Aspen + Camping + Rain

It doesn’t always rain in Colorado, but it (almost) always rains when we go camping.

And this was no exception. We got to Aspen with enough time to set up our tent, drive into town to see what the deal was with Maroon Bells, stop at the market, and get back to the tent before it started pouring.  I mean pouring.  When it died down a little we went out and started a fire to get dinner cooked (onions, sausage, and peppers) and it was amazing after realizing we hadn’t eaten lunch that day.  We ate just in time before the rain started again and went pretty much all night!

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According to the weather we knew we had a few hours in the early morning to get a hike in at the Maroon Bells before the next round of storms. We got up around 5 am, and left the campground around 5:45 am.  Chris was not into it, BUT on the way to the park we saw a bear running across the street in downtown Aspen!  So cool!  Neither of us had ever seen a bear before and I am SO happy we saw it from the safety of our car! I tried to convince him that cool things happen early in the morning, but I’m not so sure he is completely convinced 😉

We’ll tell you though, totally worth it. This has got to be one of the most beautiful places we’ve hiked, and we didn’t even get to see the full mountains!  At first I was kind of bummed, but after realized all that fog was beyond beautiful and so cool the way it flowed in the valley and up around the bells.  I wish we had more time to hike around because I could have spent days there.

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Some suggestions I would make if thinking about going to see the Maroon Bells (which you should) are to get up super early and get there around 6 am.  You basically have the park to yourself which is so refreshing when going up to a popular park.  We did the Crater Lake trail because we didn’t have a whole lot of time; it was really nice and not too difficult of a hike.  At least do this trail to the lake, but it will continue on (as do others) which I imagine to be gorgeous.  We met some women who were hiking to Crested Butte from there, which if I had known was a thing, would have planned our trip a little longer (I imagine Chris exclaiming a sarcastic “shucks” right about now). I recommend at least a day of hanging out there though.  We only had a few hours which was certainly not enough.

So for now, I’ve crossed this off my bucket list, but I’m contemplating putting it back on for a long term goal of getting back and seeing more 🙂  I don’t think I could ever get enough!

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Year one!

Ah, we survived year one 🙂  We still talk about it often and we both agree it was by far the best weekend of our lives. Hands down.

Obviously getting married was amazing, but we could have done that anywhere.  It was the people, our closest friends and family, all there to support us.  It was people we hadn’t seen in years (who have supported us from the beginning) traveling to be there; it was seeing our friends from all different aspects of our lives interacting together and hitting it off; it was watching my grandmother dance with my mother-in-law; it was Jenna singing John Legend, then breaking into some karaoke at the end of the night; it was the look on Josh’s face when he walked into the hotel room.  I could go on and on, but I’ll just say this: Seriously amazing.

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It’s funny, the biggest question we got this year was “How’s married life?”  To which we always reply “The same as non married life.”   Our relationship has grown stronger for sure as it always has each year, and there’s certainly less stress this year without all that wedding planning.  But overall, things don’t really feel any differently than before. The biggest challenge, for me, has been getting used to my new name.  When the nurse comes out and says “Ms. Rolfs?” it takes me a minute to realize, “Oh! That’s me!”  Sometimes even Chris forgets I changed my name 😛

Since I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about what has happened over the last year, I thought I would entertain you with some highlights 🙂

1. Maine.  I.love.Maine.  I seriously swoon over talking about how much I love it- hands go right up under my chin and everything.  After our wedding we drove up and stayed a few nights at the Abalonia in Ogunquit.  It was perfect- beautiful inn and the owners were SO welcoming and hospitable- and hilarious 🙂  I rolled down the windows when we got into town and just took in that Maine smell.  You all know what I’m talking about- that salt water, lobster, fresh, clean, wonderful smell. AH. Here I go again.

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2. Honeymoon.  In January we took our honeymoon, a first real relaxing vacation in about 5 years!  We stayed at an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana called Breathless.  The resort is fairly new, and everything was clean and beautiful!  We drank a lot, ate a lot, slept a lot, and read a lot of books!  It was pretty awesome.

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3.Beta. Let’s be honest, you all knew this was coming.  After years and years and years of begging Chris for a puppy, he finally admitted he wanted one too. He still blames me when she’s being a pain in the ass, but he loves her 🙂

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4. South Dakota Trip  Every year for my birthday I tell Chris I don’t want things, I want experiences.  We’ve done some pretty cool things for my birthday, and this year we trekked up to South Dakota (in the snow) to see the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, and Custer State Park with two of our friends!  It was so beautiful and serene.  It was cold and dreary the first day, but it meant we had Custer State Park basically to ourselves.  We saw Buffalo, Pronghorn, and lots of beautiful scenery!

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5. Auntie Bridge & Uncle Chris  The same day we left for South Dakota our niece, Hadley, was born! Holy feelings! This has by far been the best thing that’s happened this year.  I’m so in love.  Also, it has been the coolest experience to watch my brother change into Dad-mode the second she was born.  I can barely talk about it without getting weepy.  And then a few other of my close friends had super adorable little babes and I fell in love them too!  One of my best friends has a beautiful little red headed, blue eyed baby girl and I may end up stealing her- watch out Carr’s 😉   By the end of this year another one of my best friends and my cousin will both have babies, and I am over the moon!  G2g crochet all the things now 🙂

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6. California  When Chris went out for his interview, we had the opportunity to stay with our friends in Oakland and do a bunch of sightseeing!  We went to the Farmer’s Market, hiked around Lands End, saw the Golden Gate Bridge (well, half of it), saw dolphins playing in the bay, and had the worlds best Ramen ever. I mean ever. I daydream about it.

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7. Facebook  Back in April Chris got an email about applying for a job at Facebook and what a whirlwind of a few months.  We are excited, and a little nervous about the next step in our lives. We leave in about 2.5 weeks! Yikes!

This anniversary weekend we celebrated with a long beautiful hike, sushi, doughnuts, video games, and a sunset 🙂  It’s all about compromise!

So excited to see what year 2 brings 🙂