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My “Peaks” of 2013 – Year in Review

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!  If you’ve stopped by this little blog at all during the last year, you know that it’s been a pretty darn fun, adventurous and active 2013 for me.  And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  In the nostalgic mood that this time of year inspires, let’s recap some of the highlights peaks of 2013 for me and Peaks and Passports.

In January, I did plenty of skiing.  The hands-down highlight was a visit from my friends Melissa and Jon.

Epic Mix

I also experienced a blog-related milestone, when Beaver Creek Resort shared my recap of their Women’s Social Tour on their Facebook page and I topped 200 views/day for the first time ever!

Epic Beaver Creek Womens Social Tour

In February, I skied a lot more and enjoyed myself way too much on a scenic road trip for work.


back bowls woo hoo

March was a big travel month for me, with back-to-back trips to Portland, Oregon and Carmel, California.

In Portland, the boyfriend and I visited friends, where we hiked around gorgeous waterfalls

Multnomah Falls outside of Portland, OR.

Multnomah Falls outside of Portland, OR.

Ate ourselves silly between the donuts, sushi, biscuits and brunch

Maple Bacon Bar

My Maple Bacon Bar from Voodoo Donuts was well worth the wait!

Epic chicken and waffles at The Screen Door.

Epic chicken and waffles at The Screen Door.

We went to a fun concert in Eugene, Oregon and partook in some delicious wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.

White Rose Pinot

After a whirlwind weekend in Portland, we took it easier when we visited my aunt Karen in the gorgeous Carmel Valley.  We kicked off that trip with a breathtaking drive along Big Sur.

Big Sur beach

We tasted some more wine in a truly gorgeous setting.

Georis Wisteria

Also in Carmel, I went for a lovely run, an even-more-lovely walk along the beach, and got sick as a dog while whale watching.

The highlight of my April was when my boyfriend whisked me away for a total surprise birthday getaway to the small town of Paonia, Colorado.  He didn’t even tell me where we were going until we were halfway there and I loved the surprise.  We stayed at the most adorable B&B, explored, drank wine and relaxed.

Fresh and Wyld

Then, he further surprised me by suggesting a hike in nearby Black Canyon National Park.  Hiking is one of my favorite activities and I’d been talking about visiting the Black Canyon for years.  It did not disappoint!

Black Canyon view from Green Mountain

Black Canyon

April also marked the end of a fantastic ski season, including a ridiculously fun (and just plain ridiculous) Closing Day and a bonus weekend when the mountain re-opened following a big storm.

Closing Day Ski

Gondola Powder

I also published my 30 Before 30 list and have been slowly chipping away at it ever since.  I love a short-term bucket list for inspiration!

In May I escaped mud season to visit my parents in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hammock

After a long, snowy winter, Stan and I enjoyed plenty of beach time, catching up with my family, great food and even stand-up paddle boarding.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Pelican Bar

Paddle Boarding

At the end of May, I ran the Bolder Boulder, easily the most fun race in which I’ve ever participated.

Bolder Boulder 2013

June was another incredible month, both at home and on the road.  I kicked it off with a mother-daughter trip to Chicago. Along with another mother-daughter pair, my mom and I ate delicious goodies like deep-dish pizza, explored the city

Chicago Lake View

Took an Architectural Tour of Chicago by boat…

Chicago Skyline

And most importantly, we watched The Rolling Stones perform the concert to top all concerts.

Mother-Daughter Rolling Stones

Later that month I was lucky to attend fantastic concert #2 VIP-style, when my friend got a few of us special access to see Tim McGraw and my friends in Love and Theft while leaning right against the stage.

Love and Theft

Tim McGraw

On a less musical note, in June I also went for one of my favorite hikes in recent memory through fields of wildflowers.

Stag Gulch Wildflower Meadow

Stag Gulch Meadow

July started with a beer and wine festival right in my own back yard.

GRB Saison at Reds Whites and Brews

Just a couple of days later, I took off for a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina to reunite with my three best childhood friends.

Best Friend Beach Weekend

Sunset Nags Head Beach

There was a lot of sunshine, silliness, reminiscing and beach walking.

Later that month, I took my first hut trip.  I joined a group of friends for a weekend at a hut high in the mountains above Vail that was one of the most beautiful experiences of my year, hands-down. (Confused? See: So, What’s a Hut Trip?)

Fowler/Hilliard Hut - 10th Mountain Division Huts

Just picture it: jaw-dropping sunsets and sunrises, plenty of hiking, campfires, s’mores and a few adult beverages.

Fowler/Hilliard Hut Campfire

Mountain Sunrise

Sunset Hike Summit

August brought my family’s annual trip to visit me in Colorado.  We spent the week when they were here eating at fabulous restaurants, hiking and watching fabulous performances.

Family at Grouse on the Green

Vail hike

Few things make me happier than having my favorite people in my beloved town during the best month of the year.  I’m already looking forward to next August!

In September, Stanley and I took our longest trip of the year to Boston and Cape Cod.  We loved Boston even more than we expected to.  Our days were packed between a Duck Tour, a visit to the Sam Adams Brewery,  a Red Sox Game and a romantic date night in the North End, among other adventures.

Sam Adams Brewery Tour

Fenway Park

We also jetted out to the suburbs to visit my Nana, who I don’t see nearly enough.

Nana and Me

From Boston we headed for a relaxing few days on Cape Cod.  We stayed in Chatham, where we enjoyed long beach walks, yoga on the beach and some delicious dining.

Chatham Lighthouse Beach

Cocktails at Chatham Bars Inn

We also spent a memorable day soaking up quirky Provincetown.  If we make a return-trip to the Cape, this is where I’d love to stay.


October is typically a quiet month here in Vail, but mine was anything but.  I logged plenty of spectacular fall hikes.

Maroon Bells

The day I spent hiking in the Maroon Bells Wilderness near Aspen this fall was one of the most beautiful of my life.

After enjoying a relaxing luxury stay-cation, I hit the road later in the month for a camping trip in Moab, Utah.  It was my first time in this stunning area and only my second camping trip ever.  In less than 48 hours, I went for a moonlight hike in Arches National Park and explored Canyonlands National Park.  

Moab Sunrise

Delicate Arch in moonlight

Murphy's Point trail Canyonlands National Park

I finished off the month by spending Halloween in Vegas.  It was a ridiculous, over-the top weekend.

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods had a great Halloween.

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods had a great Halloween.

Night out Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas

After we returned from Vegas, things finally quieted down a bit for the month of November.  I scooted home for a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and otherwise took it pretty easy.


December marked the return of ski season with some wonderful early-season conditions.

Sparkly Snow Vail

I ended the year with a wonderful trip home for the holidays in Williamsburg, Virginia, including my favorite holiday tradition of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens

It probably goes without saying by this point (if you’re still even reading… I got a little long-winded there!), but 2013 was a truly a fantastic year for me.  Reading back through my adventures, I literally can’t believe the year I’ve had.  I am so unbelievably fortunate to have spent another wonderful year with people who I love, exploring beautiful places.  Thanks for sharing my adventures – here’s to an amazing 2014!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2014 8:47 am

    Happy New Year!

  2. January 1, 2014 11:24 am

    Happy New Year! You really did do a lot of amazing trips didn’t you? Here’s to a great 2014!

  3. January 3, 2014 4:00 am

    What a fantastic year – here’s to more of the same in 2014 – Happy New Year!


  1. Top Posts of 2013 | Peaks and Passports

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