Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rocky Mountain Wedding/Vacation

Laura and I left for Denver on a direct flight out of Peoria Thursday morning, picked up a rental car (we will not be buying a Chevy Traverse anytime soon) and stopped by Emily and Steve's house in Golden.  What a cute little bungalow with oodles of character.

We made it to the YMCA of the Rockies at Snow Mountain Ranch, just south of Granby, Colorado, by 2 o'clock and the wedding festivities could not wait.  We had a bachelorette party to put on!  After decorating and tracking down food & beverage for the girls I joined a group of 15 other guys. We visited all the bars in Granby (both of them) and then headed up the mountain to a campfire site for some serious celebration.  Stories were told and beverages were consumed.  Good times.

Jed on way up to zip line!

Friday, a group of us went for a 3 mile round trip hike to see a waterfall. It was nothing in comparison to what we saw in Hawaii earlier in the summer, but beautiful nonetheless.  I played nine holes of frisbee golf at possibly the worst frolf course I've ever experienced.  After a nice nap, we went to the zip line!  I backed out.  I had signed up originally, because I'm a chicken I backed out.  The bride, groom, Laura, and Jed all went. It was fun watching, but I value my life and I wasn't climbing that pole!  Next was the rehearsal dinner which featured BBQ ribs.  Over a hundred people attended the wedding weekend from numerous different states and our lodge was soon filled with laughter and appetites.  

John in his wedding attire.

Ruby, the ring bearer.

Saturday morning I went for a run and realized my lungs aren't ready to compete at 8,800 feet up.  Later, Laura, cousin John, and our new friend Marta went paddle-boarding at the lake on the ranch.  I had lost some of my confidence while trying to SUP in Illinois, but I regained it all and more in Colorado.  Thanks, John! . . .   Before long, it was wedding time!

The wedding party.
Life altering event just ahead!

The wedding was really beautiful.  It was western themed and the setting was amazing.  Short, sweet, and heartfelt... my favorite type of wedding.  John and I were in charge of the "photo booth" at the reception.  We had to dress everyone up, and take color pictures that would be printed out from a polaroid type camera.  The pictures would then be affixes to a colorful index card with wishes and congratulatory remarks.  It was fun, and I was glad that I could contribute something to the wedding day.

Watch out for Marta!

Sunday morning featured a wonderful brunch hosted by Sarah and Jed.  We said our goodbyes and headed back to Denver, through the Rocky Mountain National Park to look for moose.  Well, Laura and Marta just wanted to see colorful aspen and beautiful sights.  I wanted moose!  Pictures were taken, trails hiked, and rocks were climbed... but alas, no moose.  We did find a near-frightening photo opportunity of Marta though!

Laura and I had a great time.  We didn't get back until late Sunday night, but we met some really nice people, took part in a beautiful wedding, and saw many the Rockies.  Well worth the trip!
Hot couple in the cool mountains.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warrior Dash

The Course Map
Frank checking for contraband upon arrival in Rockford.
We survived!  Jane, Laura, Jeremy, Mikelle, Sandra, Vince, and myself all traveled to Rockford Friday evening and spent the night at Jeff and Nichole's.  We departed about 6:40 a.m. and arrived at Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, about 7:50.  We checked in, laced up shoes with timing chips, applied face paint, and pump ourselves up.  Somewhere in the mix Jeff's cheeks made an appearance.

We snuck into the 9:00 heat and attacked what is described as "3.08 hellish miles".  The course included 12 obstacles (walls, mud pits, fire, & etcetera).  We deftly navigated the course and we all finished without major injury.  Afterwards, like true warriors, we dined on turkey legs and drank beer!

Before the race: Jeremy, Mikelle, Jeff, Nichole, Math Man, Laura, Jane, Sandra and Vince.
Challenging course, good food, and lots of laughs with great friends.  It was a fun morning!  Did I mention we received t-shirts, plush viking helmets, and a medal for finishing!  Enjoy the pics!

Laura's ready to go into battle!

Jane finished her 1st ever 5k!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Calm before the storm...

My Dunlap Middle School softball season officially concluded this past Wednesday with a quick 10-0 loss to  the Farmers of Farmington.  We finished the year with a record of 3 wins and 18 losses.  Tough year, good kids, not a lot of talent. Still had fun, so all is good.  Off the record, Jane helped coach three games and attended one other; her overall record was 2 wins and 2 losses. Rumors are circulating about her being a good luck charm of sorts.  

This afternoon started the first of twenty-one open gym basketball dates before girls basketball tryouts on Halloween.  It was good to see the team again, and for those of you know that aren't in the know, this freshmen girls basketball job is really growing on me: all the positive's of coaching and teaching the sport, with less pressure, attitude, and parental conflict that comes along with a varsity position.

This Friday we head up to Rockford to run the Warrior Dash in lower Wisconsin.  Laura and I will car pool with Jane, and we'll run in the 9:30 a.m. wave with Jeff, Nichole, Sandra, Vince, Jeremy, Mikelle and some of the Coker's friends.  Should be a blast!  Click on the above link if you are the least bit curious about what we're getting ourselves into. 

Meanwhile, my Cubs have been without an active GM for the better part of a month now.   Crazy!  Who's going to be the next big hire to lead them to the promise land?  I'm hoping for Theo Epstein, the guy that helped bring two championships to Boston in the last decade.  But, a small part of me believes in this person: Kim Ng.  Sometimes all something needs is a woman's touch.

Thursday, September 22nd, Laura and I leave for Colorado to participate in Steven and Emily's wedding.  I have purchased boots and a vest for the western themed weekend.  Should be fun!  Downside is I have to prep for two days of school for the substitute who doesn't know Calculus.

The Thursday and Friday after that I have been requested by the district to attend a workshop for continuing education credits.  More sub plans for my non-fluent subs! 

Did I mention that I'm still trying get a 5K race off the ground as the major fundraiser for this spring's high school prom?

Yikes!  Calm before the storm is right!

Speaking of calms before storms...  enjoy this pick of Gus "hiding" in a box before readying himself for thirty seconds of fury that was soon to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting Mooshie.