Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving and Preparing for the Big Day

The past two weeks seem like they've flown by.  The week after I graduated Erin's friend Stefanie was staying with her so we spent a lot of time hanging out and hiking.  She joined us as we got our marriage license at the Castle Rock city hall.  We were surprised at how easy it was for us to get married.  Erin and I each filled out a one-page form and then we gave them $10.  In Colorado you can marry yourselves, so all we have to do now is sign the license and give it back to them for us to be married.

The big event of last weekend was moving in to Erin's condo in Castle Rock.  My friends Brian and Andres helped us as we packed up all of my stuff and drove it here in our trucks.  For some time Erin and I have realized that we have too much stuff and we've been spending a lot of time going through everything and seeing what we can sell or give away.  There's still a lot of boxes and things to organize, but we're getting there.

As for the wedding, there always seems to be something that still needs to be done.  From the music selection to place cards indicating where people should sit, there are plenty of details to keep us busy.  Still, I took a break from it last night to celebrate my bachelor party with my friends.  It was a good time with a lot of drinking involved, but I'm glad we did it this weekend so I have a week to recover before the wedding.

The big day is almost here and we're both really looking forward to it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Important Updates

Friday Night After Rehearsal Meet-up

We're planning on getting together at the Wheel in downtown Estes Park after dinner on Friday night (around 9:30pm).  Anyone in the area is welcome to come join us.

132 E. Elkhorn Avenue

Estes Park, Colorado 80517



The first is information about our shuttle which is relevant to you only if you are staying at Alpine Trail Ridge Inn or Colorado Cottages.  

There will be a shuttle (shuttle being a school bus) that will pick up at Colorado Cottages at 3:00 pm on June 27th and at 3:05 pm(or whenever the bus gets over from Colorado Cottages- 3:05 is a safe estimate) at Alpine Trail Ridge Inn.  The bus will take you to Wild Basin.  Our shuttle does expect service dogs.  The wedding begins at 4:00.   

The bus will take two runs home- one at 9:30 pm and another at 10:30 pm, which is the ending time for our wedding.  This will save you from having to drive- hopefully.  Although those of you in the wedding party will need to be there earlier for pictures, so you may want to work out with significant others who have a car how you and he/she and the car will all make it to the wedding on time and home safely. 

For those staying at Windsong-  it is just down the street- like a 3-5 minute drive- but a pretty long walk. 

Sunday Hike

We are going to take a hike on Sunday.  This is obviously totally optional.  The hike will be at 1:00 pm at Lily Lake.  The hike does not allow pets- I am certain service dogs are the exception.  The hike is 1.1 miles and provides a great opportunity for a short, fairly easy, but scenic hike and an opportunity to hang out with Erin and Myron as Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle.  

From Estes Park, you just head up Highway 7 toward Allenspark.  Lily Lake is located on your right about 10-15 minutes outside of town. 

From Allenspark, you take highway 7 to Estes Park.  Lily Lake is again about a 15 minute drive and will be on your left. 

Make sure to dress in layers, bring good footwear, and bring water. 

Finally-  if you can help us to inform all of our other wedding guests you know who may also need this information, that would be outstanding! 

Thanks so much!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Graduating, a Commissioning, Parents Meeting, and a Bicycle Ride

The past week and a half have been incredibly busy as this full month starts.  Last week I got back from my friend Joe's wedding in Bakersfield, CA to my last classes on Monday.  With those finished, it was time to celebrate.  On Thursday, Erin joined me for my hooding ceremony where I received a graduation hood from the Daniels College of Business.  That night, Erin treated me to a delicious meal at Osteria Marco downtown.  It was wonderful to follow up with a drink on the 16th street mall watching the people walk by.

Friday was the full Denver University Advanced Degree Graduation with Master's and Doctorate candidates.  My parents, aunt and uncle, and Erin met up before the ceremony which ended up lasting about two hours.  Having not gone to my undergraduate graduation ceremony it was interesting.  Afterwards, my aunt Janet and uncle Reynold put on a delicious hamburger bar for all of us along with my friend Brian, his wife, and his parents who I met for the first time.  It was very enjoyable meeting them and I was very grateful for all of the people who helped me achieve my degree.

On Saturday Erin and I got to direct the laudations on Brian as he had his commissioning ceremony and graduation.  With his commissioning Brian became an officer in the US Army as he waits for orders to go to flight school and learn how to fly helicopters.  We followed the ceremony up with a delightful party at Brian's friend Ben's house.  Erin and I couldn't stay too long though as we were getting ready for a dinner where our parents would be meeting for the first time.  Our parents got along very well and though Erin and I had planned on treating both of them for all of their support, my parents insisted on paying.  It was then time to head home and prepare for our next day's activities.

For Erin, Sunday entailed an amazing bridal shower put on by her friends and family.  For me it was a 34 mile bicycle ride in Castle Rock.  This Elephant Rock ride is the first major bike event of the season in the area and when I learned of it I told my uncle Reynold and we both agreed to enter.  This was my first biking event and though I had trained, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Reynold, doing the 100 mile course, started much earlier in the day than me so we actually didn't see each other.  I started around 8:45am and was expecting a time-keeper of some kind, but it turned out to be more of just an organized ride than a race (at least for the 34 mile course).  The course did give me a chance to see the area where I'll be living after this following weekend and it was a beautiful day for a ride.  In the future though, I don't think I'll do rides like this unless there are people I know that I can ride with.

That Sunday night, Erin brought her friend Stephanie back home.  She's staying at Erin's place this week as we enjoy the beauty of Colorado.  Monday she got to witness Erin and I getting our marriage license in Castle Rock.  We were amazed at how easy the process was.  Since Colorado allows self-marriages we just had to fill out a pair of short forms to the best of our knowledge and pay $10.  We'll sign the license after our ceremony and turn it in to make it official.  We celebrated by going out to Wash park that afternoon and then going out for sushi for dinner.

Tuesday found us up in Evergreen for a hike above the lake and lunch down by the river.  That night, Erin and I had our first dance lesson that focuses specifically on our first dance at our wedding.  Erin found a fun dance instructor who worked out of Parker and we really enjoyed the lesson.  We'll be going back two or three more times to really get the dance down.

With all of these activities I took a break Wednesday to just hang out with Brian.  We played tennis in the morning and then spent the rest of the day watching movies.  It was very relaxing, but now I feel the need to get back to work.  Thursday, Erin, Stephanie, and I are mixing the two as we head up to Estes Park to scout out lodging and potential hikes for the day after the wedding.  This weekend, we'll be busy once again as we move me out of my apartment and into Erin's condo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Pines at Genesee

The folks at The Pines at Genesee came to me with the need to update their site with something that was easier to update.  They had taken a shot at this with a Flash-based site, but soon learned that being in Flash would keep the site from being indexed by search engines.

Working off the design they already had developed in Flash I copied the look they were going for into a content management system (CMS).  When setting up these types of sites I lean towards using the open source CMS called Drupal.  This system provides a modular approach to building a website's look and functionality.  Thus while a site can start as a blog which is easily updateable by average computer users, additional modules can be added to increase the functionality (e.g. for forums, picture galleries, form submissions, etc.).  This flexibility allowed me to add in the randomly rotating images seen on many of the pages.

I believe people should be able to have nice looking sites that they can update without having to learn HTML or Dreamweaver.  I think this site exemplifies that philosophy.


Well, it's been very busy these past two weeks, mostly with celebrations.  First there was Erin's celebration with her friends who had finished teaching another year of high school.  That same weekend we took a very nice walk along Bear Creek in Lakewood followed by a very lucky find. 

I found a Chinese food place near where we were walking, but at 8pm as we pulled into the parking lot Erin was looking pretty skeptical (with a bar/pool hall on one side and tattoo parlor on the other).  However, when we got inside Erin saw on the menu a dish that she remembered loving when she was younger (sesame pockets) and explained that the place that served it had gone out of business.  We really enjoyed the meal and as we were leaving Erin took another look at the sign (Golden Plate II) and exclaimed that the place she had gone to before was titled, "Golden Plate."  We followed up our fortuitous discovery with a movie completing an all-around good night.

I spent most of the rest of last week finishing up papers for classes and preparing for my one final.  But those didn't keep me from flying out to California for my friend's wedding.  It was a crazy, fun weekend as I got to see my friends.  Erin had her own wedding reception to go to over the weekend so we were able to compare notes for our own wedding when we got back together on Sunday.  With a final push Sunday night I also finished my papers finishing that class the following morning.

With the completion of the final for my other class last night I was done.  My friends Brian and Neil and I went out to celebrate downtown.  It was a good night as we also scoped out potential night clubs for the bachelor party in a few weeks.  The busyness just seemed to continue this morning as we got up, had breakfast, and Brian and I got our tuxes for our respective commendation ceremonies.

It feels nice to have classes over after the work of the past two years.  I don't know if I've felt true relief though as there are many other things to plan now.  I think Erin feels the same way.  We're both looking forward to the time when we can relax without needing to make more least for a while.