Archive for August, 2013

08.21.13

After our beautiful friends’ wedding in Crested Butte, Brian and I drove on over to Vail for a couple days of R&R just the two of us. We had a wonderful experience in Vail. Since our previous couple of days were filled with lots of fast-paced fun events with friends, we wanted a more relaxing, slow-paced-no-agenda end of to our lovely vacation. We stayed at The Sebastian boutique hotel/resort. I had no idea what I was doing when I booked the trip (found a deal on Expedia or something like that). Turns out it was a FANTASTIC decision.   The staff was incredibly nice and serving.  You know when you stay at a nice hotel and they have a mini bar with drinks and snacks that cost close to a downpayment on a small car and yucky coffee in a pouch in your room? Well, they had really nice snacks, fresh apples, an unlimited supply of bottled water, local coffee, and a Nespresso espresso machine  in our room that was all COMPLIMENTARY. I felt just like Penelope Cruz drinking my shot of espresso in the mornings.  Oh, and when we checked in they gave us a card to use for what was essentially a Redbox movie rental machine that was also complimentary.  Perfect. The accommodations were quite nice. There were big pump bottles of shampoo and conditioner and body wash from their spa downstairs in our lovely shower. If wanted, you could just take the bottle with you (although there was a fee for that unfortunately).  You’d think we paid an arm and a leg to stay here, but it wasn’t over priced at all. There was also this “library” that was floor to ceiling books and large pieces of beautiful art with various seating options and an old table that was built for chess or checkers. Brian and I took advantage of it for sure. The office center was also quite nice. It had several desktop computers and a huge iMac computer with free access. Each morning Brian worked out in the very nicely equipped gym and I took advantage of laying poolside.  Those small complimentary items really made our stay so much more enjoyable. It really puts a damper on your vacation when you’re spending $13 for bottled water and $7 for a banana in 1 day.

When we arrived in Vail on Sunday, we got the tail end of the Sunday Farmers Market that goes through the Summer.  It took up the entire little town. We each found a food vendor and grabbed a bite to eat. Naturally, Brian got a plate of meat and I got a salad. We later ate dinner at a casual cute little pizza place that had clearly been around for a while since there were old photos of folks in 80’s ski gear on the walls. The restaurant had basically a wall of windows and a small patio area that we sat near and got to look out onto the picturesque little town. Afterwards, we walked the pristine streets and bridges that cover the beautiful creek/stream/river running through the town.

The next morning we got up and hopped a free ride (another perk of The Sebastian) to a cute breakfast spot, The Little Diner, per the hotel’s suggestion. It was a good choice. So good that we dined there the next morning, as well. hah.  It’s literally a little diner. There’s maybe 15-20 total seats at a bar that surrounds the cooks.   The food was amazing and so fresh. I highly suggest you test it out if you’re in Vail.  There was a small line out the door both mornings. This wasn’t too bad for Brian because on our way out of the hotel (after already enjoying a regular cup of coffee and espresso in our room) the hotel staff offered him complimentary FRENCH PRESSED coffee and the newspaper. Delivered to him on a small tray with condiments to dress his coffee. Does it get better than that?

We went for a hike up the “berry picker” trail through tons of aspen trees over to “lions down” trail that was shared with mountain bikers that dumped us in the other little section of town. There’s a free bus that shuttles through both sections of town, but we chose to walk the entire time since it was such lovely weather. It was actually warmer than I planned, but still nice. Anything is nicer than summer in Texas. We didn’t hike all the way to the top to see the back bowls, because I had to get back to pump. Blah.  We could have also taken the ski lift up to the top to see the back bowls, but it was a little pricey. We chose to be frugal and enjoy the hikes, which was perfectly fine with me.  On the second day towards the end of our hike we got caught in a little rain storm. Thankfully we brought a small and somewhat water proof backpack with us that I tossed my (new) camera into. By the time we made it back into town, we were drenched. So fun!

We ate dinner at a small (and what at first seemed like a sketchy) sushi restaurant that turned out to be pretty good.  Both nights we were in our room pretty early to enjoy a complimentary rental movie. If anyone knows us, this is a dream vacation. Especially when it’s my first chunk of time on an adult only vacation after having a baby 9 months prior. I love early nights-in watching movies in a big comfy hotel bed after a fun day hiking and exploring.

The town was buzzing with open-air-patio restaurants and live music in the evenings. I fell in love with the European/Swedish influenced architecture. I said it before, but the best word I can use to describe Vail is picturesque. It was so clean and the flowers were all in full bloom and perfectly groomed. It was so colorful. Summers in Texas are usually themed with yellowish dead grass and some dinky on-there-way-to-dying wild flowers if you’re lucky. I wouldn’t mind living in Colorado in the summers. It’s a blessing that I’ve somehow ended up in Colorado almost every year since I started high school (so for the past 10+ years!).

The  last night I had planned for us to walk over to the amphitheater for a free summer concert on the lawn, but as we were about to walk out of the hotel it started pouring down rain. So, we decided to enjoy a drink at the hotel bar instead. Being adventurous, Brian tried this over priced fancy drink called the “bull fighter”. Bad choice. It had a whipped egg white on top. Sick.  Since we didn’t want to venture out in the rain after having just showered, we ordered room service hamburgers. Probably the most expensive (but also most delicious) hamburger I’ve ever eaten while wearing a big comfy hotel robe. You’ve done it again, Sebastian. Even your food is delicious.  If we return to Vail, The Sebastian is our top hotel choice.

After our stay in Vail, we drove back to Denver to hop a flight home to Dallas to wake up the next morning and enjoy July 4 at home. Thankfully, it wasn’t a problem with TSA that I carried on a lunch kit filled with my breast milk from the week of traveling.  Our time in Colorado was a blessing and a fun adventure. Here are my photos from Vail.

 

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This is funny because we felt like idiots. We couldn’t figure out where the trashcans were. It took us a bit to learn that you lift the lid to these contraptions to deposit your trash. Duh. I guess this is bear proof. And Brian proof. _2013_06_Vail_Storyboard006 _2013_06_Vail_Storyboard005 _2013_06_Vail_Storyboard004 _2013_06_Vail_Storyboard002

 

Our Vail trip on Instagram

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08.20.13

I had the honor of standing next to one of my best friends, Kate, from college in her wedding this summer. Kate and Bill chose to get married in Crested Butte, Colorado, which is a very special place to Kate’s family, where they also have a house they visit several times a year. Gosh, Colorado is beautiful in the summertime. Brian and I left Brady at home with my mom for almost an entire week while we were in Colorado.  It was a big deal, but so nice to spend time with close friends in such a breathtaking place celebrating a beautiful couple.

This was my first time to be away from baby Brady for more than 1 night. I pumped the entire time I was away, which was such a drag, but you do what you gotta do. Who knew that by the end of the summer I can say that I’ve pumped in: the New Mexico airport bathroom, a rental car, various hotel rooms, the backseat of a Porsche, the Denver airport bathroom, and some other weird places I’m probably forgetting.

We flew into Denver and drove out to Crested Butte. We drove through the CottonWood Pass, which was a beautiful dirt road/lots of switch backs on the edge of a mountain that wound through trees and rocks and there were even a few mounds of snow on the side of the road. It was quite exhilarating and all I wanted to do was snap photos the entire time (while also gripping tightly to the handle(s) in the car).  Brian and I ate dinner on the patio of the Secret Stash, a delicious pizza and beer place in downtown Crested Butte. The weather was amazing and so was the beer (I don’t even like beer). The next morning we met up with a bunch of friends in town for the wedding to raft the Taylor River, which is known for its fly fishing. I am SUPER sad I didn’t take any photos, mostly because we didn’t bring any personal belongings with us on the rafting trip.  It was so picturesque. It wasn’t too difficult, but I was definitely sore the next couple of days. It’s a small world. We rafted through a strip of the river that belongs to an old client, Wilder on the Taylor.  It was straight out of one of those soundscape cds.

That afternoon we went to the top of the Painter Boy ski lift meadow for Kate & Bill’s wedding rehearsal.  It was breathtaking. The field was painted with bluebonnets and various wild flowers overlooking a valley and several other mountains in the background. Nice choice, Kate.  The rehearsal dinner was at the big ski lodge at Crested Butte. It was amazing to hear where people traveled from to celebrate in person with Kate and Bill. There was even someone who traveled from China! Hearing stories from loved ones was a testament to how wonderful Kate and Bill are and how loved they are and how well they love their friends and family.  I even got up and told the (embarrassing) story about how Kate tricked me into believing that longhorn cattle bow to the North Star on Christmas eve… so much so that I rounded up friends two years in a row to try and witness some longhorn cattle near my childhood home on Christmas eve. Turns out her dad and brother did the same to her growing up. Shoot!

Kate and Bill’s wedding day was wonderful. The girls had a nice brunch at an adorable and delicious bistro in the little town of Crested Butte. I may have eaten the best fruit salad. Ever. Kate gave us each handmade greeting cards with a pair of beautiful pearl earrings to wear with our brides maids dresses (thanks!).  We spent the afternoon getting our hair and makeup done at the ski lodge hotel at the base of the mountain. What a treat!  We then took the shuttle bus up to the wedding site for the ceremony. Kate looked absolutely gorgeous and radiant.  We walked down the aisle (field) to a lovely stringed trio, followed by Danny, the family dog.  Kate’s close family friend / minister lead the ceremony. The weather was wonderful, but there were some clouds looming nearby. Thankfully the rain held off during the ceremony.  After the ceremony there was a bagpipe played during the cocktail hour while the wedding party and family took photos down the hill.  The cocktail hour was under a nice big white tent with delicious horderves and champagne served.  You couldn’t help but take your own photos in the field littered with bluebonnets!  Danny (the family dog) kept following the waiters around trying to snag some food – hah.

The guests were shuttled to the reception site, which was held at an ice rink in downtown Crested Butte. The rain held off until literally everyone had been shuttled inside the ice rink. Perfect timing! Most people probably didn’t know it even rained.  Kate helped design the lighting (since that’s what she does for a living) for the reception. There was a spunky live band, a delicious gourmet food buffet, drinks, a fun photo booth, and lots of dancing. Kate even sang a song to Bill during the reception – see below.

Kate is one of the most unique people I know. There is no one like her.  If I was a dude, I would totally go for her ;).  Good job, Bill! I always knew the man she ended up with would be a great man. She’s funny and sensitive, loves sports, is athletic (and good at pretty much any sport), intelligent, talented, is a HUGE animal lover with a huge heart, embodies this unexplainable energy, is loyal, has the best memory (so good it’s creepy),  loves the Lord, and is beautiful inside and out.

The day after the wedding, Brian and I drove to Vail to stay for a couple more days before heading home. My next blog entry will feature that portion of the trip! Here are some photos from our time in Crested Butte.

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 Our Crested Butte Trip on Instagram

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08.16.13

I had the honor and pleasure of photographing Susan & Corby’s wedding at the HPUMC SMU Cox Chapel in July. They were such a pleasant couple to work with. Susan has two beautiful daughters that were also fun to photograph and spend time with on the big day.  The ceremony and reception were relatively small (50 or less guests), which was right up my alley.  Susan and Corby hosted the reception at their beautiful home in Dallas for their close friends and family. During the reception toasts it was a evident how much Susan and Corby are loved and how well they love those around them.  You could feel the joy in the room… for their new life beginning together, and their love for the Lord.  Congrats again, Susan and Corby. You make a beautiful family.

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