HWD Travels: Sedona


HWD Travels


August 24th-28th, 2017

Read our post here about how we're affording 12 trips in 12 months - including how I find flight deals.

Read more about our 12 trips in our first 12 months of marriage adventure here.

After two nights in Scottsdale, Brett and I made our way to Sedona for Trip #2 of our twelve trips. Armed with our three favorite Sedona resources (here, here, and here), Brett and I planned four days exploring Sedona and daytripping our way through Arizona. Our plan was to use Sedona as a base for exploring the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend, as well as several Sedona hiking spots. It was just perfect.

And many thanks to that rental car for driving us all over Arizona. You're the real MVP.

We stayed at the Enchantment Resort and, my word, I could have just lived at their pool. They also had a great weekday happy hour with discounted drinks and appetizers, and I could've happily subsided on their prickly pear margarita and potato skins. Plus, with a happy hour view like this, why would you want to leave?


We hiked Cathedral Rock and Devil's Bridge.

We hiked the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon. 

It was magical.

And I was so grateful to have fancy-pants hiking shoes

We found a Trader Joe's and spent many pitstops mid-hike nomming on chicken salad, cheese, and dried fruit. 

Even better, Brett and I have a deal that at any point a hike isn't enjoyable for me anymore, I find a lovely spot to stop and pull out my book while Brett explores on. Typically this happens when things get a little too steep or crawl-on-all-fours for my taste. And, lucky for me, some of the best books I've read lately were on this trips. Like this one, this one, and this one. SO GOOD.

Also, this European guy tripped walking backwards. And now I'll forever have this photo.

After hiking the Grand Canyon, we had the most amazing Italian food in Sedona. Gerardo's was just incredible. I've been telling everyone that will listen about our perfect wine-filled, sore-legs, my-God-hand-me-the-carbs dinner date we had after a full day hiking into and out of a pretty famous canyon. Plus, their precious patio had string lights, which automatically makes me a member of the fan club. 

However, I'm already thinking about going back to Sedona for their food...and string lights.

After hiking Cathedral Rock, my trusty New York Times book led us to the famous Coffee Pot Restaurant - home of the 101 omelettes.

We explored the wineries of Sedona - we loved Page Spring Cellars and Javelina Leap and did tastings at both. 

We did make a stop at Horseshoe Bend on our last day (and had the loveliest lunch date eating turkey sandwiches and apples in the air-conditioned reprieve of our car - because y'all, that midday sun is NO JOKE. Love, Texans), but I'd have to say my highlight of the entire trip would be the Antelope Canyon tour

Arizona, we miss you already.

HWD Travels: Santa Fe

A huge thanks to Hannah Black Photography for your friendship and these photos. 

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HWD Travels

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico June 22nd - June 26th, 2017

Before the idea of 12 Trips in 12 Months was born, Brett and I were planning a wedding. 

Or, more specifically my mom and I were planning a wedding, with Brett nodding in agreement every now and again. But I digress. 

We wanted a teeny-tiny restaurant wedding in a cool city with good food. We wanted a wedding weekend filled with gorgeous first-look landscapes, a food tour with our friends, and a private cooking class in lieu of a rehearsal dinner. 

It all sounds very specific and very us, but I laugh at how many different cities my mom and I went through in the beginning stages. Our emails were literally all over the map. The world map.

But, once common sense kicked in a we realized we needed somewhere our friends could easily get to (bye, Hawaii!), with predictable weather (you're out, Big Sur!), and had excellent margaritas (sorry, Portland, but this Texan has her doubts), we loved the idea of returning to Santa Fe almost a year after we first went. 

Santa Fe - the place that I announced had my all-time favorite cooking class and favorite hike to date. And I feel like that statement has some weight, considering Brett and I like to take a cooking class and find a few good hikes on almost every trip we take. 

It really just made perfect sense to declare our lifetime of love there.

And, oh. How I love that we can now always celebrate the wonderful city of Santa Fe as the place we exchanged wedding vows. It'll serve us so well for many anniversary trips to come. 

To kick off our year of seeing 12 places in 12 months before our first wedding anniversary, I present to you the highlights of our wonderful wedding weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Read our post here about how we're affording 12 trips in 12 months - including how I find flight deals.

Read more about our 12 trips in our first 12 months of marriage adventure here.

Many of our loved ones stayed with us at the beautiful Loretto Inn - my favorite hotel in all of Santa Fe. Really, the place is just gorgeous. In short, being under the same roof all weekend was just lovely and many drinks - both poolside and barside - were enjoyed together. 

(Also, our favorite AirBnB is this one. We brought our favorite noise machine - because a phone app doesn't cut it for us - for sleeping and it was just perfect.) 


The day before the wedding, Brett and I wanted to have a first look before the craziness of the festivities and the oh-my-gosh-are-we-keeping-everyone-waiting worry set in. It's really hard to pick the best decision of my wedding weekend, but this one definitely is up there. We drove out to Tent Rocks - our favorite hike and scenery in general - for sunrise pictures in our wedding gear, and it was so nice to take our time and enjoy each other. Plus, all the kind words and well wishes from the hikers definitely didn't hurt. 

And, until you've changed into your wedding dress near a string of port-a-potties, you haven't really lived. 

Before our rehearsal dinner, we wanted to celebrate all of our friends for trekking out to celebrate us. I love my margaritas, so I thought it would be fun to work with Food Tour New Mexico to create a private Margarita Tour of Santa Fe for us to enjoy.

Y'all, it was so fun. Like, oh my word

And, don't be fooled by the name - we had the best food to go with our margaritas. Special shout out to Georgia, Santacafe, and Thunderbird for putting up with this rowdy bunch. Thank you also to Chocolate en la Plaza for the sweets and the Bell Tower for the views!

After taking two of the most interesting, well-run cooking classes at the Santa Fe School of cooking, we knew we wanted to gather twenty of our loved ones for a private cooking class.

We were never down with the idea of a traditional, sit-down rehearsal dinner, anyway.

I'm so glad we went the nontraditional route. 

We even used one of their cookbooks as our wedding guest book. 

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If you're ever anywhere near the Santa Fe School of Cooking, I can't recommend their classes enough. 

Also, yes - we did our first look, a margarita tour, and a private cooking class all in one day. It was really going to be a hard day to beat. 

Until, you know, our wedding happened.


If you're considering a small, intimate wedding, do it. If you're considering a destination wedding, do it. If you're considering a restaurant wedding, do it. 

If you're thinking about combining all three and having a non-traditional wedding with good food, amazing drinks, and none of those horrible traditions - do it. Pink Adobe was the absolute best place to have a wedding. Like, the best

Oh my word, I wouldn't change a thing about my wedding. And I hear that's pretty rare.

Also, let's talk cake. 


If you choose to have your cakes from Whole Foods, you can get a several different kinds of cake and get anniversary cake anytime you want. Plus, that leaves more room in the budget for margaritas.

Which is really what matters. 


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Can't wait to celebrate many anniversaries to come in Santa Fe with Whole Foods cheesecake. 

Other places in Santa Fe that have our heart, but didn't make any photos: Dragon Room, Santa Fe Balloons, Bell Tower, and Ten Thousand Waves Spa.

Books we used to plan this trip: Fodor's in Focus Santa Fe, Food Lovers Guide to Santa Fe, and Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Fe

HWD Travels: 12 Trips in 12 Months

When it came time to choose a honeymoon location, Brett and I couldn't. 

I must've changed my answer at least a dozen times. 

So we decided, "Why choose one?"

With my teaching career coming to a close, and the thought of off-season travel now something to consider, we were like, "Why don't we go on several trips instead?"

But, several trips morphed into the idea of twelve. Because I may one day go back to the classroom, because one day we won't be carefree renters, because one day we will have kids - why not go on some of our bucket list trips now?

So, the Twelve Trips in Twelve Months idea was born. Let's see twelve new places in our first twelve months of marriage. Because we're celebrating this first year. 

Read our post here about how we're affording 12 trips in 12 months - including how I find flight deals.

Below, you'll find our twelve locations we're hoping to see by our first wedding anniversary. As the year progresses and blog posts are written, links will be included. This blog was started to document our year - we hope it's one to remember.


1. Santa Fe, New Mexico June 21-26

2. Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona August 22-28

3. Iceland September 13-16

4. Santorini, Greece October 3-9

5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic November 11-15

6. Maui, Hawaii January 26-31

7. Barcelona, Spain February 21-26

8. Santa, Fe, New Mexico (can we go every June?) June 22-25

And then life happens, work gets busy for both of us (which, as a new business, was completely unexpected and is something to celebrate!), and we buy a house. So 12 months becomes 18 months. And we're okay with that. We'll happily jump at the chance to lengthen our honeymoon.


10. Big Sur, California September 1-4

11. Amsterdam, Bruges, and Paris October 2-9