Honeymooners

CO. UT. and everything in between. 

pt. 1

Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

Sometimes life gets out of your control. you lose sight of what's important and you start to feel like life's daily stresses are never going to come to an end. 

The problem is that sometimes we get so caught up with the daily demands of life that we lose perspective. 

That's why traveling is sort of a healing process for me. I am able to step back, reflect, and relax.

 sunrise in Moab, UT. 

sunrise in Moab, UT. 

 

Stuart and I have had a hectic and busy life these past few months. With everything from getting married, moving in to our new place, trying to balance work schedules, spending time with family, working on milk + honey, being incredibly sick, and even just trying to give each other the attention and time to each other, it's been extremely overwhelming.

We knew prior of the wedding that we were not able to take a honeymoon after (I work with pre-schoolers as a day job) so we patiently waited for the right time to have a fun little getaway. I might add it was weird going from fairytale wedding and heading straight to work two days later...but we made it work!

Christmas rolled around and we had a few extra days since I was on Christmas break for school so the next thought about location was "tropical or mountains?"  

Without hesitation, of course we chose mountains 'cause why not?! We started planning out our honeymoon using the app Roadtrippers to find places along the way to stop and it turned into this amazing road trip.

(Note: I always hated long amounts of time in a car cause I am always so anxious to get there and was always stuck in the back seat). I could not have been any more excited to be driving across the country with my hunny. 

We packed up the car and left the morning after Christmas. Stuart and I blasted our, what I like to call, "Hipster Roadtrip" playlist and bopped around in the car until we found out we needed to save our energy for the last 13 hours of the car ride. 

The last hour and a half of the car ride it was pitch black out with the moon and our headlights as the only source of light. My gps had taken us on some random private backroad (eye roll emoji) where there were no street lights, other cars, or any sign of life.

We were completely spooked. But that being said, who said doing the same things, taking the same routes, or never taking chances was fun?! Luckily our car kept us safe and we finally made it to our destination, tucked into bed, and caught up on some much needed sleep. 

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We woke up early the next morning to get a fresh and head start to our day. First stop on our Roadtrippers was Lookout Mountain! 

Do you ever feel that sometimes no matter what camera or equipment you have, the pictures never do it justice?! yeah, same. The view is breathtaking...and I mean it because it's not only an amazing view, but its pretty high in elevation so it's harder to breathe. 

Next on the agenda, we went to Garden of The Gods

It's a very family-friendly park and I would highly reccommend it to everyone who is looking for places to see and things to do near Colorado Springs! They have a few different parking lots in the park at the most popular sights which is convenient. 

It's really amazing to walk along the paths and see these massive-sized red rocks towering over you. It makes you feel so incredibly tiny!

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 Hat:  Madewell  Boots:  Timberland  Shirt:  Gap  Coat:  The North Face  

Hat: Madewell Boots: Timberland Shirt: Gap Coat: The North Face 

 Sweatshirt:  Milk + Honey  Hat:  The North Face  

Sweatshirt: Milk + Honey Hat: The North Face 

We spent a full afternoon here and it was an afternoon WELL spent. 

 

Another awesome place to go is Moab, Utah. I promise you, you will never regret going and seeing for yourself how beautiful it is. This was probably my favorite part of our honeymoon. It was a 6 hour drive from the city we were staying in (Fort Collins, CO.) and we didn't start our journey until 11am that day. 

Along the way, we stopped at Hanging Lake. It's a crystal clear turquoise lake with a beautiful waterfall set up in Glenwood Canyons. Little did we know, the trail that leads up to it is steep, icy (in the winter) and rocky. Oh, it also is a mile 1.6 mile hike straight up for 1220 feet. (another eye roll emoji).

We debated on hiking since we wanted to get to Utah before it got dark (learning from our experience from when we first arrived to Colorado) but we said "why not?!".

There were signs posted all around explaining that it was very important to wear spikes on your shoes due to extreme hiking conditions. Stuart and I had basic winter boots on and didn't worry about the signs. 

On our way up, it was very slippery. So slippery that people were sliding on their butts on the way down. Fast. We also saw a woman wearing heals...HIGH HEALS. In my entire life, I have never seen anything that extreme before. It definitely gave us a good laugh. 

We also had a woman who was on her causal afternoon jog pass us up as I was holding on to the edges of rocks for dear life doing whatever I could to not slip and take Stuart down with me.  

After about a little over an hour of hiking, we made it to the top. 

 

Utah was only a few hours away from here. We continued on the highway traveling through the mountains at sunset. 

It was around 8pm, we were going 80mph, and the only ones on the road. We didn't plan on where we were going to sleep that night. We just drove. Adventure awaited...

We arrived at Arches National Park. It was dark and it felt pretty creepy being in a national park not knowing where we are going, what is around us, where we were going to settle for the night, and without cell phone service.

There was a map which showed a campground across the other side of the entrance. We drove, and drove, and drove, for miles and miles this park just did not end. It said the campground was an 18 mile drive to get there... and we had only gotten halfway.

We decided to just stop in a nearby parking lot off to the side, put a blanket down in the back of our car, snuggled close, and closed our eyes. 

It was freezing. The temperature must have been 20 degrees or maybe even less. 

Not only was it cold, but I was very paranoid that someone was going to knock on our window saying we couldn't park there so I kind of slept with one eye open while Stuart had no problem getting his good nights rest. 

All of a sudden a flashlight shone from a distance. I perked my head right up to see what it was. It was a man coming from the mountains with a flashlight but it looked as if he were lost with the way his flashlight was walking in circles and then pausing. 

We thought to ourselves "why would someone be hiking in the middle of the night, when its freezing out, and alone?" just plain crazy! Well, turns out, it was a photographer who had been there many times before taking a picture of the most famous arch because the stars were out that night. 

It was early the next morning that we woke up to frost on the inside of our windows. But we were so excited to see what was around us. We packed up our backpacks and set out for the delicate arch. 

 Jacket:  Athleta  Hat:  The North Face  

Jacket: Athleta Hat: The North Face 

We met so many people who made us laugh until we cried and allowed us to see that we are all so different in our own special ways. 

I am so thankful for all of our adventures in such a short amount of time. Memories that we will be able to share with our future kids are more meaningful to me than anything else. Stuart is one of the best travel buddies I ever could have asked for. 

He reminds me of what is most important in life and takes all my stresses away. Let's all help each other keep that perspective of not getting caught up in things that don't matter. Let's create memories together, laugh together, and love one another. 

Stu, I love road trips with you. 

Katie McBain