My Favorite Places in my Favorite Place (Part 2, Activities)

So it’s been a bit since I posted. Life. But I want to continue this post. So the next set of places are places to do stuff.

  • Alluvial Fan
  • Sprague Lake
  • Moraine Park
  • Many Parks Curve
  • Hidden Valley
  • Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park (new)
  • Trail Ridge Road
  • Inkwell and Brew
  • Trailhead Restaurant
  • Twin Owls Steakhouse

The next three are places that have activities. this will be two, because this is getting long.

Hidden Valley

So hidden valley is special to us. We got married in the first meadow on the right. So this sort of skirts the topic. The activity is getting hitched. Although in the winter it is a great sledding hill. It used to be a ski resort.

So maybe I’ve told this story before. But our wedding was the. best. one. ever. At least two brides were openly jealous about how much fun we had.

Since we were older, we both had very clear ideas of what we wanted, and family was on board. So we come from different places on weddings… sort of. I grew up Catholic, and have been to big long weddings with mass. I knew I didn’t want that, but needed the structure to feel official. The Husband was a wedding photographer in a past life, so he’d been to enough weddings for a couple of lifetimes.

Our engagement story is well… less than romantic. We were napping one afternoon and chatting about a bunch of stuff. We already lived together and were settled on each other as our person.

The Husband asks, if we were to get married, what would you have in mind? I responded with more or less what we ended up with.

Years before, I’d promised my niece that I’d tell her first, and that she could be a bridesmaid if she never again asked me when I was getting married. she never did, so i gave her a quick call.

So since I am too old to make my friends wear ugly dresses, I had all of my nieces and nephews and other kids I love. There were 8 of varying ages from 3 to 12. It was perfect for us. Everyone wore pink, red, orange, or yellow.

Anyway, we got a permit to get married at Hidden Valley. The permit gives you permission to have your event *somewhere* at the area at the specified time. Not a specific place within the area. And you’re supposed to arrive dressed, so you don’t take up the bathrooms.

So anyway, we show up in our outfits, and as we park, a girl in a tiara and veil asks if The Husband is the photographer. Stick a pin in that. The Husband was like, “Um no? ” confused as to why they would ask that.

So we talk to the bride, and (1) we are having our weddings at the same time, and (2) we both intended to use the third meadow on the right. She freaks out (another pin). Her wedding planner promised her the meadow, she has maps printed in the info she gave guests, omg omg omg.

We just move ours to the first meadow. No worries. She gushes her thanks. we only have 40 people in total, so not a problem to move.

We keep on racing up and down the hill having a ball. We take pictures and greet guests.

How awesome is my dress? Pretty damn awesome, that’s how awesome my dress is. So at some point, I have to pee, so I go to the facility. She’s in there in the handicapped stall, getting into her dress. And crying. Freaking out. I sort of talk her down, remind her this is supposed to be fun, and everything will be fine.

Apparently the following two things happened:

  • The other bride’s mom was rude to my mom because of the confusion about the meadow.
  • The bride tearfully asked a friend of mine for an address for a thank you card. Ooookayyyy.

The wedding went off without any problems. I started to say without a hitch, but there was a hitch. 😁👩🏼‍❤️‍👨🏻 but we melded my need for structure with The Husband’s dislike of pomp. Our readings were from John Muir, and the whole shebang took twenty minutes.

One of the nice things about having a small wedding and was that we could have family portraits done for all of the guests. We then had a picnic lunch by the stream. In order to ensure that I actually ate, we put it in the schedule and took pictures. I love those pics, we are both just smiling and laughing,

While we are eating the other bride is taking pictures. At one point their photographer comes by, looks at The Husband and asks “Och, are ye a real Scotsman” which explains the question up top.

So my parents went back to Hidden Valley the next day. There was a bear in the third meadow. Sometimes when I tell this story, I claim the other bride got eaten by the bear.

Ten years later

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