Rocky Mountain High [Denver, CO]

Part two of my adventures trekking around Colorado’s gorgeous landscape took my mom and me to some great heights – 14,115 feet to be exact – to Pike’s Peak.

My mom was the real MVP of this trip for handling the driving like a pro and staying calm while I was freaking out and imagining us careening over the edge of a cliff at every hairpin turn.

Thankfully, we did manage to make it to the pinnacle, and the views at the top were well worth the anxiety. It almost felt like being on another planet, both because of the moon-like topography on the summit and sweeping views of what seemed like the entire Earth down below.

The temperature drop at the top was also no joke. It was so cold, in fact, that my mom’s phone died within minutes of being out of the car. Worried about my camera functionality, I ran around the summit to take some shots as quickly as possible before we hopped back in the car and hightailed it back down the mountain (and by “hightailed,” I mean we drove really, really, slowly because tons of guard rails hadn’t magically popped up in the time we were at the top).

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Garden of the Gods [Denver, CO]

Warning: The images you’re about to see contain lots and lots of rocks. Trust me, they’re a lot prettier than that sounds.

Earlier this month, my mom joined me in Denver at the tail end of a business trip. With the hectic schedule of executing my organization’s annual meeting, I was grateful to extend my trip into vacation mode and enjoy some extra time exploring in and around great city of Denver. Craving some wilderness adventure, my mom and I rented a car one day and drove South to Colorado Springs to check out Garden of the Gods, a national natural landmark with incredible rust-colored rock formations (we also ended up at Pike’s Peak, but more to come on that in another post).

We hiked in, around, up and over all sorts of massive red rocks. The landscape was nothing like anything we have on the East Coast. There was a certain point that morning where we just sat on some giant boulders and took it all in with fellow visitors in silence. I could go on about magical this place was, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Weekend Getaway [Charlottesville, VA]

Taking advantage of the long weekend and the fact that my boyfriend, Griffin, is working in D.C. for the summer, we hopped in a car and drove down to Charlottesville for a few days of rest, relaxation and wine. I’m always amazed at just how many vineyards and wineries – not to mention cideries, distilleries and breweries! – there are in Virginia. And in this neck of the woods, you really can’t drive more than a few miles without passing one! We kicked off the weekend with a visit to Jefferson Vineyards, followed by a tour of the historic Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s former home. Day two was supposed to include a hike at Humpback Rock, but chilly, drizzly weather altered our plans a bit and we ended up checking out three more wine/cider spots instead – Albemarle Ciderworks, Pippin Hill Farms and King Family Vineyards. Tough back up plan, I know. Did I forget to mention the delicious Southern dinners we enjoyed at The Whiskey Jar and The Local? Needless to say, it was hard going back to the office on Tuesday.

Mom + Dad [Washington, DC]

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My parents came to visit me this weekend. It’s always great when family comes into town – it makes DC feel a little more like home. It’s especially fun when my parents visit because they used to live in this area when they were first married. Each time they’re here, I love showing them around the city from my point of view, hearing their stories of DC life “back in the day” and comparing notes about how much has changed over the years.

Big, bold colors – not to mention bright, sunny weather – seemed to be a common theme of our activities this weekend. From the psychedelic neon light show at the M83/Tame Impala concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion (my parents are big fans!), to the colorful WONDER exhibition at the Renwick Gallery, to the vivid murals decorating the outside of Union Market, plenty of vibrant photo ops abounded. Living in a city that’s more often “concrete jungle” than “urban oasis,” my eye is always drawn to the pops of color that crop up around town.

 

 

Family Visit [Ithaca, New York]

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First blog post on the new website, hooray! I’ll be using this site to showcase my photography, but also to get back into blogging (hit me up if you ever want to check out my amusing college and post-grad creative blogs). I thought I’d kick off my very first post with my recent trip to visit family in Ithaca, New York. We were up there to celebrate the life of my beloved grandfather, “Guamps,” who passed away in April. Though it was an emotional and difficult time – especially being in my grandparents’ house without Guamps’ laughter filling the rooms – it was nice to connect with my family and share so many wonderful stories and memories we’ve had with him. The last day I was there, the rainy weather finally lifted and my grandma, her new dog Rusty, my mom, sister and I took a walk around Taughannock Falls State Park. Rusty, in true Beagle fashion, was captivated by every twig/rock/leaf he came across and proved very challenging to photograph, but I managed to capture a few shots of him in action.