{Just Us}

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a minute to sit down and share some of our story. It’s busy season; in photography, in life. The fall is my favorite time of year, but it’s also my busiest. Over the years as business owner, I’ve learned more and more about the importance of work/life balance. I’ve learned that scheduling time for my family, limiting sessions and even saying “no” to work is so incredibliy important. I’m in the business of preserving memories and I need to take time to make my own memories.

My hubby and I have always made time for “just us” a big priority. We are the foundation of this family and making time to secure and reinforce that foundation is essential. Our wedding anniversary is in September and we’ve made a habit of taking a week’s vacation to get away from the chaos for a bit; just the two of us.

This year we went to Colorado Springs. It’s a place we had planned to go a few years ago while I was pregnant with G, but my pregnancy got complicated and I was on tight restrictions. Traveling and hiking and exploring would have to wait.

We planned and booked our trip for this year a few months ago; finding dates that worked perfectly between all of our other commitments.  While it’s a little stressful getting everything ready for leaving 3 kids behind with family, once we hit the road it was all worth it.

Quiet.

One of the most amazing parts of having this time is uninterupted conversations and being able to hear each other without yelling over the noise.

We drove straight through {9ish hours} and decided to camp our first night in town. From a distance this sounded like an amazing plan. Unfortunately, the weather took a nose dive. 45 degrees and raining. We committed to the experience, though and found a place to set up our tent {amongst all the other “campers” in the warm, cozy fully heated and running water RVs}. Since we got in so late we had to do after hours check in. This meant there was no staff there to tell us what the code for the bath house was.  Those people in the warm RVs just looked at us weird when we asked if they’d tell us the code. So, we were full on roughin’ it for the night! I was too frozen and wet to even attempt taking a picture of this situation, so you’ll just have to imagine it for yourself.

The next morning, the weather hadn’t let up much at all. We pushed “maybe” a little closer to 50 degrees, but it was still a constant state of wet drizzle. We {my hubby} cooked some eggs and bacon on the grill which we ate inside the tent, we finally found a firendly person to tell us the bath house code and then we packed up.

Been there, done that on the camping; time to check in to the hotel!

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon exploring The Garden of The Gods.  This place was really magical. The bonus of the cold, rainy weather is we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We didn’t hike as many trails as we had hoped and planned to, but we still saw a lot of amazing spots.

It was finally time to go check into the hotel and warm up our bones!! We had big plans of touring multiple breweries and snacking at different restraunts, but we were frozen and exhausted from our night in the wilderness. So, instead, we hit up a local tap house that specialized in local brew so we could try a variety in one place. We headed over and had dinner at The Rabbit Hole. If you’re ever in Colordao Springs then EAT HERE. It was absolutely delicioius! I kind of wish we had gone back there another night so I could try something else.

By now it was only about 9:30, but us old folk were ready to call it a night. And we slept. We slept soooo good!

We didn’t have a lot planned for the next day because the weather was still not cooperating, so we stayed in bed till the last minute and had some breakfast there, as well.

We checked out of the hotel becacuse we were headed to a fun rental house for the next 3 nights. We spent the morning at The Cave of the Winds and did an Adventure Tour. I thought I was going to feel super claustrophobic and have one of my panic attacks, but it was actually really cool and I wish we had done the lantern tour {which goes deeper into the caves into total darkness} instead.

Yes, it was still raining and really foggy. This meant we didn’t get to do the ropes course or giant canyon swing while at the cave. We instead headed into the town of Manitou Springs to warm up with some chili and do a little shopping until we could check in to the house.

Our house was really cool and absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway. It was actually two little casitas on the same property with a grill and a hot tub.

{I’ll share the VRBO link to the property here because you should stay there. And they’re not paying me to say that, it’s just really perfect. https://www.vrbo.com/739599?unitId=1287537}

After getting some groceries, we head to the Bristol Brewing Company for, well, beer, and food. The food was alright and the beer was pretty good, but the atmosphere here was really cool. They’ve turned an old school into an entire entertainment experience. There’s a couple bars, a small shop and a big event space, as well as the brewery itself. Defintely a place to stop and explore.

Of course, the next day, it was still 48 degrees and still raining, but we came to hike and explore so we went on and did that anyway. This day was dedicated to checking out the Red Rocks Open Space. It was beautiful even in the fog and I’m sure really cool to see when you can actually see.

The final day of our trip we FINALLY saw the sun!! It warmed up a bit, but not too much and was the perfect day for a final hike. We debated for a long time about what hike we were going to do. We wanted something a little longer, but not too long since there was still threats of rain and thunder. No one wants to get stuck on a mountain in a thunderstorm!

We finally made a choice and headed to the Catamount Falls trail that leads to the Catamount Reservoir. If you like to hike, then you must come do this one! It’s a 6 mile out/back trail with a 1800 ft. elevation change. The first 1.5 miles in pretty tough, the worst part being the walk from the parking lot straight up hill to the trail head. If you can survive that part, you’ll be fine for the rest of the trip!

Halfway through the hike you level out and walk through the Garden of Eden. It’s beautiful. The sun was shining at this point and the Apsens were changing color and there’s a creek that follows the trail.

The trail gets hard again and then a little difficult to follow, but the end result is maybe the most breath taking place I’ve ever seen; a beautiful crystal reservior at the base of Pike’s Peak. It got cloudy and chilly {really chilly} again or else I think we would have spent the rest of the day in this spot.

On the way back down, we took time to enjoy the waterfalls that seemed so daunting to climb on the way up!

Despite the weather, it was an incredible trip. We bid adieu to our little casita with one last morning coffee and started the long trek home.

Where should we go next year? We love hiking and exploring and breweries and unique restraunts. We’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things so lots of suggestions would be great!

 

3 Comments

  1. Jen G says:

    Love these photos, what gorgeous scenery! I totally agree with you, taking that time to reconnect is so important.

    Like

  2. This is the most romantic thing EVER. Bucket lis for me, gorgeous thoughts and photos!

    Like

  3. Erika Kao says:

    Oh, I just ADORE this session! I love that you not only take time to enjoy one another, but that you document it so beautifully. Well done!

    Like

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