Sunshine Daydreams

It’s that time of year already… the time when the snow and cold and monochromatic landscape has me feeling a bit stir-crazy. Every February, like clockwork, I start to daydream about spring. I might start bugging John for a long weekend in a warmer climate or plan a trip to California to see Amanda (and some green grass). It’s not that I don’t enjoy winter or snow, but here in Park City, it can last from September to May. And, though it can be quite beautiful, that’s too long for this sunshine girl.

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This year, in a matter of weeks, we’ll have a little sunbeam of our own to brighten our days- our first baby! At the beginning, I know I’ll be so preoccupied that it won’t matter what the weather is doing outside. And by the time we’re ready for some family adventures away from home, spring will have sprung (if we’re to trust Punxsutawney Phil). But that’s not stopping me from wistfully scrolling through a few happy, sun-filled photos of just a handful of some favorite warm-weather trips. Do you need a change of scenery, too? Join me in a little sunshine daydream!

San Jose del Cabo

For my first extended visit at Casa Vida, it was with a gaggle of girls for Sarah’s pre-wedding get-away. We had a fabulous trip filled with sunbathing, a slip-n-slide onto the beach, paddle-boarding and sea kayaking, super-strong pina coladas, and delicious meals. When the gals left, John met me there for a few extra days, which was simply heavenly- beach time, my boyfriend, cold beers and baby whales. In the years since, it’s become one of my favorite places to escape. (See more trips to San Jose del Cabo here!)

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Haviland Lake, Colorado

Just up the mountain from my folks’ home in Durango, Colorado is a perfect little lake with pine-filled campsites on its shores. Over the years, we’ve spent so many happy days there! Fishing, kayaking, riding around in the little motor boat, paddle-boarding, napping in hammocks, reading, relaxing, creating Dutch oven masterpieces, grilling trout, munching gooey s’mores, and laughing in the sun. The best part of any trip to Haviland Lake: FAMILY. (See a couple of favorite trips to Haviland Lake here and here!)

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Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Before my wedding, Amanda and I snuck off on an adventure up the coast of California. We’d been talking about taking a trip together for decades and finally made it happen. Carmel is such a charming little seaside village, full of artists and cute shops and incredible gardens. We ate well every night, drank wine when we felt like it, walked along the beach for exercise, explored the coastline, and made memories we’ll never forget. I learned to love a spicy Bloody Mary and Amanda bravely tried (and loved) her first raw oysters. It was such a special weekend to me! (See our trip to Carmel here!)

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Kona, Hawaii

Every couple of years, my folks lure us kids on a family vacation by booking a condo in Hawaii. Brilliant! We’ve spent time on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Kona. What’s so special about the Big Island is that there is a little bit of everything there- grassy, rolling hills, horse properties, groves of pine trees, an active volcano and lava fields, black or white sand beaches, and lush mountains in addition to the quintessential tropical paradise areas. With my folks looking into a timeshare there, I can’t wait to visit again soon and explore more! (See our trip to Kona here!)

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The Yucatan Peninsula

John’s big plan was to take me to a stunning location at the tip of Mexico and ask me to be his wife. Hurricane Rina had other plans for us, but before she hit (and we were evacuated), we had a magical time in the Yucatan. I adored the dirt roads, powdered-sugar beaches, and laid back vibe of rustic Tulum- fabulous meals, no schedule, and the most delicious margaritas I’d ever had. Then we drove to the end of a dirt road, walked barefoot on a flooded rock path with our suitcases on our heads to a dock, rode a boat through alligator-filled mangroves into the open sea and landed at a fishing lodge in the middle of nowhere. John got his fill of chasing permit, bonefish, and barracuda and I don’t think I wore shoes the whole time we were there. Someday, we need a hurricane do-over of this trip. (See our adventure in Tulum and Punta Allen here!)

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French Polynesia

If I could create the perfect honeymoon for someone, I’d simply replicate our own. Business class seats to and from Tahiti. Luxurious lodging on a private island off of Taha’a (a Tahitian island), accessed by boat. Two weeks of five-star meals, spa treatments, deep-sea fishing, an international sporting event, live entertainment, and exploration. Tahitian Vanilla crème brulee! Nothing on the schedule aside from loving each other and enjoying the pristine beaches. Tanning. Kayaking. Snorkeling. Reading. Napping. Fishing. The most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen. Sure, John lost his brand-new wedding ring in the sea- but it makes for a great story. I wouldn’t change a thing, except to stay longer. Or forever. (See our whole honeymoon adventure here!)

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Today, the temperatures will remain in the 20s and I’ll be bundled up to stay warm and cozy. We’re in the land of sweaters and slippers and hot cups of tea for a while still. Winters can feel never-ending, particularly when one isn’t able to get out and enjoy it properly (hello, baby!). Remembering these trips makes me think of flip flops and freckles and sundresses, and truly, those days are not far off. Until then, I can always escape into sun-filled, vibrant, happy photos like these.

See more of our travels HERE

One year ago: Superbowl 2015 and Vegan Two-Bean Chili


  1. Loving your post – Beautiful Captures and Wonderful Memories 🙂 I have 2 places I love and a 3rd that I am falling in love with – #1 The Hawaiian Islands, #2 Mendocino County, California and #3 Florida (my new home state). I finally said Goodbye! to Winter and Hello! to Sunshine, Coastal Waters and Sand!!!

    Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

      1. Loving Florida 🙂 I grew up in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area. I am really enjoying being on the other side in the Tampa Bay area. So much to explore and to see and to do!

      1. Or if you will want to wear them anymore!! It took me a while to feel comfy showing my belly again, but it did go back to mostly normal minus my huge belly button (yay). And I definitely had to buy a couple new ones last summer to accommodate my new assets 😉

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