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The Nichols Blog bio picture

Welcome to the Nichols' Blog!

Hi and thank you for dropping by! We're Jennifer and CJ Nichols and this is where we share our latest work. From weddings, brides, and engagements to our own fun adventures with our family, this is where you'll find it all!

Road Trippin’ 2010

We were so ready to the hit the open road after a busy summer season, but this time would be a little different. Two kids instead of one!! This was our first big trip with Georgia in tow, so I planned a similar trip to last year’s road trip just to keep things simple and enjoyable. The goal was to make it to the cool mountains of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, and we planned stops in Balmorhea, Marfa, White Sands, and then Marathon, TX on our way home. It was an awesome trip with the fam!

First stop, the cold springs of Balmorhea. We stayed here last year and couldn’t wait to come back! Go, CJ!!

Georgia liked dipping her little feet in the cold San Solomon springs.

Maggie makes new friends wherever we go.

Marfa is just a 30 minute drive from Balmorhea, so we drove in for some lunch at the historic Hotel Paisano. In 1955, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and Rock Hudson made the hotel their headquarters while filming the movie Giant. Just a little trivia for ya.

The image on the left was our motivation for making this trip. Everyone knows how long and brutally hot Texas summers can be, so feeling a cool breeze of 72 degrees in August?? SO worth the drive.

Anytime we travel, I look for places to stay on We’ve found so many cool places to stay through this site, and for not much more than a hotel room, you can have a comfy house all to yourself! This place was a total find. A huge deck overlooking the Lincoln National Forest and a cozy fireplace. We didn’t want to leave!

We took this trip just a week before Maggie started kindergarten, so I found myself thinking a lot about how unbelievably fast she’s growing, and wishing I could just stop time for a bit and sit in awe of her 5-yr. old wonderfulness. I guess I wanted to take this trip so that we could take her with us somewhere beautiful and quiet, and have her all to ourselves before she starts this huge, new chapter in her life. I’m so proud of this little kindergartner…

One day we had planned a hike, and as we were stocking up on some yummy deli sandwiches from the local general store for a picnic, we got caught in a rainstorm. So we headed home, built a fire in the fireplace, and taught Maggie how to play Monopoly. She loved it! One of my favorite memories for sure: snuggled up by the fireplace, doors open to the sounds and smell of rain, playing Monopoly with Mags and Ceej, while Georgia napped. Perfection.

Georgia’s first hike! She was such a trooper and made it 2.5 miles without a peep.

Gorgeous light, and my beautiful girl.

White Sands is only a 45-minute drive down the mountain from Cloudcroft, and you can actually see it from some of the trails. It’s one of Maggie’s favorite places, so we had to make a stop.

I’ve been here lots of times, but this is the first time I’ve seen it with water! They had lots of rainstorms, so the parking lots were flooded. It was the coolest thing ever! Maggie had a blast playing in the water, then climbing up the sand dunes, rolling down, and then back into the water to rinse off.


Such a surreal landscape.

Our last stop was the Gage Hotel in Marathon, TX. I had really just booked us a room here to break up the long ride home, but it ended up being one of our favorite stops. There was a huge pool that Maggie loved, and I was in love with the decor and attention to detail. It’s also a short drive to Big Bend National Park, so we’ll definitely plan to come back here for a longer visit.

This is West Texas, so it’s pretty desolate, but Marathon actually had much more to offer than I expected. Cute coffee shops, a couple of cafes, art galleries, a pizza joint and bookstore. Such a charming, little town.

It was an awesome trip that we’ll never forget!!

October 12, 2010 - 7:20 am Zach Anderson - The Nichols sure know how to vacation! I gotta get to that white sands place. Amazing. Hope the whole family is doing great and by the pics, looks like you are :)

October 12, 2010 - 8:08 am Jessica Define - So is it ok if Steven and I just kindof follow you guys around to all these awesome places? You won't even know we're there. ;) These pictures are all gorgeous, Jen!! I love seeing pictures of your girls, they're both the cutest!! AND now I want to go to Marathon just for the typography!

October 14, 2010 - 11:59 am Connie Sonnier - Looks like a fun trip! Love the pics!!

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