hear you guys are enjoying yourselves. :) we live in northern utah so it’s actually pretty similar to denver… we see a lot of deer, we’ve seen moose on hikes, lots of pretty birds, some snakes (ew!), squirrels, etc.

  4. RAN Mom says:

    Thank you so much for including pics of Boulder; I’ve “been there” for the past three days or so in The Stand. Normal, IL is a tad flatter and not nearly as pretty as that view out of your Estes Park window…WOW.
    But Dad and I agree that Shane is just as cute as or even a twin to Justin Long.

  5. Looks amazing!!! Have a great hike. I love documenting vacations through the blog too. Always there to go back and revisit then. 😉

  6. We have the same vacation style. I love it! looks awesome! cheers to you and shane.

  7. Looks amazing! We have tons of deer around here! I have also seen rabbits quite a bit, then there is coyotes, skunks, moose, and I saw a bald eagle on a run once!

  8. Colorado looks beautiful and that view is to die for! That is definitely on my short list of places to visit in the US. Just gorgeous. :-)

    Have a great trip!!

  9. I love Colorado so much. I’m glad you’re loving it there. :)

  10. WOW, it is GORGEOUS there!! I showed my husband the pics — he’s super jealous, has always wanted to go to CO to visit. And to rent a house on top of it all? Sounds just our style!! I hope you guys are having an incredible time!


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