We had always said we'd go somewhere fun for our 5-year anniversary, but when Covid entered the scene in March and #quarantine became our new reality, we weren't sure if we should bother to make plans. Luckily, things started to look up in May—not to mention flights were crazy cheap—so we crossed our fingers and booked two seats to Denver for mid-September. Finally, something in 2020 to look forward to: We were headed to Vail in the fall!

Little did we know that Covid was set on staying for the long haul. But, admittedly, after six months of sheltering in place (with the exception of one road-trip to see family in Lafayette), we were desperate to explore beyond our neighborhood.

So when the time came 'round, we got Jude situated with my parents and hopped on our (very full) flight to Colorado with a ton of masks in hand. Even though there would inevitably be things that we couldn't control (like how insane BOTH airports were to and from), we were prepared to take every precaution we could to stay safe and keep those around us safe as well. 

And, honestly, this turned out to be a lot easier than we expected. Aside from the actual travel time, we ate all but one meal outside on restaurant patios, we spent the majority of our time hiking or at the hotel pool (where only several guests were allowed at one time), and we were never without hand sanitizer or clean masks. The Arrabelle, our hotel, also did its part to prevent illness: Rooms were not made up during a visitor's stay, there was no room service, the spa was closed, and pool time had to be reserved in advance. A small price to pay for the health and safety of guests and staff.

Even with these little inconveniences (I've never ordered room service before, and this was something I was really hoping to do!), our 5-day trip was everything we could have hoped for. There are two things that make a vacation for Scott and me, and they are nature and good food. As you can imagine, Vail excels at both.

Our mornings were dominated by hiking: We started on a 3-mile hike up the steep Cabin Trail (after which we took the gondola down) and then a 4-mile roundtrip hike to Booth Falls on the second day. By the third morning, these calfs were feeling pretty sore so we decided to take it easy and meander around the town instead. Not a bad decision—just look at the views!

Having the rooftop pool basically to ourselves was such a luxury. And it was the perfect way to wind down after a hike. Scott stayed put in the jacuzzi for the most part while I would swim a few laps in the warm water pool before joining him. There we would sit half an hour or so just chatting away, like old times. If there's anything that I wanted to take complete advantage of, it was slowing down and enjoying the time to do absolutely nothing. As a parent, you kind of forget what that feels like!

Don't get me wrong: Being a mom and seeing Scott as a dad has been the biggest blessing of my life thus far, but I think it's just as important in a marriage to remember your spouse as the hot hunk of a person you fell in love with, too. ;-) Which is why taking a few days together alone (where we didn't have to be parents, but instead could revert back to our younger, more romantic selves) was incredibly beneficial. Not too many people have the privilege to do this, and we are eternally grateful to have been able to make a getaway of this size happen—especially during these weird times.

The pandemic may have put a damper on most of this year, but it's also driven home the realization of how lucky we are to have all that we do—most notably, our health, our home, and our families. Even in 2020, the list of things to be thankful for continues to grow.