'wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking. we're all wanderers in life.' -spanish poet, antonio machado

Sunday, August 2, 2009

gnome sweet gnome...

...what I really meant was "home sweet home" of course, but "gnome sweet gnome" sounded silly and made me giggle, so I went with it. :)

As most of you know, I went on my first big holiday to...(wait for it)...the States (hee), back in June. It was a wonderful(ly busy) trip, as I landed on U.S. soil in Chi-town, traveled up to the motherland (Wisconsin) for two days before heading over to Minneapolis for one day, only to leave early the following morning for Colorado for Beata (Tom's cousin) and Duane's wedding for 4 days...then back to Minneapolis for a few days and back to Wisconsin for a few more days, before leaving from Milwaukee to come back to Prague, only to jump on a train a day later to head to Berlin for the Kings of Leon concert. Phew. To say the trip(s) was a 'whirlwind' is an understatement. It was freaking tiring, but oh-so-wonderful at the same time.

So, allow me to give you a little run-down of the trip. It all started with me arriving at the airport in O'Hare, excited to see Tom, Mom and my sis waiting for me with Hannah Montana balloons (I mean, I did it for my bro...so is it wrong of me to expect it for myself?! ;)) and a big 'welcome gnome...oops, I mean 'home')' sign...but there was nada in sight. You know that feeling of excitement you get just after you leave Customs, but before you walk through those big doors that separate you from hundreds of crying, happy, balloon-toting family and friends...I love that feeling. And then, no one was waiting for me. So, I waited for about 20 minutes, and then decided to call the fam to see if they had remembered I was coming into town (hee;)). It turns out they were right behind me, so we all hugged and we were on our happy, merry way. Oh happy day it was!
From there, I spent a couple of days hanging with the fam and enjoying the pool. Then, we roadtripped it up to Minni for a day before we went on to Boulder/Estes Park for the wedding weekend. With immediate stops to The Tea Garden for the regular (strawberry/guava/passion fruit)smoothie with tapioca pearls (mmm, I am salivating right now) and then to Kowalski's, of course, for some aussie licorice, organic fruit leathers and other treats. mmm. Finally, it was on to CO for the wedding. The wedding was rockstar (food was amazing, everything was beautiful), and it was wonderful to hang with Tom's fam for an entire weekend.

We were staying in a beautiful (more like absolutely gorgeous) cabin in Estes Park and Tom and I were able to go on morning walks, enjoying the crisp mountain air. I was reminded just how much I adore Colorado and how much I'd enjoy living there in the future. Boulder is one of the most active cities on the face of this earth...kayaking, biking, running, the list goes on. We even stumbled upon a kayak competition one day and marveled at the athletes. So cool.
The uber-cool door to our home-away-from-home
Thanks again, Elizabeth and Wieslaw for such an awesome time!
Mom and dad - you would have just loved this place!
Random kayak competition somwhere between Estes Park and Boulder...
Never fails...has to be a blue steel in there somewhere
Dr. Tom looks confused...
The next few chronicle our adventures through Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park...
Classic girlfriend/boyfriend hands-in-the-back-pocket shot. 'nough said.
We could defo live here - we totally have 'Boulderite' potential!
The whole fam+

After the wedding weekend it was back to Minneapolis for 5 days of reconnecting with friends and former colleagues, gym time, wedding dress shopping, wedding venue shopping, dinner parties, have I said gym time?! ;). It was just perfect. I was reminded, yet again, just how blessed I am to have such amazing friends. Kate and Hennessy dealt with me while dress shopping a couple of days and Brian and Greta also joined us. It was just magical. I tried on the most beautiful dresses, but also was invited in on the little wedding industry secret...everything is crazy-expensive. And, I started to realize just how difficult planning from afar would be, when the whole wedding date discussion was initiated. Yikes! But, Tom and I had a great time mindstorming about all things wedding-related over french toast at The Bad Waitress...we are such an amazing duo and I am totally confident we are going to make the perfect team in the future.

After a fabulous week "home", we began the journey back to Wisconsin to hang with the fam for a few more days. We had such a fun time with Mikaela, as always, and we also were able to spend some good, quality time with my awesome friend Brittany (whom I've referenced before and is now living in Fiji!). My mom, sister, Brittany and I even had the chance to hit up a dress shop in Milwaukee (of all places!;)) and found some gorgeous dresses. And, of course we had some more great pool time...Tom and Mikaela get along so well and it just brings the biggest smile to my face to see it.
WARNING...the picture below is G+ rated! ;)
I had the most perfect time with Tom and my family and it couldn't have come at a better time...it was just the right time for so many reasons and I am so thankful for it.

Thank you mom, dad, Mikaela, Tom (and family) and all of my lovely friends for such a special vacay!



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