No Showers, Alpacas and the Barreling Polka

Sometimes I don\’t blog because I have nothing really exciting to say, but other times, times like recently, is that I have too much going on in my life and my head to really sit and focus. I have been out of town every weekend in October. That\’s kind of a lot. So I will at least attempt to recap the last three weekends. 

1. Longhorn Awakening 53

Longhorn Awakening was a retreat that I went on in college and then subsequently staffed. It is arguably the single biggest event at the UCC and it takes a ton of people and organization to make happen. Now, I haven\’t staffed since LA 47 when one of my best friends was co-coordinating the retreat and I was her co-co gopher (or personal assistant as it is more commonly known). That was my first semester of grad school. Years ago. I was fairly certain that that would be my last and then after I dropped out of LA 48, I knew for certain that I would never staff Awakening again. Which is sad, but right, because it\’s time to grow up and move on. Well, LA 47 was the first time Evan went on Awakening and staffed every time thereafter. Then he was P-staffhead and lo and behold, for his last Awakening, he was chosen to be a co-co. Well, considering I already had experiencing being a co-co gopher, I reprised my role. Never say never I guess. 

Me, Evan, Bailey and Annie. You can\’t see it but the shirt I made says \”What if I don\’t want what I want!\” a quote from  Evan ages ago (although had I known about the unexpected changes to awakening I would have written \”We\’re not even at Plan C, we\’re down to Plan M.\”). The back said @cocogofuhr at the top and then #stuffmycocosays and #LA53 at the bottom. #YOCO stands for You only Coordinate Once.
I don\’t look that bad having not showered all weekend, right?

This Awakening was truly different, considering the long-time Jarrell location fell through 2 weeks beforehand and then the backup fell through 1 week before. So Evan and his co-coordinating partner had to fine a retreat location for 3 days for over 100 people. Insane. Luckily we have a dear friend priest who used to be at the UCC who has a parish in Dripping Springs and he kindly let us use their church. There were just a couple of adjustments…3 toilets, only one sink per bathroom, there\’s only one room so staff had to sleep outside…in tents (or cars as I  decided…it got cold!!), and no showers. Evan and Bailey were lucky they had an awesome staff. All in all a great weekend, and considering the chaotic issue of not having a place 5 days before the retreat started, it panned out very well. Oh and I sort of tried to live tweet part of it, although I\’m apparently not self-disciplined enough to follow through completely. The theme of the retreat was Love Conquers Fear and while I didn\’t get to hear all the talks (I was an easy person to miss out because I\’ve been here, done that, already), I heard they were great.

2. Rachel\’s Bachelorette Party 

My best friend in the whole world, like since Kindergarten got married last weekend! Crazy, right? Well before that happened we had to have a weekend-out-on-the-town, cause that\’s what you do, so I, along with Rachel, her sister, and one of her close friends went up to Denton to stay at a Bed and Breakfast and have an awesome, girly weekend to celebrate Rachel\’s final week of being a single woman. I pack up my things, ready to embark on this journey. We\’re staying at a Bed and Breakfast, I don\’t need ugly shoes like sneakers. I\’ll bring my super cute brown and white heels, because I\’m a girl darnit! Well I apparently didn\’t read where the Bed and Breakfast was located. 

I should have known considering the alpaca skin on our wall…

At an Alpaca farm. Who creates a Bed and Breakfast at an alpaca farm. Besides the fact that the most suitable shoes I had to trudge around in Alpaca poop were my flip flops (gross), I thoroughly enjoyed the alpacas and the accommodations were simply lovely (cute little cabins). The innkeeper was…interesting. A little too over the top and invasive for my taste (no we will not go \”clothing optional\” in your hot tub thank you very much and I didn\’t need to know that pregnant alpacas can\’t have sex because it will literally kill the baby and please, stop banging on our cabin door to wake us up when you got our breakfast time wrong.). He was probably the raunchiest part of the weekend. But I did get to hold and kiss alpacas, so that makes up for it and alpacas are cute.

Yes, I am holding an alpaca. Be jealous!

But Alpacas were not the only thing that we did that weekend. We also walked around the Denton Square (which I had never done before) and ate at a German restaurant and went into a comic book store and a retro candy store that had the strangest sodas (I\’m sorry but bacon should never EVER be a soda flavor) and got lost in a used book store briefly. This was all to kill time before the main event of the weekend. 

Limos and Wine!!

We went on a wine tour (Eeeek So excited!). In a limo. I have never been in limo before so that was exciting (all I could think about was having a get pumped playlist like Barney in HIMYM)

\”My own personal \’get psyched mix\’. Now people think a good mix should rise and fall. But people are wrong. It should be all rise, baby! Now prepare yourselves for an audio journey to the white, hot center of adrenaline!\”
– Barney Stinson

After driving an hour in the middle of nowhere Texas, we arrived at our first winery where we had a delicious boxed lunch (chicken salad sandwich and an ooey gooey butter cake) and three (or four?) samples of wine, including a particular spicy Tempernillo red. Then we headed off to winery number 2, where we actually got to see a bit of the wine-making process and finally to winery number 3 where a particularly vibrant woman was conducting tastings in a house that smelled exactly like my grandfather\’s house. It was so much fun. I love almost all kinds of wine…well, except blushes…the only sample I didn\’t finish.

To top it off, our limo driver was awesome. Taking tons of artistic pictures and stuff. I think he enjoyed that a lot. To top it all off, the rain held off until we got home. Sweet!

3. Rachel\’s Wedding 

The grand finale of awesome events this month. Rachel and Rick got married! Being a bridesmaid I left early from work, you know so I could be there for the rehearsal.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

Apparently there was a 6 or 7 car pileup with a car on fire 12 cars ahead of us. Thank goodness we weren\’t harmed.We were stuck on the highway for an hour while they were removing the burned car. According to the news report there were no injuries reported. But there was a lot of smoke.

So, we didn\’t exactly make it to the rehearsal, but we did make it to dinner, which was delicious. I got a portobello mascarpone chicken dish with a spicy cream sauce and listend to wonderful speeches by the bride\’s mom and the groom\’s dad. Rachel also gave each of her girls tote bags and bath salts (I got rosemary-lemon) and button up men\’s shirts for the next day. We went right to bed because we had to be up early the next day.

Almost ready!

Their wedding was at 10:00am. For a girl, that means we have to be at the hair salon at 8:00am. I got my hair done in a nice curly side ponytail type thing. It looked really good. I was also a huge fan of my dress, which fit perfectly and looked good, plus had the extra awesome bonus of having pockets. After we were all ready, and Rachel \”dove\” into her wedding gown it was time for her to get married. 

I was the second bridesmaid in line, next to the maid of honor. Well, Rachel\’s bouquet was made of broaches (so beautiful, but also so heavy). When she got to the altar, she handed her bouquet to the MOH and the MOH subsequently handed her bouquet to me. Now, keep in mind these bouquets were rather large and while I would have had no issues at all with holding one with both hands, the size of the two bouquets were substantial as I couldn\’t double up my hands. I had to hold one in one hand and one in the other and my hands weren\’t big enough to even reach all the way around. Throughout the ceremony they really wore on my wrists. All I could think about was how I CANNOT drop these bouquets it would ruin everything. But seeing my best friend marry the man of her dreams made all my fears go away. She was spectacularly beautiful and the ceremony went off without a hitch.

Good practice for walking down the aisle.
Pulling out the Cake Charms

The cool thing with having such an early wedding is that they literally had the rest of the day to party…and they did. First was the reception where there was much dancing and merriment and food. Evan took my mom out on the dance floor to do the barreling polka (a family favorite) and he practically threw her shoes off. Seriously, she keeps talking about how intense that polka was. The bridesmaids and moms of the bride and groom got to pull out charms from the cake (It\’s a New Orleans tradition). My charm says Live Laugh Love. So lovely.
After the reception we had \”free time\” when Rachel and Rick went to take pictures. Evan and I promptly took a nap. The after party started at the hotel across the street at 5:00pm, so at 4:30pm we woke up and decided that we should go down to the square to use these ice cream coupons the couple provided in our welcome basket at place called Beth Marie\’s. I had something chocolatey and we walked around there for a bit. Evan tried the Bacon soda from that candy store I had seen the previous week. It was as bad as expected. 

Marrying Evan means that I will never not dance at an event again. He is a dancing king!

The after party was fun. Just a bunch of people with home brewed beer hanging out in a hotel meeting room. Plenty of time to mingle with guests. That was the coolest thing about their wedding. They actually spent time with people. Most wedding you get to say hi to the couple and congratulate them. This way, they mingled literally all day long. The After Party turned into the After After Party when we all went back to the other hotel (the one we were staying at). They had a bar there, but they closed it before we got there. So they let us hang out in the restaurant area with our own beer and such. I have to give a major major shoutout to the worker that accommodated us all night (or until 4:00am). He was AMAZING. He got us Tiramisu and then after drinking all night cheese fries pro bono. He stayed up and helped clean up and everything and got us everything we wanted. He had been up all day and the next morning at like 7:00am (at least) he was working breakfast. He truly went above and beyond for us. Thank you! What pray tell did we do until 4:00am? Nerts aka \”competitive solitaire\”. Nicki got so into it. It was really fun.

Bonus Activity (AKA Our 3 year dating anniversary date)

I have one more bonus activity that we did this last weekend. After coming back to Austin for the wedding we had just one more thing planned. Our 3 year anniversary was on the Thursday before, so for our anniversary I got us tickets to an HD Fantasia-like production of the UT Wind Ensemble play Holst\’s Planets accompanied by an HD video created by NASA. Ordinarily I wouldn\’t go out of my way to plan an elaborate date the day we get back from a wedding, but NASA + a Symphony performance = Best Evan Date Ever. There was even a pre-show lecture about how planets were formed. He loved it. I thought it was awesome too. Before The Planets started, there was a piece by Mackey (who Evan has played before). It was percussion piece and the guy playing (a professor of percussion) had 4 mallets in hand to play the xylaphone. Impressive. The planets were lovely and the images were awesome (as space always is if you think about it). Jupitar even had a hymn in it that I know they\’ve played at church before so that was cool. It was a very nice way to end a fabulous weekend. 

Uranus AKA The Magician. My astrology planet and the best one because it rotates differently. Never conform!!

So that\’s basically what\’s been going on with me this October so far. Next weekend is Peg\’s Baby Shower. Hopefully I will post more frequently as to refrain from such long posts in the future. Toodle-doo!

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