Rocky Mountain National Park {My happy place}

Rocky Mountain National Park {My happy place}

ESTES PARK, Colo. – As a Colorado photographer, if the mountains are calling, I must go. There is something about Rocky Mountain National Park that renews my soul. I could be in the most Debbie Downer mood in the history of Debbie Downer moods and as soon as we hit the road toward the mountains, all of that evaporates.

Yesterday we took that drive to Estes Park. It was our first little family adventure since moving back to Colorado and our first chance to take a small breath in the middle of all the stress and chaos that comes with moving to a new state and starting our lives over.

We started by getting doughnuts for breakfast in Loveland before the drive and then went straight to RMNP after that, marveling at the indescribably beautiful snow-dusted mountains. We drove up to Bear Lake which was still frozen and covered in snow stopping twice along the way to check out some Elk grazing off in the woods and take a closer look at a little miniature amphitheater tucked away in the trees.

When we got to Bear Lake we slid along the frozen trail around the signs and benches buried in the snow. Along the way we saw a wind-blow snowman someone had build and icicles draped across enormous boulders. On the other side of the lake we pulled Nate’s stuffed penguins out of our pockets and posed for photos. He brought them because penguins like snow and they’d never seen any before.

When we returned to town later we tried to go tour the Stanley Hotel but they were sold out for the rest of the day so we parked along the river walk, browsed through the little shops and finished our trip with lunch at a fantastic Irish pub. Tomato and rye is definitely the way to do grilled cheese and cold mountain air makes it taste even better.

My husband and son both slept the entire way home while I drove and thought about how lucky I am to have them and how lucky I am to be back in Colorado.

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Elk! Nate was disappointed that they didn't have antlers though.

Elk! Nate was disappointed that they didn't have antlers though.

Is this real life?

Is this real life?

I love the way the edges of this little flower curled up. Pretty soon they'll all bloom again.

I love the way the edges of this little flower curled up. Pretty soon they'll all bloom again.

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Nate found a snowman and I had to talk him out of destroying it.

Nate found a snowman and I had to talk him out of destroying it.

Seriously? This looks like a painting.

Seriously? This looks like a painting.

I don't usually like being in front of the camera and almost always hate every photo I'm in. But I think I might have fallen accidentally in love with this one.

I don't usually like being in front of the camera and almost always hate every photo I'm in. But I think I might have fallen accidentally in love with this one.

He brought his penguins with him so they could see snow for the first time. He just knew they were going to love it and they did.

He brought his penguins with him so they could see snow for the first time. He just knew they were going to love it and they did.

We stopped by the Stanley Hotel and even though they were out of tour tickets for the rest of the day I had to take a photo of this.

We stopped by the Stanley Hotel and even though they were out of tour tickets for the rest of the day I had to take a photo of this.

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I know I’m crazy

I know I’m crazy

Bright ideas

Bright ideas

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