Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday AM breakfast - Denver, CO

Lexey's parents, Barb and Ken, put together a really nice breakfast for Sunday morning. It was on the 35th (I think?!) floor of the building next door to the hotel in downtown Denver... the breakfast included great views, great food, and even better people!

Dad and Mom both loved baby Alila... well, everyone did! She's so cute...

Buddies - Lenny and Mr. BEAN!

Alila and daddy Ben

Aiden-as-Batman and his great-grandpa, Poppy

Ha - notice that out of 5 photos with people in them... 3 include baby Alila. She is SO cute and easygoing! Alila is Ben and Mel's daughter... they came all the way from New Zealand for the wedding!! It was great to see them.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Lenny and Lexey put together their very own Photo 'Boop' for the wedding reception... 

My job was to collect costume pieces for the Photo Boop while in Denver over the summer... I loved it... and even came in under budget!

Uncle Bubby and Lenny hilariously started things off...

Me with Mom!   : )

More photos from the Photo Boop can be see on Lenny's website by clicking here.

dancin' time! Denver, CO

We all had a blast at Lenny and Lexey's wedding reception - dancing to the live band... Willy and the Po' Boys.

Aunt Lenore, Poppy, Dad, Mom, and myself... Ring Around the Rosie?!

Dad spinning Grandma  : )

Lexey and Lenny's first dance together!
...and wrapped in ribbon and tulle...

Sean and Lenny dancing with Grandma...

Like father (above!)... like son (below!)... hilarious. We loved the costumes that were used for the Photo Boop... Lenny's wearing my favorite... the shark bicycle helmet (kids'-size)   : P

...who's the pig? Denver, CO

We have a family tradition at the dinner table...

Someone begins the game by putting their index finger on the side of their nose.

Everyone else at the dinner table must do so as well, as soon as they notice that the game has begun.

The last person to notice and put their finger on their nose... is the PIG.


...Because they were too interested in their food... and too busy eating to notice the game going on all around them!

So... of course we played at the reception of Lenny and Lexey's wedding  : P

And THEN... let there be tiramisu! Mmmmm...

the adventure continues! ...going to the reception, Denver, CO

Lenny and Lexey re-planned their wedding in a day...

They booked rooms at the Hyatt downtown... and the reception was at Maggiano's in Englewood, CO.

L & L provided lightrail tickets at the hotel for people to get to the reception by public transportation... perfect!

We went to the lightrail stop downtown, to find a sign that says this line was closed just this weekend -- of course!

Soooo... we walked back a couple blocks to catch a free shuttle bus to take us to the stop.

The bus driver told us that only one wheelchair could fit on the bus... and we had 3.

...All-in-all ...we DID get all 3 wheelchairs onto the bus to stick together on the journey. (Nothing like sneaking a wheelchair onto a bus! Haha)

On the bus to a working lightrail line:

We then made it to the lightrail stop. 

It's raining by now. Steadily...

Our train came... we all got on (including the 3 wheelchairs)... only to be told that the sign label on the front of the train was wrong (broken) and it was NOT the train that we needed to take us to Englewood!

All get off... still raining...

A few minutes later another train came along and this time (thankfully!) it was the correct one.

On the lightrail from Denver to Englewood for the reception...

Estimating, we probably rode the lightrail for about 30 minutes or so. My favorite was when Poppy asked, "Are you sure we're still in Colorado?!"

And another favorite... is that this was the first time everyone was able to get a view of the mountains! It had been about 3 or 4 days... and Uncle Bubby said, "I kept hearing all of this about there being mountains, but I was beginning to doubt that there were any!"

The adventure continues -- but we're making progress!
Crossing the highway from the lightrail stop to Maggiano's...
And everyone's in good spirits, laughing, and ready to party!  : D

Walking to Maggiano's got pretty muddy... 

Friday, September 27, 2013

rain... rain... and... rain...

The rain and flooding in Colorado while I was back for the wedding was unusual... and incredible. Incredibly bad for the most part.

The first photo below is on the day of the wedding... after the ceremony... thankfully not raining! ...But as you can see, the sky is scary-dark behind everyone...

On Sunday we took a ride up into the Rocky Mountains. It was many of my relatives first time in the Rockies! We went to Leadville to have lunch and see Sean's house... and then came back by way of Vail. It rained... but not as badly as some other parts of Colorado. We still were able to see the mountains surrounding us and we had a good day.  : )

...and friends too! Denver, CO

The time back in Denver for Lenny and Lexey's wedding was also a great time to enjoy seeing friends! Their friends are great... and I consider many of them my friends we well...

This lovely group came all the way from New Zealand for the wedding!

Inside joke... nicely carried out...  : P

Stacy is the wife of Lenny's best man, Shaun... and went to college with both of them...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

so, so good to see family! Denver, CO

I was thankful to be able to see so many family members while in Denver for the wedding! It was really great to have a lot of relatives make the trip from New York and other places back East...

Crazy hair runs in the family...

...Can't tell we're related or anything...   ; )

Me and Sean... sandwiching Grandma with our hair!

A group of us went to Mr. Lucky's for lunch after the ceremony. Mmmm...

Dad's side of the family at the reception!
SO nice to have all of these people together in one place and celebrate.

Breakfast Sunday morning with Dad.
Barb and Ken Stuart (Lexey's parents) put together a great breakfast for everyone...

At Sean's house in Leadville with Mom!

Lenny and Lexey's day! Denver, CO

My oldest brother, Lenny, is the first of the three of us kids to get MARRIED!

Even though I've just moved to Italy (it was less than 3 weeks at the time)... and just started a new job (I left during only the second week of school!)... I went back to Denver, Colorado to be there for his special day.

When Lenny picked me up at the airport Wednesday evening (wedding was Satruday), he said that it had been raining non-stop for the past few days... there was flooding in areas already... and the bad weather wasn't supposed to let up anytime soon. That is super unusual for this area!... Denver is the city with "300 days of sunshine!"

The weather surely did NOT let up. We pushed back our trip up to lovely Estes Park in the mountains by a day... hoping to be able to get up to the location for the wedding on Friday and still have a last-minute rehearsal dinner.

Come late Thursday evening, two out of three of the roads up to Estes Park had been swept away due to flooding. Later... the last road was closed as well... and there was no way to get to Estes Park (AND... Lenny's godparents were now stuck in Estes, since they had gone up a day early to enjoy the scenery!).

Lenny and Lexey are amazing... and proved it over the next 15 hours or so...

...they re-planned their entire wedding (and accommodations for ~115 people) in less than a day.

...AND the entire weekend still turned out to be lovely, amazing, and a perfect celebration for a wonderful couple.

Without ever having seen the new space before showing up for their ceremony, Lenny and Lexey had their wedding ceremony at a cute art studio in the city.

Artwork Network on Santa Fe in Denver, CO was gorgeous... a perfect size... and the people running the gallery were GREAT.

Below are some photos from the wedding...

So sweet...

Lexey and Lenny... YOU'RE MARRIED!

And I was honored to be asked to read a piece from The Velveteen Rabbit at the ceremony!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

dairy vending machine, Opera

Well... I've done it!

...I bought something (TWO somethings!) from the dairy vending machine in town. ...Hilarious.

I ended up (on another teacher's recommendation) getting fresh mozzarella di bufala... and then also chose to get some kind of marmalade...

 Cheeses, rice, yogurt, milk jugs for the milk dispenser... all from a vending machine!

Mmmm... the fresh mozzarella turned out to be lovely. I used most of it later that day (Sunday) to make a caprese salad (tomatoes and basil from the market!)... which I brought to Ali and Todd's place. Ali made pasta with sauce... and it was really nice to have dinner together. (Jesye came too - we are all new to Milan AND all from Upstate New York! Whoop! Whoop!) 

I wanted some jam to have with my (plentiful collection of) market cheeses and crackers...
This looked good... but when I get home and tried it... well, I couldn't really place the flavor.
Looking up what cipolla means... onion
HA! I ended up with onion marmalade. Reading about it... it is traditionally Italian and goes well on meats and things. ...Not so good with cheese and crackers, hahaha.

My new goods on the cow bench...