This year we stayed home for Christmas and Nathan’s parents came out to visit and spend the holiday with us. The day after Christmas we took them on a roadtrip to Utah and Arizona, sort of a redo of the trip we took before Noelle was born because we loved it so much. This time, everything looked completely different though, because of the snow. It was below freezing for the majority of our trip which limited the amount of hiking we were able to do, but we still had a great time. We went to the Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park in Southern Utah, Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ and Mesa Verde National Park near Durango Colorado on our way home. See some pictures below…
This year, we decided to do a family vacation with Nathan’s family to Door County, WI which is right on Lake Michigan. All of us (21 total!) shared a big Air BnB together. We visited the maritime museum, went cherry picking, did some hiking, visited some lighthouses and took a ferry to Washington Island where we visited a lavender farm. We all had a really fun time together, and I was really amazed at how pretty Wisonsin and Lake Michigan were! Here are some pictures from our trip…
At the end of July we flew out to Pennsylvania to spend time with my family. We stayed for about a week and a half which was so refreshing, compared to quick holiday time trips. I always love being home in the summer and enjoying the yard where I grew up in. Noelle loved Grandpa’s garden and he would frequently take her down there to pick berries and feed them to her. We took a day trip to the ocean while we were there and Noelle enjoyed playing in the sand. It kept her entertained for several hours haha. The rest of the time, we had our whole family together at home which is not a frequent occurrence, and it was so special.
This year for July 4th week, we took a road trip out to Texas, to visit my sister and brother and law and their boys while they were staying in College Station. Noelle had a blast with her cousins and we enjoyed a lot of family time, fireworks, swimming, fishing and visiting Waco (: Here are some pictures from our trip…
These two national parks have been on my wishlist for quite some time. We decided to do a road trip after finishing my first semester of school. We spent 3 days in Grand Teton National Park and 1 day in Yellowstone. Our first day there we visited Mormon Row which has a lot of old historic barns. We had driven through the night so we got there right at sunrise time which was so pretty. Grand Teton has a really majestic feel, and the mountains are a bit more jagged and rugged looking than in Colorado. We also explored Jenny Lake and did some hiking on the north side of it.
On our second day we visited Jackson Lake which is the largest lake at Grand Teton. We walked around Colter Bay and ate at the Ranch house restaurant there which had excellent food! Then we visited the Mentor Historic site which has some more old rustic looking buildings which were really pretty.
We spent day 3 in Yellowstone. We headed down towards the south end of the park to see some of the geysers, prismatic pools and Old Faithful. We could have spent several more days in Yellowstone as we only made it about 1/3 of the way around the park. Yellowstone doesn’t look impressive just driving around in the car (with the exception of seeing wildlife!) but it has some amazing features to see if you get out and walk around.
Our last day we went back to Grand Teton and hiked Paintbrush Canyon where we saw a moose! We also stopped at Oxbow Bend which has a great view of the water and mountains. Overall, the wildlife was saw was probably the coolest part. We saw bears, moose, bison, foxes, elk, deer and coyote. See some pictures below…
Grand Teton National Park:
Yellowstone National Park:
Visiting Waco to see the Magnolia Silos has been on my wishlist for the last couple years. We finally had a good opportunity to go on a road trip and meet some of our friends there for Spring at the Silos weekend. It was a really amazing event with lots of cool vendors and food trucks. The lines to get into the bakery and the Magnolia Market store were fairly long since it was an event weekend but totally worth the wait. We also got to eat at Magnolia Table which is the restaurant Chip and Joanna opened in town. If you visit the Silos, definitely make an effort to eat there–the food as amazing! Spring is such a nice time to go to Texas, it was sunny and a little bit cool, and there were lots of trees and flowers already in bloom. We drove up to Ennis, TX to find some bluebonnets as well. See some photos from our trip below…
Over Thanksgiving, we visited my sister and her family in Jordan. Nathan and I had gone there the first year we were married, but it was really special to bring Noelle this time. Her cousins loved seeing her and and it was great to all be together over the holidays, which doesn’t happen frequently.
The first day trip we took was to the ruins at Heshbon, a biblical site where the Israelites battled the Amorites. This time in Jordan, we really focused on seeing more sites from the Bible, which we found to be so interesting.
The next two nights we stayed at Tala Bay on the Red Sea, which was about a 4 hour drive from Amman. The water was beautiful there and with it being November, the temperature was perfect. As you look across the water, you see Israel on the other side. We also saw some beautiful tropical fish.
We came back to Amman for Thanksgiving and had a big meal with some of my sisters friends. Brian made both turkey and duck!
On Friday, we went to visit the Jordan River and saw the site where Jesus was baptized. We also walked around the location that is now thought to be Sodom and Gomorrah in the Jordan Valley.
Our last day we travelled to the city of Um Qais which is where the Sea of Galilee is. There are also a lot of Roman ruins there. We ate at a really pretty restaurant there overlooking the valley and saw lots of beautiful old olive trees.
We had an incredible time overseas and Noelle did amazingly well, all things considered. It was definitely harder to travel so far with a little one but it was well worth it.
We took a weekend trip to the Gunnison area during October with our friends Mark and Ashley. We visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park as well as the Ouray Area. It was all so stunning…see some pictures below:
These two cities have been on my list of places to go for quite some time and they did not disappoint! Nathan was in a wedding in Greenville, SC labor day weekend so we decided to extend our travel for the week and make a trip out of it. After the wedding and visiting my brother for a day, we drove down to Savannah, Georgia. It was absolutely charming—Savannah has an old, historical feel and almost all the streets downtown are lines with huge trees covered in Spanish moss. Everywhere you walk it feels like you are in a tunnel of trees. Our first stop was Chippewa Square Park. (If you like movies, it is where Forrest Gump is filmed sitting on a park bench) It seemed like every couple blocks there was another little park or garden. Later that night we visited Tybee Island. Both the black and white lighthouse and the beach were beautiful. We saw the prettiest sunset and Noelle got to dip her toes in the ocean for the first time.
The next morning we visited Wormsloe Historic Plantation in Savannah, which I was probably the most excited about. This place has maybe one of the most iconic “tree tunnels” in the area. The humidity there was unreal though, as you can probably tell from my frizzy hair in the photos. It was actually a challenge to take photos there because the moisture in the air kept fogging up my camera lens. Nonetheless is was pretty impressive to see. We stopped at Forsyth Park before heading out of Savannah and driving up to Charleston. One the way we found a little roadside stand selling freshly picked grapes- literally the biggest grapes I had ever seen.
When in Charleston, we checked into our Air BnB and then walked into the historic downtown area. We walked through the Battery and White Point Garden and along Rainbow Row. Charleston is also very historical but is more colorful than Savannah was and a few less Spanish moss trees.
The next day we visited Ft. Sumter in the morning, where the first battle of the Civil War was fought. We rode a boat out to the Fort and did a tour there. Then we spent the afternoon at Sullivan’s Island Beach which was lovely. That night we visited Middleton Place along Ashley River Road, where a lot of historic plantations are.
Overall, the south was a lovely place to vacation/visit…We had a great time and can’t wait to go back!