Friday, October 24, 2014

summer lovin'

I'm still digesting all of the adventures + celebrations + weekend fun that we experienced over the summer.  While this post is delayed in being published, I've been writing and assembling it for a few weeks { scratch that - a few months!  Slowest blogger award goes to... }.  It is just so hard for me to begin trying to get everything down on "paper" { blog + paper?  blogper? } without writing everything.  So I give to you, my summer as condensed as I could condense it : >

My sweetest + silliest friend and her plus one came up for a quick/long weekend for the 4th of July.  This was right around the time I was really struggling with friendships here in Steamboat, so Sara's infectious laugh, insane sense of humor and sharp honesty were just what my heart and soul needed right at that moment.  I am forever grateful for her, our memories we've made over the past 7 years and our memories we have yet to make.  I love that woman more and more while always falling short with words to communicate that to her.

My best friend of 15+ years, my soul sister and the strongest part of me got married to the love of her life in Montana.  I was a hundred different shades of proud standing up next to her as she said i do.  Hunter and I made a week long road trip out of it and the ridiculous adventures we experienced on our drive there, the week we spent in an out of this world amazing VRBO rental, the rare happenstance that lead me to get to see one of my dear Bremerton friends(!!!!), the precious time spent with my parents + the dearest of friends from high school are memories that won't leave me anytime soon.

My parents made a 2 week road trip out of Amie's wedding, so they stopped in Steamboat on their way back home!  My dad had visited Steamboat back in the 70's but it was my mom's first time in The Boat!  I loved having them here and showing off our favorite spots in Steamboat.  I am forever grateful for their love, support and the spontaneous silliness they bring to my life.

Before Lindsey decided to move to Steamboat for a month, she was in town for a long weekend { her and our friend Kristy participated in the Tour de Steamboat.  Hello, inspirational! }.  I was able to steal a few hours of their time and host a brunch at the house!  It was everything a summer morning should be built of: coffee, fresh green juice, mimosas { duh! } followed by breakfast pizza { with homemade crust!  toot toot! }, my most favorite breakfast potatoes, breakfast cookies, fresh fruit and avocado toast.  We followed it up with a few hours laying in some shade in the backyard talking about everything and nothing at the same time.  Every ounce of me was filled with love, gratitude and appreciation that morning.

Hunter, Bob, our friend Judy and I made a somewhat spontaneous trip to the always gorgeous Lake Powell!  Luck is on my side as Hunter + his brother + dad all have their pilot licenses and access to several airplanes.  A road trip from Steamboat to Lake Powell can be upwards of 8+ hours, but in an airplane it is a zippy 2 hours!  We left early on a Saturday morning and were on the water with a cold adult beverage in hand by 10am.  The weekend was spent leisurely drifting around Lake Powell while listening to story after story of trips the Maddox family took to Powell throughout the boy's childhood.  That lake.  That boat.  That spot is magic to these men and I feel beyond honored to be let in on that sacred adventure with them.

Of course my trip to Denver back in August is not to be forgotten.  Mary has always been the most gracious host and I loved our weekend together!  We did everything from a Red Rocks Concert, Yoga on the Rocks....oh ok I know you've read all about it here, but I never want to pass up an opportunity to brag up my amazing friends and family who held me up in times where I truly didn't think my legs would take another step.  I still haven't stopped carrying the love of this trip with me day after day.

My birthday!  Goodness me was I spoiled rotten this year.  My birthday breakfast was presented to me by the most booootiful waitress in all the land { Hi, Rou! } with my very favorite acai bowl and a birthday candle!  I was treated to my most favorite biscuits and gravy mid-day, an amazing lunch with a dear friend and then shot out of work { 10 pounds heavier } an hour early so Hunter and I could check into our hotel room for the night!  WHERE, my sweet friend Emma went above and beyond to upgrade our already discounted hotel room to a suite!  Hunter and I relaxed a bit with a few drinks and gifts before meeting a few really wonderful friends of ours for adult beverages + small plates.  We retired back to the hotel room a bit early where I could indulge in my ultimate indulgence which would be eating dinner in bed while watching TV.  A rather simple request, this I know.  We never ever were allowed TVs in our room growing up, so when I get a chance to relax in bed while eating, it makes for a really happy Beth.  The night ended with one of my favorite pizzas in town, a nice hot tub soak followed by a nice long bath tub soak { I'm so predictable, I know it.  What can I say?!  I know what I like. } before drifting off to sleep with my heart about to burst and a smile the size of Texas.

My birthday weekend!  There is a small chance { we are talking like 99.9% out of 100% chance } that I put the pressure on Hunter rather strong this year to have a really amazing birthday weekend trip planned. It sounds incredibly selfish, this I know.  BUT, my last two birthdays were off the charts { here and here } and I really didn't want our tradition to die this year because of silly restrictions like work schedules.  We went back and forth between deciding on a repeat trip to Lake Powell, a weekend long backpacking trip or a van + biking road trip.  In the end, the van + biking + camping road trip won and man alive am I glad it did!  Hunter planed the entire weekend with not only my favorite snacks, breakfast foods, drinks and dinners but he kept our route and final destination { Crested Butte!!! } a surprise.  I did not stop smiling the entire weekend.  The surprise of a Saturday morning soak in a small mountain town hot springs totally set the tone for the weekend followed by insanely gorgeous and secluded camping spots, leisurely visits to { two! }  breweries and a distillery.  I logged my record of 20 miles over 2 days on my mountain bike { a record for this newbie mountain biker! } and made best friends with a few dozen cows that Hunter and I still talk about to this day.  We fell in love with the town of Crested Butte and dreamed of what it would be like to relocate our lives there.  Everything about it was pure bliss and I still can't get over his creativity and how well he knows me.

Final camping trip of the summer!  Over Labor Day weekend, Hunter and I loaded the WZL up and met Lindsey for a final weekend in the great outdoors.  I remember when Hunter and I would go camping in Washington and he would say "I really can't wait to show you how easy it is to go camping in Steamboat.  You drive for an hour and when you reach your campsite you feel as though you are so far away from Steamboat." and drive for an hour and feel as though we are far far away from Steamboat is what we did!  Watching the stars sparkle in the darkness, in the comfort of quiet between best friends and a good cold beer in hand while being wrapped up in blankets and cozy sweaters { yes, plural } was a main highlight of the trip, hands down.  Another highlight for me happened while driving to our biking trailhead. I was fighting anxiety, nerves and butterflies in my stomach { embarking on a 13+ mile difficult mountain bike ride with two pros made me incredibly anxious } when out of no where Lindsay starts playing Amos Lee's Windows are Rolled Down and a swelling of love, appreciate and gratitude filled me to the brim and I shed a few tears out of pure happiness for being in that moment.  The bike ride ended up being incredible { also incredibly challenging }, but incredible nonetheless.  The views, laughs and accomplishments that we experienced are totally priceless to me.

In between these big summer moments, I had dozens of small moments worth remembering.  Likeeee, seeing 2 incredibly meaningful concerts.  Amos Lee at Red Rocks and Paper Bird in Steamboat!

{Semi permanently } Dyed my hair for the first time in 1.5 years then cut 6+ inches off.

Managed to klutz myself through the summer and wound up in an ace bandage three times.

And spent each and every Tuesday night mountain biking with a fantastic group of Steamboat women in a 2 hour long biking clinic and every Wednesday night playing softball on a team with my coworkers.  I can't hardly believe I don't have photos of either of these events, but I guess it is a testament to the amount of fun/work that was had!

PHEW.  That was an amazing summer.  I already have a few highlights from Fall that I would love to share.  Note to self, Beth: Post said events every few weeks versus every few months to avoid a blog post with 1,000 too many words and 100 too many photos.

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