Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Telluride Wedding


As if Telluride isn't the most magical Colorado mountain town already, your husband's sister goes and announces she'd like to get married there. So now we throw romance and major family memories into the experience that is Telluride. Love is a battlefield a gondola ride.
Telluride Wedding

Well now, I've always wanted to go to Telluride and here we were with the perfect reason. Thanks for getting married, Aunt Katie & Uncle Steve! It was an honor to be a part of this day.

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The gondola lifted us up to the San Sophia Overlook.

Telluride Wedding

From this amazing view, you can see both the town of Telluride down below and its surrounding peaks with waterfalls like slow-moving rivulets from a distance and the Coors beer can mountain on the other side. {Neither of which are pictured in this photo, but rather my husband, the groom, and my husband's brother.}

Telluride Wedding

The children preceded the bride, Von Trapp style. Look at them. Glorious.

Telluride Wedding

Hurry up, Paxton!

Telluride Wedding

Here comes the bride!

Telluride Wedding

And just like that, on the San Sophia Overlook, with the Sneffels range as a backdrop, we saw two people vow to one another.

Telluride Wedding

So then we celebrated by taking tons of photos. Which was surprisingly easy when it's a small, intimate wedding that only close family attends. I'm a fan.

Telluride Wedding

And giving our parents heart attacks by nearly running off the overlook.

Telluride Wedding

It was windy! Look at how windblown our hair is. {lel}

Telluride Wedding

Thank God these two newlyweds understood there would be a need for a break between wedding and reception. We headed back down into Mountain Village to rest with the kids.

Telluride Wedding

Justin napped with Paxton while us girls took it easy, refreshed, and then we headed back up the mountain a couple hours later.

Telluride Wedding

We stepped off the gondola at the top of the mountain. Unlike in winter, during which you'd be wearing ski boots and masks and parkas, today we arrive in formal wear.

Telluride Wedding

Right off the gondola into Allred's, which I can safely say is the fanciest restaurant Sander and I have ever been to together. {Please notice their matching outfits with elbow patches, I just slay myself. My boys. 😍}

Telluride Wedding

Katie  Stephen

Telluride Wedding

So in Allred's, the bride and groom had booked our small wedding party in a private room overlooking Telluride.

Telluride Wedding

With a sommelier to see to the adults, and coloring books & crayons to take care of the kids.

Telluride Wedding

It was really lovely.

Telluride Wedding

Telluride Wedding

Telluride Wedding

Telluride Wedding
From a menu, we got to choose our own edible adventure. We picked the lobster bisque over salad, obvs. {I had never tried lobster before because I have a thing about seafood, but this I've always wanted to try a good version of. It was amazing.}

Telluride Wedding

And while Sander ordered the lamb, I played it safe with the beef.

Telluride Wedding

And Paxton enjoyed the most amazing kids meal he will ever get.

Telluride Wedding

Crème brûlée, a favorite.

Telluride Wedding

And to top it all off, we enjoyed an amazing view the entire evening.

Telluride Wedding

The sommelier was good to us, and Sander was thankful that the designated driver was the gondola. He sang "New York, New York" to us all the way down.

Telluride Wedding

But that view....I'm missing the view. I miss Telluride.

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Can you blame me?

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I need to go back.

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So I hope you're working on renewing your vows, Aunt Katie and Uncle Steve.

Telluride Wedding


Cheers,
Heather

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pokemon Go has changed the cemetery

{Is there a Pokemon inside this hollow tree?}

It'd been a few weeks since I've been to the cemetery. I let other volunteers take all the photo requests because I've been busy. It's birthday season in our family.

So it was a surprise to head over there yesterday with three photo requests to fulfill, only to find the cemetery quite crowded. It usually isn't, not at all. Sometimes I visit the large cemetery and don't see any other cars except for the ones parked outside the main office. Most times I'll see a car or two, and a bicyclist or perhaps a dog walker. I see more deer than I do people at Fairmount.

But yesterday, it was packed. I experienced a traffic jam, actually, on the non-public roads lined with family mausoleums and monuments.

Not just that, but there were people hanging out. Some in groups, some with one friend, and a few loners. Just...loitering. Staring at their smartphones.

I didn't even have to guess what's changed in the last few weeks to make the cemetery suddenly crowded with young adults:

It's Pokemon Go. 

Yep. The gaming app that's currently sweeping the nation {right off the side of a cliff} has even affected the cemetery, of all places.

And I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it.

It's a bit unnerving to see groups of people standing around in a cemetery, knowing their being there has nothing to do with all the graves they're standing on. It felt less peaceful. I encountered other drivers being somewhat reckless, staring at their phones as they navigated. It also makes me self-conscious. Because the first thing I usually do when I arrive at Fairmount is pull over and get on my phone. But I'm hunting grave locations for genealogy research and looking at the vast map of over 100 blocks of graves so I know where to go. I'm not hunting virtual reality Japanese cartoon creatures.

I have always been cautious at the cemetery. Well aware that there could be seedy characters lurking behind monuments. I'm hyper-vigilant to stay away from strangers and watch out for myself there. I don't look for graves if I feel unsafe. Pokemon Go has brought a whole new type of visitor to Fairmount, and I'm sure they're harmless, but the fact is: there's just more people around there now!

I'll also say this: it's sad to me that there were more people playing Pokemon at the cemetery yesterday than I saw there recently on Memorial Day weekend.

On the other hand...to play the devil's advocate...it's getting them out into nature, it's putting Fairmount--and its Colorado history within--on the map for these people. That's good right? They have just as much of a right to be there as I do, right?

As I prepared to leave, I rolled down my window and drove up to a group of about 8 twenty-somethings staring at their phones. A couple were seated on the side of the road, a few more standing, one was leaning against his bike. This is out of character for me, as it turns out I'm more of an introvert than I was raised to think I was {they used to call me a social butterfly, but adulthood has revealed that I avoid social situations when possible.} But I had to be sure...

"Hey," I called out. "Are you guys playing Pokemon Go?"

"Yeah," they said, somewhat sheepishly.

I laughed in a friendly way. "Are there a lot of Pokemons around here?" {I'm not well versed in the lingo, despite having downloaded it to see what all the fuss was about.}

"Oh yeah!" a girl answered. "There's a gym right behind me!" She pointed to a family mausoleum.

Another boy piped up, defensive and friendly, "It's crazy, but I'd never think to come here if it weren't for Pokemon Go! It's actually a really neat place, so this is cool."

"Yeah, totally!" I said. "You should check out the giant mausoleum back there! [Where another Pokemon crowd lingered, btw.] There's a whole herd of deer that hangs out, and I can sometimes spot bald eagles..." but I trailed off because I realized they weren't interested in any of that, and were staring at their phones once again.

"Have fun, bye!" I said. At least I got some friendly goodbyes back.

But it's a shame to me, frankly, that in 2016 it seems that what's getting the next generation out and about and active is not Fitbits and interest in local historical treasures. But rather, Pokemon.

I got a Fitbit last week at Kohl's and it's been a sobering wake up call to see how sedentary I have become as a stay-at-home-mom. It's reminding me to get up and stay active and go on walks. It set me back $130. One might say that Pokemon Go, which I've learned rewards you for walking and visiting new places, is the "poor-man's" Fitbit?

Anyway, I'm interested to see if the Pokemon at the cemetery continues to be a thing from here on out. Tell me your thoughts, leave a comment. I'm still undecided how I really feel about it.

I'll just say, don't be surprised when the next death-during-Pokemoning you hear about in the news involves a headstone falling over on someone. 


{I opened the app to see how many Pokemon thingys there were at the cemetery, as you can see in the block behind my avatar, which is all cemetery, there's quite a lot!}


Cheers,
Heather 

P.S. If you can not judge me too harshly for recording while driving {would never do this on public, busy roads and my eyes were 100% on road} I very cautiously filmed it, yesterday. {Notice my strange midwest accent when I say phones. Lel.}

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gondola Adventures: Mountain Village & Telluride

With a wedding scheduled the very next day, we pressed on toward Telluride...

To Telluride

When you approach Telluride by way of Montrose, you feel as if you're driving into Switzerland. I have enjoyed a lifetime of Colorado Rocky Mountain views, but there really is something especially spectacular about Sneffels Range. No picture could do them justice.

To Telluride

We didn't actually stay in Telluride, but Mountain Village. Think of Telluride as a remote, elite, affluent mountain town. Mountain Village is like its {slightly, barely} more affordable suburb which most people could still not afford to live in. Founded in the mid 90s and fashioned to look like a Swiss village. The view from our rooms was divine.

To Telluride

We left our car at the hotel and didn't use it during the entire stay, because Mountain Village has a 3 mile gondola that traverses the mountain. The gondola silently glides along the village from 7 a.m. to midnight every day. You hop on in Mountain Village...

To Telluride

Going up, up, up...

To Telluride

Until you reach the operation house at the top of the mountain, where you can jump off the gondola, which has slowed down, to either ski {if it's winter, obvs}, dine, or get hitched.

To Telluride

But if you should choose to stay on the gondola, it speeds up as it carries you off the side of the mountain, down to Telluride, which is directly below you now. It's a bit startling the first time you drop into Telluride! This gondola has safely transported millions since it was installed, and goes about 11 mph for 13 minutes.

To Telluride

Then, you'll find yourself in the heart of Telluride, where everything is walking distance.

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When you're ready to go back to your lodging in Mountain Village, you just hop right back on the gondola. Dogs and strollers are welcome. Sometimes locals or other tourists will join you to fill up the gondola, which can carry 8 adults. Other times you enjoy the ride alone. In early June, we almost never had to wait in line more than a minute.

To Telluride

And you enjoy the breathtaking views or try and spot wildlife. We saw a happy porcupine a couple times, some deer, and according to locals a bear hangs out around the top of the gondola.

To Telluride

We stayed at The Inn at Lost Creek. It was a really nice stay all the way around, and just a short walk from the gondola. Everyone tells you how beautiful Telluride is, but until you've seen it with your own eyes, the words fail.

To Telluride

Each night during our stay, we booked a private hot tub on the roof, where we would watch the sun setting, the constellations revealing, and the satellites passing over steadily--reminding us that a world of high powered, bustling business was still carrying on all over the world. Except here.

To Telluride


Cheers,
Heather
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