Monday, September 16, 2013

Shattuck Weekend: A Wedding on Vail Mountain

A good friend of Andrew's family got married last weekend in Vail, and he and his wife invited all of us. Paul and Colleen were kind enough to treat us and Andrew's brother's family to a weekend up in Vail. At first, Andrew and I talked to my parents about babysitting. We thought we'd drop the kids off to my parents on Saturday and head up to the mountains from there. We looked forward to an adult evening, and we didn't want to have to worry about getting a sitter up in the mountains. My in-laws were (understandably) looking forward to some family time. My brother-in-law and his family (including his brand new baby girl!) were coming into town, and so we wanted to make the family thing work. Paul and Colleen volunteered to drive the kids up early on Friday. Andrew and I would meet them up in Vail later that evening, after he got off work. My parents never cease to amaze me, and they agreed to drive up Saturday before the wedding to bring the kiddos back down to town to stay with them.

I don't know if the Shattuck family weekend turned out exactly as planned. All of the kids seemed to be on different schedules! Colleen somehow ended up babysitting all four kids Friday afternoon, and they were all in the midst of a meltdown when Andrew and I finally rolled into the mountain town. After a few desperate calls, Andrew sprinted ahead to rescue his mom from the little stinkers while I waited for the bellboy and our luggage. My poor mother-in-law... Andrew said that it was just four kids in absolute hysteria when he arrived. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Thankfully, they all calmed down pretty quickly. She just needed one more set of hands!

Ours were up bright and early at 6am, and we got ready went over to Andrew's parents' suite to enjoy the breakfast I'd brought up with us... a big thanks to Colleen not just for her generosity, but for baking the strata when she got up with Sawyer!

The newest member of the extended Shattuck family slept in with her parents, so we took cousin Sawyer out to explore Vail. He was content with hanging out in the stroller and checking out all the water fountains. He happily let Andrew hold him as they went with Oliver up and down the escalators. It was a good time! It's nice spending time with the happy, little guy and it always makes me pause to think what our life would be like with more kids!

This is an ice rink in the winter!

There was still no sign of Jessica and Paisley, but we didn't want to disturb them, as sleep is the most precious thing when you have a newborn! So, we did all sorts of exciting stuff like playing with the bowl of pine cones in the room and brewing a few pots of coffee. When it got close to lunch time, we had to give up and head out to get the kiddos ready to meet my parents.

We got them dressed and packed and drove to the Vail Village parking structure (free parking in the summer!). We met my parents there and transferred all the kids' stuff to them. We wandered over to Starbucks for a treat, and then we took a stroll along Vail Creek. The pines were beautiful.

We said goodbye to our kids. Right as we waved goodbye, we got a phone call from the in-laws that everyone was up and dressed and getting lunch. Perfect timing! Andrew and I made our way back to the hotel to meet them for a meal. As usual, Mr. Sawyer was thrilled with everything and very happy to be eating! We had a nice time, and then everyone scattered to their own rooms to get ready for the wedding.

Andrew and I were ready first. The wedding was on top of Vail Mountain, and we were given tickets to ride the gondola to the top. It was a 13 minute gondola ride! We decided to go early to enjoy the view. Before we left, I stepped out onto our balcony. It was very comfortable and sunny, so I decided not to waste the effort with bringing a shawl or umbrella. I asked Andrew if he wanted the umbrella, and he said no. I believe his exact words were, "Even if it does rain, I would rather be a little wet than have to lug around a wet umbrella all night." If you think I that seems a little naive and even foreboding, well, you are right.

We made our way up the mountain with only our tickets, wedding card, and camera. It was gorgeous up there. It was the perfect place for a wedding. We met a few guests, took a few pictures, and enjoyed the sunshine.

When it got close to the ceremony, guests started murmuring about the clouds rolling in. They blocked the sun, and it started to get chilly. That's about the time Paul, Colleen, and Jessica showed up with the babies. We were surprised to see them since Colleen's friend drove up to babysit them, but we rolled with it. Andrew was quick to take our nephew to help keep him warm and entertained until the ceremony started. Then, he handed off our little nephew so he could enjoy the ceremony as planned.

It got cold so fast. Then, right when the wedding party started walking up the aisles, the clouds opened up, and it started to rain. I don't get cold very easily, but my hands started to freeze by the end of the ceremony. I could only imagine how the bride and bridesmaids felt! The bride's father officiated, and he gave us an abridged version of the ceremony. Then, everyone scattered to get back to the gondolas! Andrew and I made sure Sawyer made it to Zach, and then we trotted ahead to get warm & dry. I'm pretty sure we were the only guests who hadn't brought a jacket and/or umbrella! Ah, and we'd thought we were so clever for not hauling stuff up the mountain...

By the time we caught a gondola back down, the rest of the family caught up to us. It also stopped raining, and a rainbow appeared! It was the perfect ending to such a memorable ceremony.

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