Sunday, May 31, 2009


Well, here we are, the actual purpose of our trip in the first place. To attend the wedding of Shannon and David – Neil’s nephew. We arrived in Boulder on Thursday a.m. after a quick drive down from Cheyenne Wyoming. Boulder and the environs are more green and rolling – though there is always the presence of the mountains in the distance. It’s a lush city, quite flat. A university town. I have been told that the average age of the population is between 28-32. Thursday we caught up with the relies, (relatives). We are staying right beneath the mountains which if you need to figure out the directions, they are in the west. Friday brought some sightseeing and going to a local hardware store - huge. But it was the rehearsal dinner on Friday night which brought us really into contact with the locals, and getting to know Americans on their own turf. These pre-wedding dinners are new to kiwis, not something we do before a wedding. There were 60 guests at the bride’s family home in Castle Rock an outer suburb/township outside the southern end of Denver. Yep more driving. Actually about 50 plus miles and through Denver on Friday rush hour, so that was an experience!!! Denver i believe has 2 million people so twice as many in rush hour as we experience back in Auckland. What should have taken about one hour took closer to 2 hours. But the Delay whanau (family) made us very welcome and everyone was interested in life down under. They were congratulating others on some sporting prowess, band the bride to be gratefully translated which sport was which to the clueless visitors.
Driving back was another experience! Fast and frantic and more freeways with no night lighting for part of the way. Eeek. But we made it safely.
Wedding day dawned beautifully hot and sunny – 76deg F. Teens got their nails done while I met up with American Palmist Myrna Goldbaum who I’ve known cyberly for some years. She’s a great lady, very talented and a prolific writer living about 20 minutes from Boulder. Sceptic Neil even had his palm read!
We looked at having some of our ‘shopping’ shipped home only to balk at the price – about $400 US which would make our ‘bargains’ absolutely NOT bargains. So that didn’t happen. We’ll just have to buy more suitcases. But you can be proud that we have kept the American economy buoyant during our visit here.
Then it was time to gussy ourselves up and head back down the freeway to the wedding. A huge castle /ranch called Cherokee Ranch Castle built in 1920 by a divorcee as her folly. But it did in fact become a successful ranch which she ran as a single woman. Wandering antelope welcomed us as we drove up the 2 mile long driveway. The castle has a splendid view across the mountains and of particular interest to our car nut friends...a view of Pikes Peak, all 14000 plus feet of it which was duly photographed.
Inside the castle is like a grand room, with an overly large Juliet balcony. The wedding ceremony was due to be outside but by 5pm the electric storms with rather grand fork lightening was in full swing and so we were all shuffled inside – actually i ran as it was b....freezing, and where might you ask was the lovely brown fluffy coat that i had lovingly packed and hauled thousands of miles for this particular occasion... right back at our cottage 50 miles away, that’s where!
Neil and the girls and about a million others piled up stairs to watch the wedding procession/service. The bride was lovely- beaded, strapless, dress and the bridesmaids in deep plum. The service was fun and relaxed...all that is until Anzhela my 17yo decided to faint upstairs! No one else knew what was going on, but the it did create some extra excitement. Boulder is very high altitude and if you don’t keep drinking you can get a bit lightheaded, so guess what happens!
Niblbes, chatting, dining and laughing at the jokes during the reception were great. There were little boxes of candies on the tables for the guests, none of the Americans of course knowing what the red and chocolate candies were – Jafas all the way from NZ. So there were definitely a few kiwi influences here. So too with the wedding cake. Banana cake for the bottom layer - courtesy of the NZ Edmonds Cook Book, then a chocolate layer followed by a vanilla layer.
A safe drive back and all tucked up in bed by midnight. We were so welcomed by everyone, the Americans making their new kiwi relations feel part of the family. Thank you. It was definitely great to see how others live and to realise, that hey really, there may be thousands of miles that separate us, but we’re all really just the same.

Happy days...and we’re on the road again.
Jane and family.

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