This sign is posted in the parking lot outside my work. Why “NO TV’s”? A while ago someone left an old TV next to what they thought was a dumpster for trash but is actually a dumpster for paper recycling. But only people who had seen the TV there before it got picked up will understand the odd specificity of the sign.
“Come on, Doc, it’s not science! When it happens, it just hits you. It’s like lightning.” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future Part III
A couple nights before my buddy’s wedding, I was at his house with a bunch of other guys for a time of toasting, roasting, and advice-giving. One thing I shared was how immediately evident it was to me that the couple was The Real Deal, and how a similar certainty hit me like a bolt of lightning when I first met my future wife.
Later on, the wedding reception was held at Ace Eat Serve, a ping pong hall in a converted auto garage serving pan-Asian cuisine. (Loved the amazing food and the novelty of playing ping pong at a wedding.) The ping pong tables outside were made of concrete and had metal nets with Ace’s lightning logo cut through them, which in the sunlight looked like this:
It’s almost as if I was at the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.
Got to visit Denver for the second time this year for a friend’s wedding. While there another Denver friend brought me on a walking tour of the Crush Walls urban art festival in the RiNo neighborhood, where we saw some really cool graffiti:
We didn’t stick around, however, as we soon embarked on a hike toward the Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. We didn’t make it to the falls, but still soaked in the views and the clean air:
We then headed to Boulder and stayed the night at the Hotel Boulderado, which maintains its original Edwardian-era style and even a working Otis elevator. Supposedly the hotel is haunted. All I know is their creepy chair game was solid:
We stopped at the post office in Boulder, which has some sweet PO boxes:
The Boulder Public Library was another highlight. My wife took pictures of everything, but I only managed the windows:
On Tuesday we drove to Manitou Springs and stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb cabin in the mountains near a friend of mine. The next day was the Fourth of July, so to celebrate we headed to Paint Mines Interpretive Park, outside of Colorado Springs. It was a scorching hot and sunny day, but above all I’ll remember the absolute quiet as we walked through the maze of hoodoos and colorful clay formations. You can find plenty of amazing photos of them online, but here are two I took from it:
It was then back to Denver for the wedding weekend. We enjoyed the nightlife around RiNo, including Odell Brewing Company:
and knockout at Gerard’s Pool Hall:
Finally the wedding arrived. I wasn’t focused on getting good pictures, as I knew the professionals would take care of that. But here’s one in the venue (which hosted the ceremony and reception) of the bridesmaids awaiting the couple after their First Look:
I’ve been to Colorado a few times before, but this trip was especially fun given the variety of activities, the good weather, and quality time with great friends.
I’d heard a lot of great things about Asheville, North Carolina, so my wife and I finally made a trip there happen to meet up with some Durham friends for a long weekend in the mountains. Surprise: It was wondrous!
Our Airbnb was a cabin on a mountain farm in nearby Black Mountain, complete with sheep named Frodo, Samwise, Arwen, and Twiggy (the last one was named by previous owners). This was the view the first morning:
We missed Peak Fall foliage, but there was still plenty of color to mix with the barren branches:
And cozy morning frosts—very Hygge™ indeed:
One morning we hiked up Lookout Mountain in Montreat based on the recommendation of our Airbnb host. We were not disappointed by the Misty Mountain-esque view:
Asheville proper offered lots of walkable streets, good southern food—had chicken & waffles for the first time—and, among other Liberal College Town accoutrements, several “poems while you wait” street typists:
We flew into Atlanta and drove up to Asheville through South Carolina, but on the way back we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains. We did this not only to enjoy the gorgeous terrain but to stop and see the remnants of Camp Toccoa, the World War II paratroopers training camp made famous by Band of Brothers:
The camp site was closed, but we could see the famous “3 miles up, 3 miles down” Currahee Mountain from town.
I took pictures on a few other occasions, but so often my phone pictures failed to capture what I saw with my own eyes. That’s OK: being there in the moment was reward enough, as was hanging with friends, finally seeing Asheville, and getting to enjoy a crisp autumn weekend in Appalachia.