We try to take a trip somewhere around our anniversary every year. Mostly because we love to travel and it's a good excuse for a vacation plus we decided even when we were dating that we'd rather not do gifts.
Gifts were really stressful for us to try to find something that was going to be a surprise to the other person, something that they hadn't already gotten for themselves, and something that was really meaningful.
Plus we're cheap and we justify lots of fun trips this way.
A-n-yways, in case you were all wondering, Moab is in Utah and we think it's about 5 1/2 to 6 hours away from where we live. We don't exactly know since we stopped for an overnight stay in-between on both the way out and the way back. Also, telling you where Moab is wasn't meant to insult anyone's intelligence but as we were talking to people, many didn't know the actual location.
Moab is probably most known for hiking, biking, and off-roading. Oh, and for something that looks like this...
It's a quiet little town on the Colorado River and is surrounded by the most beautiful and unique scenery. Other than Arches National Park there is also Canyonlands National Park- the views from there are truly indescribable.
We stayed at the Sunflower Hill Inn, a quiet bed and breakfast in the middle of Moab. Since the temperature was insane while we were there we tried to get up early every morning to hike, spend the afternoon at the pool, and hike again when it was cooler in the evening.
Anyways, if you ever get the chance, you should take visit. It was one of the most beautiful desert landscapes we've ever seen and we realize now why it's such a famous location!
We just got back from a stunning trip to our neighbors to our west.
More pictures will follow to be sure. We would highly recommend everyone taking a visit to the Moab area especially if you like hiking and being outdoors. The views were absolutely stunning and we stayed at the cutest bed and breakfast ever. Youngest people by years but that's our preferred crowd to hang with. Probably because they're the only people we can pretend to keep up with.
We're that cool.
And we accomplished our only goal of the vacation.
An entire bottle of sunscreen was used in this joint effort.
Our thoughts and prayers for cooler weather, less wind, and rain without lightening are once again with everyone south of us. We had no idea what was going on when we came home to the view below this afternoon until we realized the campfire smell permeating the air wasn't actually us (we camped last night and smelled terribly like the campfire we sat around last night).
Our clear view of the foothills and mountains was non-existent, completely shrouded in smoke.
Finally, pray for a quick recovery for my Dad! He ruptured his Achille's tendon (holy ouch!) last week playing basketball against a bunch of teenagers (and probably winning) and will most likely be in a cast for the rest of summer while healing. He had successful surgery this afternoon and is on the road to a hopefully super fast recovery!
To my hubba hubba,
4 years. Seems long yet so, so short. Can't wait for the next forty four. I love doing life with you!
On to our next great adventure...
Gosh. I feel like I haven't really cooked anything in weeks. Which is kind of true because Cale has been a grilling king lately.
Actually, almost every summer we turn to grilling for most meals. Because we're cheap like that and don't want to heat the house with the oven. You know, when you have the air conditioning blasting it seems kind of foolish to heat up the oven.
It happens people. Chocolate chip cookies need to inhaled no matter what the weather is.
Speaking of air conditioning.
This happened today. While trying to clean the carpets.
Air conditioning on.
While miracles in the kitchen have not been happening... at all... we've had a super productive spring (productive in our world= normal lives of other people). Cars were both in for their check-ups, flowers and tomatoes have been planted, fishing license is renewed for the year, pool is open and we remembered our pass-codes(water is quite chilly yet), the first sun burns and massive body peels (sorry that's gross) are a thing of the past, patio is cleaned, and a new propane tank has been purchased for the grilling season.
And the first golf outing of the season is in the books.
P.S. Golf and fishing are both Cale endeavors. What this means to me is that I've read 7 books in 2 days. It's a sickness I fully admit to. And love. The end.
And Cale developed some super nasty spring allergies. What?! How do these pop up in year 4?
Also, how did 4 years go by? Crazy.
Other than that warmish indoor temperature reading from almost all windows in the house facing west, Colorado has beautiful summer weather (and sunsets!) so you all should come visit!
Have I mentioned no humidity or bugs? And that it cools off to the 50s or 60s every night?
Grandma! I got begonias just like you!
Oh... you're too cool for camping out in your living room....
...and eating bacon and eggs for breakfast in the morning. Who says we need to grow up?
The baby sister is already in Kansas which means the pictures from this past weekends road trip are way past due. We missed all of the super nasty storms that hit further west and drove into our mid-point rest stop about an hour after the super heavy rain started.
It was so great to be able to spend some quality time (15 hours!) with the sister.
I missed the husband terribly especially for the fact that I was only gone for 3 days. It's sad.
And I strangely missed the the early summer humidity that greeted me with a blast as soon as I stepped off the plane. I need to go back and vacation for a week in a cabin on a lake. Those were the days. We just don't have as many of them out here in arid Colorado.
No bugs though.
Seriously even more awesome than you'd actually think it was.
On the schedule for this beautiful Memorial Day weekend is grilling out with friends and a early morning wake-up call to reserve the best fishing spot.
On a reservoir.
A quarter of the size of most Minnesota lakes.
No bugs though. :)
My sister and I successfully made the great trip across the Midwest hitting all of the popular tourist destinations such as the great states of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado... which isn't really Midwest but was part of the trip anyways.
I'm so lucky that my sister is also one of my bestest ever friends.. you know, along with my husband, parents, and brothers.
Who I got to see by the way! She's great and even let me plant her flowers. Already miss that lady. So much.
We got in one final shopping trip this afternoon before my sister takes off for Kansas. Summer will be weird without her!
Predominant plant in our open space? Cacti (us?). Flip flops not allowed.
Sunshine. And green grass! And open windows!
We have no idea why winter seemed soo long for us this year. But it did.
And we've now had a string of spring/summer weather that has done the body and mind well.
And I came home yesterday to the air conditioning on. People, it is not that warm out and not to point fingers but I was not the one who turned it on.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning at crack of dawn to visit my grandma (!) and my sister. Actually, my sister casually mentioned that she was going to have drive all the way back home by herself. I really have been missing my grandma and my sister so it as the perfect excuse for a quick visit.
Then my sister will be home for 4 days (yes, we will be shopping for one of those days) before she goes off to her summer internship.
To study spiders.
Not even joking.
Probably even getting paid with your tax dollars.
So, if I'm cranky all summer long its because my sister is gone. Very sad day.
I almost felt bad that I was leaving my husband alone all weekend but it's quickly filling up with things such as hiking, exploring the mountains, probably some home cooked meal from some home that isn't ours, etc.
We're spoiled with really great friends.
Counting down the days until our next vacation to Moab! And then maybe some kitchen and bathroom remodel?
Kentucky Derby best, sunsets from windows, band practice, and Cale's treat of choice from the grocery store. Gosh, I love him!
In other news, I've had nothing but kitchen failures lately.
Crunch sweet potato fries were my failure of choice this evening.
Sweet potatoes they were.
Crunchy they were not.
This is unfortunately something I can't blame on the altitude.
I hope you all had a great weekend and a fabulous Cinco de Mayo!
And Kentucky Derby!
We went to our first ever Kentucky Derby party and while my hat was fabulous my horse did not win.
And then turned around the next day and ate way too many burritos, queso, and guacamole.
And then made spicy fish tacos with mango salsa the day after.
Seriously, I could eat Mexican food every day of my life.
But then I remember how much I love every other kind of food and realize I would be missing out.
Anyways, after the feasts of the weekend, fish tacos were a delicious way to end our Monday night. Plus you can make this whole meal in 30 minutes or less. I made them super spicy so in the recipe listed below I halved the spicy parts (jalapeño pepper and cayenne pepper) but you could totally leave the cayenne pepper out of the spice mix and use some other fresh crunchy vegetable in place of the jalapeño pepper if you don't like spicy food. Also, because I made these recipes up in my head they are as simple as they can get. :)
1 lb of white fish (I used cod because it was on sale)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix all spices together and sprinkle on both sides of fish. (I then cut the fish up into smaller strips but you could leave it in one piece if you wish.) Use a generous dash of olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan. Heat on medium high. Cook fish for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
1 mango, diced
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
Small handful of cilantro, chopped into small pieces (probably 1/4 cup total)
Juice of 1 lime
Generous sprinkle of salt
Mix all ingredients together. I made this before I started working on the fish so the flavors would have time to meld. This was also excellent the next day on the leftover fish.
Serve together on corn tortillas. Yum!
I first made this last year sometime and I've pulled it out many times since.
They are always a hit and so easy to make even on a time crunch. And they don't need to stay heated.
And they taste like spring.
Our grocery store sells 'Pearl' mozzarella balls and I usually try to buy that size to make these. But really, no matter the size of the cheese, tomatoes, or basil- you can make it work.
If the cheese is really small and you buy cherry sized tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half and use them as the base of the appetizer. The packages of basil that are available at our grocery store have very large leaves so I rip them down to whatever size. If the cheese is super small, add 2 pieces with the basil sandwhiched between.
The only recommendation I have is to either cut the cheese in half or the tomatoes in half so there is a flat base to work with (I like to place mine upright).
For the finishing touch, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the whole set. If you're super fancy, you can reduce the balsamic vinegar to turn it slightly more syrupy before drizzling. As you can probably guess, I usually don't have time for that step.