It's been brought to my attention that I failed pretty hard on my previous goal/challenge (brought forth by yours truly, in the post below).
To be fair (or to present an excuse), the last few months have been nutso-insane-hectic to say the very least. Planning a wedding 1,200 miles away is not something I recommend for people who like to live low-stress lives. Regardless, thanks to the help of a lot of awesome people (many of which I didn't even meet until the days before the event) things went of (mostly) hitchless, that is to say, without a hitch. Which is a weird phrase. But I digress.
We'd decided to build a lot of extra time into the trip out for the wedding to make a vacation of it, nearly 2 weeks long in all (including drive time). We should have done three. Or four. Everything went by insanely fast, and all of those details and things that weren't really hammered out solidly beforehand were things that just ate up most of our trip. Juggling families, coordinating people, making trips to the airport, etc, etc. I think I spent more time in the fine malls of San Diego during those two weeks than I have in any city in the country over the past 8 months. Gifts, this, that, the other. On the plus side, San Diego has some nice malls.
But let's back up a bit. This was Angelle and mine's first 'real' road trip (to say, more than a couple hours in the car together), and as such, we both wanted everything to go awesome. She was a trooper and a half, putting up with my travel insanity, where I generally worry about every detail of everything, and drive everyone around me completely insane in the process. She even packed for me, which led her to forget to pack socks and some other items for herself. That's love. Sockless, awesome love. (I bought her socks when we got there because I felt bad).
Anyway, on the way out we decided to trek straight west on I70 through the mountains, over to I15 through Vegas, and down the 805 to San Diego. To be brief, the Rockies were incredible, (I'd never been west of Vail), Utah was so much more amazing than I expected, and Nevada is flat and hot. Both riddled with excitement, we rocked out the 1,150 mile trip in 18 hours on the way out, which included stopping an hour for dinner at some awesome diner in BFE Utah, and stopping what seemed like every 5 feet at scenic lookouts in Utah to photograph the scenery.
Once there, it felt like absolute pure chaos for 3 days while I met parts of the family I'd never met before, and we got settled into a grove. Being a holiday weekend, we physically couldn't even make it to the beach (due to lack of parking) for those first 3 days. And when we finally did, we had to walk about a mile to the sand, but it was totally worth it. Watching the sun set over the Pacific with the one I love was one of those watershed moments where everything, the stress, the anxiety, all just literally floated away. We wandered up and down the beach for a couple hours, and headed back out to her grandparents completely refreshed. And sandy.
Then, it was back to the rat race. Family functions, more shopping, airport runs, interviews, etc, etc. We made a point to set aside 'us' time when we could, even if it was just her showing me some awesome burrito stand in town. Those were the moments that made everything else not an issue.
Worlds finally collided Friday night at her grandparents house. My friends, mom, and her family and friends. While we were both worried, everything went pretty much flawless. Much awesome food was had, much mingling was done, and much beer was drank, which in book, makes for awesome.
Saturday, of course was the big day. Despite all the planning and rehearsing, I felt like things were still in a mild state of disarray for some reason, but I think I was just over-thinking things. All the stuff showed up at the site on time, people were mostly courteous to the parking and permit situation, and despite a traffic jam, the bride showed up on time. We even started early, and it seemed like from that moment on the rest of the day was stuck in turbo mode. The ceremony, which lasted 15-20 minutes, seemed to last 5. An hour or so of pictures afterwards seemed to take 10 minutes. The 30 minute drive to the reception hall seemed like nothing. The reception itself, seemed like it maybe lasted for 20 minutes instead of nearly 4 hours. I didn't feel like I even had time to have a drink, between dancing, and meeting people still, and making sure everything was going smoothly and everyone was having a good time. But they were, and it did. Everything came out perfect.
Her grandparents were awesome enough to get us a room at the Westin downtown for the final days of the trip, and that was the single biggest godsend of the whole thing. Having our own space was huge, not having to be on any sort of itinerary after the wedding was the most relaxing thing on the face of the earth. More beach time ensued, breakfast in bed happened, awesome dinners were had, and much chilling was done. The 12-day-long venture seemed like 2 days prior (it was like a week) and then an actual 3 days afterwards. And that made it all worth it.
The final day of our stay in SD, we made our way back to her grandparent's house, crammed all of our new worldly couple belongings in the back of the Subaru, and hit the road east, this time opting to take I8 through Yuma, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and up through the middle of Colorado.
The desert is fucking hot, and fucking flat. That's what I learned on the way back. And the middle of New Mexico has hotels that are fully booked on a Tuesday night for ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON. We were both beat after the week+ we'd had, so about 9 hours into things, we decided to cut the trip in half at Gallup, NM around Midnight, eventually finding one single room left available in Red Roof Inn, that was... well, it was a shit hole. I'm surprised we didn't catch any communicable diseases from the bed, to be honest.
The remainder of the trip was low-drama, until we got to the last 5 miles of the trip, ready to be home, both having to pee like madmen, when we got stuck in one of the most torrential downpours I've ever had the pleasure of being dumped on by.
Spoiler: we didn't pee our pants.
So here we are, back amongst the Rockies, starting our life together in earnest. 2 weeks later, everything's finally unpacked, new wedding gifts are in place and being used (thanks everyone!), and we're planning our next move. More on that once we figure out what that move actually ends up being. The future is unknown, and I couldn't be happier about it, because I have the one thing with me that I really need: the love of my life.