OH my word! Good evening? Good morning? What time is it?!
Ben and I flew out of Denver at 8:30pm last night, which didn’t put us back on Midwestern soil until 11:15pm! ZZZzzzzzz…
The jet lag was worth it because we had a wonderful weekend with Ben’s family and extended family – which is HUGE! I come from a small family on my Mom’s side and a moderately sized family on my Dad’s – but Ben’s Dad’s side is bigger than both of mine combined!
I loved feeling all the love over the past couple of days and it was great to be together for such a special occasion. Ben and I hadn’t seen some of his Aunts, Uncles & cousins since we got married almost three years ago!
Now let’s see here, where did we leave off…
Oh yes – the rehearsal dinner at the Denver Aquarium! How unique, right?!
The under-the-sea decor was super cute and was supplemented by, what else, aquarium mascots!
What a ham shark… ;)
We arrived, grabbed a cool cocktail (I’m currently obsessing over Ginger Vodka & Soda – to die) and headed off on the aquarium tour!
I think the aquarium was open to the public for night tours, but it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.
Every time I turned around I ran into a cousin, Aunt or Uncle…sometimes in dive suits! :D
We all toured at our own pace – sometimes walking together in big groups to ogle the sharp toothed barracudas.
And other times, strolling alone. :)
I’ve been to a ton of aquariums in my day and this one was right up there with the best of ’em!
My favorite sites were the seahorses,
can you spot them?
And the under-water tunnel.
Look who passed by!
A MASSIVE sea turtle! I’m telling you – this thing was as big as mini coop!
The whole tour took a good 30 minutes, I’d say.
During which we encountered the incredibly odd,
and incredibly cool – such as the touch a stingray exhibit! I’m a wimp and stood at a snap-shot length’s distance. Mmmmhmmm :)
In a bout of wicked luck, by camera died right as we were wrapping up the tour and heading into dinner. I managed to squeeze out a picture of the COOLEST part though – the mashed potato bar!!!!!!!
Picture three different kinds of mashed potatoes available (red, yukon and sweet) with big bowls of all the fixins’ you could ever want – cheese, butter, chives, mushrooms, bacon – the works. Then picture, if you will, an elevated slab of granite with a little buffet-heating flame underneath.
Slap a couple scoops of potatoes on the hot granite, add your toppings and mix a la Coldstone Creamery. Custom mashed potatoes y’all! It was seriously a HIT. The line for the mashed potato bar was triple that of any other food line – genius!
The next day Ben’s immediate family and I went up into the mountains to check out his Uncle’s home. Picture a view of Pike’s Peak and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains out one side of the house, the far-off city of Denver out the other, and not another house for acres. It was one of the most spectacular home I’ve ever seen.
Ben’s Aunt also did an incredible job at designing the home to feel chic & luxurious, yet mountain-side-cabin-cozy and family-friendly. It was right out of the pages of a magazine!
Soooah, when do Ben and I move in??? ;)
That night we got gussied up and headed off to the main event – the wedding!
For two weeks in a row we’ve been spoiled with weddings where the ceremony and reception were in the same place. Saturday’s took place at Mile High Station right by the Bronco’s stadium in downtown Denver.
I believe the station used to be an actual train station stop, and the bare brick walls were complimented by enormous, industrial-ish chandeliers dropped from the towering ceiling.
We took our seats and watched the happy couple get hitched!
The ceremony space was to turn into the reception space so while they re-arranged, the guests headed upstairs, among the lights, for cocktail hour.
You know what? Ben is not this tan in real life, which leads me to hope, pray and believe that I am not this pale either. I could be an extra in Twilight! :?
Dinner was fabu, and a vegetarian’s DREAM, with roasted butternut squash, roasted potatoes (which I managed to drop on my dress – go me) and to-die for vegetable pasta. The meat eaters got their fill of stuffed chicken and flank steak too! The highlight was this gorgeous chocolate cake. Moist with an incredible whipped icing. One of the best I’ve ever had, actually!
The night continued with all the customary wedding activities. The first dance.
“Find the garter”
Many, many thanks to Ben’s entire family for such a wonderful weekend. They are too few and far between. You know how it goes!
Back to regularly scheduled programming tonight – IBE’s in charge of dinner!!!
What’s one weird or random thing in your purse or wallet right now?