Hello again, and welcome back to the year in review! Because I suuuucked at blogging this year, I have a bit of backlog, and so I've broken the year up into three sections. This is August.
August was epic. Early in the month, we left DC for a whirlwind, three-week family tour. Our first stop was Colorado, where Ross' sister, Charlotte, and her husband, Jeff, took us on all of the adventures, beginning with a hike up to Sky Pond.
(Note: I handled the altitude badly and spent the whole week exhausted and out of breath, but you'd never know it from these pictures, and my smiles are genuine. That's how much fun we had)
A sky pond. Not the sky pond.
(Same hike, different hair)
Siblings and the sky pond.
Before I trip I told Jeff and Charlotte that all I wanted was to see a moose in the wild.
We also saw a bear!!!!!!
We stayed a night in a beautiful lodge just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. This was the view from our cabin, more or less. Yeah, I know. It was ridiculous.
We also took a ride on this exceedingly long,
We also spent some time in and around Vail, including a spontaneous hike up, up, up onto a mountain above Independence Pass.
One of our last days in Colorado we hiked up a bit into Maroon Bells...
where we marveled at aspen groves...
and pika (pikas?)...
and where I took approximately 1,000 photos of this guy.
Honestly, we've never had such an adventurous, well-fed (did I mention Charlotte is an amazing cook?), fantastic trip. Thanks Charlotte and Jeff. We can't wait for Iceland!!!!
After Colorado, we flew from the mountains to the beach for my family's reunion. My cool aunt Bevan picked us up from the airport and drove us up the coast to the beach house we'd all rented, stopping at the Getty Villa for lunch on the way (obviously! As one does :)
While we were staying at the coast house my beloved friend Courtney came up to visit! We spent a fabulous day hanging out in Santa Barbara, soaking up the sun, some mission history, and each other's company.
I loooooove this girl (and I can't wait to see her in Boston!).
The rest of the time at the beach house was spent playing games, watching movies, kayaking, and hanging out with my lovely, talented, delightful, crazy family.
After the beach house, we rented a car and drove up the coast to Sacramento to spend some time with my dad and stepmom. We celebrated Ross' birthday with dinner and a kayaking venture on the American River, all of which I completely failed to take pictures of. But here's a dog and a rabbit.
And then, like all good thing, vacation came to an end (a bit quicker for Ross than for me; I stayed with my dad for a while). I came back to some pretty serious stress; my qualifying exam, the first major hurdle towards my PhD.
I passed :)
Stay tuned for the rest of the year, and thanks again to everyone who made August such a month of adventure.