Words and photography by Photography by Lacey Marie.
Chasing the sunsets and headed west we left Austin, Texas en route to Las Vegas Nevada. My husband is a professional poker player and was backed to play in the World Series of Poker. As a family, we have a heart to travel and spend as much time together as we can while trying to fulfill our dreams and fuel our passions. Our first stop was Marfa, Texas an artisan town in the middle of Texas nowhere. Filled with teepees and magical energy it was too hot to stay, but it was a nice place to explore for awhile on our first day of driving.
After we left Marfa, we drove past the iconic Prada Marfa, which is a permanently installed sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset who called it pop architectural land art. The Littles didn't really get it, they couldn't quite understand why it was art, which amused us so. Our next stop was the Great White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. After a long day of driving we went straight to our hotel and woke up at sunrise to begin our next adventure. We all enjoyed the vastness of the white sands and the fun that sledding down the sides of them brought and wished we could stay longer, but we had places to go!
We began chasing the sunset to try and make it into Sedona, Arizona. We were lucky enough to make it just as the sun was setting and had some time to explore a bit right at dusk. We spent a full day hiking, exploring, eating and laughing in Sedona and enjoying the magical energy that Sedona gives so freely. Our children were up for any and all the adventures that we experienced. Hiking for over six hours with elevations up to 5,000' is scary for a momma but my littles were the voice of encouragement to keep going. It was amazing to see these things through their eyes and to watch them bloom right before mine. Traveling offers children an opportunity to be free and push their limits in ways that they wouldn't have the opportunity to do without these experiences.
We awoke to our last drive for awhile to Vegas to watch my husband live out a lifelong dream. We think it is important for our children to watch us live out our dreams as we breathe life into their dreams by being an inspiration, as they have inspired us to live freely. We stayed two days at the Venetian and then a week in the suburbs of Henderson in a home we rented with a pool. Long summer days and homeschooling filled our time there as well as a visit with some old friends. Having his whole family together along with him as he played was as much as a dream come true as winning. After a week in Vegas and several adventures there, Daddy busted on Day 3 of the tournament but not without a feeling of pride and many new opportunities. We left Vegas, stopping at Lake Las Vegas for a small hike and then drove to Monument Valley, Utah.
It was six hours from Vegas to Monument Valley and after so many miles logged behind them, our children are amazing travelers. When we arrived on the outskirts of the Valley in Utah a big beautiful storm was rolling in, we were in awe of the beauty of nature. We stayed at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in a beautiful little cabin right near the monuments. It was serene and majestic and the sunrise took our breath away. It was an amazing trip and we are so grateful for these moments with our children, for the ability to show them this beautiful world with the intention that when they grow up they will protect it and nurture it. The trip matured the children in a way that I simply cannot articulate and secured a friendship between them that is priceless. Seeing the world through my children's eyes fuels the wanderlust and free spirit that has always lived inside of me and I am grateful to be able to capture it all through my lens.