We were, and are ENORMOUSLY bless by God! Our wedding week (Sat., Aug. 4th - Mon., Aug. 13th) turned out exceptionally well. Below is a collection of stories and details of the week. We hope you'll enjoy them. If you have other stories we aren't aware of, or that you think need to be included, please let us know.
Table of Contents (Click section to jump)
We left Michigan Saturday afternoon. Despite Liz's stupendous planning and organizing, our one last task before leaving for the airport was to print the wedding ceremony programs. How long can it possibly take to print a mere 60 pages (front and back)? Well, good thing Liz planned to leave an extra hour earlier than normal because by the time they all got printed and we made it to the airport and were checking in, it was 15 minutes before our flight left. Liz very nearly blew a gasket but when we made it aboard all was well. Of course it didn't help that we were man-handling 8 pieces of luggage including our carefully sized carry-ons.
Part of Liz's anticipation was due to the fact that we were suppose to rendezvousing with two of her younger siblings who were arriving before we did. When we called to check that they had arrived, made the shuttle from the airport to the hotel and got checked in ok, Israel indicated they were getting ready to head out on the town and they'd "try" to be back by 11:00 pm when we arrived. Somehow, Liz had a hard time seeing the humor given he's only 14 years old. Return to top.
We were able to rent a great place for our families to stay. The home was beautiful and the view of the mountains was amazing. We all said "we need to get us a place like this". Hmm.... maybe one day. The key thing was it accommodated Liz's "slightly" large family, Sean and his Mom. AND we enjoyed the most awesome meals cooked by the most wonderful Mexican cook, Mom Linares. She was so wonderful to spend the time and effort to cook breakfast and dinner for over 13 people everyday. Thank you Mom!! We love you!! It was also a great place for all of our guests to gather after a hard day of play and gather on the day of the wedding. Return to top.
Monday: Dave and Verna were right, there's nothing glamorous about getting a marriage license. Although, the clerk did give us a gift. It was a plastic bag filled with samples of cleaning items. I guess its better than nothing. Return to top
Tuesday: Horse back riding. This is one of the most scenic trips I had been on. Sean didn't care for the nose-to-butt arrangement, but he enjoyed it anyway. I tried to make the trip a "quiet/enjoy the outdoors" type of ride, but Sean and the guide had other ideas. They maintained constant chatter the whole way. Did I tell you the ride was an hour and a half? Half way through the trip, we had a little excitement when Tabitha and her horse decided they were going to gallop into the sunset on their own. That horse showed Tabitha who the boss was. Return to top
Wednesday: Mountain biking. Most people put their bikes in their trucks and drive their bikes up the mountain to the trial head, but not us!! We rode our bikes up that mountain! The scenery was a great reward though. But once it started raining, Kathy, Ruth, Israel, Daniel and I decided to head back When we finally made it to the bottom, we were suddenly pelleted by hail. Ouch! Fortunately we were in town and found a bus stop to take shelter. Tom and Sean rode from Breck city center completely to the top of Bordeaux pass (above the tree line). God took pity on their valiant efforts and somehow diverted the rain around their riding path. They did freeze on their very exciting ride down. Let me (Sean) say that Tom is an ANIMAL! While I was panting and getting leg cramps I don't think Tom even broke a sweat. Anyway, at the end of the day we were "done". I think everyone went to bed before 10: PM. Return to top
Thursday: White water rafting, Spoons, and Guestures (Charades). After a fun day on the Arkansas river, allot of us met back at the "house" for games, relaxing, and families just getting to know each other. We had several games of spoons going simultaneously. It was very exciting. There was allot of violence and great fun. Sean of course was picking on the small women and flinging them across the tables, but still no-one was seriously hurt. At the end of the night, the few that were left had a guys -vs.- gals Charades duel. Of course the women won! (Ya, whatever.) But the best part was watching the guys try to play out the words ; "sexy", "bumblebee", and "shy". Talk about pictures that could be used as blackmail. It was priceless. Return to top
Friday: Golfing, rehearsal and more spoons. Bill's high-waters, where is the groom?, the restaurant that thinks it was a good idea to sit on on two sides of a wall, the beautiful carriage ride with two awesome friends...
(Sean's comments in parentheses)
I heard the golfing group had fun but no-one would really admit to how they did. (The Keystone Ranch course was incredible! We did just fine.) It had to be incredible though given that the guys who were suppose to be in the wedding couldn't pull themselves away to actually make it to the wedding rehearsal on time. PARTICULARLY THE GROOM! (Who me?) But they drove at the speed of light and made it about 10 minutes (25 minutes) before the hour was up. Sean still had the audacity to complain he left at the 8th hole. (That's right, and we didn't even play out #8!) But I figured it was better he show up late on that day than on Saturday, so I remained calm. At the end of the rehearsal, Bill of course came through for us with comic relief. His tuxedo pants looked like knickers. (12" too short! Ha!) Even though Bill would have been a good sport and actually worn the tiny pants, Sean managed to get a hold of the tuxedo guy for a replacement. The rash of calamities didn't end with the short pants, we had to continue at the restaurant. For some reason they thought we'd be happy with half of our group sitting on opposite sides of a wall. Amazing isn't it? Things still worked out well. Dinner was nice and afterwards, Bill and Valerie treated Sean and I to a wonderful carriage ride. We saw the most perfect rainbow and enjoyed Vail at dusk. (This was a really fun ride with two of our most special friends!)
Fortunately for all of us, we got all of our wedding calamities out of the way the day of the wedding rehearsal. Return to top.
Sean was on time, Bill's new pants fit, the ceremony, what's my line?, "I can't breath!", the incredibly understanding photographer, wedding photos, Brian and Corrie Naasz - the incredible herding bus monitors!
Sean did show up on time, and Bill did have pants that fit. But I had a little trouble half way through the ceremony. I forgot my wedding vows (which I had promised they day before I'd memorize and wouldn't need a cheat sheet for), and also had quite a bit of trouble breathing... well actually I couldn't breath at all. Strange sensation. It really wasn't out of fear. Everything up to that point seemed surreal to me and I think that at that moment the reality of the whole thing hit me at once. Plus I couldn't believe I was actually there.
Now for Sean's side of the story...I was cool as a cucumber and yes, on time to the minute including giving marching orders to other helpers and greeting guests at the house while the girls were primping. See, we had our guests meet us at the house and a bus took everyone over to the church. Everyone, that is, except for yours truly since I had been given a special dispensation due to my "slight" tardiness the day before. Anyway, Dave, the best man, and I drove separately. I'm not sure why I didn't have him drive us over but for some reason I was feeling like I needed to be "in charge." But before we left I put Brian (Groomsman) and Corrie Naasz in charge of being the bus monitors. Liz and I had discussed this the night before and when we were thinking of who we could ask to help "drive the herd" and make sure everyone got on, off and corralled correctly we KNEW Brian would be perfect for this job. See, Brian's not exactly a shy or easily intimidated kind of guy, well OK basically he's a slave driver. Well, at least he was when he was my boss. Anyway, with Brian's people directing skills and Corrie's charm and personality we KNEW we had a winning combination for this task.
So, we're all to the church exactly as directed. The ceremony begins and round the corner comes my breathtakingly beautiful bride. It made me cry immediately. However, I held my composure together (for a few more minutes anyway). It helped when Liz's Dad dropped off Liz at the alter and judging from his seemingly confused kiss on her shoulder, it appeared he might be more nervous than me. (Course would you be if you were presenting your daughter to marry me?) Click this link for more details of the wedding ceremony. Although my address wasn't exactly the way I planned it, I managed to get through it (emotions and all) without any memory assistance.
....more to come
One exciting surprise Sean and I did not plan was an exciting ride on the gondola. It was free of charge! (no pun intended). About the time we were going up to the top of the mountain, a typical afternoon shower moved in. The lighting that came with it was also not unusual because they let our guest get on the gondola. Half way up one of the cars was hit by lightning. Not only did it scare Sean's family who was in that car, but it scared Karen so much she was worried her short life was coming to an end. Everyone was ok of course but how many people can say they were hit by lighting at a wedding reception.
The hors d'oeuvres, dinner, service and the music were great. And we appreciate everyone's wonderful compliments on the food.
Sean and I spend a wonderful week on an Alaskan cruise. We traveled from Anchorage to Vancouver on Celebrity Cruises. In an academic way I always knew Alaska was far, but let me tell you that was one of the longest trips EVER! Its is very far. Anyway, in spite of the bad publicity cruise ships have gotten in the past year (2003) we did have a wonderful time of being pampered. We ate, slept, and enjoyed the wonderful Alaskan coasts. Sean did a great job of booking one of the best rooms with a balcony. We even had a butler. It was so enjoyable to have breakfast and enjoy such a wonderful view.
Alaska is an amazing place. You would think it wouldn't be much different than Colorado, but it really is. Its much more spectacular, rugged, pristine... We would like to go back one day, but this time drive through the state. We saw and hiked glaciers, visited quaint Alaska "Northern Exposure" type towns, learned about Russian and Native American history of the towns, saw a great deal of wild life; grey whales, lots of eagles, seals, etc.. One of the towns we stopped at had a river running through it and we got to see salmon swimming up stream to spawn. What a sight! We stood on the bridge and watched them for quite some time. I felt bad for them but hey, that's their life and they're just following directions from their Creator.
We also ate like Queens. I think we put on 10 lbs that week, at least I felt like I did. One of the dinners included a very elaborate buffet. They even had a special viewing of it before they opened the dining room for dinner. It was amazing. Chocolate statues, fruit sculptures, ....it doesn't do it justice to describe it, suffice it to say it was a very elaborate spread. And of course we didn't have our camera so we can't even post a picture it so you have to take our word for it. : (