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Monday, June 27, 2011

Stuff that Happened

I know, I know. I've been gone awhile. Sorry. Summer vacation leads me to a state-of-being hovering somewhere between doing nothing and everything all at once. For example, Brian and I just got back from Ouray, CO for our friends' wedding, spent a few days lying on the couch upon our return so I could play with Atticus and watch reruns of My So-Called Life, before hopping on a plane yesterday to North Carolina. In other words, when I'm not crossing the country, I prefer to do a whole lot of nothing, and updating the blog does not fit into either category. But since I've waited so long to say anything on here, I guess I'll update you on the past few weeks in pictures. Here's what you've missed:

Atticus' First Birthday

Brian's mom has a beautiful historic home in San Marcos, which was the perfect spot for the kid's first birthday. All the closest friends and family made it out for the celebration (except for my sisters, but at least the one had a good excuse….San Francisco is pretty far away, after all). I tried my hand at making a cake from scratch, but failed somewhere along the way, as the result was a spongy, oily mess. So, in a mad rush, we grabbed a store-bought cake an hour before the party started and he refused to eat it. He did, however, enjoy painting Grandma's table with said cake and wiping it all over his diaper, face, and chest, which meant he had to be stripped [of his dignity] and hosed off. 

In a stroke of genius, we asked for donations to Atticus' college fund instead of presents he'll never remember and doesn't need, which resulted in a collected $500 towards his future education (you know, in case the music scholarship falls through).

hooray for one!

sensing it was a store-bought cake, Atticus would only paint with it.

Julie and JMP's wedding

One of Brian's oldest friends, Julie, married one of our coolest friends, Jon Mark, in what will forever be known as the most beautiful wedding ceremony we've ever seen. Yeah, they even topped ours, for which we are incredibly biased. The couple chose the small mountain town of Ouray, CO for their destination wedding, which is nestled in the pass between Silverton and Telluride.

I've seen a lot of this great country, as well as many breathtaking spots around the world, but I've never come across a place as incredible as Ouray. We made the drive from Austin with our friends, James and Carrie and, as soon as we hit Durango, the views became a spectacular mix of snow-capped peaks, tumbling waterfalls, and forest green aspens. Had I seen a bear catching fish in his teeth along a river with double rainbows coming out of his eyes, I wouldn't have been surprised. It was that cool. Of course, the town itself is amazing, with panoramic views of the mountains wherever you look. While the guest list was small, the town felt even smaller, so we took over pretty quickly. We stayed at the Historic Western (as did all our friends), which was built in 1890 and once housed women of ill-repute who are known to haunt the grounds regularly. I never had any supernatural encounters, unless you count the time the door to our room kept opening and closing of its own accord. But that was just the wind, right?

The ceremony itself took place in a clearing up in the mountains only accessible by the 4x4 Jeeps that took us there and followed by a quaint reception at the Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast. All in all, it was a fantastic trip that ended with the marriage of two very deserving people. 

Mountain love

Ouray, CO

Yep. That's for real...

Julie + JMP

Blue Ridge Mountains

One mountain trip ended, only to make way for another. Brian's grandparents live just outside of Asheville, North Carolina and they have yet to meet Atticus, so we felt it was time for a visit…Brian's mom bought us the plane tickets as a Christmas gift, so it's an affordable vacation (is there any other kind?). Notice how I'm using the present tense, as I'm currently sitting on their patio drinking coffee and alternating views between my computer screen and the foothills in the background. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Asheville, don't assume that its small size and roughly middle-of-nowhere location make it anything but cool. It's a remarkable young spot full of granola eaters and bearded men. In other words, my own personal paradise. Bluegrass can be heard streaming through the open patios of microbreweries and quaint boutiques cater to the discreetly fashionable crowd. There's a significant lack of overpriced antique stores, tacky gift shops, and pretention, all along a backdrop of rolling green hills and the French Broad River (which—get this Austinites—has WATER).  We've already made plans to move here someday. Sorry, Mom.

In addition to the town of Asheville, we've also taken a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visited the North Carolina Arboretum, and journeyed through the Pisgah National Forest in search of towering trees and waterfalls…and we still have 3 days left! I know; you're jealous. You should be. It's awesome here.

Looking Glass Falls

Blue Ridge Mountains

Quilt Garden at the NC Arboretum

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