The Continental Divide at Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass, Continental Divide, Colorado
On our way back to Denver from Breckenridge, CO we took the scenic route to stop at Loveland Pass. 360 degree views of mountain peaks from ~12,000 feet above sea level provides a panoramic view of the Continental Divide. The drive up was amazing, rising 2000 feet along hairpin turns - I am glad we did the drive during the summer!
Loveland Pass, Continental Divide, Colorado
Loveland Pass, Continental Divide, Colorado

I took this video walking up the stairs for a full view above it all.
video

All photos by me.

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Family fun in Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge, CO mountain peaks

We spent 5 days in Breckenridge, CO, or Breck as it's affectionately called, to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday over the July 4th holiday weekend. We rented a gorgeous house overlooking the mountains just a few blocks from Main Street. The house was in a great location, walking distance to everything, with amazing views - sunrise to sunset. My step-siblings live in Colorado so it was so much fun spending a few days all together with my little nephews (2 months & 3 years old)! I didn't grow up skiing so this was my first time in a real mountain town. 9,600 feet above sea level, I woke up each morning with a majestic view of the peaks, some even with snow!
Breckenridge peaks
Breckenridge CO sunset

One day, we explored the town heading up the gondola stopping at Peak 8 for the alpine slide & mini golf.
Breck gondola

The next day, DC, my brother & sister in law and I hiked to Mohawk Lakes. Relaxing lakeside ~11,000 feet up made up for the tough rise in elevation - that's me on my "relaxing rock" aka trying not to pass out (ha).
I brought my Polaroid Snap camera which was fun for taking pictures on our hike and throughout the week.

For the Fourth, the day started with watching a parade down Main Street and ended with taking in the fireworks from our house deck. 👌
We mostly grilled & ate in at our house but did have dinner at Blue River Bistro (delicious - great menu), lunch at Breckenridge Tap House (tacos and beer!), and brunch at BoLD (unique menu, wish we had gotten another meal there). For shopping, definitely stop into Marigolds Farmhouse Funk & Junk and sister stores Ruby JaneValleygirl Boutique on Main Street.

And yes, my mom got us matching t-shirts :)

Thanks, Breck! We'll be back!

For more follow along #eastmeetswestinBreck.

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Breckenridge Bound!

This weekend, this crew is Breckenridge bound for the 4th holiday week! My mom celebrated her 60th birthday last month and we are all celebrating together for 6 days in Colorado.  She rented an amazing ski house in Breck - would love your recommendations on what to do, restaurants to try, shopping, etc. if you've been before!

I'll share pics when we get back. The weather is looking beautiful - sunny & low 70s during the day and cool 50s-60 at night. Here is some of what I am packing:
Breckenridge trip


blue jean jacket | S'well bottle | aviator sunglasses | sneakers | Polaroid Snap | convertible bag (bought for the honeymoon and this is such a handy bag to have!) | floral day to night dress

What are your holiday plans? Happy early 4th!

Top photo from our rehearsal dinner last September by Hello Love Photography.


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Hawaii Honeymoon: 3 Days in Kauai

Kauai Honeymoon itinerary and tips
For the second stop on our honeymoon in Hawaii (revisit Honolulu here), we stayed on the east side of Kauai in a little town called Kapaa. To save a little, we decided to Airbnb on this island and found a gem of a condo right on the beach in Kapaa. We were so happy with our decision on the Airbnb and location as it was easy to travel north and south to the towns & beaches around the island.
Day 1 
After taking the tiniest Island Air plane from Honolulu, we landed at Lihue airport on Kauai. We got our convertible rental car - so fun! - and since we had a few hours before chick-in at the Airbnb, we drove up to the north shore of Kauai to explore Princeville. Our first pit stop was Kilauea Lighthouse that is known for all the red-footed booby birds. There were so many - it was amazing! It's hard to tell in the photos but if you see a white speck, it's a bird!

We stopped at a few other spots, like the St. Regis Princeville, then landed in the cutest town, Hanalei, for a delicious lunch at Bubba Burgers. Funnily enough, one of the owners is from the Boston area so there were Boston sports paraphernalia (especially Red Sox) inside the restaurant. We each had a cheeseburger and split the chili cheese fries. YUM. It was perfect fuel for walking around and window shopping in the town (mom, if you're reading this, let's recreate that hanging shell piece!).
Driving back to Kapaa, we realized how different Kauai felt to Honolulu - so much more of the "Hawaii" that we had in mind. Due to the rainforest environment, we had to stop a couple times and raise the convertible roof for a quick 2-5 minute rain shower to pass! #tourists - ha!

Checking into our Airbnb, we were thrilled with the location to the beach, laid back pool area, and cozy condo with a great view! After sitting on that piece of driftwood below to watch the sunset (#nofilter), we had our first dinner in Kauai at Hukilau Lani which was walking distance. I am going to do a post on the food we ate in Kauai.

Day 2
We were up early, so went to a local pub to watch the Patriots game at 7am our time. It was great because the bar is BYOB and serves breakfast starting at 7. It was fun to watch with a bunch of football fans from the mainland, and we had the whole day ahead of us when the game ended! After the game, we took a drive to Waimea Canyon. This is essentially the "Grand Canyon" of Kauai. The views were amazing as we headed up to 5000 ft. above sea level. The terrain, vegetation and colors changed so much as we drove...
Kauai red dirt falls
Kauai waimea canyon lookout

Gotta love roadside "sweets" + beautiful flowers...
We drove through Kokee State Park to see the Napali Coast at the Kalalau Lookout. It's one of the wettest places on earth, so sadly we didn't get the best views because of the clouds but still beautiful. The fog and mist created a very ethereal feeling. The temp on the drive up in elevation changed dramatically; thanks, hubby, for the sweatshirt! After we sampled some fresh coconut water - delicious.

After we drove back down to sea-level (note: if you get car sick or motion sick, highly recommend taking a Dramamine or something similar for the windy ride down. I didn't and it was brutal. No pics from the ride down because I had my eyes closed and doing deep breathing.) and took a swim at Poipu Beach Park - click to see that post.
Kauai Poipu beach

Driving home we went through this really cool tree tunnel - I tried to snap a pic while we were driving!
That night was dinner at Lava Lava Beach Club, also next to our Airbnb and right on the beach. The food was so good, and again, more to come on the food in another post! It's a fun vibe with live music, a big bar, and beach games like Jenga and corn hole. One cute thing they did with the check was give us a postcard that we could write to ourselves and they would send out (flash forward to being home and a week later the post card arriving - we were so nostalgic!). We ended this night by their bonfire with a drink.
Kauai Lava Lava Beach Club

Day 3
Our last full day in Kauai we did a Kayak Adventures tour that took us kayaking on the Wailua River and then short hike through the rainforest to "secret waterfall" aka Uluwehi Waterfall. It was 2 miles of kayaking each way and 1 mile hike each way. We had a blast and were exhausted afterwards too. Hiking through all the mud (as you'll see below), sore legs and arms, some bumps and bruises, were worth it for the experience and swimming in the waterfall. Highly recommend doing this if you go to Kauai! It was reasonably priced too - and includes lunch. These photos are all slightly ridiculous & blurry because I took them with the GoPro so had no idea where I was pointing the camera half the time (LOL) and there are water drops on the lens! #cestlavie
After the kayak & hiking tour, we relaxed a bit by the Airbnb pool then shopped a bit in Kapaa town. So many cute shops - definitely grab coffee at Java Kai and shop next door at Shipwrecked Kauai. Dinner that night at Jo2 Restaurant (again to come in a separate post but I still think of this lobster ramen dish - as delicious as it was beautiful) was a perfect cap to our time in Kauai.
Kauai Jo2 Restaurant lobster ramen

My only regret, and I use that word very loosely because ultimately I love everything we did, I wish we had driven to the west coast and seen the Napali Coast from Polihale State Park. Guess we have a reason to go back. :)

This was the sunrise from our Airbnb the morning we left. 

Take a look at our time in Honolulu and the North Shore of Oahu and follow along #alohacovals on Instagram. Next stop, Maui! 

All photos by me.

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