I feel like I should start this post by writing: “And just like that, I was 40.”
It’s what almost everyone says about turning 40, but it doesn’t actually feel that way. On the one hand yes, I feel like I turned 21 just yesterday. But on the other hand … holy hell a lot of work has gone into reaching this decade!
Between 30 and 40 I became a whole new person. I entered into my first year of marriage, started my business and moved across the country. I added countries and states and continents to my travels, bought a house, sold a house, bought another one. I had two miscarriages and three babies. I lost and gained friends. I lost my Mom.
It’s been a ride, friends!
Anyway, all of this is to say, entering my 40s does feel like a milestone, but not in a “oh my God I’m so old!” way. More in a, “Wow, that was a whirlwind. I wonder what’s next?!” kind of way.
So to kick off this new and exciting decade, I thought it would be nice to celebrate in a place that’s been on my Bucket List since I wrote a geography report about it in 8th grade: Glacier National Park.
And I was right — she did not disappoint.
Although traveling at the end of March/early April meant that most things (restaurants, hotels, sections of the main road) would be either closed or covered in snow, it also meant that we literally had the entire place to ourselves. It was magical, friends. When I tell you the park was our playground, what I mean is that we probably saw about a dozen people the entire time we were there, and the majority of those were on the final day when we visited one of the most popular lakes in the entire park.
We’ve already made plans to go back when the weather is nicer, now that we got to have our initial trip all to ourselves.
Here’s a little bit of what we got up to on my 40th birthday trip.
Day 1: Arrival
We didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon on our first day, which was a nice way to ease into the trip.
We knew we wanted to get up early on Friday to start the exploring, so after dinner we hit the hay (the girls did enjoy their loft beds in this Airbnb, that’s for sure!) and called it a night!
Day 2: East Glacier
On our first full day in the park, we hit the road! We were staying near the West Glacier entrance, but we wanted to head over to the East side to check out Two Medicine Grill for breakfast on our way to St. Mary Lake.
Day 3: Polebridge Mercantile
On our second day in the park we traveled over dirt roads and through rivers (basically) for … HUCKLEBERRY BEAR CLAWS!
It was honestly a good day, friends, filled with Facetimes and family and fun and Huckleberry things. I felt very loved and special on this day, and there wasn’t anything else I could have possibly wanted.
Oh, Montana, you stole my heart. This was the trip of a lifetime, and I’m so happy I got to spend it with my crew.
On Monday it was …
That was my 40th birthday adventure in a nutshell, friends. I hope you enjoyed following along.
I can’t wait to see where my 40s take me in this crazy beautiful world, and I can’t wait to bring you along.
Happy Thursday, my friends! The above photo perfectly encapsulates what you should expect when heading to the Colorado mountains for a spring break that takes place during the third week of March.
Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of snow!
I’ll start by saying this: I wasn’t into this trip. I mean, I planned this trip, don’t get me wrong. When I knew the girls had some time coming up for break, but that Chris wouldn’t be able to take time off from work, I knew that getting out of our house, even for just a couple of days, would be a necessity.
What I didn’t count on was a massive storm heading in for the two days we would be in Grand Lake, and the absolute FOMO I would have from watching our friends head off to sunny and fabulous locales, like Hawaii and Colombia.
I mean … how do you compete with Hawaii? Or Colombia?
I decided you don’t. Instead, you lean into the snowy Xanadu, buy all the hot chocolate, wine and comfort food you can get your hands on, and decide to make the most of it.
Or at least, I tried. We stayed in this tiny cabin which, while appealing, is a bit close quarters for a family of five, during a snow storm, while one parent is still trying to get some work done.
Still, we absolutely made the most of it. At the end of the day, I’m so glad we got up to the mountains and spent a couple days in the fresh air. Here’s what we got up to!
Day 1: Our Arrival
We arrived after dark on Monday after making a pit stop in Winter Park for dinner at Hernando’s. Even in the dark, you could tell from the outside that the cabin would be charming. (And that this trip would be … ahem … an adventure!)
Day 2: Grand Lake Adventures
Oh, and we also had to get our car towed out of our driveway when it got stuck on ice.
Never a dull moment, friends.
Day 3: Rocky Mountain National Park … and SNOW!
After our early morning snowcapades, we loaded up the car and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park and the visitor center.
At first we thought the visitor center was closed because of how absolutely deserted the area was, but luckily it was open (guess we were the only intrepid blizzard travelers), and it provided us with about 45 minutes of activity, which was priceless. (Insert exasperated/exhausted face here.)
We wanted to try for a short hike after the visitor center, but it had started snowing pretty heavily again by then, so we scrapped that idea and opted for lunch in the town, instead.
Lunch was at Sagebrush BBQ & Grill, which was delightful, and I would highly recommend (as would Emilia)!
Back at home, the girls spent our final afternoon riding sleds and climbing up to the roofs of the cabins because THAT’S HOW TALL THE SNOW WENT.
After one final night in our tiny cabin we were up and at ’em at 5 so we could get home in time for Chris to start his work day. Grand Lake, you ended up being a gem, despite my initial hesitation 😉 I’m so glad we went.
And that was our trip, friends! Next weekend if my birthday (!), and we’re off again, this time to tick off a bucket list adventure that I’ve had since an 8th grade report. Any guesses?!
Happy Monday, friends! We celebrated the holiday weekend with a visit from one of my oldest friends and her husband and kids. Another one of my high school friends moved to the area recently, and this little mini-reunion between the three of us — along with my kids getting to hang out with Faye’s kids — was everything my soul needed.
What’s a trip to Australia without a proper visit to the beach?!
The final leg of our Australian holiday journey was a trip to Forster, the beach where Chris almost every post-Christmas holiday with his family and two groups of family friends growing up.
But before we headed to the beach, we flew from New Zealand to Sydney and hopped right quick on a train to catch up with the kids in Circular Quay and take some necessary touristy shots of the quintessential Aussie sites:
We were also finally able to catch up with Chris’ grandmother — and all of his other family members on his mom’s side — after missing them on Christmas when Nannan got Covid. Thankfully she was doing much better, and getting everyone together before heading off to the beach was absolutely the best.
We decided to head straight from dinner to Forster to make the most out of our few days left. That meant a three hour drive, but the girls did incredibly well, and Chris and Vince volunteered to take ALL THREE with them so that Cath and I could drive and chat in silence.
I mean, how sweet is that?
We arrived after dark, obviously, but once the morning hit, it wasn’t hard to see why Forster has meant so much Chris and his family. Here’s what we got up to during our few short days there.
And that was Forster, friends. It was the most amazing beach time, and I’m so glad we were able to make it work.
Then we were back in the car headed to our final night in Sydney before flying out the following morning.
It’s absolutely impossible to sum up what this trip and all of its parts has meant to us. I have 12,000 photos to relive the memories, of course, but I’m hoping to hold on to the feeling for as long as I possibly can.