july 4th (weekend) 2016

This year, our 4th of July wasn't just a celebration of America's birthday, it was also the celebration of Danny's sister's wedding!  Since the 4th fell on a Monday this year, we had a three-day weekend to spend with out-of-town family and friends.  

Things kicked off on Saturday for us when Danny's Uncle Kevin and cousin Caitie from Virginia were staying at the house and Danny and I were enlisted to show them a few Colorado Springs sights.  We started at Garden of the Gods, walked around downtown Manitou Springs, checked out Red Rock Open Space briefly, and had lunch at Hacienda Colorado.  

Saturday evening we had dinner all together with the addition of Danny's Aunt Joanne and Uncle Tim who had arrived from San Diego while we were out and about with Kevin and Caitie.  We had fish or chicken (my memory's failing me because I didn't have it), roasted potatoes and carrots compliments of Danny, and spaghetti squash (family favorite!), followed by another family favorite...Farkle (a fun dice game).  

On Sunday Danny and I packed up, went to church, and made our way to Golden where we were staying in an Airbnb (see the pretty place here) with Danny's brother, James, his wife, Ali, and their son, Henry.  Not long after we arrived and got settled in we headed to the rehearsal in Evergreen about 20 minutes away

After the rehearsal we all headed into downtown Evergreen for dinner at Beau Jo's.  It was a lovely evening to eat outside on the deck along the river.  

After dinner we headed back to the Airbnb for the evening and when we turned off on our exit, we came across quite a buffalo herd!  Since we're not living in pioneer times and we don't get to encounter buffalo on a regular basis, we got out of the car and walked closer.  There was one especially large one and a few babies as well...I wasn't too wowed since I've been to Yellowstone (2,300 - 5,000 live there at any given time), but Danny was dying as he's a massive buffalo fan. :)

The next morning, the 4th of July, the five of us went up Lookout Mountain after a bit of breakfast and a workout for the fellas.  We ate leftover pizza from the rehearsal dinner for lunch and headed into downtown Golden, specifically Lions Park, to check out the festivities.  There was live music, food, and plenty of people wearing patriotic outfits, but my favorite part was watching people tube down Clear Creek.  It was a hot day, and they seemed to, by and large, be having a grand old time.  Danny and I spent our first anniversary in Golden, so walking around the main part of downtown brought back fun memories, even though the weather was drastically different (January vs July means we didn't even get out and walk around much the first time we were in town, but we did have a great celebratory meal nearby at Sherpa House!).  

Before we knew it, it was time to head back and get ready for the main event, so we took quick showers so we wouldn't be smelly from being outside much of the day and headed back into Evergreen for family photos, and then, Rachel and Robert's wedding!  Danny played DJ (see him and his sister consulting over songs below) and his brother acted as the officiant...it was quite the family effort!

Early the next morning we all went our separate ways in order to get to work on time, and Uncle Tim and Aunt Joanne stayed another night in Colorado Springs before heading back to San Diego, so we had another evening of Farkle and dinner together.

It was nice to see so many of Danny's out of town relatives, to get to spend time together in such beautiful settings, and to get to do so over such a happy occasion.  A 4th of July weekend to remember, to be sure!