It’s Been Fun, 2016!

Wow – this year has been so epic.  I look back at pictures on everything that has happened and I just can’t get over all of it. In honor of the last 3-days of this amazing year, I wanted to share a look back at each months highlight, although I must admit it was hard picking just one.

2016 Highlights: Getting engaged, Katie & Travis’ wedding, celebrating 5-years with B, traveling to Denver, Jackson Hole and Kansas City, going to the World Series, Cavs NBA Championship and a new job! Among countless others!

These 12 pictures don’t even come close to giving this year the justice it deserves.  I am sad to see this year end, but SO excited for 2017!

What were your highlights from 2016?

Cheers!

Travel: Jackson Hole – Part 3

Sick of all the amazing photos of beautiful scenery and food from our trip? Me either. This last recap is for the must see photo stops beyond the millions of other stops you can make along the way.

Oxbow Bend
This is on the north end of Jackson as you’re headed out to Jackson Lake Lodge or Yellowstone.  Not only does Oxbow Bend have great views of Mount Moran, but you can also bet on seeing some wildlife around there, particularly a grizzly or moose.

Jackson Lake Lodge
JLL is a great place for a nicer dinner and drinks especially if you want to be wowed by an amazing view of Mount Moran and the stunning range it belongs too.  Again, another great spot for animal watching especially early morning or in the evenings the floor to ceiling windows allow for nearly unobstructed views.

Jenny Lake
You’ll find that this is a popular destination for new and seasoned visitors.  Whether you’re stopping at a pull off to capture a peak of the lake, jumping on the ferry to cross over, or renting kayaks to paddle along you’ll have stunning views of Teewinot and Mount Owen.  This time around we went the kayak route which can be rented right at the boat dock and it was awesome.

Moulton Barn on Mormon Row 
This is one of the most photographed barns mainly because of it’s stunning views of the Grand Teton not to mention it’s iconic structure.  Since I first went out to JH, Moulton Barn has definitely risen on the map and is more “commericalized” with an outhouse, parking, and even a bridge to be able to walk over and get up close to the barn.  When we first went out the property seemed sacred only being able to get only as close as the fence would allow (below 2009 vs. 2016).  It’s definitely changed over the years, but still a must-see.

Schwabacher Landing
If you do an image search “Jackson Hole Wyoming” one of these iconic pictures of the Grand reflected into water will turn-up.  Most famously shot early mornings at sunrise you’ll be up before the sun to get this shot.  We did that on our last morning, got up early and waited until the sun came up to grab the perfect shot with the pinks on the tips of the mountains.  If you walk the trail further you’ll be guided to another marshy area full of beavers! Definitely a stunning shot that looks nearly fake in photos.

Jackson Town Square
The center of Jackson is cornered with four elk antler arches, huge arches that you can walk under and they stand in their glory day and night. It’s often sometimes hard to get a clean shot in front of an arch due to the tourists walking around and even snapping their own pictures – going early mornings or later in the evenings usually has a smaller crowd.  If not offer to snap a couples photo and have them take yours, in and out!

In Jackson, pretty much anywhere you drive will have stunning views of the Tetons or the foothills, it’s incredible how much beauty is packed into one space.

Questions on JH or just visited? Send me your pictures @mmariebee or leave a comment below!

ICYMI:  JH Recap #1 – Hikes || JH Recap #2 – Food || #EmnBtoJH – 2014

Christmas Hangover.

Am I the only one with a Christmas hangover?  Somehow, I don’t think that I am. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, full of love, laughter, sweet moments… and not too much drama (let’s face it, families are the best at drama).

This Christmas was one of new traditions and changes. I spent Christmas for the first time ever away from “home” – and at our home with B, our first Christmas in five years that we’ve spent together!

The weather has been a bit amazing too – mid to high 50’s in the midwest, is NOT common especially for this time of the year.  Being able to take Moz on a walk on Christmas Eve in yoga pants and a sweatshirt was amazing. In fact we’d joked about a month previous that it’d be cool to do the exact thing.

Our Christmas Eve was nice and busy – we did a lot of prep around the house, I did a lot of baking and Christmas dinner prep, and of course a few last minute gifts with B.  We went to church and then came home snapped a few pictures and made some pizza’s and flipped the TV between It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf!  We also toasted with Manhattan’s in honor of my Grandma’s birthday and to new traditions.

Christmas morning we woke up and opened our stockings and presents – we had a great Christmas and both spoiled each other.  We relaxed a bit and then got ready and headed to B’s grandma Dee’s house for breakfast. We then headed over to his parent’s for presents and a movie for most of the afternoon! We finally headed back up to our place just in time to prep and cook dinner while my parents made it into town!  My aunts came over too – and we had a nice dinner around the table talking and enjoying each-others company.  More presents ensured after dinner from my parents!  It was then almost time to call it a night.

The mayhem continued on Saturday – after relaxing a bit in the morning we headed down the road to my aunts house for Hampel Christmas. Snacking and drinking, playing a new pickle game, laughing, dancing and catching up was the next few hours until dinner.  Pork, sauerkraut, gravy and dumplings are the main dinner items – presents and white elephant followed after dinner and then the games commenced.  We always play Pass the Trash and this year played a few fun games of LRC.

Finally, Sunday was B’s birthday – so we headed to church with our parents and then out to brunch right after.  It wasn’t until almost 3 o’clock we finally had the house back to ourselves and were able to crash for a nice nap!

It was four days of non-stop family, drinking, eating, and a lot of fun.  I’ve enjoyed taking some down time today to continue to relax and recover and get the house back in order.

Merry Christmas!