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My Peaks of 2014 – Year in Review

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!  Wow, what a year – right?  For me, 2014 was a year of exciting highs, challenging lows and most of all big changes.  It was a year that seems to have flown by (wasn’t Christmas 2013 like a month ago?), but when looking back some of the things I experienced this year seem to have happened ages ago.  Can anyone else relate?

Since we talk travel here at Peaks and Passports, come with me as I recap the highlights of my 2014 travel experiences…

It all started in January with a fabulous getaway to Telluride, CO.  I had the pleasure of staying at a true luxury hotel in one of my favorite towns in Colorado, plus finally skiing that amazing mountain.

revelation bowl telluride

Then, I spent most of February and March traveling back and forth between my home in Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona for work.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Phoenix.  In addition to making some new friends on my travels, I snuck in some gorgeous hikes amid even more beautiful sunsets.

Camelback at Sunset

And toward the end of my Arizona stint, I spent a truly fabulous girls weekend with my mom and sister in Scottsdale and Sedona.  In Scottsdale, we stayed in what is now one of my favorite hotels.

Hyatt Gainey Ranch

Then it was on to Sedona, which totally charmed me.  Between the ridiculous red rock views…

Sedona red rocks

Chapel of Holy Cross Sedona

… Delicious food, boutique shopping and friendly locals, we just loved the town.  Then we literally took it to a whole new level with a jaw-dropping hot air balloon ride.

Sedona hot air balloon ride

In between and after all of that Arizona sunshine, I managed to sneak in a truly spectacular ski season.  I soaked up glorious powder days and snowy shenanigans with my friends.

Beaver Creek

IMG_1051

After saying goodbye to ski season, I had a packed spring travel schedule.  I kicked it off the way I usually do, with a weekend getaway to visit my parents in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  There’s no better place to go after a long, cold winter!

Ft. Lauderdale

Then I headed off for a weekend in San Antonio, Texas, where I experienced the Riverwalk, saw the Alamo and ate lots of delicious food.

The Alamo

After returning from Texas, I headed north to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a friend’s wedding, where I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the city.  One of the highlights of the quick trip was an afternoon spent cycling around downtown on rented bikes. It was the perfect way to experience the city.

Nice Ride Minneapolis

Minneapolis sculpture garden

Then, the summer flew by in a flurry of trips back to Williamsburg for weddings…

Williamsburg Wedding

Outdoor concerts…

Vail Outdoor Concerts

And of course, plenty of hiking.

Vail Hike

Much to my own surprise, I even got back on my mountain bike for a few glorious rides.  Cheers to conquering fears!

Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Ride

My final big trip of the summer was to a ranch in Montana, where a group of friends and I celebrated a friend’s 30th birthday with a rodeo, hiking, hot springs and a couple of lazy floats down the Yellowstone River.

Montana rodeo

Summer bled into a busy fall, starting off with a mother-daughter weekend in Colorado Springs.  We stayed at the gorgeous Broadmoor hotel and hit all of the Springs highlights – Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak, Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center.

The Broadmoor hotel

Of course, I took advantage of my favorite hiking season and spent plenty of time frolicking among the golden aspens.

Vail Fall Colors

One of my best friends came to visit with a great group of girls and I had the best time hanging out with them and doing fun touristy things, like riding the gondola to the top of Vail mountain for views like this.

Vail Fall Colors

While the weather was still warm, I visited a friend in Fort Collins for a fantastic bike and beer tour of the city.  Located less than 3 hours away, Fort Collins and its craft beer scene have been on my must-visit list for a long time.  Neither the location nor the brew disappointed!

Fort Collins Bike and Beer Tour

I took the (very) scenic route home from Fort Collins, meandering through Rocky Mountain National Park by way of the town of Estes Park.  It was a fantastic, photogenic road trip that I should really share more about.  Soon, I promise!

Longs Peak from RMNP

Autumn in my world was dominated by the longest stretch I’ve spent outside Colorado since moving here 7 years ago – my whirlwind East Coast tour.  I spent time in my hometown of Williamsburg, visited my sister in Great Falls and roamed around Washington, D.C.

Great Falls, Virginia

Great Falls, Virginia

Then, I visited one of my best friends and her adorable family in central Virginia, where we spent a gorgeous day tasting wine in the mountains.

Virginia Wine Tasting

Next it was up to New York City for a fun and fast-paced girls weekend.

New York Rooftop Bar

Followed by a weekend in Boston with my dad, where we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday and toured Fenway Park, among other things.

Fenway Park

From Boston, I headed to Saint Augustine, where I stayed with one of my best friends and fell in love with the gorgeous Florida city.

Saint Augustine, Florida

Leaving St. Augustine, I drove straight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where I spent a few weeks studying and lounging on the beach.  It wasn’t a horrible way to spend early November.  Not horrible at all.

Ft. Lauderdale Sunset

Then, I finally headed back to Colorado, where I enjoyed some truly fantastic early-season skiing.  It was some of the most fun and the best conditions I’ve experienced in ages.

Vail

Now, I’m wrapping up a relaxing holiday spent with family and friends in Virginia.

Williamsburg Christmas

If I’m allowed to measure the past year based on the quality, quantity and variety of travel I accomplished, then I’ll call 2014 a total success.  But as always, I’m looking forward to making the year to come even better than the one I’m leaving behind.  Here’s to a happy, healthy new year filled with joy, beauty and adventure!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2015 7:19 am

    What a great year! Happy new year and hope 2015 is just as good for you.

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