Denver, Colorado (Round Three + WEDDING!)

Cherry Creek State Park + Hyatt House

April 18, 2021

Following a frigid night in snowy Raton, Dad and I woke up with the morning sun and hit the road early that next morning so that we could make it to Denver in time to pick Sam up from the airport that afternoon. The trip to Denver was a straight shot north up I-25, through Colorado Springs, and along the scenic front range before ultimately terminating at Cherry Creek State Park. After getting the trailer all set up, getting dad checked into his hotel, and successfully scooping our girl from the airport, we were all ready for a nice hearty dinner, and we had just the spot in mind – The Post, home to the best damn gluten-free fried chicken in Colorado, if not the entire dang country. We were sad to see my dad off at the airport the next morning, but at least we were able to reward his generosity with some of the best downhome cookin’ that Denver has to offer (which he paid for, of course). But in all seriousness, thanks for making the trip, Dad. You’re the best!

Although our apartment was just a few miles from Cherry Creek State Park when we lived in Denver, this was actually our first time visiting this quiet little oasis located right in the heart of the busy city and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Despite being surrounded by tall buildings in every direction, we all got to enjoy our favorite parts of camping – I got to take in the peace and quiet, Sam got to sunbathe on the beach, and little miss Charlotte got to stalk the local wildlife.

Sadly, we would only end up spending the first two weeks of our Denver trip at the Cherry Creek campground as we were forced to put the trailer into storage and move into a hotel for the next four weeks ahead of the wedding. This less-than-ideal state of affairs was primarily due to the relative scarcity of RV sites in the Denver metro, but also partially due to a little dillydallying on our part a few months beforehand when we should’ve been decisive and booked a site for the entire period. Either way, our big day was fast approaching, and we didn’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. Although the Hyatt House wasn’t the nicest, it was still a hotel after all, so we made sure to make the best out of the situation – from enjoying the king-sized bed, to taking advantage of the gym so that we could be nice and fit on our wedding day. Hell, even Charlotte got in on the workout action (and the pampered hotel lifestyle)!

Those four weeks at the Hyatt House were a whirlwind of wedding prep, but somehow, we (mostly Sam) managed to get it all done in time and before we knew it, the big weekend was finally upon us!

The close friends and family were the first to arrive in Denver, as the wedding rehearsal and subsequent rehearsal dinner were scheduled for Friday afternoon/evening. Although we weren’t particularly worried about this initial mingling of the two families, the night turned out to be even more successful than we could have imagined (arguably too successful given the number of crippling hangovers reported the next morning). Not only was the venue fantastic (Angelo’s Taverna in Littleton), but the families basically hit it off right away and by the end of the night, people who had just met were laughing and hobnobbing like they had known each other for years.

Holy crap, it was our friccin’ wedding day! It was finally time for us to tie the knot and make this thing official!

Since Sam and the other gals would be busy all day getting their hair/makeup done and doing whatever else girls do to get ready for a wedding, the boys and I had some time to kill so we made our way over to Topgolf for a little R&R before the festivities really got going. Once back at the hotel, we lounged around and watched crappy reality TV shows until Jess came over and basically threatened us with big trouble if we didn’t start getting ready that moment (despite the fact that she was yet to be dressed either and still in her PJ’s, as Gordi was diligent enough to notice and point out).

Unsurprisingly, the boys and I were able to get dressed and ready in about 15 minutes, with plenty of time to spare before the shuttles were scheduled to take us over to the rendezvous location for the “first look.” Sam and I are so glad that we opted for the first look. Not only did it make the evening flow better by knocking out our pictures beforehand rather than trying to squeeze everything in between the ceremony and the reception, but it allowed us to share a moment of quiet intimacy together before the wedding whirlwind really got going.

Little did we know it, but as Sam and I were having this calm moment together, a debate was raging between the rest of the bridal party on the other side of the field. The maids of honor, Jess and Miranda, were in charge of determining whether the ceremony was going to be held outside (as planned) or moved inside as the forecast was calling for a 100% chance of rain starting at the same time that the ceremony was scheduled to begin. Despite everyone suggesting that the ceremony be moved inside (and I’m talking everyone – the wedding planner, the groomsmen, even the other bridesmaids), the sisters defied the crowd by making the tough call to risk the rain and keep the ceremony outdoors. And boy, did their risk pay off! Other than a few sprinkles while everyone was being seated, the rain held off and even yielded to a little sunlight just as the ceremony was getting started. However, that isn’t to say that I wasn’t nervously looking up at the clouds while standing up there in front of everyone waiting for Sam to make her grand entrance. But once my beautiful bride turned the corner and began walking down the aisle, it could’ve started hailing and I would not have noticed!

This really was, without a doubt, the best day of my life. Not only was I finally getting to marry my best friend and the love of my life, but I got to do so with all of our closest friends and family looking on and smiling. I could wax poetically for paragraphs about how stunning and radiant my girl was in her gorgeous white dress, but it still wouldn’t do her justice. If you were there with us on that wonderful May evening, then you know what I’m talking about, but if you weren’t, here are a few pics which managed to capture some of the beauty that I’m describing.

But that’s enough of this lovey-dovey mumbo-jumbo, let’s get to the friccin party!

After a fun night of eating, drinking, dancing, and smiling, our big day was coming to an end and we finally had a moment to just sit, relax, and reflect on everything that transpired. We could not have been happier with how everything turned out, the day really did go off without a hitch. Again, big thanks to everyone who made the trip out to Colorado! Although I’m sure that we would have also enjoyed a smaller ceremony, we are so glad that we opted to go with the bigger venue so that all of our peeps could be there with us on our big day!

Although the wedding day was behind us and people were gradually trickling out of town throughout that next day, we still had some work to do before we could get the honeymoon started. For one, we had to check out of the hotel and move a good chunk of our stuff into our storage unit, which, if you remember, we rented the previous summer in order to store our mattress, couch, and other stuff that we wanted to keep but didn’t want to bring along in the trailer. The rest of our things from the hotel were loaded back into the trailer, which was then itself moved back into Cherry Creek State Park for the day. Rather than hitting the road again immediately following a month spent in the hotel, we figured that it was best to ease ourselves back into the RV lifestyle.

We originally planned on honeymooning in Costa Rica, however, that was before COVID, lockdowns, and our decision to move into an RV – and we were not about to be taking the rig down to Central America. To get the full break-down of our stateside honeymoon, you’ll need to tune into our next installment of Putz’n Around where we will reveal all the steamy details of our romantic trip to… South Dakota!?