I think I'd like to just do a summary of all the travel Joe and I did last summer and winter; it was a pretty spectacular year of travel for us both. In previous years, I was able to go on travels on my own a few times, but Joe had to stay in Houston and work. However, in 2017, Joe found ways to get out of town too, and I have to say I really love traveling with him. Sometimes when I'm on my own, I tend to get caught up in doing mundane things, like finding the nearest Starbucks ASAP. Joe is great for an adventure, because he keeps the group moving; we seem to pack in so much more to a day if he's there.
First, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park, along with Joe's parents, to view the Great American Solar Eclipse (or so it was called last year). This wasn't a location that would have totality, but it was something like 95%, and we made plans way too late to try to be in totality's path. We really just used it as an excuse to be out in some of the grandest scenery, hiking several trails and seeing lots of wildlife.
Then in November, we flew back out to Salt Lake City, where we'd been only a half year prior. We spent the first half of it with our good friends and their young daughters, one of which who kept calling me her family and made my heart swell each time! The second half was spent in Moab with my parents-in-law and my sister- and brother-in-law (the ones whose wedding I photographed only a couple months earlier). We finally went to Arches National Park, but the real star hike of the trip was at Dead Horse State Park. I highly recommend going there if you're in the Moab area!
Then, we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Seattle! Joe and I are big Seattle Seahawks fans (I may have mentioned that before...), and it was fun to be in town on a home game weekend. We used the excuse to spend as much time as possible on and near the water and at Pike Place Market. It was a whirlwind experience to just fly across country for a weekend, but it really suits me, and I'd like to do more of that.
Finally, after spending four out-of-town trips with my husband's family, we finally went to New Mexico for Christmastime. We saw a couple spectacular sunsets—one should expect no less than that during a week in the Land of Enchantment—and also celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in the mountains, saw good friends, and finally hiked the Alkali Flats trail at White Sands National Monument. I always feel fortunate to return to such a magical place and call it "home," and feel a twinge of regret when I think of how, growing up, I just wanted to leave. Now, I can't seem to wait until my next trip there.