Colorado Springs - June, 2018

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After arriving in Colorado Springs on a Thursday evening, I drove to my sister Doris and husband Paul's temporary Condo for dinner, then checked in late at a brand new Best Western at Fillmore & I-25, which has only been open for 14 days.  It was good seeing the latest bathroom floors and shower materials, and the latest in fire detection and elevator equipment.  I could also count 14 separate peaks that could be seen from my west-facing room on the top floor. 

On Friday morning I picked up my sister Mary at her house & we drove to Palmer Park for a mile or two walk with her two dogs.  

The event that attracted so many family members, from all over, was the wedding of Mary's older son Sam and his Bride Jessica.

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again. 

Palmer Park trail Mackenzie and Cody Yucca, a little past prime blooming lapping up last night's rain puddles
  Mary is an avid walker hoodoo Cody
the inspiration for bonsai Pike's Peak & Garden of the Gods   downtown & Cheyenne Mountain

Afterwards, we had coffee at Mary's  & talked until noon, but she and Roger had to prepare for a large feast that night, hosting the entire wedding party (after a rehersal) as well as we immediate family members.  Roger said his new & improved barbequed ribs process requires at least four hours. 

Having time to explore the town, which I'm pretty familiar with, I drove to Evergreen Cemetery, but couldn't find my Mom's grave site, but Doris would show me later where it is.  Instead I dropped by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, always a good place to wander around & explore.  

winds sets it in motion   underneath artist's background
  by Chihuly  
  Chihuly uses other mediums    

On Friday evening there was a great dinner with the wedding party at Mary & Roger's.  Roger's barbecue was fabulous, demonstrating skills recently acquired during an intensive three day course at 12 hours a day, from a master BBQ chef in New Orleans. 

The gag gift from Paul (photo in third row below) following a Toast by Alex to the wedding couple, is a reference to my Nephew Sam and Jessica's current living situation in Sumter, South Carolina.  Sam is stationed at nearby Shaw Air Force base.  Sam's been in for one year, and was on short leave, having to return to Base on Monday.  Yes, there are a lot of flying bugs down there in South Carolina.    

Sam the Groom's men nice nails Ryan's girls  Autumn & Stella 
    Mary and Crystal Don talking with Crystal  
another Crystal with Alex Jessica's family Alex proposing a Toast J's fam
  Paul's intro to the gift deep south survival tool Tina, Doris, Don  
Crystal & Paul very smooth Irish whiskey Theresa & Dave Dave brought his gold medal winner  (*)
  Roger & Mary   Don and Tina, from Las Cruces, NM Roger working on a gas valve

(*) - Dave's Imperial Smoked Lager won gold in a recent international micro-brew competition in L.A., in the Smoked Lager category, with Sam Adams Brewery taking silver.     

Here's a quick intro to the family members I saw this weekend, some arriving later than others:

My siblings in order are Don & Doris, then I'm the middle, followed by sisters Mary & Theresa. 

Mary and Roger's sons are Sam and Alex.  Sam is the man..... all of us were there to attend his wedding to Jessica's on Saturday evening. 

Doris & Paul, and, Mary & Roger, live in Colorado Springs, while Don & Tina, and, Theresa & Dave live in Las Cruces, NM.

Of my sister Theresa's three children, only Ryan was here, with adorable family, including wife Athena and their girls Autumn and Stella, who hail from Scottsdale, AZ.  (Rachel & Kristiana are mentioned below)  

My brother Don had eight kids from two marriages and his first wife Laurie was in attendance for the wedding and afterwards.  I spent the evening talking mostly to Laurie.  Their offspring in attendance were brothers Pat and Chris from Austin, TX., and Tom, who lives in the Springs, Crystal being his girlfriend.  Also, their sister Mary was in from Marseille, France where she lives & works.  Not in attendance was Anne, who had to return to her IT job in Bristol, England.   

Pat, Chris, Tom, Mary, & Anne had just taken their Mom Laurie for a two-day celebration of her birthday in Santa Fe, NM, so that's why these family members did not appear until the day of the wedding. That covers Don's clan except that his son Joseph from Alamogordo did not come.  

Don's wife Tina was present but their two boys weren't...you can see Josh and Luke on the recent New Mexico page, where Josh married Madalyn.  You can also see Theresa's two daughters Rachel & Kristiana, on the same page.      

Wedding at Hillside Gardens, Colorado Springs, Saturday at 5 pm

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again. 

Crystal did Mary's makeup nice mountain view Laurie, Roger, and Mary bright & hot at 5 pm
  Sam and his Mom the gathering
    best man Alex and Jessica's Mom Jameson
    Jessica and her Father the ceremony begins  
views of the view getting serious Groom's men Bride's maids
      Sam wrote his own vows so did Jessica  
you may kiss the bride ! ..after the kiss        

The Reception at Hillside Gardens 

happy parents Tom, Crystal, Mary the open bar Don and Pat
  Carson, Chris, Roger Roger Tom and Jameson
Alex with Ryan and Stella   a happy girl Theresa's grand daughter safe with Mom
  Autumn posing Athena & Theresa the reception's over there  
we all signed the state flag Roger made Pat and Paul most were here until 10 pm    

On Sunday morning, most of the wedding party & families enjoyed Brunch at Hotel Elegante'.  I had a chance to talk with Laurie and her daughter Mary, both very interesting people.  Mary is a researcher, studying brain electro-chemistry and the use of neuro transmitters to study the root causes of epileptic seizures, and, in two days she will present on that subject at a bio-medical conference in Miami. 

Laurie, her Mom, though retired, continues to teach math online for NMSU, and, she also is a paid referee for high school volleyball games.   

Evergreen cemetery, where my Mom is buried, was only a few minutes away from the brunch place, so Doris & Paul and Don & Tina and I stopped in. As the memorial stone states, my Mom was a Yeoman 2nd Class, in the US Navy Waves; this was during WWII, when she lived & worked in D.C.  She told us that her walking route to work and back each day went right past the White House.

my Mom's plot at Evergreen Cemetery  

Doris and I recalled that Mom had traded her cemetery plot, about 18 months before she died, because the Evergreen office said they had one with a better view of Pikes Peak.  Well, the 'better view' must be only for half the year, in winter, when the trees are bare, because in June I could not see Pikes Peak at all. so the Cemetery manager should have given her a 50% discount, but with my Mom's sense of humor, this was too good to pass up....'a cemetery plot with a better view'.        

On Sunday evening most of us siblings and children and grandchildren were back at Mary and Roger's, for a pizza dinner.  Jessica was the only member of her family present.  The attendees enjoyed hearing Pat, Chris, and Tom on acoustic guitar, all good vocalists, too. 

The music went on for some time while the rest of us chatted and sipped wine or beer or other beverages. We were all pretty well-behaved and had a nice farewell evening together.    

the musicians   Roger Pat & Chris
  Doris Chris Patrick  
Crystal & Alex Pat and Tom   Chris and Mary
  Thomas Sunday night in the Springs    
Roger and Jameson, see note playing with the water jets applause at the end

note - my sister Mary said that Tom's son Jameson is crazy about Uncle Roger and his can-fix-anything skill-set.  In these images, Jameson expresses interest in the hot tub dials, and Roger is kind enough to turn it on for him.  Laurie pointed this out to me, that Jameson was going ballistic, toying with or re-directing the hot tub jets. 

I was glad to learn that Tom visits Mary and Roger and also to learn about his Civil Engineering career and got the gist.  Because of so many fires back here, a combined city consortium is paying for hydraulic studies looking for solutions to flooding problems impacting urban or rural properties. 

What a great weekend and I enjoyed seeing so many nephews and nieces who I haven't seen for a long time, as well as family I have seen more often.  But in 2016 when he had our first real reunion for a long time, we agreed to try it again in 2018, thus, the weddings of nephews in May and June made it possible. 

On Monday I had two early morning flights home with window seats, enjoying the scenery a lot.    

hwy. 50 near Monarch Pass terrain near Parachute, Utah Wasatch Range
  the big turn north at Provo descent to SLC  
approaching Sacramento from the north flooded rice fields descent to SMF

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