Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

13th January
2019
written by bob

Hello Friends!

Our apologies.  It has been WAY TOO LONG.  4+ years too long!

I’m going to keep this post short.  Suffice to say, a decision was made back in May 2014 and we did not end up moving to Singapore (a future blog post) and, instead, ended up moving back to the US and the great state of Colorado!

Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado skyline with the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the background.

Life is pretty busy at the moment with full-time work, part-time contract work, Miss G’s schedule of hockey & swimming, and making time for our love of skiing/riding in the nearby mountain resorts.

I will attempt to make a better habit of writing more blogs in the future.  It kind of fell off our radar once we moved back to the US as all of our friends and family were back here.  However with all of our NEW found “European” friends and followers may made while abroad, I (we) need to blog more so they can keep up with our new adventures.

That was the original intent of our blog; to keep friends & family abreast on what we were up to and how our lives were going while living abroad.  Our travel has not ceased since moving back and I will detail that in future blogs for you all to enjoy!  Please feel free to comment and let us know what you all have been up to as well.  We’d love to hear from you!

Bye for now, my friends.

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22nd April
2014
written by bob

We recently passed our 3 year anniversary of living on the Cote d’Azur this past March. To be quite honest, I still remember the day we arrived and all the excitement and anxiety that went with it. Our lives have changes immensely since that day and I have to say we are better people for it and we are stronger because of it.

And…so the time has come that we have to make another important decision in our lives. Our time in France will end soon and we have to decide our next stop. About 1.5 years ago, the potential list of a next city to move was: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok. Neither of us have spent much time in Asia. In fact my first trip was when we lived in Bangkok for an entire month in 2012 that included a few side trips; don’t miss our unforgetable ferry ride from Phi Phi Island to Phuket!. The global company we both work for is currently conducts an extensive amount of work with companies in Asia and, thus, they have a need for more representation in this part of the world.

Our current opportunity presented? Singapore…just named the most expensive city in the world to live for 2014. Hell, I would say that the Cote d’Azur is just as expensive so I wouldn’t say this is a concern! You certainly pay for the beautiful scenery in this area while living on the Mediterranean Sea. Don’t forget, this is France and let’s just say you are taxed out your wah-zoo here. However, I can assure you, living on the Cote d’Azur is truly AMAZING! It’s not called the Cote d’Azur for nothing. Travel here and you will soon realize what I’m talking about.

Nice, France on the Cote d'Azur.

Nice, France on the Cote d’Azur.

On the other hand, we also have the possibility to returning to the US; in particular, Denver, Colorado. Denver has been at the top of our list of US cities to move. We love Colorado. We were married on top of Aspen mountain. There are few places in the world that you can live that are truly desirable for many reasons. I really believe that Arizona, Colorado, and the Cote d’Azur share a common link, sunlight; 300 days a year of it! All 3 have quite amazing weather.

Decisions are upon us. Where will we go from here? We aren’t exactly sure yet however, we are quite sure this will be our last summer in the Cote d’Azur. It has been an incredible experience to live abroad, embrace a new culture, learn a new language, and explore a new continent (or 2). While everything has it’s pros and cons, we wouldn’t change a thing. All 3 of us are richer people from everything we’ve gained during our time abroad.

Stay tuned to find out where we decide to take our travels next. Right now, it’s decision time.

Au revoir, mes amis!

11th September
2008
written by bob

Sunday, August 31…

Katherine stayed with the girls and Gerry and I hung out until 2am-ish. Because we had a room at the Little Nell tonight, I had to pack all my stuff so that Katherine could stop by in the morning while all the guys were golfing. I didn’t want to get up early this morning but I wanted to do something with all my groomsmen the day of the wedding. I wasn’t really nervous, at least, that I could tell however I didn’t have much of an appetite.

So I trekked out the door at 7:45am and over to the North of Nell where I was meeting all the other guys. Twelve of us golfed this morning and we had a really good time. I think we had cracked our beers open by the second hole but I had no intention of having too many. I wanted to be very sober for my wedding. Word has it that you won’t remember much of the day as you are so busy with everything going on and talk with and thanking people for coming. We finished golf around 1:30pm. Regardless of which of the 3 teams we had today thinks they won, my 4-some won – it was MY day! Haha. And, the hockey stick putters were a hit. Not only did we have fun using them but other golfers were very interested in obtaining one as well and asked where to buy one. For those interested – http://www.hockeystickputters.com. They are becoming extremely popular so I wouldn’t be surprised if you find them in your local NHL team’s Pro Shop at the arena.

Despite my lack of appetite, I figured it would be best to eat something prior to my wedding. Gerry, Bill, and I grabbed a quick lunch at Zane’s. I like Zane’s – it’s a small little bar that is sub-street level and had great wings! I would recommend them for anyone who gets a chance to visit Aspen. It’s now 2:15pm and because Katherine and I had to move our clothes and things to the Little Nell, I need to find out what room we have and start getting dressed. All of our things are in different rooms – my tux in my mom’s room and the rest of our things are in the bridesmaids’ room. I’m starting to get a little frantic at this point. I needed my stuff to get ready and I just spoke with Katherine and she has her hair and make-up complete and also just finished writing her vows! Oh man, no pressure now since she is done and I still haven’t even started my vows yet. Crap! And to be honest, I began to panic a bit now (and curse) since I didn’t figure I would have the time to write my vow. I mean really, how was I going to accomplish writing my vows when I’m golfing 18 holes? The ceremony was at 6pm and the guys and I had to head over the gondola at 4:15pm to be at the top of Aspen Mountain around 5pm for pictures…AND…it was 2:40pm NOW! (More cursing.)

Scott helped me carry my stuff over to the Little Nell and went back to get his stuff. All the groomsmen were coming over to get dressed in my room and we were leaving from there. I was alone for the first time today. I decided to sit down and write my vow at this point. I fired up the laptop and went to Google to search for “traditional wedding vows”. There I found was I was looking for; some ideas about how to write vows. I remember laying in bed a week ago and Katherine and I discussing what to write for vows. She said, “Just speak to me from your heart and say what you feel.” Once I completed the first sentence and how I wanted it phrased, I was off and running. Everything just flowed. Of course I had a bit of editing to do but overall, I was happy with what I wrote.

Shower and shave time since its 3:30pm. The guys started arriving and once dressed walked to the gondola and proceeded up the mountain. For those who have never been on Aspen Mountain, it’s an 18 minute ride (2.5 miles) up the mountain to get to the top. During the ride is where I found out my brother doesn’t do well with heights! He wouldn’t look out the windows for anything and just stared at the jacket buttons on one of my other groomsmen. We arrived at the top of the mountain and…what a view, just as I had remembered it from February although a lot let snow! I asked a Scott and Ryan to run over to the Aspen Mountain Club and see if our photographer, Alan, was finished photographing the ladies. Katherine was still upstairs and outside so I stayed put at the gondola drop off. Once given the all clear, the guys and I went into the bar area and grabbed a quick cold beer for a last minute thirst quencher. Alan found us in the bar and we all headed out by the wedding deck for our 20 minute photo session.

Now complete, we went back inside to the bar as guests started arriving. I ask a few of my groomsmen to usher guests to their seats and hang out with my best man, Brent Selman, in the bar and finish our beers. As the last of our guests are seated Sheri, our incredible wedding coordinator (high recommendations all around for her), herds me and the guys to the front of the Club. There, I see my mom and Alan grabs us for a quick mother-son photo opp along with a couple of me just leaning against a wooden column looking out over the gondola. The bridesmaids arrive and everyone lines up to headed to the Wedding deck for the ceremony. Michael, our Officiant, and I walk first and the rest of the wedding party followed coming down the steps and taking their place respectively. Michael and I stand there and watch each pair come down and converse with some small chat. Basically, I tell him that as Katherine makes her way to the bottom of the stairs, I will go over and take her hand, turn, and bring her back where will be stand to be married in front of all our guests.

As the last couple, Carrie and Ryan were making their way down to the deck, in my peripheral vision I notice Katherine coming out and stopping behind a large evergreen tree to conceal her from view. “It’s time,” I think to myself and just at that second Katherine comes walking out from behind that tree and I see her for the first time. She looks unbelievable! I expected her to look good BUT honestly, she was radiant; just stunning! I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes. I fought hard to hold them back! The only thing I could think of at that moment was I had better not lose it since I still had vows to make it though! Katherine took her time and slowly walked to me on the wedding deck as our guests stood to admire and snap photos. Once our eyes met we were locked on one another. It was absolutely amazing! As my bride approached the last step I walked over to her, took her hand, told her see looked incredible, and we returned to Michael taking our place in front of him.

Our 20 minute ceremony included a Cherokee reading, a poem by George Eliot, our intentions for marriage, vows, exchange of rings, and the pouring of our Unity sand. We are pronounced “Husband & Wife” and I kiss my beautiful bride. We walk back towards the Club and stop to allow guests to head into the Club for drinks and hors d’ouerves. Alan does his thing for the next 30 minutes photographing Katherine and I with family and the wedding party. After a few last minute photos of her and I, we stroll hand in hand up to the Club for our formal introduction as a married couple. Let the PARTY begin!

Our master of ceremonies, Mike Leopold, did an awesome job at dinner keeping things moving and interesting with speeches from the wedding party, our families, and a few friends. From the time I arrived at the top of mountain, the day had just been perfect! Even during the ceremony there was a little bit of rain and then the sun beamed back down upon us. Honestly, the only worry I had was the weather and I’m so thankful that it held off during the ceremony. I don’t think you can ever predict the weather in the mountains but the day was great; despite the hour long shower we received earlier in the day around 2pm. Dinner was spectacular as we ate grilled Elk Loin and a crusted Ruby Trout. Dancing, cake cutting, and plenty of drinking ensued and everyone looked like they were really having a great time. The Little Nell was even so kind to allow everyone to continue dancing and having fun 30 minutes after our original gondola departure time of 10:30pm.

With the evening winding down, Sheri gathered up all of our bags, gifts, champagne flutes, etc that Katherine and I had and as one of the last people on the mountain, we jumped in a gondola for our 18 minute ride down the mountain. Wow…we finally had some time to ourselves, completely alone in the dark of night. We reflected on a lot of what happened during the ceremony, dinner, and reception. What an amazing day! It really couldn’t have been more perfect!

We partied with most of our guests a bit more in the bridesmaids’ condo before retiring for the remainder of the evening to our quiet “Town Suite” at the Little Nell.

10th September
2008
written by bob

Saturday, August 30…

Today was a day that people could explore the town of Aspen and do whatever they like; white-water rafting, a Jeep tour, mountain biking, paragliding, you name it. I elected to sleep in since I had quite a few beers last night. It was a good night of sleep for me. Katherine had to get up for a 9:30am manicure/pedicure appointment with her bride’s maids. I’m glad I didn’t have to get up that early. My day was filled with running small errands – getting the power cord to our laptop from Ryan, finding a card to go with my gift to Katherine, and go for a quick hike to some ice caves. Yep, an action packed day if you ask me! What seemed to be a simple day didn’t quite turn out that way.

First off, I was running into all our guests that I hadn’t seen yet. I stopped off for coffee and a muffin at Ink and ran into Gary Selman & Ken Abrams on the bench outside of the “Under Amour” store waiting for their wives to return from shopping. I had a 30 minute conversation with them and then onto Ryan’s room. Another 20 min conversation with him and Andrea and I was quickly falling behind my preset (albeit miniscule) schedule. Eventually I arrived back at our condo and my brother, his wife Nikki, and my 3 month old nephew Patrick stopped by. Patrick was hungry and Nikki was lunch! While they fed Patrick I decided to run out for a wedding card for Katherine. Big mistake. Figuring the easiest thing to do was to ask a shop vendor from one of the stores where I could find some greeting cards. They sent me across town to the market. I get to the market and look high and low for the card section; it’s non-existent. When I ask a clerk about cards she informs me that they do not sell them and send me up the street to Sandie’s Supply store. No problem, it’s 1.5 blocks away. Great…I’m here BUT…she’s is closed for the long holiday weekend (Labor Day). Son of a b—-! And, yet again, I’m asking a store vendor where to buy cards. They tell me to go to Carl’s Pharmacy which is clear across town in the opposite direction of where I am and where our condo is. So I hike once again across town to Carl’s. I find the card I want and head back. At this point, my brother is probably wondering where I have been. He notices I’m out of breath and goes to ask me when I cut him off and say, “It’s a long story.”

I decided to get things ready for the rehearsal dinner which was held at the Snowmass Club in Snowmass, CO (5 miles from Aspen). The rehearsal and dinner went off without a problem. Once we completed the rehearsal, Katherine and I gave our wedding party gifts for our appreciation of them standing up with us. The bridesmaids received all kinds of goodies: hand-made bath soaps, vanilla lotions, chocolate bubble bath, and much more all tissue-paper wrapped in a gift bag. I bought the guys these very cool hockey stick putters. All the guys (except me) got Toronto Maple Leaf putters and I off course bought a Detroit Red Wings putter. I told all the guys they had to bring their putter tomorrow to golf and use them. The one exception was my brother, who is not a regular golfer although a trooper today with us (and he did very well), whom I bought a PSP with the GTA Vice City game. Both he and I have been video game people since the invention of the Atari 2600. I actually still have one of those that I have pulled out a couple of times and play. They still go for pretty big money on eBay. Then we had dinner with the wedding party and family and finally the “Welcome Reception” for all guests to attend. What a great time! And, it was so nice to see and talk with all our guests before our big day!

8th September
2008
written by bob

Friday, August 29…
Pretty much all our guests arrived today. Later in the afternoon, we headed out for a hike at the ice caves. Neat place although there was no ice in the middle of August. We took pictures anyway and get back to our condo in a couple of hours. Shower time!

We ran into most although not all but managed to have dinner at Mezzaluna with Katherine’s side of the family; aunt Delia, aunt Joyce, cousin Shara and her husband Kevin, along with a few of the bride’s maids. Dinner was fabulous. It was now time for the girls to get together for an evening with Katherine. The guys and I gathered at Bentley’s Irish Pub to have a few pints (or so). I saw quite a few people that I had not yet run into on the street. With some 80’s hair-band music playing in the background, the cold beer flowed and good times were had by all. Don Dole and I proceeded to close the pub as they pushed us out the door at 2am. We walked back to Don’s place for yet another beer that I’m sure I didn’t need. It was now 3am and I needed to head back to the condo. Shortly after my arrival home, Katherine and her aunt Delia appeared in the courtyard where we had one last drink, chatted, and then called it a night.

8th September
2008
written by bob

Thursday, August 28…

I didn’t sleep very well last night. For “some” strange reason I kept waking up every half hour in a panic that I had forgot something or something terribly was wrong!! It was a long night. Today was just a day for us to walk around Aspen and see it in the summer time without snow since we were last here in February. We strolled over to City Hall and the Court House to get our marriage license. In 10 minutes we were finished. Can you believe in Colorado you don’t require witnesses to be married? Strange. I believe this was the last thing we had to do for the wedding. Now we can relax and proceeded to walk over to Zele’s for some soup and a sandwich. This is definitely a favorite spot of ours to grab lunch! A little more window and grocery shopping and we were set for the trip. It always helps to have a few snacks and beers on hand!

8th September
2008
written by bob

August 26, was the last day of work for both Katherine and I prior to leaving for our wedding in Aspen, Colorado. We are so excited! If I haven’t blogged about this before, Katherine and I are getting married on August 31st and have chosen to perform this commitment of love to each other on the top of Aspen Mountain. Since the age of 13, it has long been Katherine’s dream to be married on the mountain and now both of us can make this dream come true.

Today we both have a few errands to run and I’m having lunch with a couple programming buddies, Chris and Ron, whom I used to work with at the Scottsdale Insurance Company. Following lunch I arrive home around 1:30pm to find that Katherine is still out running her errands. She calls me around 1:50pm and I inform her that I’m home and I will check us in for our flight to Aspen tonight. When we originally booked out trip, we are both pretty sure our early evening flight out of Phoenix was at 6pm. Approximately 5 weeks ago, Delta called to say that the departure flight we were on had changed and that they would send the new itinerary. They did (although I didn’t pay too close attention to it – it was 5 weeks away.)

I checked us both in around 2:10pm and still haven’t paid close attention to the altered departure time that Delta had earlier informed us about. Katherine arrived home and decided to re-pack out bags since we had quite a bit of clothes for 4-5 days. While she was downstairs, I was upstairs on the Internet take care of some last minute banking. For whatever reason, I decided to look at what time our flight departed and noticed on our freshly printed boarding passes the time said…4:05pm. I looked at my watch. It read 3:05pm!! Oh S**T! Immediately double checking this and with sheer PANIC now setting in, I tell a friend of ours, Jen, who happened to be at our condo to yell down to Katherine that we NEED to be gone and headed to the airport, like NOW! Of course, she is surprised beyond belief and very obviously angry with me. She was yelling…”How did you not know what time we were departing?” Also, at this point, I’m sweating profusely. That tends to occur with me when I’m under such stress. “I didn’t look at the departure time on the boarding pass when I checked us in.” I replied. No time to argue, we have to go. Katherine shoves the rest of the clothes into our bags (3 suitcases along with Katherine’s wedding gown, my tuxedo, and a backpack with all our valuables) and we race to the airport. Fortunately Jen was there to give us a ride. With 55 minutes until our flight departure and us still at our condo, calling a cab would have been the death of me.

We throw our bags into Jen’s car; blow a couple red lights, arriving at the airport with a screeching halt after driving MACH ONE to get there ASAP. It’s also a good thing that we only live 1.5 miles from the airport! Katherine and I sprint to the Delta counter and check our bags in. Our first bag was exactly 50 lbs – which was the bag limit on our flight. However the second bag was 56 lbs! The Delta agent informed us our bag was overweight and we need to remove some things from it. Our first reaction was to ask, “How much for the extra weight?” The agent informed us, “Ninety dollars.” OUCH! At this point it’s 3:30 and our plane departs at 4:05. Oh…and I’m now drenched from sweat. My shirt is soaked to the point that I could wring it out. We open one of the suitcases and pull out a big sweatshirt and a pair of jeans and re-weigh the suitcase – 53 lbs, not enough. I went back into the bag and pull out my tux shoes and re-weigh the bag again. Fifty-one pounds, the scale reads. “Can you work with that weight?” I ask. The agent says “Yes” and we bolt for the security checkpoint! At the checkpoint, the TSA agent asks us for our ID and boarding pass. Again, still in a frantic hurry, I’m sweating my butt off; soaked from head-to-toe. Not realizing that I looked suspicious, I run into a blonde-haired TSA agent for the second time at the end of the x-ray machine. I grabbed the wedding gown and my tux and Katherine grabbed our suitcase and we headed for the gate with 10 minutes to spare. We sweat rolling down my face still; Katherine suggested that I go to the restroom and wash up a bit. On my way into the men’s room I run into the same blonde-haired TSA agent for the third time. I washed my face and dabbed my hair dry and go back to where Katherine was waiting at the gate. Once more, who do I see…the blonde-haired TSA agent at our gate. We finally board and make it on our flight taking our seats. The Delta flight attendants where great finding closet space to store our wedding attire without having to stuff and fold it into an overhead bin!

We arrive in Salt Lake City with a two hour layover. Both feeling hungry we decided to head up to the Terrace Restaurant for a quick bite to eat. Two dinners and 4 beers later we are ready to board our flight to Aspen. Once aboard the half empty flight the attendant again accommodates us by allowing us to keep our wedding attire is the seats next to us. I would definitely fly Delta again!

Now in Aspen, we departed the plane and headed to baggage claim to collect our checked luggage and call a shuttle. With luggage in hand and four calls to the shuttle service, we are relegated to getting a taxi since our limo guy is AWOL. Glad we paid for that! The survey about my stay will be sure to point this out. At 11pm we are now checked into our condo and we unpacked our things. At midnight we decided to walk around the corner to Zane’s Bar for a couple of beers and a few wings. After ordering from the bar and bringing Katherine our beers, I asked her where the backpack was since I didn’t remember unpacking it. “Oh SHIT…it’s in the back of the cab!” she says. I can’t even tell you the words that came out of my mouth! You see…our backpack had ALL of our valuables; both wedding rings, our brand new Canon Rebel XTI camera, 2 PSP’s and games, chargers, and most important to me – my wedding gift to Katherine, a Cartier necklace worth a handsome penny! That backpack being so expensive which is why we wanted to carry it with us at all times.

I quickly ask the bartender what the cab company’s number is and called that back immediately. The same gentleman that dropped us off at our condo answered and I told him I left a backpack in the far back seat of his cab and that I DESPERATELY needed it back! “I’m a block and a half away,” he says “I will be right over.” I ran back from Zane’s to the condo just as he pulled up. I open the door to the cab and reach over the backseat…nothing! I was about to lose control of all bodily functions at that point! “Oh crap!” (pun intended) I thought. Then I look over the seat and notice it had fallen over. WOW…I cannot believe I got it back as the cab driver proceeds to tell me he’s been running people steady from the airport since he dropped us off!! I can’t believe no one took the bag! Unbelievable!
Finally somewhat relaxed, I walk back to Zane’s where Katherine now has our wings and is half done her beer and informed her that I got the backpack back in our possession! Thank God! I’m sure worse things have happened for other people on their wedding but I probably would have died if we didn’t get that back! And…that was enough excitement for one day; time for bed! Let’s hope the rest of our time in Aspen is a lot more relaxing!