When: September 2-7, 2008
Where: Fort Collins, CO
What: The Ross Madden-Kelley Rees Wedtacular
Who: Ross, Kelley, Boo!, Andy, Courtney, Steve, Lindsey, Dannyboy, Christine, Jamie, PETER ROE, Sean, Dr. Jones, Jenna, Martha, Jeff, and Justin Toy
I’m on a trip-report-writing tear at the moment, having just finished Virginia 2007, so what better time than now to write another one?
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Okay, it’s been two weeks since I wrote that sentence above; I developed a severe case of writer’s block and haven’t touched this report ’til today. Of course, I could have said nothing and you’d have been none the wiser. But no, I hold nothing back from my readers; I lay it all on the line for you. And by “all,” I mean “several minutes of my time.” But I digress. Sit back and enjoy the latest excerpt from my forthcoming auto-biography, “Gee Willickers: A Boy’s Life.”
DAY 1: TUESDAY
After a Labor Day full of hot dogs and beer, it was a painfully early wake-up to catch my 6am flight to Colorado. Any grumpiness was tempered by the exciting realization it was vacation-time with my chums-in-arms; off to another joyous wedding in a sure-to-be fantastic setting. Well, maybe that excitement would have to wait a bit, as the Buffalo airport was packed when I pulled in around 4:45am, the security line stretching all the way back to the ticketing area. Uggggh.
I have no hilarious frivolity to share from the security line or the interminable flight, so I’m going to just jump ahead to my arrival at Denver, where I met up with my drinking buddy Jenna to get our rental car and head north to Fort Collins. We were both “pumped” and couldn’t wait to get up there as quickly as possible, especially after we saw the Devil Bronco that lords over Denver International Airport. No joke, there is a giant statue of a blue bronco with glowing red eyes rearing back on its hind legs at the airport’s entrance. I dunno, maybe it’s customary in the Rocky Mountain Time Zone to greet travelers with a horrifying demon horse.
Note: while looking for a photo of the statue (I wasn’t able to get one while driving), I came upon this story about it: click here. Yes, the statue KILLED ITS’ OWN CREATOR! The prosecution rests, your honor.
Having narrowly escaped the laser blasts emitted by the deadly bronco’s eyes (there were many casualties), we got on the road and were immediately treated to awesome views of the Rocky Mountains to our left in the west, stretching as far as the eye could see to the north and south. It’s a heck of a view, especially when seeing the range literally tower over the entire city of Denver off in the distance. We made it to Fort Collins in just under an hour and arrived at the home of Ross and Kelley, our hosts and wedded-couple-to-be. Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is also renowned for its many breweries and outdoor activities, which include hiking, mountaineering, biking, cattle herding, and drinking. My kinda town.
Ross, Kelley, and Boo! (their sweet dog, a Great Pyrenees) gave us a warm welcome to their kickass abode with a tour of the grounds, including the crawlspace in the basement where Justin Toy lives. (Do not expect any further explanation of that.) We met some friends of Ross’ and Kelley’s, and their hilarious young kid, who seemed to enjoy being the center of attention.
After the tour and a couple adult beverages, we headed out to see a bit of the town. And what a town it is. Very much a college town, but dare I say with a tad more mature sensibility. Perhaps that’s a product of the high quality beer the area produces. I’m sure a scientific study exploring the relationship between beer quality and maturity would yield positive results in this area. I went to college in upstate New York, where you were living in high society if you were downing Milwaukee’s Best by the case. And “mature” is not the adjective I’d use to describe the resultant experiences.
We stopped for some tasty fajitas (fa-jai-tas) before heading over to the New Belgium Brewing Company, one of the many breweries we were to visit that week. Heaven on earth for us beer fans. New Belgium provides a menu from which you can choose four beers to sample, free of charge. The four of us each made our selections and dug in (can you “dig in” to beer?). Again, the best adjective here to describe this place is “heaven.” (We may have a drinking problem.)
We headed back to Ross and Kelley’s place after that and just hung out, drank some more and hit the sack early, both Jenna and I still on East coast time.