A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vacation! (All I ever wanted...) Part 1

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Paul and I have been planning our summer vacation for months, but I have been hesitant to write anything about it. After the Hawaii fiasco, I am trying not to set myself up for disappointment again. However, it’s impossible to not be at least a little excited… So I figured I’d share some of our plans for our vacation. This will probably be split up into two posts. I like vacation posts to be dramatic because we rarely do “big” stuff- although I want to change that!

What we have planned is the ULTIMATE Southwest Road Trip! We will fly into Denver and spend a night with Paul’s cousin. Then we will travel south to Colorado Springs for two nights there. After that, it’s a long trek to Santa Fe. After three nights in New Mexico, we will head up to the Grand Canyon for a night. For a complete change of scenery, we will stop by Vegas for a night. From there, we will drive to San Diego and spend three nights. Then we’ll hop a red eye home from the West Coast and have a beautiful reunion with the kitty cats. (OMG I MISS THEM ALREADY!!!!)

That probably sounds like a huge whirlwind and TOO MUCH DRIVING, but believe me, I thought this through. There are three “big” drives during the trip. The first is Colorado Springs to Santa Fe. We are actually taking the “scenic route” and making the drive more of an event than just a drive. I’ll explain more about that later. The next long drive (6 ish hours) is from Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon. I imagine we will get up early for this one so we can spend as much of the day at the Grand Canyon as possible. Las Vegas to San Diego will be about 4 hours, provided we leave Vegas at the correct time of day. This drive is described as really boring since it’s mostly dessert. But that is such a different landscape than what Paul and I are used to, so I am hoping we will be entertained for at least a little bit of the time. If not, I will make him listen to Serial with me. (Haha!) The long drives fall on Days 4, 7, and 9, so at least there is plenty of days to relax. Wait, who am I kidding? We never relax on vacation!

I’ll share some of the things we are most looking forward to during the first part of our trip. And of course, if you live in these areas or have traveled to these areas and have suggestions/tips for us, I would be more than happy to hear from you!


Colorado Exciting Activities

Pike’s Peak Cog Railway

We wanted to travel to the top of Pike’s Peak via the train when we were in Colorado last summer but we simply didn’t have the time. Luckily, we are able to go back and make it happen!

This photo of Pikes Peak is courtesy of TripAdvisor


The Incline

I got to see the incline when we hung out in Manitou Springs last summer, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. Not only was there the time factor, but there was also the knee factor. Running up a mountain on stair steps for almost a mile would have WRECKED my knee. It still may wreck it, but to a lesser degree. Ah, the twisted mind of a runner…


Photo of Manitou Springs Incline
This photo of The Incline is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Running in/around Denver

I have one afternoon available to run while we are in the city of Denver. I am thinking of doing William Frederick Hayden Park because it would be easy to get to. But if any of you Colorado peeps have a better suggestion, let me know! We hiked at Matthew Winters last year and I loved the foot hills!


Paul @ Matthew Winters last year. Look how perfect those hills are. 
They don't even look REAL!



Santa Fe Exciting Activities

The High Road from Taos to Santa Fe

One of the coolest things about Santa Fe is probably going to be driving there! We are taking the scenic high road from Taos to Santa Fe. It will be a long but beautiful trip. We plan to stop in little towns along the way and of course take tons of pictures. This is the only thing we have planned for the day, so hopefully I will be able to unclench my butt cheeks and just enjoy the journey.



Tent Rocks

One day in New Mexico will be spent hiking and picnicking in Tent Rocks. It’s a little outside Santa Fe, but from looking at the pictures, I don’t think it is something we should miss!



Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

This is the largest famer’s market in NM. I am excited to taste locally grown food and check out all the other vendors and crafters.





Grand Canyon Exciting Activities

We honestly don’t have any set plans for the Grand Canyon! I know we are not hiking down. I wish we could but I know Paul shouldn’t. I imagine one of the last places you would want to have a medical emergency is in the Grand Canyon. But I am okay with just walking around and enjoying the scenery. And it would be really cool if we could catch a sunrise or sunset. But I have to do somemore research on that!




I’ll write another post outlining some of the things we want to do in Vegas and San Diego! If you have any suggestions or tips for me, please let me know in the comments! I have a really good track record with Paul when it comes to planning amazing vacations for us. I don’t want to disappoint him!

24 comments:

  1. You won't ever disappoint Paul on your planning of this vacation because no matter what you will be together! Having fun, laughing and making memories. You are going to have a fabulous time, Megan. Looks like a perfect get away for you guys. Don't you love having this to look forward to?!

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    1. Yes, and Paul is SUPER excited. :) It is coming quickly, we're going in eary June!

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  2. That looks great! I have been all those places except the tent rocks-- that looks amazing. If you had anymore time to do the Grand Canyon-- I would try and spend more time there. Ironically, it can be VERY crowded on the outskirts of the park--I don't mind driving a lot of vacation. It is a great way to see the US!
    We pack a cooler with ice, and if we are doing the meandering kind of drive, pick up what we need for a picnic lunch or dinner along the way-- of course you do need a backup plan!

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    1. Ahhhh back up plans. I need to highlight that on my vay=cay to do list! :) Paul claims he doesn't want to stay at the GC longer, and honestly, we CAN'T because everything is booked! I think the best we can do is make sure we leave Santa Fe at the butt crack of dawn so we can spend as much time as possible in the GC.

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  3. That sounds like an awesome trip! I personally loved Sedona WAY more than the grand canyon, but I guess it's one of those things you need to see in your lifetime. Anyway, if you can somehow alter your plans to visit Sedona I highly recommend! Road trips are the best! I'll have my road trip video of vegas and utah up tomorrow, so maybe that will give you some good ideas?

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    1. Tonya, every single person I have talked to who has been to AZ has said GO TO SEDONA. I know Paul is SET on the GC though. I can look at our itinerary. We COULD skip Vegas and do Sedona instead, then go to SD from there. That is def an option. Paul doesn't even want to go to LV but I do. I figured he would never go to LV with me as a trip on it's own, so stopping there for the night would be a happy medium. I think I should research Sedona more and see if we should do that instead. THank you for your insights! Can't wait to see your vid :)

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  4. I've always wanted to do a road trip but we never have!! Maybe this summer will be our year for it, too. I love Sedona, btw, but the first time we went to AZ we didn't see the Grand Canyon and that disappointed me. I liked having the time to see both a few years later (although my favorite canyon ever is the Zion in Utah). I love the southwest in general!

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    1. I am VERY excited to check out the SW. I have never been there, obviously. I am soooo excited to see the Grand Canyon. :) Where do you want to road trip to?

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    2. I think it would be fun to do a cross-country trip and see my BIL in California at the end, but the ride back might be killer. Maybe a trip up the coast toward Vermont/Maine!

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  5. Sounds like a great trip and really 6 hours drive is not THAT long and i'm sure you will keep each other entertained. I use to live in Texas and our family would visit Taos. I'm excited for you!

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    1. Cool! Is there anything you think we should in in Taos? We're going to do the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (I think that is what it is called) and then take the high road to SF.

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  6. Road trips are the BEST! I have never done a road trip that involves flying to a "start" but I have done big loops from home. Make sure you rent a comfortable vehicle, since you will be spending a lot of time in it. :) I like the way you have everything planned out - big drive, stay a while, big drive, stay a while, small drive, stay a little. It's perfect. I have only been to Vegas and San Diego. There are a million things you could do in Vegas and I highly recommend eating Sushi in San Diego. Otherwise, I haven't been to the other places on your list and will be living vicariously through you. :)

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    1. You make a good point about renting a comfy vehicle. I drive a little Chevy Cobalt, so whenever we rent a car, we always just get the cheapest they have since it's pretty much the type of car I drive on the reg anyway. BUT it may be nice to spend a little bit more money and have some more room/comfort. I will definitely think about that- thanks for the tip!

      Oh I have already googled "best sushi places in San Diego" and have a list bookmarked. We LOVE sushi! Do you know of a good place to RUN in SD? Besides, like, everywhere??? :)

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  7. This sounds like an amazing trip! This year will actually be better to do the Incline -- I guess they totally redid it last fall, and it's supposed to be a lot nicer -- no more jagged pipes to step over. As far as Denver-ish hikes, you might look into some around Golden, like North Table Mountain.

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    1. Thank you for the Denver tip. I will look at North Table mountain and see how easy it is to get to and all that jazz. If you think of anything else, let me know! :)

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  8. This trip sounds AMAZING!!!! If you are only in GC for the day, I would make sure you pick the side of the canyon with the "glass walk" - I think there would be more to see on that side. The side that Gunshow and I went to on our honeymoon was super duper beautiful but I felt like all we could was just walk around it. We wished we had stayed longer but we didn't do a lot of research about the GC! Vegas is super duper fun! You have to see a fountain show at the Bellagio! There are so many cool exhibits and things to check out- are you only there for a day?
    Can't wait to hear more!!

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    1. Yup, LV for just a day. We plan to just walk around and check out all the free sights that we can. :) We are staying in the Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim, so we will not be near the sky walk. I don't think I would go on that anyway, though! I definitely need to do more research on the GC, considering we will only be there one day.

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  9. Sounds like it is going to be a super fun vacation - can't wait to hear all about it!!!

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  10. Adam and I have done two cross country road trips and I thought they were both incredible. I love the landscape in SW because it's so so different than anything we have over here on the east coast. I pretty much just stare in awe the whole thing we're driving through. Honestly, the only state that I have ever been truly bored driving through was Texas because so much of it is just farm land with nothing to see and no stops along the way.

    I agree with Kristen's tip about making sure you upgrade to a comfortable car. Adam and I have always gotten a luxury minivan. Lots of room to stretch your legs and lay out!

    I would also suggest bringing your compression socks if you're not planning to stop a lot along the way. I noticed that my legs would sometimes swell up if we were driving far without taking any breaks (besides 5 minute potty breaks).

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    1. Compression socks- thank you for that reminder! I never even thought about them. I haven't worn them in so long since I haven't run in over a week...

      I am going to check into how much it would cost to get a roomier car.

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  11. This sounds awesome!! I think you will really enjoy being able to drive and stop i f you want to stop, etc..I drove from Portland to Montana it was about 10 hours and it's still one of my favorite scenic rides ever!
    My hubby and I went to Vegas years ago, it wasn't long after his motorcycle accident so he hurt even walking, so we did a small plane tour over the Grand Canyon, it wasn't super expensive, but it was a nice way to see it together. I admit the little duct plane wings were a little scary but we survived, a fun memory!
    Colorado is so beautiful! It just screams run to me lol
    Since you have time in summer you guys should make the most of it and enjoy it!

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    1. That small plane tour sounds scary! We were going to do a helicopter tour when we were going to go to Hawaii. I was scared at th ethought of that too! I agree, CO = RUN RUN RUN!

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  12. What a fun trip! I just did a small Southwest tour a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't been to the Grand Canyon since I was 5 and didn't remember it. It is freaking phenomenal. The drive from Las Vegas to San Diego is going to be SO boring, but enjoy the desert and remember why you don't live there (at least I did). I want to go to Colorado so badly. I have a good friend who lives there and I've been toying with the idea of going and visiting in June. Maybe we will be there at the same time!

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    1. I saw your GC pics and was wondering where you went in the GC? we are going to the south rim. I think you should not toy around with going to CO I think you need to visit your friend!!

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