travel

Going to the Chapel…. Hawaii!

August 29, 2014
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Marriage has been a hot topic in my family this year! Y’all know my excitement and have heard my engagement story, but I’ve been a bit less vocal about the other marriage we’ve got going on: my little sister!

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For those of you that don’t know, I have one younger sibling and she actually lives in Honolulu. She and her fiance were engaged last year, so we’ve spent the better part of 2014 planning her wedding! {Yet another reason that Will’s proposal shocked me: I assumed we would wait until after my sister’s wedding!} Planning stuff so far away has been stressful to say the least, but it’s all sorted. Her wedding is next weekend!

As for me? I’m headed out today for Hawaii! I’m flying into the tropical island a week early so we can spend this weekend taking care of business….like the bachelorette party and bridal shower! As Maid of Honor, I’ve been planning her bachelorette for weeks, but mostly because the time change and distance made planning an absolute nightmare! Hawaii is four hours behind us which makes calling a night club damn near impossible!

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Regardless, everything is sorted and I’m beyond excited to see my little sis get married. She is only two years younger than me, but I’ve always been super protective, and I even get a little teary as I think of her walking down the aisle. I have no idea how I will give my maid of honor speech without totally losing it; I mean, I cry at Hallmark commercials!

My parents and I are staying in a house on the North Shore during the week before the ceremony, and I’m not sure whether I’ll write anything or not. Chances are good that I will, simply because we may have some downtime and I’d love to share my tropical adventures with y’all! If I don’t reappear for a week or so, don’t panic—that just means the wedding went extra well!

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cycling

Pedaling Beyond My Doubts: Colorado Venus de Miles

August 27, 2014
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Y’all, voting is STILL going on for the USA Today’s Best Outdoor/Travel Blogger contest! I’m still in third place….but just barely! Voting continues through September 1, so I’d love your continued support to help keep me in the top three. Thank you again!

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Years ago, cycling was my jam. I pedaled 3,893 miles across the country {to be exact!} and could tackle daily century rides with 30# paniers like it was no big deal. It was what I did and truthfully, the sport always came easy to me.

Flash forward to the present and while cycling is still a hobby, my days spent on two wheels are few and far between. Gone are the days where I hit the road for hours on a Saturday morning or spend my Friday evenings hugging tight single track. There was no reason and no explanation; I love cycling, but I’m not as smitten as I once was. The endless road biking hours grew interminable and the mountain bike crashes continued to remind me of my mortality. Continue Reading…

gear

Gear Friday: The Good, The Great, and Not My Style

August 22, 2014
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We’ve chatted before and y’all know I have my toe pretty deep in the proverbial pond of the gear testing world. And while it clearly has its perks, the negatives do exist. Gear is expensive, regardless of the sport, so why waste money on something that isn’t going to make you happy?

Quite a few of you expressed interest in a “gear I’m not loving” post, and I am happy to oblige! However, here is the thing: there truly aren’t too many products that I abhor. Sometimes I will dislike the fit; other times, I am simply indifferent. In the end, I’m willing to share the good, the bad and the unnecessary in the hopes that you guys will trust my opinions the next time you fork over the cash for a pair of sneakers. Continue Reading…

#omniten

I Am #OmniTen: The Movie

August 20, 2014
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Remember way back in 2012 when I received the mysterious box from Columbia Sportswear, informing me that I was a part of their inaugural OmniTen?

{I can barely remember that far too.}

Since then, my journey with Columbia has been a whirlwind! First, we went to Havasupai for the Season #1 trip. I jumped off waterfalls, hiked into canyons, and most importantly, met the man I will marry. Continue Reading…

backpacking

Backpacking Tips for Beginners

August 18, 2014
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I wanted to say thank you to everyone who pledged their support to me for the USA Today “Best Hiking and Travel Bloggers” contest! I appreciate all of your votes more than you know. Voting is still happening so feel free to pop over and vote today!

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Learning to backpack is intimidating. Sure, enthusiasts will tell you “It’s easy!” and “People are so friendly!” And while that is all certainly true, it is tough to jump into a new sport while trying to muddle through the gear and the lingo, all while huffing and puffing and attempting to not get lost on the trail. Continue Reading…