Hello hello! I’m blogging from Crested Butte, Colorado, where Joe and I are visiting for a week. Our first weekend here was packed with fun as it was centered around a wedding as well as spending time with Joe’s family. Get ready for a lot of photos. 🙂
Friday: travel to Crested Butte + pre-wedding party
We arrived in Crested Butte on Friday after 2 flights from San Francisco. We drove to our hotel and were immediately greeted with jaw-dropping views of the mountains. Crested Butte is a small, ski resort town sitting at 9,000 feet (2700 meters). It’s less popular for tourists compared to other towns in Colorado, so the high altitude and the remote location made it feel incredibly epic. Snow-capped mountains, pine trees, rivers from melted glaciers, and wide-open green pastures…I couldn’t imagine a happier place for me and Joe (we both LOVE the mountains).
We drove through the town of Crested Butte; it was 4-streets small and very quaint! The colorful buildings, small boutiques, and well-organized streets made it feel like we were on a movie set. The town actually reminded me of Iceland with the surrounding untouched scenery. 😛
After a long day of travel, Joe and I headed to the hotel for some rest. We stayed at a hotel on Crested Butte Mountain, which was a 10-minute drive from town and right in the heart of the ski resorts. It was interesting staying in a ski village during the summer; the scenery couldn’t be better. 🙂
We also linked up with Joe’s sister, Anna, who came in for the wedding. We became a trio for the weekend, and a huge highlight was spending time with Anna! The three of us got dinner, and then we got ready for our first event, a pre-wedding party for all the guests. Joe’s cousin was getting married, and I was excited to meet Joe’s extended family.
The party was at an upscale arts center in downtown Crested Butte. We enjoyed drinks and desserts while meeting all of Joe’s cousins (including the bride). Joe’s family was so warm and energetic – it was nice to finally put faces to the names I had heard.
Saturday: morning hike + wedding on a mountaintop
Between the travel, high altitude, and last night’s party, I woke up feeling pretty slow. We eased into the morning with bagels from Butte Bagels in town.
Like brother, like sister…it was adorable seeing how similar Joe and Anna were, especially their mannerisms and sense of humor!
After breakfast, we wanted to see more of the Crested Butte scenery. We opted for an easy trail on Snodgrass Mountain, which was a 5-minute drive from our hotel. The fresh mountain air and expansive views were breathtaking.
Despite the short distance and little elevation gain, we were POOPED! The altitude was no joke, and I quickly got out of breath. We listened to our bodies and didn’t push ourselves too hard.
One part of the hike was in a shaded forest, a break from the rest of the exposed hike.
It’s wildflower season! Crested Butte has a very short summer, and we were eager to see the summer wildflowers.
After our hike, we rested at the hotel. Then, it was time to get ready for the big event…the wedding! We got dolled up and then headed to the venue, which was at the very top of Crested Butte Mountain. We were right off of the ski lifts, so the views were the very best. We were all in awe of this unique wedding location; it was basically chairs and a tent set up on top of a mountain – I’ve never seen anything like it!
The ceremony was classic and beautiful.
After the ceremony was cocktail hour. We had drinks and appetizers on the mountaintop while listening to a live jazz band.
There was a donkey serving beer…so cute.
Of course, we took lots of photos…how many times in our lives will we be dressed up on top of a mountain? 😉
After cocktails, we headed into the tent for dinner. The whole wedding had an upscale and classic vibe.
First dance with the happy couple.
The highlight of the night was the wedding band. They were SO fun and full of energy – no one could sit still! This was probably the best music I’ve heard at any wedding yet.
We took a break from the party to watch the sunset on the mountain…so beautiful.
The night ended with dancing, dancing, and more dancing.
What a fabulous wedding! Even though I didn’t know as many people as other weddings in the past, I’m grateful to Joe’s family for making me feel welcome.
Sunday: hiking Emerald Lake + exploring downtown Crested Butte
Despite the late night, surprisingly, I felt better the next day than any day so far. The altitude adjustment played a big role in my energy level this past weekend. The morning started off with the final wedding event, a farewell brunch. It was good to see Joe’s extended family one last time and say goodbye to them.
After brunch, Joe, Anna, and I headed out for another adventure. We found Emerald Lake on the map, and we decided to go for it. The drive to the trailhead was ~40 minutes; it went by fast as the scenery was spectacular. We saw large rock formations, rivers, and even snow! We drove so high that we passed the mountain’s snow line.
The hike to Emerald Lake started off on the road. There was some elevation gain, but nothing too crazy.
Then, the road got blocked with snow and some rocks that had fallen. There wasn’t anyone else on the trail, but we decided to attempt this portion. It felt like a real off-trail adventure going through this snowy portion.
Shorts and sandals on snow…I guess you could say we were a little unprepared. 😛 It felt like we experienced all 4 seasons in one day.
After passing this portion, we turned the corner and there was Emerald Lake! It was a real “wow” moment. We had a top-view of the lake and could see some snow melting on it.
We hiked further to reach the bottom of the lake.
The bottom of the lake was just as beautiful. The best part was there was hardly anyone on this trail. In California, I feel like any scenic spot has herds of people. I loved that we had all this epic scenery to ourselves.
What a fabulous hike! We all agreed this was the highlight of our trip so far. We headed back into town and got a well-deserved Italian lunch.
Followed by strolling through town. I couldn’t get over how it felt like the Truman Show. 😛
Our evening ended with one last dinner together as a trio and chilling at the hotel. I’m so grateful for getting quality time with Anna and enjoying a vacation together! Anna left the next morning, and Joe and I will stay in Crested Butte for another week. 🙂 I’m so excited to spend the next week here, especially now that I’ve adjusted and have a better feel for the area.
Have a great week everyone!!