Adventures in Big Sky

i am covered in bruises.

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my friend goes, “what happened to you?”

the simple answer is: i went on vacation.

so i guess it’s not normal that people come back a little exhausted, and a little beat up from vacation rather than sun kissed and downward dog like. but i’m also reinvigorated.

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i was in big sky montana last week and i didn’t mean to have a travel section of this blog, but i think i’m gonna do it. because it’s my blog and i can add sections if i want to. and i want to. because oh i love to travel.

big sky. the place is amazing. big sky, done my friend taylor’s way is unbeatable. backing  up. i went to big sky with the clear lake crew, i’ve told you about them before. most of us have known each other since we were little, others were lucky enough to marry in. the clear lake crew are, simply put, the best people i know. they all live life with arms wide open, ready to envelope whatever comes their way. they’re passionate. creative. strong-willed and opinionated. fearless. spontaneous. and not a single one of them is afraid to grab life by the horns.

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so i knew, i hoped, i was happy to know this wouldn’t be a “vacation.” because i was craving an adventure. too many hours with too many urgent emails, and “asap” projects chained to a desk had me feeling – depleted. numb even. i needed my heart to race, i needed to take a deep breath and be reminded that this isn’t all that’s out there. there’s so much more. and there was no one better to remind me than the clear lake crew.

after a windy ride up the mountain, i arrived at my friend taylor’s house. it is beyond gorgeous itself, and the view is breathtaking. it was like an ansel adams photograph. there were 11 of us, so a full house but one that was mostly full of stomach hurting laughter.

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it is this beautiful mountain home, full of dark wood, cozy leather and paintings that nearly outdo the view. it’s also ski in, ski out – something i had never experienced. it’s bliss.

early the next morning, we headed out to ski. my friends are amazing skiers, and i knew i’d be in the slower pack. so we went down a black. now, this is some of the biggest skiing in america mind you. so a green here is like a black in wisconsin or michigan. so sure guys, i’ll just go down this cliff of death, no problem. heart racing accomplished. by the time i got to the bottom, they had sipped a pina colada and slow cooked some pork.

the second day of skiing, i took a pretty nasty fall an my rib still hurts. but that’s the other thing about us, we’re a little competitive.

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one day, we went on this gorgeous hike. there i was chasing waterfalls once again. and strangely enough, there my clumsy self was again falling down the side of the mountain (it was an ongoing trend of the trip). 15 years of ballet and i’m just a grown man on louboutins.

we also went horseback riding one day, and i think i’ve checked that one off my bucket list for one and done. this wasn’t just any horseback riding, this was steep mountain climbing horseback riding. without any proper gear. and things started to hurt where things should never start to hurt. my horse’s name was ted turner. we were getting along just fine, better than most first dates. until, apparently, i was told by the guide, he began itching himself. and he did that by basically running into trees. so the pine needles would scratch him.

nevermind me ted. i don’t mind pine needles down my shirt and branches flying at my face.

*editors note: my dad (a horse man) just called to inform me ted wasn’t trying to scratch himself, he was trying to rub me off. i feel like i’m 14 and my boyfriend just broke up with me. what’s wrong with me ted, why don’t you love meeee? (don’t answer that)

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needless to say, there won’t be a second date.

one of the best things was that we each paired up and took a night to cook. you could see everyone’s personality come through whatever it is they cooked. it was like i finally lived my dreams of making “friends” come to life and i never wanted it to end. (and i was rachel, obviously)

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this trip is exactly what i needed. i left drained in the best possible way. as if i left so much of the bad energy up on that mountain. i felt recharged. hopeful. but mostly, i just felt lucky. to have these people in this place at this time.

which is why, i’ll take my bruises for an adventure of a lifetime like that anyday.

tons of more photos below.

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