We're now eight days into 2020, but we can't break our annual 'year in review' post. 2019 was an interesting year. Not just for us, but for nearly everyone we know. It was politically disheartening, mentally exhausting, a bit confusing, and full of soul-searching. That aside, our greatest blessing of 2019 was spending time with friends and family. We grew many of our friendships and made new lifelong friends.
Our 10 Most Memorable Moments of 2019:
1. Our Anniversary Weekend
In early September, Daniel and I took a road trip to Salida, Colorado and stayed at the ridiculously charming Amigo Motor Lodge. We were in design heaven and spent a few days hiking, hot tubbing, and eating pizza. Afterwards, we drove to Red Rocks Ampitheater and saw Bon Iver live in concert. It was a magical third anniversary that will stick with us for a long time.
2. Visits from Friends
Since we settled down for a short amount of time, we were fortunate enough to have many friends come stay with us for a weekend in Fort Collins. We hadn't seen some of these friends in three years! Fort Collins in the summer is a charming place, so we loved riding bikes, silent discoing, touring local breweries, hiking up Horsetooth, and wandering the streets of Old Town.
3. New Mexico Roadtrip
In November, we road tripped down to New Mexico. We spent one night in Santa Fe before driving south to Alamogordo to visit my Grandma and her husband. One afternoon, we visited White Sands National Monument. It was stunningly beautiful, but also freezing cold! Afterwards, we drove to Kerrville, Texas to surprise Daniel's parents. They've been stationed in Kerrville for a while now (full time RVers) preparing to sell their motorhome and downsize to a fifth wheel. After a long day driving, we snuck up to their casita, rang the doorbell, interrupted the game they were playing, and shocked them both. We visited San Antonio, toured the Lyndon B Johnson ranch, and celebrated Jim's 70th birthday. On the way back to Colorado, we saw even more family in Lubbock, Texas. We spent the night with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. What a fun road trip! If you missed our road trip video, click here.
4. Denver Days
Throughout the summer and fall, we spent many days exploring Denver, which we've coined as 'Denver Days'. A lot of our friends live in Denver, so we'd go down and brewery hop, eat Asian food (seriously lacking in Fort Collins), participate in the monthly art walk, etc.
5. Trip to Sedona, Arizona
After arriving back in the US in December 2018, we hadn't seen Daniel's family until our road trip to Sedona in February. My parents, us, Daniel's parents, and Daniel's brother all stayed in one beautiful home in the desert. Although we got rained on a few times, we didn't let that deter us from hiking, shopping around town, and playing games at the house. Sedona is such a magical place.
Disclaimer: We always try our best to research drone policies and regulations, but we failed in Monument Valley. Drones are prohibited on Navajo Tribal Land. We recognize that what we did was wrong and don't condone this activity.
Our niece, Penelope, has us wrapped around her little finger. We didn't get to meet her until she was 13 months old, so we tried our best to make up for lost time. From playing with pom poms (her favorite) to dancing to Lizzo's 'Juice', she was a major highlight of our year. After seeing her enjoy Mexico so much recently, we think we might kidnap her and take her with us on our travels. ;)
7. Almost Buying a House
Like we said, 2019 was weird. For about five months, we were actively house shopping in Fort Collins. We were convinced that we'd landed great jobs and were ready to settle down for a while. In July, we even put in an offer on a 1,200 SF house at full price ($430,000 yikes) which we were outbid on. Little did we know, I would get laid off from my job a few months later due to company downsizing (or whatever they tried to call it). We'd been considering traveling/moving/escaping the 9 to 5 previously...but, in that moment, jobless and not 100% happy, it became clear to us that we were seeking something else. Not purchasing a house was, in hindsight, a huge blessing for us.
My parents went on a three week cruise in January, so we spent that time house/dog/Grandma/Penelope-sitting in Grand Junction. We took Grandma to weekly doctor appointments and were with her when she was diagnosed with cancer the day before my parents got home from vacation. Her last two months of life went relatively smoothly and we consider ourselves very fortunate that we were home to spend that quality time with her. We still laugh about how she decided to become vegetarian for a day, the horrid look on her face when she tried sushi for the first time, how she changed her story every time the doctor asked her how she was feeling, and when she told the ER nurse that she had some organ removed but couldn't remember what it was. We spread her ashes, together as a family, in late June on the Grand Mesa. She was quite the character and we all miss her dearly.
9. Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing on the Grand Mesa has become one of our new favorite hobbies. Two of our friends, Joe and Kyle, from Fort Collins and Denver, came to Grand Junction the weekend before we flew to Mexico. We spent a morning skiing in a winter wonderland, laughing hysterically and trying to stay warm. We're hoping this will be a holiday tradition anytime we're in Colorado.
Last, but certainly not least, was our trip to Mexico for Christmas. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece all flew down to Mexico to spend a week in Sayulita. After a rough year and losing a grandparent, we decided in early summer that we all needed a holiday getaway. What a perfect week it was! It was Penelope and David's first time at the beach, which was a joy to witness. Penny was constantly asking to go to the ocean, but was also a bit nervous about the waves coming in and out. We ate more tacos than we can count, drank way too many margaritas and cervezas, and walked miles each day. There will be more content to come regarding this trip, so stay tuned.
Thanks for sticking with us in 2019 while we traveled through many ups and downs. Here's to a brighter year and decade!