Congrats to our friends Tad and Kelli!!! Jeff and I made the trek to Spearfish, SD this weekend to help them celebrate. We had so much fun - Jeff told me it was maybe the best time he's had since our own wedding 6 years ago (really? even more than Paris? or Ft Lauderdale? oh well.). Here's a rundown of events...
Wednesday - Jeff left Atlanta in the wee hours and made it to Rapid by noon (miracle of miracles). He hung out with Jason for the day and then had dinner with Jason and Bobbie (our soon-to-be sister in law). After dinner he went over to visit with Tad and Kelli and stayed until 1:30AM, chatting and finalizing centerpieces for the reception.
Thursday - More chilling with his little brother and preparing for the bachelor party. The party was Thursday night...and went until closing time. Jason's favorite quote from the evening after picking Jeff up outside the Brass Rail: "Do I smell like strippers?" "No." "Well, I should. I earned it." Meanwhile, I was making my way from Atlanta to Minneapolis to...Aberdeen (finally). Couldn't get to Rapid, but had a really nice detour with my parents and of course chatting with my Mom until 3AM.
Friday - Dad and I left for the 6-hour drive across the state in order to make it to the rehearsal on time. He was going anyway to winterize Iron Horse Campground with Rick, so it worked out well. Plus, we had some real "quality time" in the Caddy (thanks Dad!!!!). Finally arriving at the cabin, I rushed around getting ready, kissed my daddy-o goodbye, and headed out in the Wrangler with Jeff through Spearfish Canyon to make it to the rehearsal by 5pm. After the rehearsal was a really nice hamburger and hot dog picnic in the park, followed by decorating the Pavillion for the reception - until 10:30PM. Back to the cabin for a full night's sleep.
Saturday - GAME TIME!!! After a little sleep-in, we headed once more through the Canyon to get to Spearfish, grab some lunch, and check into the hotel. Jeff headed over to the campground and get into his tux with Tad, Jake (Tad's bro), and Pat (Tad's stepdad). Meanwhile, I went to pick up some wrapping paper and a card, and a goody bag for the newlyweds' room (Gatorade and bananas were major components).
The wedding was really lovely, and totally "them". It was in the park, accented with a rushing waterfull backdrop and fall leaves floating around them. After the ceremony, we headed to the Pavillion for a wonderful meal catered with love by their families, many toasts, an open bar, and much dancing!!! Towards the end of the evening the crowd thinned and karoake broke out - Ike, Tad, and Jeff did "You Lost That Loving Feeling", Tad's brother did Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine, some girls did a song they didn't know, I did "She's in Love with the Boy" and "I Could Not Ask For More". The after party was back at the hotel and consisted of more scotch drinking, reminiscing, and a little barfing (not by us, but by a couple others!). Also, we tried to call the newlywed room to remind them "It's not a party until Tad pukes!" but they didn't answer.
Sunday - Breakfast at 9:30AM with the old crew, followed by a tux return and a drive back to the cabin ended our time in Spearfish. We had lunch at Cheyenne Crossing with Bobbie and Jason, and then drove up to Terry Peak Summit to see the colors from that vantage point. Another hour of relaxing and then we were off to meet Tad and Kelli at the Firehouse for dinner and a couple beers. After recapping the day before, we fell into bed back at the cabin at 11PM.
Monday - Um, no, we did not make it back on Monday. Mostly because the only flight from Rapid with availability was at 6:40AM (which meant getting up at 3AM) and we were pretty sure we wouldn't be able to get out of MSP anyway. So...bonus day in the Hills!!! We had an early lunch at the Stampmill in Lead (I love that place), then did the *free* walking tour of the old Homestake mine grounds where they have put in a memorial park. It was so fun to see the bright blue sky, 75 degrees, and South Dakota wind on our backs for the tour. A nap and dinner at Latchstring restaurant rounded out our actual vacation day.
Tuesday - 3AM wakeup call. 6:40AM flight from Rapid. 11:10 flight from MSP. 1 hour delay. Lunch in ATL's Concourse E at Qdoba. Home by 4pm. YEA!!! What a great trip!!!!!!!!! Photos will be forthcoming, once we actually unpack.