[it's very hard for dawson to keep his eyes open with a flash. don't judge him.]

[name that drive-thru and you win a million dollars!]
[poor dash will wait patiently outside the door for hours without budging, waiting to be let inside.]


lake tahooooeeee

ryan and nicole were nice enough to invite us on an end of summer trip to tahoe.
we knew from our china experience that the barlows were excellent travel partners
so we jumped at the chance to go, especially because we have never been to tahoe before.

it was GORGEOUS.
i have never seen bluer skies or clearer water (or colder water for that matter).
the first day we kayaked around the lake in search of the lake tahoe monster,
but unfortunately (fortunately?) it was nowhere to be found.
we did have fun looking at all the boats though and dreaming of someday having enough money to own one.

after that ryan took us on a hike that was "guaranteed amazing views of emerald bay".
we passed a frail old man and his dog on our way up and he told us he had come from the top and the view was amazing.  
we were stoked and totally ready for our potential photo op!
well an hour later we decided that man was either lying or spiderman in disguise, because there was no way that old grandpa could have made it to the top of that mountain.
we were hiking through some of the roughest terrain i have ever climbed,
literally scaling rock walls, shimmying through narrow crevices, and scraping our legs through giant bushes.
being the adventurous and athletic people that we are, we of course made it to the top,
but at the end of the day we were scratched up, dehydrated, dirty, and only had sub-par pictures to show for it all.
however the company and memories were PRICELESS.

the next day nicole's friend kayla and her hubby dallin joined us from san fran,
and nicole's dad dixon took us out on the boat for the day.
we were all instant besties and had a great time exploring the whole lake.
SOME of us even braved the cold water and cliff jumped in emerald bay!
but all of us got a little bit tanner hopefully.


and in case you were dying for a mini dawson/melissa photoshoot ^^^
you are welcome.
(the water in that little cove was too clear and too pretty for us not to take pictures, duh!)

on our last night we went out to eat at an old favorite- CHEVY'S!
there hasn't been a chevy's in utah for years, and we were thrilled to be able to go.
we ate so many of their homemade tortillas when we got there that i'm concerned they might have spit in our food...
but we'll never know so who cares and besides they gave us a free sombrero and dessert for nikki tay's early bday!!!

since it was our last night we wanted to play a game or something instead of going to bed,
so we decided to be 15 again and play murderer in the dark.
now that i am thinking back, that was a horrible idea.
a bunch of young couples, up in the mountains, in a huge empty cabin, late at night...
doesn't that sound like a horror movie to you?  
i'm surprised we weren't picked off one by one by a real murderer,
but somehow we all survived.

before we made the longer than anticipated drive home, 
we went on a short hike to angora lake to partake of some of their "famous lemonade".
ok, i admit it.  
even though i am usually a pure water drinker, it WAS pretty dang good.
a fabulous ending to a fabulous weekend trip.
thanks again ryan and nicole!
(we're hoping it went as well for the barlows as it did for us so we can be invited back again sometime...)

xoxo tahoe


couples trip 2013

do you think think that's it's possible to ever get sick of lake powell?
we don't!!!
so that's why we headed back to LP with our friends for this summer's couples trip.
we weren't sure if we could top last year's trip, but somehow we managed it.

the one thing that was different about this trip was the amount of girl/boy time.
this year the girls did their own thing (taking the little boat out/dance parties/laying out),
while the boys did their thing (wave hunting/mario kart/playing with the football for hours).
i guess that's what happens when we aren't all newlyweds anymore 
and being with your significant other in a swimsuit isn't that exciting anymore.

and ok ok, even though hanging out with the girls was the best part of the trip,
i did manage to force dawson into taking his share of pictures.
it's not my fault that i like pictures of my favorite person in one of our favorite places?
i'm pretty sure i reached dawson's picture quota for the year, 
so if the rest of my pictures this year are of just me you know why.

i feel pretty confident in saying that we have the best group of friends.
i owe dawson a lot for having such a great group of friends for all these years,
and i owe his friends a lot for marrying girls that i love and get along with so well.
the fact that us girls could sit on top of the houseboat and talk for hours about every topic imaginable
while the boys played mario kart and probably talked about high school the whole time, is pretty impressive.

what's more impressive is that after laughing/joking the whole trip and a VERY intense game of girls vs boys charades 
(where spouses may have been wanting to kill each other),
we were able to take a page out of our parent's books and play the "what i like about ___" game.
(you go around in a circle and everyone has to take a turn saying what they like about each person).
it was VERY sentimental and made us all love each other even more.
and it was probably the only thing that could have saved all us couples from divorce after that game.

bottom line is we love our friends and LP 2013 was amazing!!!
cheers to another great summer vacay!