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Colorado Springs- 2021 Family Vacation

colorado garden of the gods photographer

On March 7th of this year, I was on the couch scrolling through cheap flights online. I was SO tired of just wishing Roman and I could travel together. There was always something that made us stop and say, “we should probably wait until *fill in the blank*. So right then and there, without even thinking, I booked it. Two round trip tickets to Denver, Colorado in just a month. I called Roman who was at work and told him to make sure he’d be off… Thank GOD he was excited and not mad at me. My heart was literally pounding when I dialed his number. Spontaneity is NOT a word I use to describe myself. I’m a planner; I love my routines, and most of all, I love my bed. So this was huge.

In the next few days I remembered that my cousin just moved to Colorado Springs and had been dying for us to visit her. I seriously had completely forgotten about this when I booked the flight, but when I remembered, I was STOOOOKED. We have always lived on opposite coasts, but my cousins are some of my best friends. So I texted Emily to let her know we were coming, and she ever so graciously freaked out with me and immediately offered their spare room. A few days after that I booked a rental car and a AirBnb for half of the trip so Roman and I could have some couple time (it was the week of our one year anniversary), made accommodations for our sweet puppers, kitty, and chickens, and we were ready!

Why Colorado?

One of my biggest business goals is to transition in to destination elopements, so I intentionally picked Colorado knowing this is somewhere I’d like to build a portfolio. I began searching elopement Facebook groups for models, but everything fell through. But GET THIS!! As I was mailing out a client gift to a couple who had just booked me for their wedding in Virginia next year, I realized their address said DENVER, CO. I remembered they didn’t book an engagement session with me because they hadn’t yet moved to Virginia. I got to meet up with them at Red Rock Ampitheatre for a couples session less than a week before they made their move to the east coast. Is that meant to be, or what?!

Guys. Book. The. Trip. Do it. Do it now. Don’t think, just do. (Dwight Schrute, anybody?) There was not a single thing Roman and I didn’t love about this trip (except maybe Spirit airlines, but hey, they advertise as the bare fare, so what did we expect).

When we first arrived at the airport VS when we were waiting during our 6 hour layover in Florida.

When picking up our rental car at midnight, we had to wait so long that they gave us a free upgrade to a 2020 Camaro, by the way.

Day One: Big Ass Biscuits and Family Time

On the first day we spent some quality time with my cousin and her boyfriend, which started with the best breakfast biscuit I’ve ever had at Denver Biscuit Co.

That face is a family talent and tradition.

The next day Roman and I checked into our AirBnb, which I will link here. It was… amazing. Wonderful. Relaxing. Our host Marianne made us feel SO at home. We would wake up in the mornings to mountain views and the sound of her singing The Grateful Dead in the backyard. The hot tub was right off of our room and the entire place was fully decorated with string lights and whimsical 70’s everything.

This is the only picture I got because I literally just did not want to pick up my phone while we were there!

That afternoon, Roman and I ventured to Garden of the Gods. This place is completely free to the public and it is such a treasure. Just…. look.

Oh, and I couldn’t forget that we also at some point in this day got THE BEST Italian food we’ve ever had at Paravicini’s, which was on Diners, Drive In’s, and Dives! Honestly, even the Carl’s Jr. was better than the Hardee’s we get in Virginia. That shit SLAPPPPEDDD on the way back from the airport at 2am.

On the last day, Roman and I got massages and then spent some final quality time with the cous before heading to Denver for our couples session!

Couples Session at Red Rocks

Okay, I truly did not even know Red Rocks was in Colorado. We met up with our couple there for their engagement session on our way to the airport the very last day. Doing a couples session in a location like this has been a dream of mine for YEARS. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It was even worth being completely winded from climbing up what felt like hundreds of flights of stairs. The altitude there is NO JOKE.

For a little video recap of the trip, check out the vlog on my Youtube channel, here!

Roman and I had SUCH a freaking blast. I wish I got more pictures, but truly we were just in the moment. Normally trips exhaust me, but since we didn’t plan a damn thing and just planned each day as it came, we came home feeling so rejuvenated. Nothing but amazing food, laughs, views, & fresh air. We could not have asked for a better way to spend one year of marriage!!

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I’m a wedding, elopement, and portrait photographer serving Richmond, Virginia and beyond. With my interest in photography beginning way back in middle school, I’ve found my passion in people- documenting people’s important seasons of life in a way that feels like a fond memory.

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