This summer trip was the perfect getaway - it gave us a chance to see and appreciate some of the Pacific Northwest, and it left us refreshed and ready for a busy fall here in St. Louis. We had an amazing time sightseeing near Portland. The Columbia River Gorge, lined with so many stunning waterfalls, made for an amazing drive, and our trip to early morning in misty Cannon Beach was incredible. From Portland, we headed up the long way to Seattle, taking a stop at gorgeous Lavender Valley and spending a night at a quaint farm where we slept with sheep just outside our window. In Seattle, we met up with my cousin Gabe and his wife, Joanne, and we had a great time exploring the city with them. One of the highlights of our time in Seattle was an incredible sushi meal at Sushi Kashiba. It was a fantastic trip - can't wait to go back!
This July, Andy and I took a long awaited vacation to the Canadian Rockies. We carved out 10 days in our schedules and jetted off, just in time to land in Calgary for Canada Day (we were given maple shaped chocolates upon our arrival - go Canada!). As we traveled through Banff, Golden, and Jasper in our shiny rental Dodge Journey, we stayed in B&B's, stopped at almost every overlook, and pulled over with the rest of the tourists to see bears, elk, and mountain goats on the side of the roads. Super fun. Canada was awesome and almost surreal - huge mountains surrounded by aquamarine lakes with glaciers topping surrounding peaks. A friend asked if we had photoshopped the water in a pic we posted to facebook, but nope - all the colors are real. In fact, some locals told us that they wished we had gotten to see the color of the water in its full glory (as some recent rain apparently made it less vibrant....how is that even possible??). We went canoeing on Moraine Lake, hiked 10 miles at Lake Louise, stood in the spray of Takkakaw Falls, grabbed drinks at the Banff Springs Hotel, chilled in hot springs, traveled by horse, and saw some pretty cool wildlife that I previously had only seen in Nat Geo. Here are some of our favorite photos: