memories, tavel

Vacation 2014

Two weekends ago Chris and I took a bit of a vacation hitting the black hills and Colorado in one fell swoop. With as crazy as things have been lately it was definitely needed! We have been looking forward to this trip for a while now and it was great to have a few days without moving and wedding planning. Here a little recap on our travels:


Chris, Patrick, Kayla (Chris’ brother & sister-in-law) and I spent a few days in the Black Hills. We know a couple that owns an Inn out in Hill City, SD so we stayed at their place again this year. We had a great time riding the motorcycles around the hills and through all the towns that were packed with people for Sturgis. The Black Hills are so gorgeous and the energy of everyone there was so exciting. We visited Deadwood, Sturgis, Keystone and Mt. Rushmore and drove through Spearfish Canyon, Custer Parks’ Wildlife Loop and Needles Highway. We put a couple hundred miles on the bike over the course of a couple of days but the pain my butt was in was totally worth it! 🙂

The four of us at Bridal Veil Falls
The four of us at Bridal Veil Falls
Jess and Chris with a wild donkey
Making friends with the donkeys on Custer Parks’ Wildlife Loop
Traveling through a tunnel on Needles Highway
Needles Highway, so cool!
Patrick and Kayla on the motorcycle
Patrick & Kayla waiting to go through a one lane tunnel

We had a fantastic time and we’re already planning our trip for next year.


After our weekend in the Hills wrapped up, Chris and I grabbed a rental car and headed to Denver. My cousin got married on the 4th and we were so excited to get to celebrate with the happy couple. My parents and sister were already out in Colorado having a blast so we met up with them and the rest of the family in time for a (very) quick nap, change of clothes and headed over to the wedding. Everything was perfect and Andrea was a beautiful bride. One of the most memorable moments of the night was right as my uncle and cousin started to walk down the aisle. The venue had a camera mounted to the building and they stream the wedding for those who can’t be there. Our Oma (grandma) was unable to make the trip and she was watching from her home in Iowa. As they started down the aisle, they both turned and waved at her. It was at that moment I could hear my whole family lose it and we were all crying through the rest of the ceremony.

Of course I was horrible and didn’t take any photos all night long but I was able to grab  few from my sister for this post.

Bride & Groom walking down the aisle
The new Mr. & Mrs.!
Chris & Jess at wedding reception
Chris & I at the reception

Tuesday we were able to spend a little time exploring before Chris, Stacy and I headed to the airport to catch a flight back to Sioux City (and then the two of them drove back to Des Moines).

The view from near Buffalo Bill’s grave
Chris & his giant peanut butter cup
Chris & his giant peanut butter cup

It was a lot of activity and traveling packed into a short amount of time but it was a very memorable trip and it’s left me looking forward to the next one… when ever that may be!

Have you taken any exciting trips this summer? 
Any vacations you are looking forward to? 


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