Happy Tuesday friends. I’m still coming down from an incredible Memorial Day weekend (literally, like 6000 feet down) in Colorado. Wow, what a special weekend…
Way back in the fall, when my cousin told me he was getting married in the Denver area – I knew that we HAD to go. I had been to Colorado many years ago for a hilarious family reunion (that is a story for another day), and also for work but never as an adult and for fun, and I knew immediately that one way or another I’d be attending. So, being the planner that I am, I neurotically booked an Airbnb for our entire family literally one day after I knew the wedding date and starting hunting down flights. It’s been a while since we’ve taken a family vacation – maybe like 6-7 years actually! My event planning brain took over and started making lists of what needed to get done.
Of course I knew this trip would be a little bit of a challenge, being Dane’s first flight, our first time traveling with a baby, and it being Memorial Day weekend. By the way, Dane was a CHAMP and slept nearly the entire flight both to and from Denver. He exceeded our expectations by a mile and multiple people called him an angel traveler, which made my heart swell with pride.
The early stages of planning all happened long before we knew about my dad’s cancer, and what was just around the corner for our family. As the date came closer, and life started spinning around us, this vacation seemed so far away and even a little like it wasn’t going to happen. However, through the entire process and leading up to the day we left – my dad never once said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to go with us. I think having Colorado as a goal was so healthy for him and all of us too.
Needless to say, the weekend went off without a hitch. The flights were easy (and fast), the transportation to and from the airport (limo service & rental cars) were seamless and the house we rented was absolutely perfect for our needs. It was large, included a great kitchen and spacious living area with views of the breathtaking mountains to the west and Pike’s Peak to the south. I think the best part of staying in an Airbnb was that the house felt cozy and lived in, and we weren’t afraid to let Dane run around and explore. We only really had to baby proof one room by setting up a barricade of chairs. 😉 My favorite space was the large balcony equipped with comfy furniture and a grill – which was utilized a lot during the trip. We saved a ton of money by renting a house we could all share and making many of our meals together. It was my first experience with an Airbnb and I will absolutely be doing it again!
The weekend was the perfect mix of relaxation, exploration, wedding events and most importantly, family time. My heart is so full knowing that I have a family that picks up right where they left off, and can make me belly laugh for hours over silly stories and experiences. I’m so lucky to have an uncle who is so selfless and hilarious and also an amazing cook and a cousin who fits in so perfectly with his strong-willed, loud WI family. I am also so lucky to have an aunt who loves us like her own kids and brings so much happiness to our lives. I hadn’t seen my cousins Danny, Travis & Maryea in almost 8 years – and when we got to talking, it ended up being just like it always was. These people are my childhood – and it was so fun to reminisce about our trips to Michigan and all of our shenanigans together as kids. A lot has changed, and distance and time separate us but I love them all so much and was reminded of all of those things this weekend.
The wedding took place at a beautiful Catholic church high on a hill overlooking Castle Rock which was gorgeous enough, but then the reception was at Spruce Mountain Ranch and oh my goodness – was it breathtaking. My cousin Danny was so handsome and his new bride Lauren was just about as perfect as it could get. In fact, the whole wedding party was stunning. The entire day was filled with such joy and happiness and you could tell by the love in the room it was a marriage made in heaven. I had only just met Lauren this weekend, but our whole family felt so included and at home in the room with everyone else. Congrats to the happy couple – marriage is so fun, and you’re going to love it!
I don’t know if it’s just a particularly emotional day, but I feel so lucky right now. It was just what we all needed to refresh and reset. It was truly a weekend that was good for my soul. We will absolutely be planning another one of these vacations soon – because there is so much beauty in this country and I intend on experiencing more of it with the people that I love.
Squeeze your family tight and enjoy your week! xo
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