Category Archives: Vacation

January 7, 2015

BEAVER CREEK, CO

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After getting back from the Alabama trip visiting my family we then flew to Denver, boarded the Colorado Mountain Express and started a long drive on icy roads into Beaver Creek.  It took something like 4ish hours to get to the cabin so it was twelve hours of traveling. Long day for sure but when we got there I knew right away it would be worth it! The “Winchester Lodge” as I started calling it was gorgeous and sat right off of a ski trail called Cresta, you could literally ski to the back door! Not only that, you could hike up a small hill to said trail, ski to the lift and be heading to the top of Beaver Creek in minutes!Processed with VSCOcam with n1 preset IMG_1273
Our first day of skiing was Monday. Dustin went off with the boys and his mom and I went to the village to get some lessons.  She is an experienced skier but wanted to perfect some of her weaknesses whereas I hadn’t been skiing since I was 19 (I am 28 years old) so we told them I was a beginner.  They didn’t listen to us and put me with her and two other fairly experienced women and took us all to the top of the mountain. I kept asking “we’re going to go over things…right???” and he kept brushing me off saying, ya ya, it’ll come back to you. Luckily it did come back to me because he skipped the beginner stuff and took me right on a fairly steep run. I was so nervous! But the women in our group encouraged me and I did fine. Dustin’s mom and I really felt like the class wasn’t executed well and we didn’t get in a full day of skiing so we called and got a different instructor for Wednesday.  On Tuesday I went out with Dustin and his youngest sister and skied BC and did really well, minus a wipe out in 3 feet of powder.  Wednesday’s class really helped me fine tune areas I was weak in and the instructor, Wink, was great! He was probably around 70 years young, had two full knee replacements and was a bomb skier! Can’t brag about him enough!

For New Years Eve we went to Crazy Mountain Brewery and got a few flights and tried all their beer. Very tasty! I even liked the pumpkin beer which I usually think is too overwhelming but they nailed it.  Then we met his family at E Town and had dinner followed by hanging at his sister’s apartment in Edwards.Processed with VSCOcam with h6 preset
As we did every night, we ended up in the hot tub! Friday was the forth day of skiing and oddly was my worst of all days. Dustin thinks it’s because I was more fatigued than I thought, I’d agree, my legs just didn’t want to corporate. It also didn’t help that a certain fiance accidentally took us down a blue run!  I managed to survive, which was my ultimate goal, haha!

The lows were in the negatives and the highs were below freezing.  I wore so many layers skiing so my body was fine but my feet were numb from the ankles down even though I wore good socks.  I have never been that cold in my life and I’ve lived in some really cold states, ie. Montana! The cold didn’t stop anyone from having a good time, we all really enjoyed ourselves!Processed with VSCOcam with e2 preset
For Christmas, Dustin got me a pair of Sorel boots. These were the third pair we tried since that brand’s sizing is all over the place between styles. Take my advice, if possible I’d just try them on, I ended up getting a men’s version at Abbadabba’s in Little Five.  Beyond happy with the pair we stuck with and they kept my cold-nature feet quite warm!
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On the way in to BC our bus stopped at a Starbucks connected to a ski shop where I picked up this hat by Picture Organic Clothing.  I didn’t own a fleece-lined hat and had only brought a wool cap with me so I figured I needed one, plus it caught my eye with it’s cuteness! Very warm and seems to be made well.
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Wearing Sanctuary jacket, Jcrew sweater, Target button down, North Face gloves, TOMS sunglasses, UO denim, Sorel boots, REI socks.16030580577_bb0903b3d8_k15596552033_8917381ceb_k
The following photos are in Vail.  We went and explored Vail Village and Lionshead.  It was stunning! We walked around shops and looked at art work in high end art galleries.  Then we took the gondola lift to the top of Vail.  There was a lot of cloud coverage but they were slowly getting burned away by the sun which made the texture of the sky really beautiful.
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15596552353_0977fad9ce_kReally enjoyed bonding with Dustin’s family and seeing their vacation home. There’s talk of us going back in the Summer time to hike and explore the trails we skied. Hopefully that pans out because I was also told about a llama hike where a guide loads up a llama with a picnic basket and you all go for a hike and have a picnic-ummm-yes please!

July 10, 2014

WE’RE ENGAGED!

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How it happened…
A few weeks leading up to the 4th of July weekend Dustin put on our shared calendar “surprise fun” and told me not to worry he’s got something planned. I was immediately excited because while he’s daily sweet I knew something extra special was planned and hoped it was an engagement! As the weekend approached he informed me that it was a weekend trip and not just an overnight and then gave me a packing list.  The list wasn’t a dead giveaway of our trip because it was so well-rounded and included things like hiking boots and swim suits, so I was extra curious! He told me that we’d be getting picked up the morning of the July 4th at 8:00am. Picked up? Talk about crazy levels of curiosity!

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The morning of we got up, gathered our things and went downstairs and were greeted by Dustin’s best friend Matt and his wife Aleah. “I knew it!” I yelled and then gave them hugs. I looked at them and asked where we were going and they looked at Dustin and said the same. They didn’t know either! Dustin then pulled out two envelopes labeled “1” and “2” and said “Jess gets to pick where we’re going!” The pressure was on! Before I picked he told us that there was a catch, the catch was that whatever envelope I chose I could never know the other envelopes contents. Crazy right?! So, instead of making a tough choice I closed my eyes and grabbed for an envelope choosing number 1! I opened it and it read “We’re going to Daufuskie Island!” HELL YA! I’ve been wanting to go ever since I met Dustin because he has so many great stories from the island as does Matt and Aleah hadn’t been either so we were both very excited. After regrouping our emotions we settled into the car and went to priority number two, coffee, and then it was the open road all the way to Hilton Head.

Dustin’s parents own a home on Daufuskie but it was booked for the Forth so for the first night we stayed in Bluffton, SC which is pretty much Hilton Head. Once we got there we checked into our Air B&B spot and went to the neighborhood pool.  Matt and Aleah opted out claiming they were napping but I later found out they were up to additional surprises. After getting cleaned up we took the ferry to Daufuskie Island for dinner. Once we arrived at the island we grabbed the family golf cart and Dustin gave us a tour. We had time to kill before our reservation so we parked and went to take a stroll on the beach and that’s when he paused, said really sweet things and asked if I’d marry him!!!!

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Matt had rented a really great lens and put it on Dustin’s Nikon and was snapping photos as it all went down.  They all went above and beyond to make this a special day that I will never forget! After Dustin and I hugged, cried and both stared at the gorgeous ring we ran over and had a group hug. We hung out on the beach for around and hour or so, looking at shells, horseshoe crabs and washed up jelly fish before heading to dinner. I can’t thank Matt and Aleah enough for all the effort they put in to the surprise. Later that night we discovered what they were up to when we were swimming. They had decorated the room at the b&b with strung lights, daisies, gifts, wine and chocolate!

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Dustin and I are over the moon with excitement! It was nice being away and having privacy to enjoy the first couple of days as an engaged couple. We did a lot of staring at the ring which is super special as it was originally my grandmothers and given to us from my mom. We were given the option of keeping it as is or making changes and opted to make it our own. Dustin worked with a jeweler and did just that and together made it very much “us.” He upgraded the largest stone to a bigger more clear estate diamond, added two baguette diamonds, kept two small ones from the original and added two sapphire triangles to the underneath, side area for a total of 7 stones which is a lucky number to us.  The touch of blue represents Dustin and the triangles were a little something for me. We wanted it to remain two-tone, yellow gold and white gold to be able to go with whatever I want to wear with it and It’s perfect!

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I don’t think I could begin to put into words how thrilled I am that I have found my forever partner in love, crime, silliness and all things that life brings us. One last thank you to Matt, Aleah and my future husband Dustin for making this new chapter off to the best possible start!

June 24, 2014

THE WEEKEND

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This weekend friends and I headed up north to Cleveland, GA (sound familiar? I was just there, read about it here) for our friend Jessica’s bachelorette weekend. The intentions of the weekend were to relax, chill by the pool, EAT, sip on drinks, hike and of course celebrate J Step’s upcoming nuptials. We managed to check it all off our to-do list and more! Here’s a short recap..

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After arriving and unpacking the car we noshed on a cheese platter and hung by the pool. We all pitched in and brought floats, squirt guns and other water accessories. I made a white and red sangria for the night and we all combined forces to make about 6 pizzas of different fresh ingredient varieties. The next day we went for a hike behind the house but realized it wasn’t as “legit” as we wanted so we set out for Duke’s Creek Falls but on the way got distracted by “Helen Tubing” signs and decided that was more our speed! We spent about 2.5 hours floating down the Chattahoochee with several hundred other people from all walks of life, it was something else!

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Saturday’s delicious breakfast provided by Muriel included a blueberry “french toast” casserole, an egg and bacon spinach dish and fresh watermelon. Take me back to this meal! But not that coffee, it was gross, we couldn’t figure out the fancy coffee machine and this ended up tasting like glorified gas station coffee..
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Despite being gross from our float we couldn’t resist a photobooth in Helen which was obviously made for two people max!
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I brought friendship bracelet materials and on Saturday after we sat by the pool and made alphabet bracelets. There was a “Bitch Please” “Stepweber” (bride+groom combo) and I went with “LF FTW”
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On Sunday I got dropped off at Dustin’s place and we made our way to Sweet Water Brewery with some of his family and friends and my little brother. A nice end cap to a pretty chill weekend. Yesterday Dustin and I started our Summer kickball season with our team “Community Bucket.” It was my first time playing kickball as an adult and I wasn’t half bad but still very much competitive! Hope everyone out there is having a swell start to the week!

November 18, 2013

TYBEE ISLAND

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-Back to recapping my Savannah trip with my babe-
So after we checked into our bed and breakfast we headed to Tybee Island to explore the beach, eat and snap photos in the sand. Tybee Island’s size surprised us both,  we were expecting a small quaint beach town when in reality it was more hop’n and touristy but this didn’t disappoint us, still way cute!  We chowed down on shrimp patties and beer at Fannies right on beach! mmmm, so good and their onion rings are amazing as well, this makes me want to teleport there now!
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It was slightly overcast and chilly so we didn’t get much in the water but a few toes while watching some brave surfers shred the cold waves.
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The 35mm 1.4 lens that I rented was incredible! So worth trotting through sand spurs to get this photo!upclose
-H&M sweater, Loft pants-
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-the exterior of Fort Screven-
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For beach roaming I kept it casual then added lip stick and a beanie to spice things up just a bit.  Wearing a lip color by BA Star, it’s their “holiday red” and it’s fierce! Wanted to try this brand because I’ve been looking for a lip color that will last and not smudge outside of my lips.  This brand is actually marketed towards dancers and cheerleaders because it really does stay put! You’ll be seeing it a lot since it doesn’t make my lips peel like other brands, new fav for sure!
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We may have seen a door open to the fort and let ourselves in..maybe.
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There were small rooms inside the fort that were definitely prison cells. We took it upon ourselves, after all we had made ourselves at home, to take photos of us on “lockdown” then got spooked and bolted!
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-H&M beanie, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Clothing Warehouse sunnies, lip color c/o BA Star-
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Don’t lose sight of my babe when he’s wearing these bright kicks!IMG_2538
I plan to frame this photo. It’s totally unedited and I LOVE IT, pat on the back self :Pmanhands
Loading the Lomography film I gave him into his granddad’s camera, can’t wait to see these photos!lighthouse
Parked next to the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum. Neither of us were hung up on reading a lot of signs and info so we simply just walked around the perimeter and enjoyed the view from the outside. Have I mentioned I love traveling with my man, he’s the best travel mate, so chill and easy going!
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Got another gel manicure before the trip. Giving the whole gel thing a second try because I realize that my bad experience the first time was my fault. It’s really really really bad on your nails if you take of the polish by picking and yes, I knew this while I was doing it but couldn’t stop..just kept plucking away at the polish. This time, I’ve sworn to myself and my nails I will soak them and remove the polish as it’s supposed to be removed. On my third week and while they are badly grown out the polish actually still looks good!The above ring is one of my all time favorite pieces of jewelry. The Hippy Santa Claus looking silversmith was living in Alabama when I met him before going to brunch one day in downtown Northport many years ago.  I chatted with him for probably about an hour, all the while he was showing me cool stuff like dinosaur bones and crystals I’d never heard of, I ended up buying a petrified palm tree ring but knew I’d be getting more of his pieces.  He had told me that he had a house in Jamaica and would be moving out there someday and he did but before leaving the country he sold a couple dozen rings to a friend of mine and that’s how I picked up this piece. Honestly I can’t remember the stone but I know it sure is pretty!Hope your week has started out on the right foot, have a good Monday yall!

November 13, 2013

air b&b

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this past weekend flew by so fast! we left early from work and headed South to Savannah. originally we went down for Dustin’s half marathon at the Rock & Roll run held downtown but his plans of running changed last minute with a swollen knee so we just made it into a vacation getaway weekend! friends of mine had tried and loved a website service called Air B&B where people can rent out their homes, rooms or entire estate.  so we thought we’d give it a try and went with room inside a home just outside of Savannah in Port Wentworth, GA just a short drive to downtown and also minutes from Tybee Island. the homeowner, Jonathan, was very friendly and goofy and right away we knew we’d get along with him and his girlfriend. while there was another couple staying in his other room, we didn’t see them often. it was overall a relaxed environment with no awkwardness around common spaces.  it’s really great to get to stay in a fully furnished spot while vacationing and I also thought the experience overall was a different one than you’d get just renting a hotel room and bouncing around.  I’ll def will be using Air B&B again!like I said in the previous post I rented a Canon 5D Mark II and played around with all sorts of aperture settings with great natural light we had as the weather was gorgeous for the whole weekend. here are some snaps of the house and its yard we stayed in this weekend-

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my man takes some great photos!
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Jonathan’s workshop out back where he stores two vans and a boat!
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one of my favorite photos from the whole weekend!
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I spy a cute guy!
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Jonathan’s backyard had all sorts of plants and vegetation, even a lemon tree!
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Dustin brought along his 35mm film camera that he inherited from his granddad. half way through the trip he changed it over to some lomography film I gave him for his birthday, can’t wait to see those photos!
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reminded me of the wreaths I have hanging over my bed at home!
such a lovely time with my easy breezy traveling mate and love.
I have TONS more photos from our trip, coming soon to a Lady Flashback blog near you!