Friday, August 8, 2008

2 Weddings and a Baptism

JULY 24th-27th, 2008
I'll start with the latest wedding in the wonderful world of Durango, Colorado (and what a different world it is). My old roommate, Kristy Wasserbach, married her perfect match, Matthew Bruce and man did they have a Colorado wedding! But first, I met my old college roommate Andrea and her boyfriend Omar at Denver airport to begin our adventure.

We rented a compact car (awesome gas mileage!) and headed South toward Wolf Creek Pass. We stopped quite a bit along the way and found this weird little place called "Tiny Town." It was just this miniature mountain town with an old mining mill and a train that went around it. Strange but interesting.

We made it to Durango 7 hours later just in time for Kristy's bachelorette party where I got to see many college friends I haven't seen in forever! We went bar hopping and managed to catch Durango's "Fiesta Days," which basically means all the cowboys are out with their cowboy hats, flannel shirts, and tight jeans. And man can they two step! The rest of the girls went camping after the bars, but Andrea, Omar and I went back to the hotel room to rest after that long drive. We had a big day coming up riding the old coal train from Durango to Silverton.

This train ride is in the "Top 1,000 Things To Do Before You Die," so we had to check it out, and they weren't kidding- it was beautiful!

This train has been running on coal for 125 years and was originally intended to transport valuable ore from Silverton to Durango. I don't know how they managed it, but the tracks are right along the edge of a gorge in the San Jose National Forest. It took 3 hours to travel 50 miles, and I got a little nauseous, but it was so gorgeous!

Here, Andrea and I are attempting to make a symbol for Colorado, but we're a little backwards. Behind us is the little town of Silverton nesteled in the valley of some amazing mountains. I bought a straw cowboy hat in a store we quickly ran into to because shortly after this picture was taken it started pouring down rain!

Anyway, onto the real reason we're in Durango...the wedding!

I have to say, this was the most creative and unique wedding I have ever been to. Kristy is an outdoor goddess and her wedding reflected just that. Her wedding dress included material from her visit to Thailand and her bouquet consisted of flowers that each of her girlfriends and bridesmaids had picked out themselves. My pick was an Iris and Andrea's was a rose.
Matt and Kristy made their own vows, which were beautiful, and the wedding was small and intimate.

The reception was a few hours later, so we stopped at Coldstone's and a pizza place to pass the time, which was an excellent idea. When we got to the reception, I was blown away! It was on her dad's business partner's property which happened to be in the middle of some huge red cliffs and a wide river. The white tent was set up right next to the river and was absolutely stunning. We decorated balloons to tie to a duckie (an inflatable kayak) that was to be the bride and groom's exit from the reception. We also tossed a frisbee, played with the local dog, enjoyed delicious elk for dinner and danced the night away.

So Kristy and Matt made their grand exit via flickering lights aglow from sparklers. They got in their duckee and paddled away, but of course Kristy fell in the water a bit (luckily she had changed first). We all wished them well as they floated away. But wait, the trip isn't over yet...

Now for the road trip home! We went the long, scenic way via Red Mountain Pass (the scariest
pass in the world!) There seriously is no shoulder on this pass, but it is gorgeous. We ate breakfast in the little town of Ouray and continued on into Gunnison where we stopped at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I hadn't been there since I was a kid, but it's exactly how I remembered it. We even took a picture exactly where my sister and I stood about 17 years ago. Weird when you think about life like that.

We also visited a Dairy Queen along the way and stopped at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which basically is a garden of large red sandstone rock. Then, surprisingly enough, I found out that my dad was actually in town helping my step-mom and little sisters move into their new home in Castle Rock. So Andrea dropped me off at their new house and my Papa Joe actually took me to the airport to catch my 9:00pm flight. I felt like I was in college again visiting my old stomping grounds.

Colorado is by far my favorite state with its clockwork afternoon storms, various land formations and completely dramatic mountain ranges. I had the time of my life with the people I love and enjoy. What a wonderful trip!

July 16-21, 2008
I went back home to Kentucky to attend my cousin, Missy Yeager's wedding. I hadn't been home in a year since the last wedding I went to, and it was nice to be back although I didn't see nearly as many people as I would have liked. My mom, Shelley's boyfriend Stu, and I drove up to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to attend the wedding and I'm so glad I came home for it. My Uncle Tom was so appreciative to see that Shelley and I had traveled so far for family and even made a comment in his toast about it. It was very touching.
Then of course we danced the night away and I'm surprised no one fell in the pool located near the dance floor. It was a very short trip, but reinforced the importance of family and making an effort to be there for them. Sometimes when you live so far away you forget what's going on in
everyone else's lives everyday. It's so important to keep in touch and keep the connection. And of course it was nice to be home to see my best friends, Erin and Nicole, and to see my awesome dog Mazy (and eat amazing Graeter's ice cream). Oh, and see the midnight showing for Batman =0)

June 21, 2008
Well, I'm a Godmother to my younger half-sister, Kelly. She's still a little young to be getting into philosophical conversations about life and death and what it all means, but I'm very honored to guide her in the future! So I flew to Mason City, Iowa to be with my dad and the fam in that part of the country. There is something warm and peaceful about the cornfields of Iowa, and it was great spending the time with family. We passed the time eating dinner and chatting on the back porch, jumping on the giant trampoline, and rocking out to Guitar Hero.

The Baptism was short and meaningful and the girls were patient with it. I can't wait for Kelly to get a little older so we can have a few religious conversations =0)

The next day we took the speed boat out on Crystal Lake and did some tubing and football tossing near the shore. It was a great time with the family and I'm very thankful to be so involved even though we all live so far apart.

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