Inspiration for this post came from Cassie at Back to Her Roots. I love it so much it just may become a staple around these parts.
It’s been a few months since we’ve caught up. As we spot each other in the coffee shop, if I’m honest, I’m a little anxious at first, but quickly, we pick back up and it feels strangely familiar all at the same time. It’s been quite an eventful summer. I’d feel a bit embarrassed that I’d let so much time go by since we have connected. But you’re super gracious as you too know the feeling of busy summers and how you blink and they’re over. Here we are welcoming in fall with it’s bouquets of sharpened pencils, fresh school supplies and the like. Although it’s gonna be another hot one today, I’d have to go for a warm drink–I’ve been on a kick of Americanos after our trip out west this summer–more on this in a sec–smooth espresso, hot water and a dash of cream. Half caf for me–I’ve had some trouble sleeping lately so I’m trying to cut the caffeine. You looked shocked at this call but since I’m technically in my mid-30’s now that sleep monster has come out to rear it’s ugly head from time to time.
As we settle in outside with our beverages–it’s still early morning so avoiding the heat and feeling a bit like fall–I’d catch you up on our house renovations that happened over the summer. We packed up 90% of our house in May into boxes, bags and the like and relocated most of it into a POD we rented for 2 months, the kitchen or the entry way. In early June, we had drywall put up on the ceilings in our living room, dining room, master and upstairs bathroom and FINALLY those two guestrooms upstairs have all new drywall instead of nasty layer-upon-layer of wallpaper. I would tell you how we had to move out of the house for three weeks while the work was being done but that we have amazing friends who let us crash with them–thankfully being summer, they were out of town themselves for some of it. You would ask how I did with that–knowing my tendencies to like a schedule and routine. Of course, it was a challenge, but definitely aided in my ability to go with the flow.
I’d tell you how my spontaneous husband realized that he had a 5 day stretch of being off so we jetted down to Fort Walton Beach, FL for a quick weekend in early June. We got a great condo right on the beach that included chairs and an umbrella every day. We drove down on Friday, sat on the beach on Saturday and Sunday and drove back on Monday. You’d ask how in the world we made that work and I’d shrug and reply that we just know when we need some time away and Lew and I do really well in a car together so it wasn’t that bad. We did agree though that we could’ve done with one more beach day. We’d both chuckle and stare off for a bit….I imagine that you’re like me, pretending to be on the beach, the sound of waves and smell of saltwater in the air.
I’d share about moving back into our house right when our busy summer schedule started at work. We saw over 700 students being admitted into the business college this year so it was a super busy. One thing though that got me through was doing Jennie Allen’s Anything study with a group of gals at this here coffee shop on Wednesday mornings. Oh you think you saw us here once? Possible–we were here at 6:30 am so it was early but so so good. I’d share how grateful I am for the friendships and relationships that were formed from that. Im excited that we’re gonna start meeting again here soon.
I’d tell you about my crazy idea to go to Mexico for a week in late summer. I know. The beach got me itching for more. And I was listening to Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour one day on my drive home to our friends that we were staying with. She was interviewing Emily Lex and talked about no kids vacations and how they had used Air B&B in Mexico. Why had I not thought of that? So after some mad googling, I had quite a plan mapped out to show the beau when he got home from work the next day. $1500 for the Air B&B and flights. You would ask why we didn’t book right then and there. I would remind you of Lew’s schedule and that it takes some time to ask off work and that by the time he was guaranteed the days off in early August, prices had doubled.
So what did you do with that 10 days off, you’d ask.
What did we do? Where to begin.
Lew’s been itching for a few years to take me out west–I’d never been farther than Texas other than flying into Portland for a conference about 10 years ago. I’d admit that I was a little anxious when he started telling me all that he wanted to do in 10 days, but he just kept reminding me–we don’t have any pets or kids right now–this is the time to do it.
So we did.
We left August 3rd and returned August 12th. 10 Days. We went north through Chicago to Wisconsin, drove across Minnesota and South Dakota to the Badlands and Black Hills. I got to see Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, and venture driving after dark over a mountain in Wyoming. Yellowstone was amazing, but the Tetons took my breath away. We ate at this little brewery in Jackson Hole before driving back north through the other side of Yellowstone and stayed in Gardiner, Montana. We had a great breakfast in Bozeman, Montana, and then got to meet up with our friends Fred and Jenn in C’oeur d’Alene, Idaho for a late lunch. We stayed outside Seattle that night and then spent the entire day in downtown Seattle. It. Was. Amazing.
I’d tell you how from Seattle, we drove down to Astoria, Oregon and saw the Goonies House. I know–they closed it to the public just a couple WEEKS after we were there. So sad. We also drove down to Cannon Beach and saw Haystack Rock–that was really cool. I liked Cannon Beach a lot. From there we drove through the Oregon trees into Portland and had breakfast at Mother’s. We stayed in Eastern Oregon before driving back through southern Idaho and then into Utah–the beau’s favorite state. I can certainly see why. A quick stop in Salt Lake and then my first In & Out burger experience–so good–before heading into Moab. We saw the sunset at Canyonlands and then got up early the next morning to see the sunrise at Arches. I cannot put into words how beautiful and majestic Utah and these parks are.
I’d tell you about me realizing that we could go to Red Rocks and my tactics on convincing the beau to do so. It didn’t take much so we hauled it over the Rockies and stayed in West Denver. Damien Rice and Iron & Wine were AMAZING at Red Rocks. I’d tell you how it should be a bucket list item for everyone–simply amazing!
From there, we drove through Nebraska home instead of straight across Kansas–this got me a few more states to check off my list and we still got a bit of Kansas taking the loop around Kansas City. We had some great steak in Nebraska–that’s for sure! I was excited to have it for lunch when I got back to work that week.
After I finally stop gushing about my trip–I’d look over and you seem a little shell shocked. Yes, it was quite a whirlwind, but was so worth it. Let’s get together again and I’ll gladly share more details on our trip–whatever you want to hear-route, budget, favorite stops–you just let me know! Do we have more pictures you’d ask? Goodness–I’d totally forgot to pull out my phone and show you as I shared our route. I’d leave you with our hashtag #CracraftsGoWest where all our Instagram lovelies from our trip live.
And goodness–there’s still so much we didn’t get to cover–our amazing women’s gatherings at church, getting to go to some of the All Star Festivities at Great American Ball Park not to mention what all is on the horizon this fall–including finishing those home renovations. What a summer we had! Clearly we need to get together more than once every 4-5 months! Cheers sweet friend–let’s do this again soon!
Would love to know if we WERE sitting down for coffee what you’d like to know about our trip. I plan on a series of posts (coffee dates) going into more details, so let me know what you wanna hear about!