Thursday, June 23, 2011

Last Day in CO

I may or may not have delayed putting up this post because it would bump our engagement post of the main page off my blog :) However, it has now been a few weeks since we got engaged and it is time to move on. The end of the Colorado trip was incredible. I often look at Tom and say, "Let's go back to Colorado". Definitely one of my best trips ever.

On Friday we drove to Vail to enjoy some of the Teva Mountain games. It was a beautiful day and we watched some fearless men do flips on bikes. Pretty ridiculous. I felt pretty sick all day so that was a bit unfortunate.
Just in case you can't tell, that dude is completely upside down on his bike...crazy.

After Vail, we drove to our hotel in Denver and checked in. I took a hot bath in an attempt to recover from my nagging stomach pains. Eventually, I felt a little better and got ready for the concert. Red Rocks was unreal. Coolest concert venue ever. Dispatch was AWESOME. Tom was a good sport.
Apparently we were not hip to the fact that you don't get to the show an hour ahead of time...

If you look below you can see Denver in the awesome
The music just ricochets off these rocks that are lit up throughout the show. It was unlike any concert or venue I have ever been to for a show. I loved every second of it.
And then we came home :( Paul joined us for the ride, so that was fun. Now we can't wait to go back.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Engagement Moon Day Numero Uno

Yesterday our plan was to bike Vail Pass. We had been calling all week to check and see if the pass was open since there was an avalanche that had covered it at the end of last week. On Monday they said it may possibly be open Thursday. We crossed our fingers and waited. When we called yesterday morning the pass still wasn't open. We were bummed. We had bought a groupon so we decided we would go and just bike around Lake Dillon or something. Before we went I told Tom I wanted to take him up to the Continental Divide. It is pretty close to where we are staying so we drove up and Tom was amazed. He loved it. We looked around for a minute and decided we would hike it the next day instead of going to Vail. We started to drive to the bike rental place and just before we pulled up I had a grand idea that we cancel the bike ride all together and go hike the Continental Divide. Tom was in. So, we turned around once again, stopped at the condo for lunch and appropriate hiking gear and headed to the Divide.

We knew it would be windy, but my goodness. I have hiked a number of mountains in my day and never have I experienced wind like this. Hopefully you can tell in the pictures. It was brutal. BUT SO beautiful. We did as much as we could, captured some shots, added it to our list of failed hike attempts and went back to the condo.

Tom in all his Sierra Designs gear.
A little FYI: He works for that company and wanted a picture for them.
I love the man, but he is struggling a bit here against the crazy winds

I insisted on some photos, but it was impossible to get a really good one!
This picture is no exaggeration. We were quite wind blown.

After a bit of hiking we would hunker down behind rocks (or me behind Tom) for some respite from the wind. It was truly an exhausting fight we weren't going to win.
The sign at the base of the hike

After a bit of hike recovery we went to Dillon Dam Brewery for Happy Hour and dinner. It looks like a totally different day in the picture below compared to the ones was just hours later! Crazy mountains.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Engagement Story

There are a TON of pictures in this post, but I didn't want to leave out any!

Wednesday morning Tom and I woke up to enjoy our second full day in the mountains. It was another beautiful day and we had planned a long hike a little bit closer to our condo. Tuesday's hike was pretty dominated by snow so we were hoping it would be a different situation. We enjoyed breakfast and Tom suggested I play with my camera again to try and get the continuous shots timer setting down. We climbed up into the loft and took a few pictures.

The timer worked but the multiple photo setting did not. Tom seemed bummed which was unusual given his usual interest in my photo taking. I didn't think much of it. Tom packed lunches while I insisted on a shower before hiking. I said quote "I don't want to look like this if we are going to be taking pictures!" I had NO idea.

We drove a short ten minutes to a trailhead which was tucked back in golf course neighborhood. Signs everywhere stated "No Parking" so we drove around for a bit trying to determine where they expected hikers to park. We finally found a spot that seemed reasonable and headed for the trail. We didn't have a trail map and were uncertain of the directions since most people hiking this trail were coming from the west. We decided to try and approach from the east to try and knock off six miles and still see the "pristine alpine lakes". HA.
After hiking for an hour and fifteen minutes we came upon this beautiful spot. We were unsure if we were still on the correct trail and we had already had to reroute once. Tom remarked on the beauty of the location and I agreed. He was acting especially awe inspired throwing out words like, "perfect" and "beautiful". I agreed. It was. I did not at all wonder why he seemed so into confirming my enthusiasm for this particular spot.
Then, Tom encouraged me ONE MORE TIME to try and get the multiple photos timer setting on my camera to work. At this point I even said, "Tom, I have tried and it is not going to work". As I worked on setting the timer Tom stood with the backpack in a very unusual spot. At that time I was totally unaware, but he had slipped the ring into his pocket and was holding his backpack to block the bulge of the box. Check out the pictures... I find them humorous.

He finally drops the backpack and stands. If you click on the picture and look closely you can see the box. Also, please note the headband in the previous photo but not in the next photo. That morning when Tom put on his headband I said, "Oh, you are wearing THAT today?!" He knew I didn't love it so he took it off AND asked how his hair looked before proceeding with the proposal!
I set the timer and ran over to capture a picture.
AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW... It kept taking them.
and kept taking them!
and kept taking them! Tom was ecstatic.
He encouraged me to set the timer again for a second set of photos. As if we hadn't made enough of a fool of ourselves during the first set, lets do this again! Just an FYI, I took out some of the photos, so this isn't even the full set! I didn't really get it but I went ahead and set the timer to try and take some more. When I walked back over he got down on his knee and said, "Katherine Mary Rau, Will you marry me?"
You can see my shock in this photo!!
When I asked him later what I said he said I managed to get a shocked "Yes!" out.
And then he put the ring on!
And in this photo all I was doing was saying thank you! over and over again. He literally told me to stop saying thank you and just say "I love you". To which I said, "I love you too!" Ha.
I knew the camera was still snapping pictures so I took a look at the ring!
And we were both pretty excited!!!
And the ring was perfect. It fits absolutely perfectly and is exactly what I would have chosen myself. I caught myself staring at it the whole rest of the day.
It has just the perfect sparkle. I love it.
However... that is probably the best photo you are getting on here. Gotta see it in person :)
So I snapped a few photos at the engagement spot.
Tom immediately announced he was hungry.
And we enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We continued to hike for about five more hours! I didn't call or text anyone. We just hiked through the mountains and enjoyed the beautiful day. We took tons of pictures. When we walked back the direction we came from we found the original trail we were supposed to take. Tom was happy he proposed where he did and didn't wait for the lakes we never got to see! Below are pictures from the rest of our hike.

Here's another go at the self timer. I can tell you this. I do not have enough expressions to fill 9 shots in a row at the same exact spot. I was getting desperate!
I love this picture. I am so excited and Tom is looking like
"What have I gotten myself into?"

That was our turn around point. We had been on the trail for four hours and were 3.5 miles from the lakes. Boo! We enjoyed a clif bar and some photos before heading back down.
At this point the concern started to be whether or not our car would be there when we arrived!

As we hiked back down I asked Tom questions about the whole process. I asked him who knew and when he had gotten the ring. He told people at his work, his friends, his sisters, his mom, and my parents. So everyone he knows! He got the ring the day before we left but had ordered it a month and a half ago! He asked my parents the day before we left. Such a sneaky guy. As we hiked through the aspens at the end of the trail we saw the car in the distance and celebrated not ending the hike with a cab ride to the tow lot!

As we drove home from the hike we called our parents on speaker phone and talked to them. That was fun! We then text our family and friends and enjoyed sharing the responses. When we got home we were exhausted. We decided we needed to sit in the hot tub for a bit.
And then to culminate the day in the most stylish way possible we cooked up some DiGiorno and breadsticks and opened a bottle of vino.
We toasted to each other.

And then played some Chinese Checkers and watched the Stanley Cup Finals.
And when I asked Tom when he thought we would get married his response was, "Let's just enjoy this, Rau". So we are. Just enjoying our engagement moon for the next few days!